Obiageli Ezekwesili, co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls, discussed how the world has handled the missing 219 young women abducted from Chibok by the militant group Boko Haram, during the 7th annual Women in the World summit, at Lincoln Center in New York on Wednesday.
“The issue with abduction is you’ve got to sustain your action. You’ve got to make the victim — in this case 219 girls — so important that you cannot ignore,” Ezekwesili told AFRICAN JIHAD panel moderator Margaret Brennan of CBS News.
“We don’t want a situation where forces of evil and extremism thinks it’s O.K. to cut off from learning society. It’s an assault on our society….without the world pushing back.”
On the night of 14–15 April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an extremist and terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria. A few of the schoolgirls managed to escape and some have described their capture in appearances at international human rights conferences
On 17 October 2014, hopes were raised that the 219 remaining girls [clarification needed] might soon be released after the Nigerian army announced a truce between Boko Haram and government forces. The announcement coincided with the six-month anniversary of the girls’ capture and followed a month of negotiations mediated in Saudi Arabia by Chadian president, Idriss Déby.
The announcement was met with doubt as this was not the first time the Nigerian government had claimed a breakthrough in negotiations with the Islamic militant group – it had to backtrack on a previous announcement in September after saying the girls had been released and were being held in military barracks.