Their only crime was being born in a town that was targeted. The brave girls of Chibok were young girls looking to get a decent education so they can have better chances in life. Those dreams were cut off that day in 2014 when nearly 300 mainly Christian girls were abducted from Chibok by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Today, when we hear Bring Back Our Girls, most of use spare a moment to sigh and lament about the case of the missing school girls.
On January 4th, the Nigerian army reported finding another Chibok girl held in captivity by Boko Haram.
Her name, Salomi Pogu, a statement from the army claimed that Salomi was one of the over 270 students who were abducted in 2014.
She was found along with another girl, Jamila Adams in the town of Pulka in the northeast Borno State.
Bring back Our Girls, the group agitating for the release of the girls have confirmed that Salomi Number 15 on the publicly known list of missing #ChibokGirls.
BBOG’s spokesperson, Sesugh Akume said “She is Number 15 on the publicly known list of missing #ChibokGirls NOT Number 86 as the statement by the military said, Salomi Pogu is a daughter of Mallam Pogu Yahi from Kaumutahyahi, a village in Kuburmbula ward of Chibok LGA. Both her parents are currently IDPs in Rumirgo Village, in nearby Askira/Uba LGA in Borno State.”
A relative of Salomi, Mr Ayuba Aloson, while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria said “I am happy over the development; our abducted daughters are still with their captors. This demonstrates the commitments of the military to the rescue of the girls.”
So far, about 106 girls have been released. Over 100 girls are still believed to be in custody of Boko Haram.
The government spent a whooping N164,763,759 on the second semester school fees of the 106 Chibok girls at the American University of Nigeria, AUN in Yola.
The girls went through debriefing and de-radicalisation by security operatives, after which the girls were handed over to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The Federal Ministry of Womens Affairs and Social Development was assigned the main role in supervising the rehabilitation and reintegration of the girls back into society.
The ministry of women affairs and in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities,UNFPA, UN Women, and other donor agencies, embarked on programmes earmarked to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of the Chibok girls with a nine-month time frame.
A hostel in the National Centre for Women Development was converted into a suitable shelter, where the girls were kept for the nine-month period. The programme, which began in January 2017, ended in September 2017.
Hopefully, Salomi will also pass through this same process of rehabilitation and reintegration. Her rescue has awakened hope in the minds of parents whose children are still missing.
As much as we can hope that she will be able to leave the horrors behind, she and the 106 girls currently schooling at the American University of Nigeria will never forget.
Say a prayer for the girls tonight.