She wasn’t there but she was there. That is Leah Sharibu, the 16 year old school girl who is now more than a year in captivity of Boko Haram insurgents. She was the subject of the 5th Anniversary of the abduction of over 200 girls from a boarding school in Borno State, on April 14th, 2014, about half of whom were subsequently released, leaving basically another half in their ‘custody’. The world keeps protesting this although the world has also moved on to other things. That is in the nature of the world or of tragedy. It always happen in a quiet corner in situations the world can rarely help. The world, as mightily powerful as it is could not stop the abduction of the Chibok girls and similar atrocities going on in DRC, South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and now Libya. Tragedy can be that complex and complicated – private, lonely even in the full glare of a mediatized world. But it can be protested, exposed and the future regained.
In that lies the significance of symbolic actions that the Bring Back Our Girls, (BBOGs) movement is still able to mount as in Sunday’s lecture it held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city where activists of all hues reflected on the nightmare. Organised around the theme: The Agony of Chibok Girls: The Shame of a Nation“, it featured a special message from Aliyyah Yesufu and the lecture itself by Aisha Abubakar, a big contrast to the surprisinglyfamished presence of the issue of the release of the remaining Chibok Girls as well as that of Leah Sharibu in the recently concluded General Elections in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Government says the release of the remaining Chibok Girls has been hampered by division among the terrorists and by problem of free passage in the case of Leah Sharibu arising from heightened military exertions in the area. Uhmm! So, Leah remains the only one of the about 105 school girls captured from Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi in Yobe State in February 2018.