60 Women & Girls Escape The Clutches Of Boko Haram In Nigeria

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After the news of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in April, another report surfaced in June stating even more people had been kidnapped. This time it wasn’t just school girls, but women and boys also.

At the time of writing this, the original girls have been gone for over 80 days, with no sign of their whereabouts or news of whether the Nigerian government is planning to rescue them.

Well a bit of good news about this saga is that more than 60 women and girls who were in the most recent group taken, have managed to escape the clutches of this militant group adamant about abolishing “western education” as their name means.

According to an AFP press release, local vigilante Abbas Gava said he had “received an alert from my colleagues … that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home” late Friday.

The report was confirmed by a high-level security source who preferred to go unnamed in fear of any more attacks.

Gava, a senior official of the local vigilantes in Borno State where the women were captured and who are working closely with security officials, told journalists the women escaped when their captors went out to fight.

“They took the bold step when their abductors moved out to carry out an operation,” he said.

Activists of the Bring Back Our Girls movement meanwhile tried to march on the presidential palace in Abuja Sunday in another reminder of the fate of more than 200 girls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno state, on April 14, but were asked by security forces to turn back.

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“We have been coming out for 68 days and nobody has really listened to us,” activist Aisha Yesufu told reporters after the march.

That is why the group “decided that we should just take the protest back to the President so that he will know that we are still out there after the 68 days that we have been coming out daily”.

The international media coverage is still very important, but what’s sad is that within Nigeria, it is the relatives and everyday citizens who are seemingly doing most of the work to remind people how important these incidents are.

It’s frustrating to see these terrorists essentially get away with their criminal actions, and the very authorities the Nigerian relatives are relying on to take action are yet to do anything significant.

“We’re waiting to hear from the government whether they will assist with treating and rehabilitating them,” said one of the local residents to the BBC about the state of the girls who escaped.

Awareness is one thing, and that is well taken care of. Now we need to see the Nigerian government get involved and make a plan to rescue these women, girls and boys. What will it take for them to realize the extremists are not going to give up on their mission any time soon? How many more need to be kidnapped? Or worse, killed?

In the meantime we will celebrate the small victory that these brave girls exhibited by escaping from their captors, despite the risk of possibly losing their life it it all went awry.

This story is far from over and we hope to hear more good news coming out of Nigeria and pray for the safe return of each and every one of the kidnapped people.

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