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‘21 Chibok girls return with 34 kids; 48 parents die of trauma’

Ten years after the abduction of 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, a report at the weekend revealed among others…

Ten years after the abduction of 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, a report at the weekend revealed among others that 21 of the released girls came back with 34 children.

This, according to the report released by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the abduction, served as a devastating confirmation of the sexual violence and coerced marriages the girls were subjected to in captivity.

Also, the report hinted that 48 parents of the abducted victims died since the girls were kidnapped, with widespread psychological trauma for survivors and their families, leading to health issues and barriers to work and education.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MMF, Dr Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, in the virtual presentation of the report, stated that the foundation had set out 10 key recommendations that urged the Nigerian government and the international community to collaborate on the delivery on and beyond the following priority areas which included enhanced security measures; community empowerment programmes; psychological support services in danger zones; education initiatives; legal reforms; transparent communication; humanitarian aid and development assistance; women’s empowerment programmes and early warning systems for security threats.

She said, “In the 10 years since the Chibok kidnapping caused global outrage, very little has changed on the ground in Nigeria where kidnapping is still as prevalent, if not worse than a decade ago.

“As Nigeria’s kidnapping epidemic shows no signs of slowing, we urge the Nigerian authorities and the international community to take concrete steps to address the underlying drivers of conflict, extremism and violence against women and girls, which include widespread poverty, instability and a lack of economic opportunities.

“The report found that 91 out of the 276 schoolgirls remain unaccounted for.

“The report also revealed that 21 of the Chibok girls who were released returned with 34 children, serving as a devastating confirmation of the sexual violence and coerced marriages they endured while in captivity.

“The MMF report shares recommendations in efforts to address the root causes of kidnapping and urges for international cooperation to urgently act to deliver solutions that put an end to the crisis.”

She also advocated a zero-tolerance policy to ensure that those who were responsible for the atrocities documented were brought to justice no matter how powerful or well-connected they were.

 

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