Abduction of Chibok Schoolgirls by Boko HaramPublished on 3 November 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Mobina Jaffer
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, once again I rise to speak about the kidnapped Chibok girls of Nigeria.
As many of you may know, 933 days ago, 270 girls had been savagely kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in Chibok, Nigeria.
Two weeks ago I heard news that strengthened my hope that the girls would return home. On October 13, 21 girls had been freed after a series of negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. Sadly, that same week, I met one of the girls who escaped from Boko Haram’s captivity. She described to me how the lives of girls from a peaceful Chibok village changed forever one day as they heard distant gunshots.
At first the girls thought the armed men were from the military and they had come to lead them to safety. Trusting these men, the girls listened to the men’s instructions and climbed into their trucks. However, as the trucks started moving, the armed men starting beating the girls viciously. At this point, the girls realized that the men were from Boko Haram.
When the truck passed through the forest at night, the Chibok girl I met and one of her friends saw an opportunity to escape and jumped from the truck. Luckily, their escape succeeded and they were able to return to their homes within the next few days.
This same girl begged for us to save her fellow schoolgirl friends from the brutality of Boko Haram. Currently, 197 of the girls still remain in captivity, forced to suffer through horrifying violence and sexual abuse. While progress has been made towards freeing the girls, there is still much work to be done.
Honourable senators, I rise today to ask to you join me in asking Michelle and Barack Obama to use the last months of their presidency to continue fighting to bring the girls home.
The First Lady and the President have taken an active role in bringing attention to the kidnappings and pushing to have the Chibok girls returned. Both have stated on separate occasions that the Chibok girls are like their own daughters. Now I ask them and us to work harder to bring these girls home. Thank you.