By Open Doors 17 April 2024 2 MIN

A Decade Since
the Chibok Schoolgirls
Were Taken 

This past Sunday, 14 April 2024, the Chibok community remembered the kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls with a special service. Ten years ago, Boko Haram fighters took the schoolgirls, mostly Christians, from their dormitories at the federal government school. Though many have been released in the past years, there are some girls whose status remain unknown. Our Open Doors’ field partners were present to support the service, as well as the community that has been severely affected and traumatised.

How have the families of the schoolgirls coped?

For the still-waiting Chibok parents, the disappearance of their daughters has been like death by slow asphyxiation. Many brave each day, battling their sorrow-induced health problems, while others’ bodies have simply given up the fight. Yakubu Nkeki, the chairman of the Chibok Girls’ Parents’ Association told Open Doors partners last year, “We lost 38 parents in the first three years of this kidnapping. The slightest illness can take their life due to high blood pressure.” He continues, “They are in so much pain, (because) they think too much.”

What has happened in the intervening ten years with kidnappings? 

When the schoolgirls from the small town of Chibok were kidnapped on 14 April, the terrorists could never have guessed that they had invertedly introduced a new tactic that many others would use to terrorise Christian and moderate Muslim communities to strengthen their ideological agenda and exploit for monetary gains.

Since then, kidnapping in Nigeria has evolved to serve the needs of militants and criminals. Today, kidnappings are a daily occurrence in Nigeria, but the impact is no less debilitating for those who have been taken or for the families waiting to hear news, who often sell all their belongings to pay exorbitant ransom payments.

Pray for Nigeria:

  • Please pray for the girls still being held captive. Pray for their protection, miraculous release or successful escape, and for supernatural provision.
  • Pray for the families of the girls who have not returned. Pray for their physical and mental health, that they will be strengthened in their physical bodes as they are also strengthened spiritually in their hope and trust in God.
  • Pray for girls who have been released into military-run rehabilitation camps alongside surrendered Boko Haram fighters. Pray that these women will be released to their families so that they can heal from their trauma.

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