© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
TIMELINE: Chibok schoolgirls abduction and the journey so far
ON April 14 2014, a massive bomb went off at a popular garage in Nyanya, a satellite town on the border between the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa State, killing dozens of people and injuring many others, but as the attention of the world was fixed on Nyanya, Boko Haram struck again on the night of that same day.
This time, it was at the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, where they rounded up at least 276 schoolgirls from their dormitory and escaped into the Sambisa forest, their headquarters.
As they journeyed in the darkness, many of the girls escaped by jumping off the trucks that conveyed them. In all, 57 of the girls were found who had escaped from Boko Haram that night while a total of 219 remained in captivity.
The Chibok incident triggered the BringBackOu Girls (BBOG) campaign that would later metamorphose into a massive international outcry for the rescue or release of the girls.
It was exactly five years on Sunday since the Chibok Schoolgirls were kidnapped and since April 14, 2014, a total 107 of them have either escaped from custody or were released as a result of government intervention.
Here is a timeline of when and how it has been in the last five years.
APRIL 14/15, 2014: Boko Haram fighters attack Government Secondary School Chibok, abducting 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories.
APRIL 14/15, 2014: 57 of the girls escape by jumping off the Boko Haram trucks in which they were being transported.
APRIL 15, 2014: withdrew Army authorities lie that all but eight of the abducted girls have been rescued and 35 Boko Haram killed in the process. Parents and relatives of the girls say they had not seen their wards. Army the statement on April 18.
MAY 12, 2014: Boko Haram released video showing many of the abducted girls covered in hijab from head to toe and chanting Arabic verses. The leader of the terrorists, Abubakar Shekau, said they would be released if the Nigerian government released their fighters that are being held in custody.
APRIL 14, 2016: On the second year of the abduction, Boko Haram released another video showing 15 of the Chibok girls looking robust and well fed. However, analysts said the video appeared to have been shot in the December of the previous year.
MAY 17, 2016: One of the girls, Amina Ali Nkeki, was rescued by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, alongside her six-month-old baby and a suspected terrorist, Mohammad Hayyatu, who claimed to be her husband. The three were severely malnourished and were wandering during the forest at the time of their rescue. Nkeki was the first of the Chibok girls to be rescued.
AUGUST 14, 2016: Another video surfaced on the internet showing some of the Chibok girls, many of them carrying a baby. A masked man who spoke in the video reiterated Boko Haram’s demands for the release of some of their fighters in return for the girls. He also said many of the girls had died in airstrikes carried out by the Nigeria Air Force.
OCTOBER 13, 2016: Twenty-one of the Chibok girls were released following a deal believed to have been brokered by the Swizz government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. They met with President Muhammadu Buhari briefly before being reunited with their respective families.
NOVEMBER 5, 2016: One other Chibok girl was discovered among several dozens of women who had been rescued by soldiers during a raid on a Boko Haram position. Maryam Ali-Maiyanga (the name of the girl) was also found with a little baby who was just about six months old.
JANUARY 2, 2017: Another Chibok girl, Rakiya Abubakar, was rescued in a similar circumstance as Maiyanga. Soldiers were profiling some women that were taken from Boko Haram camps when they discovered Abubakar was one of the abducted Chibok girls. The BBOG group confirmed her identity.
MAY 6, 2017: The greatest breakthrough so far in the was recorded with the return of 82 of the abducted girls, again, thanks to the government of Switzerland and the international NGO, the Red Cross. 83 girls were supposed to have been released, according to a government spokesperson, but one opted out of the deal, choosing to remain with her husband. However, reports say that the Nigerian government paid a ransom of 3 million Euros, as well as released five top Boko Haram fighters, to secure the girls’ release; a claim FG has consistently denied.
JANUARY 4, 2018: Nigerian Army announced the rescue of yet another Chbok girl, Salomi Pogu, alongside another young girl whose name was given as Jamila Adams but who was not among the girls abducted fro GSS Chibok in 2014.
Thus, 107 out of 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014, has been freed. It is not clear where the rescued girls are at the moment but the federal government had promised to take care of their well-being and education.
However, it appeared no lesson was learnt from the Chibok incident, as a similar scenario played out again in February 2018, when Boko Haram abducted 110 girls from their school dormitory in Dapchi, Yobe State.
After a month in captivity, and following negotiations which saw FG pay Boko Haram huge sums in ransom, all but one of the girls were released, though five of them had died. The only one who still remains in captivity is Leah Sharibu, who is still being detained for refusing to convert to from Christianity to Islam.