By Open Doors SA
On Sunday, April 13, an estimated 275 girls reported to Chibok Government Secondary School. On Monday evening, April 14, Boko Haram insurgents broke into the school, burned down the administration block and classroom blocks of the school, destroying all school records, and abducted more than 250 girls.
Open Doors sources report that of the estimated 275 students present during the attack, 23 avoided capture, 16 escaped by jumping from the moving trucks as they were being taken to insurgent camps and only four managed to escape after their arrival at the camps.
An escaped Chibok girl, Saa*, who jumped off a truck on the way to the Sambisa forest where the Chibok girls were initially held, spoke at a press conference arranged by the Hudson Institute for Religious Freedom: “They told us [that] if we shout or run away they are going to kill us. I decided I would rather die, so that my parents [would] have a corpse to bury.”
On May 5, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and in a video released on May 12, the abducted girls were shown dressed in hijab, reciting Qur’anic verses. One woman who had survived a Boko Haram kidnapping told an Open Doors researcher that, out of fear she had converted to Islam and asked if Christ will accept her back.
Dr Stephen Davis, an Australian cleric, spent a month in Nigeria trying to negotiate the release of the girls and explained that his efforts were sabotaged and that he suspected politicians to be involved in the insurgency. “While I was making efforts to get the girls released, the political backers of the group threatened that if I got 30 or 40 girls out, the militants would kidnap another 60 to replace them,” Davis said.
For years now Open Doors has reported on the kidnappings of young women as part of forceful Islamisation in many parts of the world, as well as in the north of Nigeria. Parents of the Chibok girls have already counted 183 nights since their daughters have been taken.
Open Doors writes: “We want to urge supporters not to forget those kidnapped, and to continue to pray and advocate on their behalf:
- Please pray that the Lord will in His time allow the girls to be liberated.
- Pray for the Lord’s protection over the girls and that He will physically sustain them.
- Also pray that their faith would be an example to their captors and that Christ would be proclaimed even in these circumstances.”