The two-year anniversary of the horrific kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria, is less than one month away. To commemorate one of their most destructive acts, Boko Haram set out to send two suicide bombers back into Nigeria. In Cameroon, one of those two bombers is being detained by authorities.
It is suspected that the girl is one of the schoolgirls that was kidnapped in Nigeria two years ago. The Nigerian government is currently trying to get the young girl released into their custody. To publicize their suspicions, Nigerian presidential spokesman Garba Shehu gave a statement to Times Live.
“As soon as we establish permission to allow access, then we’ll put them on whatever flight is available.”
Once the Boko Haram bomber is in the hands of the Nigerian government, authorities will take the proper actions to uncover her identity, and confirm that she is, in fact, one of the missing schoolgirls captured from Chibok. The evidence supporting the suspicion of the Nigerian government lies in the events following the initial Boko Haram kidnapping.
First, just days after being capturing, 50 of the girls managed to escape Boko Haram. However, most of them remained in captivity. Boko Haram then released a statement via video that the captured Nigerian schoolgirls had been sold into forced marriages. Nigerian authorities, who tried to track Boko Haram’s movements, placed them in Chad and Cameroon at that time.
Next, the new president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, announced his thought on the kidnapping and the likeliness of the kidnapped girls to return home. According to Obasanjo, it was not very likely at all, unless the girls basically submitted to their terrorist husbands.
“Only those that would later get pregnant and the sect members would find it difficult to cater for the babies in the forest might be released.”
Being a Muslim himself, the president hinted that he could reach Boko Haram, but was not free to do so because of his new role in Nigeria. In a 2014 article of the IBI Times, this statement was mentioned.
“I have ways of communicating with Boko Haram members, but the government has not permitted me to do so.”
President Olusegun Obasanjo’s prediction about how the kidnapped girls could reclaim their freedom came to be a reality in the following year. In May of 2015, the Nigerian government, with help from some foreign aid, rescued 243 of the kidnapped girls from Boko Haram. But to their distaste, 214 of them were pregnant. At that time, the director of the United Nations Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin, revealed that this was nothing new for Boko Haram, and in fact, the Islamic militants have been responsible for a huge population increase in Northeast Nigeria. In an interview with Vanguard, Osotimehin stated that there had been more than 16,000 pregnancies in that region in just one year.
“In conflict and disasters, most people would only think of water and sanitation, provisions of tents and housing and food, which are all important. But women and girls have specific needs that nobody else looks after; it is only UNFPA that is doing this. We will always have pregnant women, but nobody segregates the needs of the pregnant women, which are very important and different from the needs of the average community. We look after them and ensure they get antenatal care and that they deliver properly and that they even get cesarean section when necessary.”
Though many of the kidnapped Nigerian girls have returned either traumatized or brutalized, many still remain in Boko Haram’s grasp. The Islamic militants have used young captured girls to do their bidding in Northern Nigeria for years, so the likeliness that the girl being detained by Cameroonian authorities is one of the Chibok schoolgirls, is very high.
[Photo by Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]