Families and friends of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents will today, August 27, mark 500 days since the abduction, with hope dwindling for their rescue despite a renewed effort to end terrorism.
The landmark comes amid a worsening security crisis in the northeast zone of the country, where the Islamic extremists have stepped up deadly attacks since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, killing not less than 1,000 people in three months.
On the evening of April 14 last year, the Boko Haram militants stormed the Government Secondary School in Chibok, a remote town in Borno State, kidnapping 276 girls who were writing their senior school certificate examinations.
However, 57 of them escaped; but no information has been heard of the other 219 girls since May last year, when about 100 appeared in a Boko Haram video, dressed in Muslim attire and reciting the Koran.
The self-acclaimed Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said the girls have all converted to Islam and been “married off”.
In the light of this, the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ (BBOG) group has announced a protest rally in Abuja to mark the grim and depressing anniversary along with a candle-lit vigil.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mrs. Aisha Yesufu said she was hopeful that ‘the right thing will be done’ under the new Buhari-led government, who vowed to crush Boko Haram.