On Monday, Boko Haram reportedly invaded the Government Girl’s Secondary School, shooting at students and teachers within as they approached in large, camouflaged trucks.
Reports on the safety of the schoolgirls has been left unclear. According to Reuters, several parents cited 76 schoolgirls being rescued by the Nigerian military, leaving two dead and 13 missing. However, the local government alternatively cites 50 young women missing. This trend continues as parents of those who attend the school have jointly compiled a list of 101 missing schoolgirls, The Guardian reported.
On Wednesday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressed citizens in a Twitter post:
“I have directed the Military and Police to mobilize immediately to ensure that all the missing girls of the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, are found… I share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for. I would like to assure them that we are doing all in our power to ensure the safe return of the girls.”
I have directed the Military and Police to mobilize immediately to ensure that all the missing girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, are found. The Minister of Defence will also lead a Federal Government delegation to Yobe tomorrow, to ascertain the situation.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) February 21, 2018
Many Nigerians found themselves frustrated with not only the long response time on the president’s part but the seeming lack of action being taken by the government.
This instance is eerily reminiscent of the Nigerian extremist group's kidnapping of about 274 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014. This incident sparked the voices of many celebrities, including former first lady Michelle Obama, to speak out against the actions of the group and demand more be done by the government in order to find the young women and bring them back. The movement, called Bring Back Our Girls, became a global pressure on the Nigerian government.
Though Bring Back Our Girls began in 2014, this incident echoes a need for its reemergence.