NIGERIA — In the 2014 Nigeria kidnappings, Boko Haram kidnapped over 270 girls from their school in Chibok in northern Nigeria. Nine years on, nearly 100 girls are still missing, and their parents are in agony. Open Doors speaks to those mothers and fathers as they continue to deal with the trauma of their children being taken away from them.
*Name changed for security purposes
Precious* – Abducted from Chibok in 2014:
They brought trucks and forced us to get on. They said that anyone who refused would be shot. When a truck was filled up with girls and armed men, it would leave. We drove for four days before we reached their base in the bush.
Nine years ago, Boko Haram kidnapped Precious and 275 other girls from her school in Chibok in northern Nigeria. The extremists took them to the vast Sambisa forest and tried to make them convert to Islam.
They separated us into two groups. Those who agreed to convert were given hijabs. Those of us who refused to convert were not given hijabs, but they deprived us of food. The majority of us refused to convert. That’s how they left us. We suffered for almost a month.
When they understood that we were really not going to denounce our faith, they threatened us that if we refused to convert, they would search for holy men among them to come and kill us. We prayed and fasted. Those of us who refused to convert kept praying and fasting.
After three very hard years, Precious was thankfully one of those released by Boko Haram. But at least 92 young women are unaccounted for and their parents are still waiting with much pain and uncertainty.
Mary – Mother of kidnapped Chibok girl:
It was on a Tuesday evening around 6:30pm when we heard about the kidnapping. We rushed to the school. The building was still burning. I saw fathers and mothers rolling on the ground, crying.
I still suffer from high blood pressure and stomach aches. Even today I am in pain. I endure thanks to painkillers. It is all caused by fretting over my daughter’s abduction. I always used to be such a strong woman.
We’ve not heard any news to this day. Are they dead. Are they alive. As a mother, I refuse to accept that my daughter is dead or alive until I’ve heard reliable news.
Ishaya – Father of kidnapped Chibok girl:
This is the only picture I have to remember my daughter Hawa. It is still hard for me to look at her picture. These thoughts in my head, they make me suffer. Not a day goes by without me thinking of her. Pray that she will be released, just like the others who were released.
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.