President Buhari Speaks on Chibok Girls

Agonized Chibok parents still pray for missing girls 3 years later

Speaking ahead of the 4-year anniversary of the kidnap of the Chibok schoolgirls in Borno, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, also said about 2,295 teachers have so far been killed by the insurgents with more than 1,400 schools destroyed.

"Four years on from that tragic incident, more than 100 of the Chibok girls have yet to be returned to their families and the United Nations children's agency continues to call for their release".

He recalled thus, "Four years ago, a middle ranking Boko Haram commander led dozens of fighters in search of food and other supplies in the remote town of Chibok, like an afterthought, they saw a chance to abduct school girls in GSS Chibok, the girls at the time were preparing for their exams".

"Nigeria has an alarming number of children out of school and if we genuinely want to solve this challenge, then we must make our learning institutions as safe and secure as possible".

Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath and four years on, 112 are still being held - a global symbol of the Islamist insurgency that has devastated the region.

Boko Haram in January released a video purporting to show some of the missing Chibok girls, saying they wish to remain with their captors.

"What happened in Chibok should have served as a wake-up call to the Nigerian government".

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed in a statement that Sharibu is "the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity", adding that she "will not be abandoned".

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In May 2016 the Nigerian army confirms the first of the schoolgirls has been found.

One hundred and seven were returned in mid-March. At the beginning, the group didn't know what to do with the girls, at least, not in the first one month of their captivity. Don't give up hope of seeing our daughters back home again.

Added to the growing numbers of kidnapped girls were the Dapchi girls, all of whom have now been reunited with their parents except for Leah Sharibu.

Buhari however admitted that they may be some delay in securing their release following setbacks in talks with the terrorists. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up.

Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during the conflict, seizing women and girls to act as sex slaves or suicide bombers, and men and boys to fight.

Since the conflict started in northeastern Nigeria almost nine years ago, at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed.

The International Crisis Group meanwhile said the copycat abduction in Dapchi showed more needed to be done to protect schoolchildren in the restive region.

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