Over a year ago, the world watched in horror as more than 200 Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram is an extremist group that has been terrorizing the region ever since 2002. They are responsible for an attack on a UN building in Abuja, and numerous kidnappings of young girls across the country.Today I want to share the story of one of these Chibok girls with you. When Abigail John first tried to escape Boko Haram, she failed. The result was brutal, and she was held captive and beaten by them once again.
On her second attempt, she was more fortunate. The Nigerian Military planned a raid of Boko Haram at one of their sites – the site that Abigail was at. And amidst that air raid, Abigail took a chance and fled for a second time. This time, her escape worked. Today, I am happy to share that Abigail is undergoing treatment in Yola, Nigeria.
The story of Abigail leaves me with a heavy heart. I am so happy she can begin to reclaim her life, but I am devastated for the Chibok girls who have not managed to escape. Their fate is still unknown.
Recently I attended a function at Carleton University to celebrate Nigeria’s Democracy Day. There, I met with the Nigerian ambassador, who informed me that newly elected President Buhari has promised to bring back the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram.
This is a much awaited commitment by the Nigerian government. I want to make sure they stay true to their word.
Up to now, social media has used the campaign #BringBackOurGirls to call attention to the Chibok kidnappings. Today, I want to begin a new campaign, called “President Buhari, bring our Chibok girls back”.
It has been four hundred and twenty four days since the Chibok girls were taken. I will begin a count on my website to display how many days it will take President Buhari to deliver on his promise. So far, he is fourteen days into his presidency.
I ask Canadians for their support on this initiative. These girls need to be brought home. President Buhari, bring our Chibok girls back.