1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 51

Thursday, June 16, 2016
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker


Abduction of Chibok Schoolgirls by Boko Haram

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I once again rise to speak about the Chibok girls of Nigeria. As many of you know, I record how long it has been since Boko Haram savagely kidnapped 267 school girls from the village of Chibok on my Twitter feed every day. As of today, the Chibok girls have been in captivity for 793 days, forced to endure physical abuse, rape and hunger, and live in a constant fear of their lives.

As of today, it has been 383 days since President Buhari of Nigeria made a promise upon his inauguration to bring back the Chibok girls. As of today, he has failed to live up to his promise.

Part of why I rise today is to ask President Buhari to live up to his word. I regularly send written letters to him on behalf of the Chibok girls. Every day I wish that I could stop the count on my Twitter feed. Every day I hope that the girls will be rescued and reunited with their families who dearly love and miss them. Yet I cannot to this day stop raising the issue of the plight of the Chibok girls.

Let me share a story with you to illustrate their continuing nightmare.

Recently Christina Ijabla, one of the few girls who managed to escape Boko Haram last month, told the world a chilling story of how she and other girls had been treated. She said:

They tried repeatedly to coerce us into marriage. We refused and they became even more violent and brutal. They said that they would kill us and our families and that they had complete control over us. Then they blindfolded one of the girls – one of us – and shot her before our very eyes.

When President Buhari stands and does not act with the support of his army to stop the kind of horror he allows to continue, when he fails to rescue the Chibok girls, he dooms them to continue living through these kinds of despicable acts at the hands of Boko Haram.

Honourable senators, every night I say a prayer for the mothers of these girls. As a mother and a grandmother, I shudder to think of the pain of these mothers. It has been 793 days, over two years, since these girls were abducted by Boko Haram.

Honourable senators, you may wonder why I continue to fight for girls in Nigeria. I do this because I believe that with every girl that is raped or harmed, the fabric of our world, the fabric of our society changes, and all of us have to stand up to protect the girls.

Honourable senators, I ask you to join me, and let us work together toward bringing the Chibok girls back home and stop their torture.