Nearly a week after extremists attacked an all-girls school in northern Nigeria and kidnapped dozens of students, government officials continue to waver on how many girls were taken and whether they had already been rescued or were still missing.
The girls’ parents, however, are not wavering.
Amidst the government’s confusion, a group of parents formed an association to count the number of missing schoolgirls, and on Sunday released their own list of victims that numbers more than 100, Voice of America (VOA) reports.
"This list did not come from the school management or any government source but collated by us from the parents of the girls," one of the parents, Bashir Manzo, told VOA. "As far as we are concerned, the governor is still being fed with fake information about these poor girls."
While the parents’ association put the number of missing girls at 105, Nigeria’s information ministry, which sent a representative to Dapchi on Thursday, later said that 110 were still missing.
UPDATE: The Federal Government has confirmed that 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, are so far unaccounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on Monday 19 February 2018.— Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) February 25, 2018
The girls, who attended the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, fled alleged Boko Haram militants on Monday night after the group surrounded the school with armed vehicles — and many have not been seen since.
From Chibok to Dapchi, one thing remains clear. Girls are not protected in this country. Parents need to start thinking about security measures for their girls including self defence because the Nigerian government will fail them over and over again.— Dr. Ify Aniebo (@IfyAniebo) February 23, 2018
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari called last week’s events a “national disaster,” and called for “the attackers [to be] arrested and made to face justice,” CNN reports.
An initial government statement last Monday indicated 50 girls were missing, but that estimate was later increased to over 100. On Wednesday, it was reported that 76 girls had been rescued. But the next day officials admitted that they were still missing.
Experts have compared the kidnappings to similar events from 2014, when Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from the town of Chibok — of whom more than 100 remain in captivity four years later.
Nearly one week after the initial attack, parents are becoming increasingly restless, CNN reports.
"I haven't slept for five minutes since the attack on Monday,” one parent told CNN. “I can't even eat or focus. The government should just produce our girls.”
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and ensuring access to quality education, and especially girls’ education — without fear of reprisals from armed terrorist groups — is goal number four. You can join us and take action here.