You’re asleep in a dormitory after a tired day at school. You’ve drifted away after wondering about your lessons, and after making plans about learning more through your own reading the next day. Somewhere in the twilight spot between sleeping and waking, you slip into a world of dreams where you see happiness everywhere. It is a silent night, but for the gentle, rhythmic breathing of sleeping girls all around in the dormitory.
All of a sudden, you hear a deafening roar: gunfire. The cacophony reaches its crescendo as you hear screaming voices – one of which is your own – and before you know it, you feel yourself being forcibly pushed out of your bed and thrown into a vehicle. The ground under you judders as the vehicle comes to life. You look around you to see the other girls from your dormitory, all looking around with as much fear as there is in your own eyes and in your own heart.
Interesting screenplay? A thrilling story?
You wish. This was reality for around 300 girls in Chibok, Northern Nigeria, about three weeks ago.
The girls were kidnapped by an extremist group called the Boko Haram, which translates to mean “Western Education is a Sin” in Hausa. The girls were aged from 15 until 18, and comprised those belonging to both of Nigeria’s major religions: Christianity and Islam. Schools in and around the area had closed down in March under the fear of terror attacks – but this one school had reopened to allow the girls to write their final exams. These girls each had dreams and ambitions to pursue: but casting each of these aside, these girls are being auctioned off at $12 each to be made into “wives of militants”. Fifty girls have escaped, but 276 girls are still reported missing.
The abduction and auction of these girls is another chip of the block of extremism poised against the education of girls. Here is a presentation by Deborah Dauda, a girl born and brought up in Nigeria, on the incidents in Nigeria.
It is time to #BringBackOurGirls.