Three months after the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, the Islamic militant leader behind the abduction surfaced in a video on Sunday with a defiant and dismissive message.
For 90 days the families of the more than 200 girls had hoped for good news. Instead, their hopes were met with scorn in a new video from Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau, who mocks the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign.
The social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls quickly drew worldwide attention to the plight of the Chibok schoolgirls. But just as quickly, it faded from the global spotlight. And in that time Boko Haram has stepped up its terror campaign. In the new video, Shekau claims responsibility for a June bomb blast in the capital, Abuja, which left 21 dead.
So far the Nigerian government has appeared impotent in the face of the increasingly brazen Boko Haram attacks; they have all but ruled out a military rescue as it could further endanger the lives of the girls.
In the three months alone since the raid at the school in Chibok, Boko Haram has carried out nine major gun and bomb attacks, adding another 1,100 victims to the 5,000 it has already claimed since 2009. In its heartlands in north-east Nigeria, it continues to gain the upper hand against the Nigerian military, despite President Jonathan deploying vast numbers of troops.
“We have no idea when they might suddenly attack again,” said Henry Wasi, 46, whose 16-year-old daughter is among the 223 girls still missing.”My wife is praying every day at the church, because she knows it is now only God who will bring back our girls.”
There was a measure of comfort for the Chibok parents on Sunday when they were visited by Malala Yousefzai, the young Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for also having the audacity to seek an education.
Sources: The Telegraph, CBS News
- Ask the Lord to hear the cries of the girls and their families and deliver the girls from their current torment.
- Pray that the believers in Nigeria will continue to find their daily strength from our Lord so that they may faithfully serve Him.
- Ask Him to intervene whether through the government and military or by His miraculous hand to bring an end to the violence in Nigeria.