Abuja, Nigeria – The veil of Margret Yama’s telephone veil is a photo of his cousin, Rifkatu Galang, who is also retenuated by Boko Haram. His extremist prestige was his age and 275 autres fills on him and enlevees of his college in his Northeast. Nigeria.
Yama was among those arrested but later released. Dozens have been rescued or found, but 94 others, including his cousin, are still missing in one of the most daring attacks by the Islamic extremist group in Nigeria.
“I kept it as a screen saver so that every time I saw his face it reminded me to invite him back,” said Yama, 25, along with others. “They are in my prayers every day.”
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram stormed the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State and kidnapped the girls while they were preparing for science exams. Several girls are still missing, which led to the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign featuring celebrities from around the world, including the former First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama.
Today, the missing girls are remembered in new sculptures created by French artist Prune Nourry in collaboration with Obafemi Awolowo University.
Inspired by Ife’s ancient Nigerian clay heads, the series titled “Status also Breathe” attempts to recreate the girls’ facial expressions and hairstyles. Nuri hopes the sculptures on display at the Nigerian Trade Center in Lagos will serve to remind the world of a largely forgotten tragedy.
“This gown embodies the girls who are lost, always missing, and must be remembered, and raises the issue of girls’ right to a safe education on a global scale,” the artist told the Associated Press.
This year, about a dozen missing girls have returned amid news that some of them died in custody. The brief hope soon faded, and the pain for the families of the missing increased.
Zana Lawan, whose daughter was 16 when she was kidnapped, said one of the girls who returned this year told her, “Aisha has two children with Boko Haram but she lost one of her grown sons.”
Lawan said that all the girls in the families are now married. “There is nothing I can be satisfied with because of this. All I want now is to see my daughter alive.”
The girls who regained their freedom this year are no longer alone. The parents said they all had children of extremists, 24 in all.
Over the years, the liberated girls recounted how they were forced into marriage by the militants. Over the years, others who have resisted have given up.
“If I see someone getting married, it’s their choice. I’ve decided they’ve lost all hope,” said Yama, who regained her freedom in 2017. “Most of them, I think, was losing hope that got them married. “
Yama recalls life in the armed camps: the girls, when not being segregated to prevent the Nigerian security forces from knowing their whereabouts, were usually together, often doing nothing. Access to them was restricted, except for their husbands.
“We were together as one family,” Yama said.
Her mother died shortly after she was kidnapped in 2014. At least 30 other parents have died in various circumstances since their daughters were kidnapped, according to Lawan, the leader of the Chibok Fathers’ Association.
“Even if you are healthy, when you are traumatized, anything can happen. If you get a disease that turns into another because of your daughter,” he said.
A year after the girls were kidnapped, current President Muhammadu Buhari rode a wave of goodwill to power after promising to rescue them. Last week, National Security Adviser Babajana Monguno said the military remained committed to the cause, but said it was an “intelligence-led operation, which means that it will, unfortunately, be arduous.”
However, many parents began to question the government’s commitment to girls’ freedom. The Chibok group continues to come under attack from Boko Haram and the breakaway faction that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
“I know the Nigerian army, they can finish this job within 24 hours, but I don’t know what makes it so difficult,” said Yakubu Nkeke, whose niece was among the girls released.
As the president of the Parents of Daughters Association of Chibok, Nikki does everything she can to give families hope.
He said: “Although I have regained my freedom, I do not have peace of mind.”
While studying law at the American University of Nigeria, Yama continues to try to get his life back to normal after years of living with extremists.
She said that studying can be difficult because books are a luxury that girls are not given while they are in captivity. But her biggest challenge is staying optimistic that her cousin and all the other girls will be home anytime.