Twelve months after 219 school girls were kidnapped in Chibok town, Nigeria by Boko Haram militants, Malala Yousafzai has now written an open letter, criticising Nigerian leaders for failing to help them.
“In my opinion, Nigerian leaders and the international community have not done enough to help you. They must do much more to help secure your release. I am among many people pressuring them to make sure you are freed,” she said.
Boko Haram’s militants are in a state of war with the Nigerian government to bring in an Islamic state and have already abducted more than 2000 girls and women prior to this and carried them off to Cameroon, where they have been made cooks, sex slaves and fighters, reported Amnesty International. Rumours surfaced that the teenagers among the kidnapped school girls were being married off to the militants in Cameroon. Already, others apart from Malala have criticised the Nigerian government for their inaction.
Associated Press reported that Nigeria’s new president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, said he cannot promise to find the 219 schoolgirls of Chibok town. But he promised his administration will do everything in its power to do so.
Calling the captured girls as her ‘brave sisters’, Malala wrote, “On this first anniversary of your captivity, I write to you with a message of solidarity, love and hope. We cannot imagine the full extent of the horrors you have endured. But please know this: we will never forget you. We will always stand with you. Today and every day, we call on the Nigerian authorities and the international community to do more to bring you home. We will not rest until you have been reunited with your families.”
Malala’s letter has only once again served to remind us of the plight of these girls and the possible horrors they might be facing. We all remember the strong, vocal public support in the first few months after the kidnapping. Now the intensity among world leaders and even the global public has cooled down, much like the Nigerian government.
The militants justify their kidnapping of school girls by claiming their fight to be against ‘western education’. Narrating her own fight for girl child education, Malala added that widespread educational opportunities await these girls once they are freed.