For the 20th birthday of one of the missing Chibok girls, her mother has sent a plea: “Please wish her a happy birthday and remember her in your prayers,” CNN reports.
The mother of Dorcas Yakubu – kidnapped by Boko Haram from a boarding school in Nigeria’s north-western town of Chibok four years ago – said she did not want her daughter to be forgotten.
Dorcas is among over 100 young women still being held captive by the Islamist group. Her parents, Esther Yakubu and Yakubu Kabu, still hope their daughter will return home safely.
“She’s a special child. My first daughter. She’s my adviser. She makes me happy all the time and comforts me when I’m down. She’s my everything,” Esther said of her daughter.
She also said that her struggle to stay hopeful was sustained by her faith in God. Esther last learnt about her daughter two years ago through a Boko Haram propaganda video in which Dorcas appeared among other captives.
The girl’s family marked her 20th birthday, on 8 June, by holding an afternoon of prayer.
Some 57 of the 276 Chibok girls managed to flee in the first few weeks after their abduction. More than 100 have been either found or freed so far, including a group of 82 girls released in May 2017 in exchange for an undisclosed number of Boko Haram commanders, while 21 others were released in October 2016. In January 2018, the Nigerian Army announced it had rescued another of the schoolgirls.
Another Nigerian girl in Boko Haram captivity was remembered this week by Nobel Leaureate Wole Soyinka at the 22nd anniversary of Kudirat Abiola, the assassinated wife of late Nigerian politician Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, reported local news site Sahara Reporters.
Leah Sharibu, 15, was the only Christian taken when the Islamist group abducted 110 girls during a February raid on a school in Dapchi, in the north-eastern state of Yobe. Boko Haram later released 104 of the girls, with the remaining five thought to have died in captivity.
“I was quite impressed with what I saw in that young girl, Leah Sharibu, who told her abductors that ‘No, you can’t take away from me, my freedom.’ I saw in her the spirit of Kudirat Abiola. When she said ‘No’, she spoke for all of us,” Soyinka said.
Soyinka added that Leah represented “us all”, irrespective of one’s beliefs.