On 14 April 2014 276 Chibok Schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an extremist and terrorist organization based in Northeastern Nigeria.
57 of the schoolgirls managed to escape over the next few months and some have described their capture in appearances at international human rights conferences.
19 April 2014
Nigeria’s military announced that most of the girls managed to escape or were freed and released a statement saying that only eight girls were still unaccounted for.
Major General Chris Olukolade, a military spokesman, later withdrew the statement that most of the girls and state that the earlier announcement was “not intended to deceive the public.”
April 23, 2014
Nigerians took to the social media to express their anger at the government’s response. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was created by Ibrahim M. Abdullahi on that day in order to create awareness and put pressure on the Nigerian Government to rescue the Chibok school girls, the hashtag was subsequently amplified by Oby Ezekwesili and Ramaa Mosley.
24 April and 1, 2,3 & 6 May 2014
#BringBackOurGirls tweets peaked. Top Tweets on #BringBackOurGirls are by UNICEF, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Hillary Clinton, Amnesty International, CNN, Wyclef Jean, Malala Yousafzai, Russell Simmons and Lacrae.
Top videos on #BringBackOurGirls are by Stella Damasus, Abdullah Abdulaziz and Nigerian First Lady, Patience Jonathan (Dia is God)
2 May 2014,
Nigeria Police Force insisted that they were still unclear as to the exact number of students kidnapped and asked parents to provide documents so an official count could be made, as school records had been damaged in the attack.
4 May 2014,
The Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, spoke publicly about the kidnapping for the first time, saying the government was doing everything it could to find the missing girls. He advised the parents to support the police by providing needed information.
5 May 2014
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video saying his group was behind the abduction of the girls and threatened to sell them in the market as “slaves.”
7 May 2014
#BringBackOurGirls had received 1.5 billion impressions and reached 440 million people worldwide.
The hashtag trended in 7 countries and 50 cities but was mentioned in many more. #BringBackOurGirls was the No. 1 trend in Accra, Benin City, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Kumasi, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
It was the No. 2 trend in Soweto, Port Elizabeth, Nairobi & Mobassa; the
No. 5 trend in Cape Town, Durban, Washington, Pretoria, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough & Hull and the
No. 6 trend in Auckland, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Swansea, Preston, London, Leicester and Leeds.
There were interesting mentions of #BringBackOurGirls in Krasnoyarsk (Russia), Shinjuku (Japan), Causeway Bay (Hong Kong), Guarapuava (Brazil), Havana (Cuba) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
17 May 2014
Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria vow to fight Boko Haram together, in what Cameroon President Paul Biya terms a “declaration of war”. The UN Security Council says the kidnappings “may amount to crimes against humanity,” after Britain, China, France, Israel and the US offer help. US military specialists deploy to neighbouring Chad but later move elsewhere after Nigeria stops requesting their services.
26 May 2014
Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh says the girls have been located but ruled out a forceful rescue attempt for fears of collateral damage.
30 May 2014
it was reported that a civilian militia in the Baale region of Northeastern Nigeria found two of the kidnapped girls raped, “half-dead,” and tied to a tree.
Villagers said the Boko Haram group had left the two girls, and killed four other disobedient girls and buried them. 223 were still missing.
Sir Andrew Pocock, British High Commissioner to Nigeria said that a couple of months after the kidnapping a group of up to 80 of the Chibok girls were seen by American ‘eye in the sky’ technology but nothing was done. The girls, a camp and evidence of ground transport vehicles were spotted next to a local landmark called the ‘Tree of Life’ in the Sambisa forest
12 October 2014
It was reported that four girls from the originally kidnapped group had escaped and walked three weeks to freedom in Nigeria. They said they had been held in a camp in Cameroon and raped every day.
October 31 2014
Shekau quashes rumours of a deal with Nigerian authorities and says the girls have converted to Islam and been “married off”.
Stephen Davis, a former Anglican clergyman, contacted three Boko Haram commanders who said they might be prepared to release Chibok schoolgirls and came to Nigeria.
He was given proof of life (a video of them being raped) and was told 18 were seriously ill, some with HIV. Davis got initial agreement that Boko Haram would release these ill girls. However, after three attempts the deal fell through when another group abducted the girls believing they could make money out of them and Davis left Nigeria.
Davis commented that it was not difficult to locate the five or six main Boko Haram camps. He could find them on Google Earth.
It was reported that the Nigerian military had reclaimed most of the areas previously controlled by Boko Haram in Nigeria including many of the camps in the Sambisa forest where it was suspected the Chibok girls had been kept. Although many women had been freed, none of the Chibok girls had been found.
13 April 2016
Boko Haram released a video showing 15 girls who appeared to be some of the kidnapped Chibok girls. The video was apparently taken in December 2015 and the girls seemed to be well fed and not distressed.
17 May 2016
Amina Ali Nkeki, one of the girls was found along with her baby and Mohammad Hayyatu, a suspected Boko Haram militant who claimed to be her husband, by the vigilante Civilian Joint Task Force group in the Sambisa Forest. All three were suffering from severe malnutrition.
She was then taken to house of the group’s leader Aboku Gaji who recognised her. The group then reunited the girl with her parents.
19 May 2016
Amina Ali Nkeki met President Muhammadu Buhari.
14 August 2016
Boko Haram released a video of what appeared to be about 50 Chibok girls, some of them holding babies, with an armed masked spokesman who demanded the release of jailed fighters in exchange for the girls freedom.The masked gunman said some of the Chibok girls had been killed by Nigerian air strikes and 40 had been married. The film was apparently released on the orders of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of one of the factions of Boko Haram.
13 Oct 2016
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu confirms on his twitter hand and facebook page that 21 Chibok girls had been released.
5 Nov 2017
Another girl named Maryam Ali Maiyanga was found and rescued by the Nigerian Army on 5 November along with a baby by the Nigerian Army. The spokesman for the Army, Sani Usman, said that they discovered her in Pulka of Borno state while screening escapees from Boko Haram’s Sambisa forest base. She was confirmed to be one of the kidnapped girls by Bring Back Our Girls.
5 Jan 2017
Rakiya Abubakar, was reported on January 5, 2017 to have been found by the Nigerian Army along with a 6-month-old baby while they were interrogating suspects detained in army raids on the Sambisa forest. Her identity was later confirmed by Bring Back Our Girls group
7 May 2017
After months of patient negotiations, security agencies have taken back these 82 Chibok girls abducted in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities.
The Girls met President Muhammad Buhari Abuja on 8th May 2017 before he embarked on medical check-up in the United Kingdom. The President expressed his deep gratitude to security agencies, the military, the government of Switzerland, the Red Cross, local and international NGOs for the success of this operation.