14th April, 2015
How David Brought Back the Our Girls
Today April 14th makes one year when over 200 school girls were abducted in the night from their hostel in Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, North East Nigeria by the Boko Haram Islamist militants.
Children March for missing chibok girls
219 girls who were picked as Chibok Girls ambassador met with officials of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja today April 14th where they called on the federal government to expedite action on the release of the 219 girls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno state on April 14th. During their march from the Unity Park to the Ministry's secretariat, the girls held a placard with the names of each of the missing Chibok girls.
April 14, 2015
The kidnapping of the Chibok girls struck a chord outside the northeast that five years of murderous insurgency there had not.
"Sometimes when you think about this, it is like you have an out-of-body experience. Are we alive? Children are alive going to school, and this happened to them? They disappeared," says Miriam Yakubu Ikunaiye, who helped organize a commemorative march Tuesday in Abuja.
The Bring Back Our Girls movement has held daily rallies in Nigeria since just after the girls were taken.
School-age girls took part in Tuesday's march as “ambassadors” for the Chibok girls. The tone was that of resigned determination as the group chanted its now familiar refrain: “Bring back our girls. Now! And Alive!”
The Chibok kidnapping was an audacious, opportunistic but by no means isolated move by Boko Haram, a Nigerian extremist sect that has since joined forces with the Islamic State militant group.
The mass kidnapping was emblematic of a sharp uptick in militant attacks against civilians that have killed 5,500 people since the start of 2014, according to Amnesty International.
The Chibok girls were not the first or the last young women Boko Haram abducted.
“Over 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014. They have been forced to either marry Boko Haram militants, they have been forced to provide services or clean. Some have even, according to what we have seen, have been forced to train and take part in attacks on their own villages,” said Amnesty’s Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, Steve Cockburn.
But some activists believe Boko Haram is holding the Chibok girls separately in groups. The girls could be future bargaining chips or shields against airstrikes.
“The girls became very valuable to Boko Haram,” said Human Rights Watch Nigeria researcher Mausi Segun. “This is what I’ve heard from almost everyone that I’ve spoken with who had been in Boko Haram camps and managed to find their way out, that these girls are special, not everyone can approach where they are.”
“Boko Haram is continuing to guard them jealously,” she said, adding that militants maintain hideouts and zones of control despite having lost the major towns to an ongoing Nigerian and regional offensive.
Up in Chibok, the girls’ parents pray.
“People say the girls are in Gwoza. Others say they have been married off. The truth is only God knows where the girls are,” said Yana Galang, a mother of eight, including 17-year-old Rukatu, one of the abducted girls.
“My daughter, she is a very funny girl. Even when she saw me if I am sad she would come and kneel and stay with me. "Mummy, what is worrying you? Don’t keep yourself so worried.”
Time has marched on in Chibok. The month of April is mango season. The sweet smell of the ripe fruit is everywhere. Rukatu’s brother is getting married in a few weeks.
Boko Haram briefly seized control of the town in November. Many residents have since fled. Some of the girls' parents have died from the stress, say locals, or they were killed in Boko Haram attacks. It is a close-knit community. Everyone here is either related to, or knows, one of the abducted schoolgirls.
Bare bed frames still fill what’s left of the abandoned Secondary School for Girls. Soldiers guard the entrance. No soldiers were here a year ago when Boko Haram forced their way through the gate and into the dormitories. Gunfire ripped through the night.
“The moment the men spoke in Hausa, saying they were soldiers and that we should not be afraid, we knew it was Boko Haram,” said 19-year-old student Saratu. “They told us we should not be in school. That education, 'boko,' is bad, 'haram,' and that we should come with them.”
The men forced some girls onto vehicles, while others had to walk. The men looted the storage rooms and set the school ablaze before they left.
Saratu is one of 57 girls who escaped. She hurt her leg jumping from a vehicle as they approached the Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram’s prime hideout. A man from the village found her and carried her home.
Two hundred nineteen girls are still missing.
One of their fathers, Lawan Zanna, says President Goodluck Jonathan told them to be “patient,” he says, that “sooner or later” their daughters would come home.
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to do things “differently,” but offers no false hope.
“We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown,” Buhari said in a statement. “As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home.”
Schools in the northeast were closed last year due to Boko Haram threats. The girls were only back to take final exams.
“The last day I was with her, she come and said, "Daddy what will you promise me when I completed my school?" and I promised a lot for her, "That if you come out with good colors, if your results are good, I will take you to university,” Zanna said.
His voice cracked as he talked about his daughter, Aisha. She had just turned 18 when she was taken, he said. It is now her 19th birthday.
#BringBackOurGirls group holds silent march to commemorate 1 year of girls’ abduction
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari Issues Statement
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has issued a statement to mark one year anniversary of the Chibok girls’ abduction.
Buhari said that the APC government will do everything possible to rescue the missing girls.
Below is the text of the statement, released Monday, March 13, in Daura, Katsina State.
“Today we remember the kidnapping of 276 girls from a school in Chibok one year ago. This crime has rightly caused outrage both in Nigeria and across the world.
“Today is a time to reflect on the pain and suffering of the victims, their friends and families. Our thoughts and prayers, and that of the whole Nigerian Nation, are with you today.
“I want to assure all of them, and particularly the parents, that when my new Administration takes office at the end of May, we will do everything we can to defeat Boko Haram. We will act differently from the Government we replace: we hear the anguish of our citizens and intend to respond accordingly.
“This new approach must also begin with honesty. We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my Government will do everything in its power to bring them home."
“What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that starting on the first day of my Administration Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas."
““Boko Haram” means “Western Education is Sinful”. When they are defeated militarily, as they will be, we will ensure our citizens in the affected areas have improved educational opportunities as a direct counterbalance to Boko Haram’s twisted ideology. In particular we will educate ever more young girls ensuring they are empowered as citizens of Nigeria."
“Let us use this anniversary to remind each other that the attack on Chibok was an attack on the dreams and aspirations of our young people."
“We stand united in our pledge to resist terror in Nigeria– not just through military means but also through the power of opportunity and the hope of a better future for all”.
Nigeria's Chibok girls 'seen with Boko Haram in Gwoza'
More than 50 of the girls abducted by militant Islamists in Nigeria last year were seen alive three weeks ago, a woman has told the BBC.She saw the girls in the north-eastern Gwoza town before the Boko Haram militants were driven out of there by regional forces.
Boko Haram sparked global outrage when it seized more than 219 girls from Chibok town a year ago.
The US, China and other foreign powers promised to help find the girls.
However, the girls have never been traced, and little has been heard of them since they were taken from their boarding school.
The whereabouts of the remaining girls is not clear.
'Big house'Campaign group Bring Back Our Girls organised a silent march in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Wednesday to raise public awareness about the abductions.
In an open letter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai called on Nigeria's authorities and the international community to do more to secure the release of the girls.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said the girls have been converted to Islam and married off, fuelling concern that the militants had treated them as war booty and sex-slaves.
Mr Shekau has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), which is also notorious for carrying out abductions in Iraq and Syria.
"They said they were Chibok girls kept in a big house," said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.
"We just happened to be on the same road with them," she added.
'Treated better'Three other women also told the BBC they had seen the girls in Gwoza.
Boko Haram was believed to have turned Gwoza into its headquarters after it captured the town in August 2014.
Nigeria's military, backed by troops from neighbouring countries, recaptured the town last month.
The militants were suspected to have fled to the nearby Mandara Mountains, near the border with Cameroon.
It is unclear whether the girls are with them there.
Another woman told the BBC she last saw some of the girls in November at a Boko Haram camp in Bita village, also in the north-east.
"About a week after they were brought to the camp, one of us peeked through a window and asked: 'Are you really the Chibok girls?' and they said: 'Yes'. We believed them and didn't ask them again," the woman said.
"They took Koranic lessons, cleaned their compound, cooked for themselves and they braided each others' hair. They were treated differently - their food [was] better and water clean. "
Nigeria's outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan has been widely criticised for not doing enough to end the six-year insurgency in the north-east, and to secure the freedom of the girls.
Incoming President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to "crush" the insurgents.
He is due to be inaugurated on 29 May after defeating Mr Jonathan in last month's presidential elections.
CHIBOK: HOW DAVID BROUGHT BACK OUR GIRLS!
Posted by Ambassador T. Brikins
About a year ago, my intimate friend from Michika in Adamawa State in North East of Nigeria intimated me of how young girls in the area and environs were committing suicide to avoid rape and forceful marriage by the Boko Haram sect.
Few months ago, a prominent Pastor Kalejaiye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God wondered openly why Christians were being killed now in the churches when the church is praying.
Like we said in the introduction of this blog, challenges don’t respect geographic boundaries, economic or political blocs. They are as historic and ancient as they are modern and contemporary.
They become news when they put on new personalities or methods or come close to us.
Behind these problems are unseen forces powered with the mission to kill, destroy and steal.
David was a 10th century king of king of Israel. He was “a man after God’s heart”, who killed Goliath who defiled God and Israel’s army. By this bravery he came to the lime light in his nation. The Hebrew nation attained its most powerful during his rule. But his girls were once abducted into captivity.
One day in history, “the good looking man, redhead, and with beautiful eyes, skillful in music, undefeated warrior, a man of war, prudent in speech and handsome’
“… arrived home at their town of Ziklag,” and their wives and daughters had vanished. “… they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and had burned Ziklag to the ground . . . 2.They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone . . . 3.When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, .4.they wept until they could weep no more. “..5. David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel, was among those captured. .6.David was now in serious trouble because his men were very bitter about losing their wives and children and they began to talk of stoning him.
But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God
These were great men of war. The Bible described them as David’s mighty men. They were the best soldiers in Israel at the time. The great army of Israel that was chasing them could not defeat them. When women weep. It’s normal. But when men, and men of war weep. That’s news. They wept until they had no more strength to weep.
Victorious armies in ancient times took from their captives those they desired for slaves and wives. “Such removal from their land nearly always meant the destruction of national existence and a feeling of severance from the care and protection of their local or national god…” The practice of deportation was reversed by the Persians in 536 B.C.This new policy was actually by divine intervention. God through Isaiah prophesied that He had anointed the heathen Cyrus to free and return the Israelites from Babylonian captivity. [Isaiah 45; 44].
Babylonians were fierce fighters. “Documents reprinted in the Old Testament tell us that in his first year in Babylon, Cyrus decreed that the house of God at Jerusalem could be rebuilt.[2Chron. 36:22-23,Ezra 1:1-3;6:2-5]. “During excarvation [1879-1882] at Babylon, archeologist Hormuzd Rassam discovered an inscription telling of Cyrus’s conquest of the city and his policies. The books of Isaiah and Chronicles agree with the content of the inscription, which says that captured peoples were allowed to return home…”
So these things do happen. What is important is how challenges are handled. David’s men lost confidence in his leadership just like what the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may be experiencing from some stakeholders now over the abduction of our Chibok girls.
However, David believed in the leadership of God and turned to Him for what to do.
Josephus, the legendary Jewish historian whose work provides substantial first-hand corroboration of biblical record said, David “…desired the high priest Abiathar to put on his sacerdotal garments, and to inquire of God, and to prophesy to him...”
7 “Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. .8.Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase them? Will I catch them?”
And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
9. So David and his six hundred men set out and they soon came to Besor Brook.
10 but two hundred of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with his four hundred remaining troops.
Two hundred soldiers were incapacitated by emotional and psychological stress.
11 “Some of David’s troops found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and some water to drink.
12 They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins because he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. It wasn’t long before his strength returned.
13 “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” David asked him.
“I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master left me behind three days ago because I was sick.
14 We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.”
15 “Will you lead me to them?” David asked. The young man replied, “If you swear by God’s name that you will not kill me or give me back to my master, then I will guide you to them.”
16 So the Egyptian led them to the Amalekite encampment. When David and his men arrived, the Amalekites were spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah.
17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except four hundred young men who fled on camels.
18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken and he rescued his two wives.
19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back.
[1Samuel 30:1-19 NLT]
How did David bring back the girls? What was his secret?
He sought direction by enquiring from God Who knows and sees everything and everywhere. He recognized that the battle is the Lord’s. He provided rest for the weary [9-10]. He assisted the abandoned [v11, 12]. He resisted selfish and foolish officials with God’s truth [v22-25]
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111 was reported in the Guardian of 13th June 2014, as saying during the yearly conference of Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria[MULAN], among other things that , “… who said you can’t dialogue with criminals? You cannot fight criminals because you don’t even know where they are”.
If man does not know where criminals are, God knows.
The world has been calling for action against this bestiality. Global demonstrations, private and public prayers for the release of these girls, “#Bring Back Our Girls” are ongoing. Like in the first century when King Herod threatened to annihilate the young church, the church became stronger through the prayers of the saints.
These prayers are yielding results. An attempted bombing of the 10,000 capacity Living Faith Church in Owerri , capital of Imo State in South East Nigeria was foiled. The Living Faith Church world wide had been involved in concerted intercessions in a program tagged “A Battle for the Soul of Nigeria”. The following day Monday, June 17, 2014, not less than 486 suspected insurgents including females were arrested by the military personnel of 144 batalion of the Nigerian Army with base at Asa in Ukwa West council of Abia State.
We need to consider at this point the seeming total dependence on scientific powers for the resolution of challenges facing mankind. The mystery of the missing Malaysian Airline MH370 is still with the world. The technologies of the nations are yet to produce results.
If David brought back the girls by the prayer of enquiry, with His grace we may need to follow his steps.
Dr.David O. Oyedepo, who is the President of Living Faith Church Worldwide Inc., writes on the prayer of enquiry in page 98 his book, “Winning Prayers”.
“We are full of prayers of petition, calling on God to intervene and do something about our situation. But we have more often than not ignored the place of enquiries, which is what gives us access to God’s ways. It is the access to the secret and hidden things of life. You must make enquiries from Him, if you really desire the way out of your predicament, for God’s ways are higher than ours and His thoughts than ours [Isaiah 55:9]…”
“In the prayer of enquiry, God shows you what you need to do in order to get what you are looking for.
“King David won all his battles because he was a man of enquiries.
17 “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming and went into the stronghold.
18 The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim.
19 So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The LORD replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly give you the victory.”
20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The LORD has done it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So David named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).
21 The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his troops confiscated them.
22 But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim.
23 And once again David asked the LORD what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the LORD replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees.
24 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that the LORD is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistines.”
25 So David did what the LORD commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
2 Samuel 5:17-25 [NLT].
The establishment of the monarchy in Israel did not solve their problems.” A close study of some biblical leaders like Eli, Samuel, Saul and David who succeeded or failed shows that each leader depended on his devotion to God, not his position, leadership style, wisdom, age, strength, confraternities etc.
God desires genuine devotion from us-who are leaders at various levels. The system and whether we are in or out of government is not the matter. No government or set of laws can substitute for the rule of God in our heart and life.
The wandering Amalekites who abducted David’s daughters were Saul’s major problem. [1 Samuel 15:9-33]. David crushed them [1 Samuel 27:8-9; 11Samuel 8:11-12] until they were heard no more and their last residue was cleaned out by 500 Simeonites in Mount Seir during Hezekiah’s reign [1 Chronicles 4:42, 43].
In 2012, Abubakar Shekau, the late erstwhile leader of Boko Haram announced the mission statement of his sect. “…this war is not political. It is between Muslims and unbelievers [arna]. It will stop when Islamic religion is the determinant in governance in Nigeria or, in the alternative, when all fighters are annihilated and no one is left to continue the fight”.
The Sultan in his address to MULAN said it is impossible to Islamize Nigeria. We wish for a change of heart among the BH set. There is a place for progressive revelation in all religions.
The historic experience between David and the Amalekites show that annihilation is possible as an option in the statement of the late BH late is possible.
King David of Israel brought back the girls and annihilated the captors of the girls-the Amalekites. God actually used David who desired to bring back the girls to bring back the girls whose offsprings are in the current generation of civilization.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE DONE TO #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS NOW?