On Tuesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is scheduled to finally meet with the parents of the abducted girls of Chibok as well as a group of students who were able to escape from Boko Haram, according to the BBC.
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After nearly five months since the students of Chibok’s Government Secondary School were first kidnapped, President Jonathan will finally meet with family members and Boko Haram escapees. The meeting was initially supposed to take place last Tuesday, after Pakistani girls’ activist Malala Yousafzai appealed to the embattled leader (pictured at right) to meet with the group. The 12 selected parents and five students ended up rejecting the President’s offer due to a lack oforganization and formality on the President’s part.
A day later, the President would re-extend the invitation, and the larger community would accept and publicize a list of demands for the Head of State before the end of the week.
Unfortunately, this meeting is a long time coming. Back in May right before the Boko Haram Summit, where neighboring countries Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Benin in addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union convened, President Jonathan was reportedly scheduled to visit Chibok as a show of support and solidarity. However, the President would end up canceling that visit, citing “security risks.”
The cancellation would ignite an eruption of criticism, with many questioning his seemingly slow response time and lack of concern for the incident. Since then, 11 parents of the kidnapped girls have reportedly perished, with 7 of them being killed during a Boko Haram raid and another 4 reportedly dying from the grief.
“Seven parents were killed during a raid by Boko Haram on Kautakari, a village close to Chibok, earlier this month, the Associated Press (AP) quotes a health worker as saying.
“Another four parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses blamed on the trauma caused by the abductions, Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus told AP.”
Boko Haram Take Over Key Town
After killing at least 40 people on Friday, Boko Haram has reportedly been able to take over Damboa, located in northeastern Nigeria, after forcing the vigilante group that had been defending it out on Sunday. Consequently, an unnamed vigilante leader told the BBC that Boko Haram’s black flag is now flying over the area.
Damboa is one of the biggest towns in Borno state and had served as one of the bustling trading centers of the region.
Unfortunately, it is unknown at press time when the town will be able to be reclaimed by the military who in the past were able to reassert their authority, forcing Boko Haram to stand down. With the incessant fighting and lack of resources, though, it seems Boko Haram’s ominous flag will continue to reign over the area.
Boko Haram has made it clear that they wish to establish a separate Islamic state.
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