The fathers of Chibok have a simple message for the world: “Please help bring back our girls.”
A group of desperate fathers, brothers and uncles spoke to ABC News today in the northeastern Nigerian town of Yola. Among the desperate relatives was Abana N. Maina, who asked the world to pray for them.
“We want the international world to help us in prayer, so that god may help us to rescue these girls one day,” Abana said.
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The fathers say that more than a month after the abduction of at least 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, no representatives of the state or federal governments, nor members of the Nigerian police or military have visited them to ask questions about the identity of their daughters.
“Since one month, nothing has happened,” Abana said. “What do we do about it? The students were in the government’s care.”
Breaking down in tears, Abana said the entire community is now terrified. “We are scared to even send the boys to school because we are afraid. Maybe other boys will be taken away,” he said.
Dauda Yama and his wife Hanatu have positively identified their 17-year-old daughter Saratu in the hostage video posted this week by Boko Haram. Family members have now identified most of the girls who appear in the video. The Dauda family comes from the village of Mbalala outside of Chibok. Saratu was taking science exams and hopes to one day become a doctor, her father said.
The fathers of the missing girls expressed hope that the involvement of international military resources might help to speed up the return of the girls, who were abducted on April 14.
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“We want our girls back, so we are appealing to Allah to help us, to rescue these girls,” Abana said.
Amos Mustafa said watching the hostage video was traumatic. “I see with my eye,” he said. “I can not touch it with my hand.”
He said he is not sleeping at night and is having difficulty going home each night. “When I enter my house, seeing the other children sitting beside me, seeing their mother beside me. I don’t see this one daughter,” he said. “In fact, even food, I am not able to eat it.”