- Kudos to escaped Chibok schoolgirl who couldn’t read but just graduated with Masters in US
- World should hold Buhari to account for the serial failures of the government-controlled Chibok girls
Last week’s graduation of two out of the first batch of three Chibok school girls, that I brought to the US almost eight years ago, with Masters degree in America is a bittersweet event.
When she arrived in my house in summer 2014, I asked Lydia to lead nightly devotions one day as I had asked her classmates before her. She refused to read the Bible. I was shocked as to why a Christian who had fled from Boko Haram jihadists was shy to read the Bible.
It wasn’t till after they resumed in the school in which I placed them that we discovered the ugly truth that as a final year student in Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, she was unable to read! The Nigerian government had failed the girls in more ways than imagined as their quality of education was abysmal.
So to see her become the first escaped Chibok girl to obtain her Master’s degree in America and deliver a graduation speech to her university when she couldn’t communicate in English on arrival was truly amazing!
While we celebrate her achievement coming weeks after the 8th anniversary of the notorious mass abduction, the following are concerning:
Lydia’s cousin Dorcas remains among the 109 Chibok schoolgirls still missing eight years into the world’s longest running school mass abduction. Incidentally, Lydia and Dorcas were the youngest Chibok schoolgirls. Dorcas will be 24 years old next month in captivity.
Six young girls including four siblings who were abducted by terrorists in Chibok last month have just been freed. Sadly abductions have continued non-stop in the eight years since. “1,436 Nigerian School Kids, 17 Teachers Kidnapped, 11,536 Schools Closed In 16 Months Under Buhari Government” – UNICEF.
Another batch of Christian women abducted since last year have also recently regained freedom in the northeast.
However victims from the train bombing and abduction from the nation’s capital to Kaduna remain in captivity over a month later and terrorists released a photo of a baby born in captivity.
Lydia’s classmates who I brought to America as well but who were taken over by the Buhari regime in May 2016 have largely remained at secondary school level for six years now. While Lydia and Joy are the first escaped Chibok schoolgirl to obtain Masters degrees in America, they are not the first schoolgirl victims of Boko Haram to do so. Last year Zion Umar, daughter of murdered Christian Association of Nigeria Borno state official who I also brought to the US graduated with a Masters of Business Administration ahead of all the Chibok girls despite being shot in the head by Boko Haram terrorists.
The first escaped Chibok schoolgirls to graduate from High School were Deborah Ishaya and Amina Thlawur both of whom also graduated community college and are completing their university degrees in the health sector like Zion.
The first escaped Chibok girl to graduate from community college and also obtain her Bachelor of science university degree is Palmatah Mutah. All these young ladies who refused to be taken over by the Nigerian embassy are in the medical field.
Only one of the five Nigerian Government Girls (GGs) is known to have produced a high school equivalency certificate in six years after millions of dollars down the drain.
Ironically the first victim schoolgirl to graduate with a Masters last year has tens of thousands of dollars in school loan debts to repay while the Buhari regime finances failure and neglects success.
It is interesting that while Lydia’s Master’s tuition was funded through the efforts of the late indicted criminal, American conman Doug Wead who was last September 2021 charged with defrauding a Russian and the Trump Campaign of $75,000 by the US government before he died in December, the other Chibok girls who wish to pursue Masters have no funding.
As the pioneer of their US relocation and education intervention, while it is saddening that the Buhari regime has failed the government girls again and ruined the stellar academic track record of Nigerian students in the US, I take consolation in the fact that at a minimum, we improved their quality of life exponentially and their future generations will be forever changed. As one Chibok parent said to me when he visited the girls in the US, even if they don’t achieve anything else, “their lives have been forever changed.”
My word of advice to Lydia is to keep working hard since God has given her a second chance and to avoid liars and those who will lead her astray and make a shipwreck of her Christian faith.
Finally remember the scripture that what shall it profit a man or a woman “if they gain the whole world but lose their soul?”
In conclusion, I will begin to identify the various individuals and organizations who have raised money over the Nigerian schoolgirls victims but did not assist them and have left some struggling with debt and other challenges. You are on notice that if you do not assist them, especially those that want to further their education but lack sponsorship, you will be publicly called out.
I seize this opportunity to thank former CAN president Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who personally paid for the airline tickets of the first batch of three escaped Chibok schoolgirls to come from Nigeria to USA.
Our vision and effort is bearing fruit today and hopefully the future of Chibok and Nigeria will be impacted by the education of these girls.
Personally I am proud that Lydia is planning to be a human rights lawyer and by God’s grace continue the urgent task of championing the cause of humanity.
Incidentally many years ago, Lydia called me from boarding school and said, “uncle, I phoned the mother of my cousin Dorcas and she asked me if anyone remembers and is speaking about Dorcas and my missing classmates. I told her that uncle Emma is speaking out for all the missing girls.”
I call on the Buhari regime to publish the results of the five government girls jointly mismanaged by the embassy and the Murtala Mohammed Foundation and the huge amount allegedly spent on them.
It is unconscionable that they have not made significant progress compared to their 109 classmates in Boko Haram’s management in Sambisa.
Emmanuel Ogebe, Esq