Nigerian teacher and school children Ezra Bako, Miracle Saitu Danjuma, Favour Danjuma, Happiness Odoji, and Christiana Madugu Have Been Released – but Leah Shairbu remains in captivity and the atrocities of Boko Haram and Fulani Militias continue.
In Parliament I recently raised questions with Ministers about the abduction in Nigeria of a teacher and schoolchildren – Ezra Bako, Miracle Saitu Danjuma, Favour Danjuma, Happiness Odoji, and Christiana Madugu. I have now heard that they have bee released – after the family had to scrape, beg and sell their possessions to raise ransom money to pay the kidnappers for their release. I am told that the Government failed to help “ did not get involved in any way and did nothing to facilitate their release.”
Sadly, as the family of the still abducted Leah Sharibu know only too well, these abductions are the tip of an iceberg. On a daily basis, Boko Haram and Fulani Militias promote a violent religious ideology which, like its Taliban counterpart, particularly targets school children and girls. Even the words “Boko Haram” mean destroy western education. Salute the courage of Muslim women who insist that education is a virtue and a right: They say Nigeria needs Boko Halal not Boko Haram. And they are right. See: Boko Halal
Meanwhile, western policy makers who too often turn a blind eye to the atrocities in Northern Nigeria need to understand that the deliberate targeting of groups with a different religious faith falls within the definition of the 1948 Convention on Genocide and a Government which either colludes or ignores this crime will one day be held to account.