• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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New book calls for return of Chibok girls as 96 remain in captivity

Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode

Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode has announces a new book, ‘The Stolen Daughters of Chibok’ to evoke empathy and inspire action for the return of the remaining 96 captured by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, nine years after the abduction of 276 young girls from their school in Chibok in 2014.

Muhammed-Oyebode, founder/CEO, Murtala Muhammed Foundation, announced the release of the book – a collection of narratives and a call for the restoration of the equilibrium for Nigeria’s Chibok community – in Lagos on Wednesday.

Nine years after the abduction of the girls, the book is described as “timely”.

The volume of narratives contains an unprecedented number of personal accounts that draw attention to an ongoing crisis where women and girls are neglected, violated, and excluded on the grounds of their gender and social status.

Read also: From dorm to doom: A timeline of the Chibok kidnapping

Assembling testimonies of loss and hope from the young girls’ families, beginning in 2015 when none of the girls had been found, ‘The Stolen Daughters of Chibok’ chronicles the devastating impact of their abduction alongside the trauma their families continue to face.

Rather than a tale of plight, the collection seeks to evoke empathy and inspire action that should lead to the rescue of the 96 girls that remain in captivity.

Commissioned by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, the book is a collective effort featuring a team of experts, including journalists and psychologists, who have come together to create a comprehensive account and thorough examination of the tragedy.

The volume features photographs captured by award-winning Akintunde Akinleye, interviews with the Chibok families documented by the book’s creators and edited by Muhammed-Oyebode, essays and reflections on violence, gender, and more from writers, novelists, academics, public figures, including Wole Soyinka, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Graça Machel-Mandela, South Africa’s first lady, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and more.

The result is a heart-rending portrayal of the cost of this tragedy, which has touched the lives of communities in Nigeria and across the globe.

‘The Stolen Daughters of Chibok’ is also a tribute to the resilience and courage of the Chibok families, who have refused to relinquish hope despite adversity.

“This book should be read by anyone who cares about the fate of these brave girls and their families and anyone who believes in the transformative power of literature,” Muhammed-Oyebode said.

Commenting on the book, she added: “More questions than answers have emerged from our collective attempts to reckon with the facts and severity of the Chibok disaster.

“As we approach the 9th anniversary of the Chibok kidnapping, what remains clear is that there is still no route that brings women and girls from conflict to safety.

“Women and girls in Nigeria and globally deserve security, education, and a better future – I will make it my mission to work with partners to establish this as an urgent priority.”

Muhammed-Oyebode has committed the proceeds from the book to the development of Chibok and other Boko Haram-devastated communities with an emphasis on education and the restoration of livelihoods.