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Lagos marks 10th anniversary of chibok kidnapping

Ten years have passed since that fateful night when darkness descended upon the Nigerian village of Chibok.

On April 14, 2014, Islamic extremists stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok community in Borno state and abducted nearly 300 girls as they prepared for science exams.

On Sunday, campaigners and those affected by the event gathered in Lagos to mark the 10th anniversary of the kidnapping, calling for the nearly 100 girls still in captivity to be freed.

The Chibok kidnapping was in the first major school abduction in the West African nation.

Today, survivors like Grace Dauda and Rebecca Mallum share their stories of resilience amidst the trauma. Dauda, who spent three years in captivity, recounts the challenges of recovering from her ordeal, undergoing multiple surgeries to heal injuries sustained during her captivity. Despite the hardships, she found solace in education, seizing the opportunity to study in America after her fourth surgery.

Since then, at least 1,500 students have been kidnapped, as armed groups increasingly find in them a lucrative way to fund other crimes and control villages in the nation’s mineral-rich but poorly policed northwestern region.

Unlike the Islamic extremists that staged the Chibok kidnapping, the criminal gangs terrorising villages in northwestern Nigeria are mostly former herdsmen who were in conflict with farming host communities, according to authorities.

Aided by arms smuggled through Nigeria’s porous borders, they operate with no centralized leadership structure and launch attacks driven mostly by economic motive.

Some analysts see school kidnappings as a symptom of Nigeria’s worsening security crisis

The security lapses that resulted in the Chibok kidnappings 10 years ago remain in place in many schools, according to a recent survey by the United Nations children’s agency’s Nigeria office, which found that only 43% of minimum safety standards such as perimeter fencing and guards are met in over 6,000 surveyed schools

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