Today marks a dark moment in Nigeria’s history. On February 24, 2014, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram killed 59 boys at the Buni Yadi secondary school in Yobe state. That same year, Boko Haram killed enough people to earn the title of the “world’s deadliest terrorist group.”
Before committing this unspeakable act, members of the terrorist group, whose name means “Western education is sinful,” told the girls attending the school to end their educational pursuits and focus their attention on getting married. If they continued their studies, they would be killed, the Boko Haram militants warned, before letting them go.
They then lined up the boys and ordered them to undress so that their genital areas could be inspected. Any sign of puberty was a death sentence. For the “crime” of seeking an education so they could improve outcomes for themselves and their families, 59 innocent boys were brutally murdered.
Lying on the ground, still dressed in their school uniforms, some of the boys were slaughtered like animals with their throats slit. Others were gunned down. The boys who tried to escape were burned alive, their bodies smoldering until they were as unrecognizable as the campus buildings around them that had been similarly destroyed by fire.
Weeks later, on April 14, Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls.
“Didn’t we warn you to forget about school?” they asked the girls, before beginning a debate about whether to kill or kidnap them.
Fifty-four of the girls managed to escape, but the tragic incident has created one of the biggest mysteries in the history of terrorism. Not one of the 219 girls who are still missing has been seen or heard from. Experts from some of the top think tanks in the United States haven’t a clue where the girls could be.
Boko Haram gained worldwide attention for this despicable act, but unfortunately, the world’s attention span is short when it comes to this terrorist group and its continuing reign of terror.
Please continue to participate in Congresswoman Wilson’s Twitter campaign to keep attention on the growing threat posed by Boko Haram and to ensure the Chibok girls are not forgotten, using the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls and #JoinRepWilson.
Tweet, tweet, tweet, because the longer this terrorist group exists, the more heinous its acts become, including burning children alive, sending young girls on suicide missions, and massacring Christians.
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a third-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties.