More than 200 girls were seized by Boko Haram insurgents two and half years ago, in the dead of the night from their hostel at Government Girls Secondary School, Borno state.
Twenty-one of those girls have now been released from captivity and while the circumstances surrounding their freedom remain unclear, the former captives must be relishing their new lease of life and wondering what the world was up to in the two-and-a-half years they spent in Boko Haram’s stronghold.
All they sought was an education but what they got was a spell of captivity in the hands of marauding insurgents — terrorists who viewed them as their prize of war and bargaining chips.
Here are 21 significant events that have happened since the abduction of these 21 Chibok girls.
There was a global campaign for their release
World leaders, shapers, celebrities and powerful individuals championed the cause of the Chibok girls, agitating for their freedom and calling on Boko Haram to release them.
BBOG VS Nigerian government
The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign, which is at the forefront of the campaign for the girls’ release, has, for the past two years, endured a love-hate relationship with the government — both Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari’s administrations.
Nigeria’s economy receded
In August 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirmed that Nigeria was in its worst economic recession in 29 years. According to NBS’s gross domestic product (GDP) report for the second quarter of 2016, Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.06 percent to record its lowest growth rate in three decades.
Top judges got arrested
In an unprecedented move, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) raided the residence of some judges in Abuja.
The judges whose house were raided included Adeniyi Ademola, Nnamdi Dimgba (federal judges) and Walter Onnoghen and Sylvester Ngwuta, both supreme court justices.
Buhari defeated Jonathan
Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent president, in the 2015 presidential election. The latter willingly accepted the result and conceded the election by placing a call to his victorious challenger.
PDP lost total control
In addition to losing the presidency, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost control at both the national assembly and across the state of the federation. It is now in control of 13 states, while APC has 22.
Budget 2016 was padded
The 2016 appropriations bill was allegedly padded by members of the national assembly. The document was said to have been altered by the lawmakers after it was sent to the house by president Muhammadu Buhari.
Jibrin opened a can of worms about Dogara
Abdulmuminu Jibrin, a federal lawmaker, made series of damning allegations against Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives.
Sitting senate president went on multiple trials
Bukola Saraki, the incumbent senate president, went on trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for false assets declaration and was also charged with forgery of the standing rules of the senate, alongside Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy.
Gowon accepted Musa as his son after release from jail
Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, accepted Musa, a 48-year-old ex-convict, as his son after a DNA test confirmed his paternity. Musa had spent years in a US jail for drug-related offences.
21 Chibok girls got scholarship
Twenty-one of the abducted Chibok girls who escaped from Boko Haram were given academic scholarships at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, owned by Atiku Abubakar, former vice president.
Monarchs died, politicians as well
In the two years and six months since the Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram, many monarchs joined their ancestors while some politicians died untimely.
The Ooni of Ife, Olu of Warri and Oba of Benin all passed away, and their replacements have been installed. Audu Abubakar died shortly after voting in the Kogi governorship election, for which he was governorship aspirant, while James Ochello, minister of state for labour, died alongside members of his family in an auto-crash.
Davido signed with Sony, Tiwa with Roc Nation
David Adedeji Adeleke, a Nigerian musician and entertainer popularly known as Davido (omo baba olowo), signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment while Tiwa Savage signed a distribution deal with the Jay Z-owned Roc Nation.
Don Jazzy and Olamide fought at the Headies
Entertainers Olamide and Mavin’s Don Jazzy engaged each other in a war of words during the Headies awards — because the latter’s artiste, Reekado Banks, controversially defeated Lil Kesh, signed by the former, to win the ‘Next Rated Act’ category.
Wizkid got to the top of Billboard charts
Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun, Nigerian singer, became the first homegrown Nigerian artiste to be featured atop the Billboard music charts. Wizkid served as a featured artiste on ‘One Dance’, the commercial hit song of Drake Aubrey Graham, Canadian rapper.
Donald Trump VS Hillary Clinton contest
An unlikely scenario saw Donald Trump, a controversial real estate magnate, emerge the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Trump is contesting for the US presidency against Hillary Clinton, candidate of the Democratic Party.
Ebola broke out
Patrick Sawyer, a Liberia-American, brought the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) into Nigeria in July 2014. Sawyer was discovered to have the deadly virus after being admitted at First Consultants Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos.
In January 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared West Africa Ebola-free, affirming that the transmission of the Ebola virus had been stopped.
Nkeki, Chibok girl, escaped
In May 2016, Amina Ali Nkeki, one of the abducted Chibok girls, escaped from Boko Haram captivity. Nineteen-year-old Nkeki was found with a baby by an army-backed vigilante group in Sambisa Forest.
Nigeria flopped at Olympics but excelled at Paralympics
Physically-challenged Nigerians were the success story that came out of the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil, winning a total of 12 medals while their “physically-fit” counterparts failed woefully at the Olympics.
Olajumoke, the bread seller, became a star
The world fell in love with a bread hawker, Olajumoke Orisaguna, who stumbled on the photo-shoot of Tinie Tempah, a British artiste. TY Bello, the photographer conducting the shoot, shared the story of Olajumoke on social media and the rest, they say, is history.
Leicester, the underdog, won the English premiership
The 2015/2016 season of the EPL, the most watched football league in the world, recorded a lot of surprises. The big boys stumbled while the unexpected underdogs made their supporters proud. Leicester City FC was one of such supposed “small boys”, but the ended up winning the league while the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea faltered and watched in bewilderment.
Menace of Fulani herdsmen became widespread
Pastoral nomads, who are called Fulani herdsmen in these parts, unleashed a wave of attacks on citizens whose lands their cattle sought to feed on. Their attacks became more brazen and widespread in 2015 as their tentacles spread from the north to the southern part of the country.
Niger Delta militants began bombing oil installations
Following the change of government in May 2015, the seemingly rested case of militancy resurfaced. Niger Delta militants embarked on a spate of attacks on oil installations, crippling the economy in the process.
Biafra agitators became bolder
Agitators for secession and proponents of Biafra became more vociferous in their agenda to break away from the Nigerian state. Their protests became more common and their members repeatedly clashed with Nigeria’s security agencies, leading to several deaths.
Naira began its free fall
The scarcity of the greenback in the forex market forced the Nigerian currency, the naira, to fall to its lowest rate in decades. The currency has continuously declined in value over the past few months is now exchanging for 468/$1.
Brexit! The United Kingdom left the EU
The United Kingdom chose Brexit when a vote was held to determine whether the nation should remain in the European Union (EU). At the moment, the UK is no longer part of the EU.
Boko Haram became affiliated with ISIS
Islamic terrorist sect and abductors of the Chibok girls, Boko Haram, got into business with ISIS, the richest terrorist group in the world.
Are there other notable events me missed out, feel free to add them in the comments section.
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