John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Nigeria’s Chibok School Girls as Suicide Bombers?

by John Campbell
August 6, 2014

Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, former minister of education and a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaigner, addresses supporters at the Unity Fountain, on the hundredth day of the abductions of more than two hundred school girls by Boko Haram, in Abuja, July 23, 2014 (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters).


It has been nearly four months since Boko Haram kidnapped up to three hundred school girls from a school in Chibok, Borno state. Thus far, there has been little public evidence that the government has located them or is about to rescue them. Nor do the offers of assistance from friendly governments such as the United States appear to have had much impact. Frustration is growing, articulated by former education minister Obiageli Ezekwesili, an animator of the #BringBackOurGirls protests in Abuja.

In the past week, there have been four suicide bomb attacks in Kano state carried out by teenage girls. Though the Nigerian media assumes that the attacks were perpetrated by Boko Haram, warlord Abubakar Shekau has not yet claimed responsibility for them. Boko Haram issues video messages from Shekau claiming responsibility for the movement’s atrocities, though not always directly after an event. He did not claim responsibility for the kidnapping of the Chibok school girls until a month following the incident. Nevertheless, there is now speculation reported in the Nigerian media that the perpetrators of the recent suicide bombings in Kano may be some of the Chibok school girls who have been “brainwashed.”

One would think that this speculation could be run aground fast. Presumably the identities of the suicide bombers can be determined and checked against the lists of those kidnapped. But, it is not clear to me that the necessary forensics have been carried out on the suicide bombers, nor that there is a definitive list of the Chibok girls (and numerous others) who have been kidnapped. That lack of information likely contributes to the frustration of those like Ezekwesili, who feel a sense of urgency about the Chibok schoolgirls and dissatisfaction with the government’s efforts thus far.

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  • Posted by News Rescue

    This image is worth serious visiting. It purports to show a suicide bomber who struck at Northwest University in Kano July. She is identical on photo-review to a Chibok abductee: #BBOG: Kano Suicide Bomber Is Our Chibok Abducted Girl From Photos

    Read more:

  • Posted by don

    These cowardly acts i understand are fueled by grievances against the government
    . Will the Nigerian people be honorable and make steps to stop the corruption in the long run on one hand and on the other hand deal swiftly with force to stop the wicked Islamist now for the sake of the vulnerable families being abused for the corrupt end of their tormentors?
    I remember when in Rwanda a small gorilla army defeated a large army that committed atrocities against them after hundreds of thousands had been butchered.
    How would the onlookers (myself included, | have a young daughter) react if our own were being tortured and destroyed? : stop anything we are doing that aides the disease and act swiftly to form an army capable and willing to eliminate these vile abusers and terrorists. We are all hypocrites if we cry out about the abuse and do nothing about the injustice that fuels the vilans.

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