A Chibok father reunites with his daughter and shares his story

Finally giveaway from chains during a hands of Boko Haram, one Chibok lady only ran into her father’s arms for a initial time in 3 years.

“When she saw me, she ran and grabbed me and started crying,” pronounced Yakubu Nkeki, whose adopted daughter Maimuna was among a 82 girls liberated on May 6, 2017. “I was so overwhelmed.

“Today is a smashing day,” Nkeki said, adding that he feels “amazing joy” during her return.

I’ll never forget a day that we initial met Yakubu Nkeki. Greeted by a comfortable atmosphere and blazing mid-afternoon sun, we stepped off of a craft in Jos, Nigeria, in Sep of 2015. A brief time later, we found myself surrounded by sorrow, as a fathers of a kidnapped girls – scarcely 300 of them taken from a propagandize in a northeastern Nigerian city of Chibok — common their stories with me.

Working in advocacy with Open Doors, an classification that has helped a families of a Chibok girls, providing unsentimental and devout support as good as mishap counseling, we had a singular event to revisit with these men, listen to them and cry with them.

That day in 2015, a dry atmosphere seemed filled with hopelessness.

Yakubu Nkeki’s eyes brimmed with tears as he described his adore for his daughter Maimuna, who was kidnapped by a belligerent Islamist organisation Boko Haram in Apr 2014.

On that day, 17 months into a chains of a Chibok girls, many of whom were Christian, general media courtesy was waning. The renouned #BringBackOurGirls hashtag that once lighted general activism was a vestige of a past. In a issue of a media frenzy, a relatives of a Chibok girls were plunged deeper into their misfortune nightmare: their daughters in a hands of Boko Haram; their supervision clearly pacifist in a response; and a universe who fast forgot their plight.

Nkeki and we both wept that day.

We looked by a photos of a blank girls. Nkeki knew a stories of hundreds of them as a personality of a Chibok kidnapped girls parents’ association. For a Chibok parents, he said, a days go by slowly. Every notation is agony. Every primogenitor is wondering: Where is she? Is she alive? What is function to her?

One of a fathers of a Chibok girls told me that day, “Sometimes we can feel okay, when we am with my family or with my church, though when we am alone, it all comes back.”

At one indicate he pennyless down into tears, crying, “I skip her, we skip her, we skip her.”

That day we honestly wondered: Will this male ever see his daughter again?

A call of despondency cleared over me as we embraced. My stomach churned. My heart ached.

Just over a week ago, when we saw a news that 82 Chibok girls had been freed, we was roughly too fearful to hope. When we listened that Nkeki had seen Maimuna for a initial time, we couldn’t stop crying.

The tears of grief we cried in 2015 have incited to tears of fun for Nkeki and his family. It is overwhelmingly good news—the kind that creates we comprehend that truly anything is possible. we am so happy for Yakubu Nkeki. we am so beholden that Maimuna has a second possibility during life after such a offensive ordeal.

But my heart is still painful for a Chibok girls who sojourn in captivity, and a thousands of other Nigerian girls and women who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Nkeki’s fun during his daughter’s implausible lapse should light us all with a extreme wish for a ultimate leisure of each Chibok girl—and a integrity to act on their behalf.

We can’t stop here. With during slightest 100 Chibok girls still in chains and a prolonged highway of recovering forward for those who have been freed, we contingency do all within a energy to disciple for them to assistance safeguard they are reunited with their families and that they accept entrance to essential mishap conversing and aftercare, as good as stability education.

We should disciple for all in Nigeria who face serious persecution, propelling a United States supervision to vocally residence a ongoing targeting of Christians like many of a Chibok girls and their families, during a hands of Boko Haram. Open Doors USA recently launched a debate propelling President Trump to quickly designate an Ambassador during Large for International Religious Freedom, to residence eremite harm around a universe and find to worsen movement on interest of those who are suffering.

For each Nigerian lady who is giveaway from Boko Haram, there are hundreds who are still in captivity. They need a prayers, a recognition and a support. They need us to remember when a rest of a universe forgets. They need us to pronounce out in a midst of a silence. Today, let us be beholden for a blessing of Maimuna’s leisure and a welcome she common with her father after 3 prolonged years. Let us continue to quarrel for a leisure of those who are still confined. It is my wish and request that someday soon, each Chibok father will have a daughter using behind into his arms.

Kristin Wright is a advocacy executive during Open Doors USA. She works with supervision officials to residence issues of eremite harm via a world, and take movement for those who are suffering.  

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