The BBC’s correspondent in Nigeria, Will Ross, reports on the agonizing wait.
Almost two weeks after they were driven away from their boarding school in the town in the middle of the night, parents are desperate for news of their daughters.
[Oops, editor needed. That should be “Almost two weeks after their daughters were driven away from their boarding school in the town in the middle of the night, parents are desperate for news of them.”]
A resident of the small town of Gwoza in the remote north-east said on 25 April she saw a convoy of 11 vehicles painted in military colours carrying many girls.
This will be of little comfort to the parents as it suggests at least some are now even further from home, close to the Cameroonian border.
Little comfort? No comfort at all, I should think.
On Friday, a presidential advisor told the BBC the incident was “unfortunate, embarrassing and evil”.
“The fact that some of them have been rescued raises our hope that with more effort, the objective of bringing them to safety and to their parents will be achieved,” said Reuben Abati.
But they were not rescued by the military. They escaped.
Part of the problem may be the familiar “god will fix it” one.
“Nigerian citizens have been waiting in vain for an effective decisive action from the presidency beside the usual: ‘We condemn this act…’ But the president is waxing strong in his Pentecostal polemics and total reliance on prayers to solve the country’s security failings,” says Nigerian writer Victor Ehikhamenor.
“Nigeria is a highly spiritual country and its past and present leaders know this and have manipulated it to their benefit,” he says.
“However, the current administration has taken it to a new height where God is expected to actually physically solve all the country’s debilitating problems from terrorism to corruption to fixing dilapidated infrastructures.”
While God’s fans blow people up in markets and kidnap schoolgirls to be their sex slaves. Whose side is God on exactly?