The Chibok Girls by Helon Habila

I always wondered why religious extremism especially from my faith was scared of women eduacation or western education in general,why many Muslim insurgents from Boko Haram in Nigeria to Taliban  in Afghanistan fought against women education and actually bombed and killed many students and teachers and their guilt was learning.

Why the sight of young girls trying to learn how to read and write provokes so much anger in these men that they will try to kill them or kidnap them and force them as a sex slaves,seeing some people who shares my same beliefs but still using the same religion we both share as cover for thei evil acts makes me really ashmed of what some Muslims are doing to themselves.

In the last days of Holy Ramadan i picked up this short nook which tells the story of Boko Haram and the young teen gurls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram means Western eduacation is forbidden which is the name of violent extremist group in Nigeria  who did the usual Terrorist group works but risen to infamy by their kidnapping of Chibok young girls from their school dorms.

What makes this group more sinister than any other Jihadist groups in West Africa is that their fixation with using young girls as suicide fighters and even using girls as seven to suicide attack.

the first time Boko Haram attacked schools they killed most of thee young boys in the school and left the girls alone and warned them from going to school and advised them to marry but the second time they attacked the school they simply kidnapped all the girls and sent them to near impassable forest were it hard to follow them.

what made Chibok different from its neighboring towns is that it is the only Christian town in predominately Muslim region which marginalized them from their surrounding and made them an easy target for the terrorist.

interestingly although Chibok is small town is abodes with large stories of kidnapping and violence related either to politics and or religion, and this quote summarize why many nations rich with resources are still stuck in poverty

Actual violence, or the threat of it, helps to keep the populace in check, just as poverty does. Keep the people scared and hungry, encourage them to occasionally purge their anger on each other through religiously sanctioned violence, and you can go on looting the treasury without interference. I used to wonder why the facilities at our airports and in almost all public buildings in Nigeria were always broken and substandard, until I realized it was not accidental. It is a way of controlling the masses. The masses must never be allowed to think they deserve standard service. Even if they get what is theirs, like decent salaries, healthcare, and education, they must first grovel and beg for it, so that when they finally get it they feel it comes from the munificence of their political overlords, and not as a right.

although 5, Nigeria is the world’s twentieth largest economy, with a GDP of more than $500 billion. The country is the seventh largest oil exporter in the world at least half of the population lives below the poverty line and when Nigeria gained independence 9 million people were below poverty line but now almost 100 million people below poverty line and nothing seems to improve still.

our author who was born and used to live in Nigeria reminisce  about his childhood experiences where Islam and his neighboring Muslims were tolerant and there were no single violent incident between his family who were Christian and their Muslims neighbouring.

That version of Islam was able to accommodate tradition and diversity, and didn’t view the rest of the world through a puritanical lens. But all that changed, as if in a day. A stricter, less tolerant version of Islam emerged and took over the scene.

and now even most Christians are becoming also more strict with their faith and

against a backdrop of declining revenues, high unemployment rates, political corruption and rivalries, government mismanagement, rampant materialism, and serious popular concern about the erosion of moral and religious values

most people sought after

people sought answers in religion. But an irrational reliance on religion, instead of giving the people peace and comfort, only made them less tolerant and more desperate.

and this solution still is not helping them to solve their problems.

what brings more sorrow in this book is the social attitude to the returning girls where they are not accepted fully into he family and since most of them are pregnant or have children who their father is fighters of Boko Haram they become outcasts of their society and rather being victim they take the culprit role

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Read: June 2018

No. of Pages: 128 pages

Date Published: 6 April 2017



  1. Fantastic review! So thorough! This topic fascinates me too – why women getting educated is still seen as such a threat. I feel like I learned so much just from reading your review!! This sounds like a great book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks a lot Ren your word means a lot to me.
      me too i always wonder is it threatening to teach girls and the only answer i got was religion cooperate with men patriarchy in subjecting women to men power.
      well i hope you read it my friend and review it for us


  2. Goodness, I did not know that Nigeria was the 20th largest economy in the world or that the proportion of people living below the poverty line is increasing. (Compare that with Indonesia, though it still has problems including corruption, gained independence in the postwar period and has since then improved literacy, health and standard of living for most of its people). Why is this? It makes no sense to me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it really puzzles me also Lisa
      in 1960 Somalia had the same living standard as South Korea but look now and how the gap between Sub Saharan Africa and East Asian countries is increasing every year let alone the gap between Africa and Europe and the only answer i got is Racist one which is Africa somehow is incapable of being developed like other nations


      1. Maybe tribalism has something to do with it, but although I’m hardly an expert I think that the constant warfare has destabilised many countries in Africa. And though the causes are no doubt complex, fighting off militant Islam on the one hand, and diehard communists on the other, hasn’t helped…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. well although Tribalism and militant Islam has destabilized many nations but Europe went to two World war where millions died and now it is one of the most peaceful part of the world.
        and i find it ironic that Africa the most poor and least developed continent and with the least amount of pollution will suffer the most from the climate change

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, I agree about climate change. I have been concerned about that for a long time. There are also small Pacific islands near us in Australia that will suffer badly as the oceans rise, and it is awful to think that it is the profligate habits of rich western nations that are responsible. Our household is almost carbon free but that is not enough… we need to take action on a global scale and the US should be leading the way…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. All i hope nowdays that scientists discover a new sustainable way of getting energy without polluting the climate and hopefully soon enough.
        Yes the nation wihich produce the least amout of pollution will be affected the most and i hope most nations at least Paris Agreement on limiting the amount of pollution nations release


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s