Today, millions of women from across the nation will be honored for their sacrifice as mothers.
Yet, as many of us celebrate Mother’s Day, some find it difficult to honor the American tradition while mothers in Nigeria – whose daughters have been kidnapped – face yet another unbearable day of unimaginable anguish.
One can only imagine the fear, anger, and confusion of not knowing where your child is or how she is being treated.
Speaking on the phone from Nigeria’s capital Abuja, Maryam Marafa, a lawyer and mother of four, says her thoughts and prayers are with the mothers — and their families — of the nearly 300 missing schoolgirls.
“Those girls need their mothers and their mothers need their daughters,” says Mrs. Marafa. “I feel terrible and awful for these women.”
Nigerians in the diaspora echo the same sentiment, with many spearheading peaceful protects demanding the safe return of the abducted girls who were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeastern Nigeria the night of April 14.
“As a mother, the pain, questions and frustration is beyond common imagination,” says Mrs. Akudinobi. “My identification with the afflicted mothers in Chibok is profound, given the very odious circumstances of the girls’ abduction, and that motherhood is a venerable institution within African cultural systems.”
Aya Fubara Eneli, a Nigerian native based in Texas, says although she is celebrating Mother’s Day her thoughts are with the mothers of the missing schoolgirls.
“While I celebrate my children, I mourn with the mothers still searching for their babies and hoping for their safe return,” says Mrs. Eneli, a mother of five, who is an as an author and inspirational speaker.
“I feel and hear both their audible and silent cries,” she adds. “The senseless and utterly preventable tragedy of it all weighs heavy on my mind and I send up continued prayer for their safe return.”
Mrs. Marafa says she is disappointed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s lackluster response.
“The government isn’t doing anything here,” she says. “We are happy that you’ve come [foreign assistance] and appreciate your support.”
U.S. and British officials are in Abuja to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find the missing girls.
In a video message, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, said he took the girls to prevent them from getting an education and vowed to sell them “in the market.”
On Saturday, first lady Michelle Obama condemned the kidnapping as an “unconscionable act” led by a group of men “attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”
What are your thoughts on this Mother’s Day? Tell us below.