A distraught father has described his constant anguish ever since his eldest daughter went missing two weeks ago during a murderous rampage by Boko Haram militants. "I am very worried about her," the dad in his 50s who asked to be identified as a civil servant told NBC News by telephone. "Every day I think about her, I have not even slept. I pray to God that she is still alive."
After attacking a military base near the town of Baga on January 3, the brutal Islamist sect turned its attention to the civilian population in and around the Nigerian fishing town. It torched thousands of buildings, kidnapped women and children, and killed townsfolk indiscriminately.
The father told NBC News that he only had enough time to bundle his wife and most of his children into a car, and head for the relatively safe haven of Maiduguri 100 miles to the south. But with the area under attack and the safety of his family to consider, he said it was simply not an option to travel across town to the home of his 23-year-old daughter and her husband.
How long are those massacres going to last unpunished? How long is Boko Haram going to taunt us? I say 'us' because I know that you and I feel the pain of all those parents and family members as if we were there with them.
Heavenly father, we ask you who are all powerful and omniscient to twart the plans of our enemies and give wisdom to our political leaders to help bring peace in Nigeria and the countries nearby. May your will be done. In Jesus-Christ, our saviour and redeemer. Amen.