This is an extremely ambitious post.
Boko Haram, Please #BringBackOurGirls. Or better still,let them go.
Well, you most probably are aware that about 276 school girls in Nigeria were abducted by Boko Haram who have vowed to sell them as brides. SELL THEM AS BRIDES. Time reports, at about $12 each. Kshs 1,020. As if the trauma of being held hostage is not bad enough. As it is, it is not clear where they are being held, what abuse they are going through. Sadly, we are working with statistics that some young girls are victims of extremism, violence and worse. These young girls have names, have families and I am certain they have dreams.
While I know that an online campaign (bandwagon-ism antics) may not help much to get to the girls and rescue them, but I hope our voices through this medium will get to the people who matter, to the people who can see that their is a need and urgent search for the girls. I know that however trivial this hashtag is, it has an ability to focus attention on a need, on an issue where through a phone or PCs where almost anyone can take part in it, from anywhere in the world. Indeed, there is power in a Hashtag.
I know this may be overtly ambitious, but I hope that our voices (or the plight of the girls does) strike any shred of tenderness and mercy in the Boko Haram (very long shot I know) and release the girls. Yes, I said it: Please release the girls.
Anyone who can pass this along to them, please, tell them to release the girls.
Release the girls because: They are pawns in a game that they have no or little knowledge about. They are young…they are hopeful…they are children. They could be your daughters, your sisters; who knows, maybe in another life, they would have been You.
So far, rallies have been held to call for the release of the girls both online and offline.
We are ambitious as we are hopeful.
Well, here are collections (excerpts) of some few other voices:
- FEMNET STATEMENT ON THE ABDUCTION OF GIRLS IN CHIBOK, NIGERIA
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the abduction, proposed sale of young girls and the sluggish response of the Government of Nigeria to take action to rescue the 276 girls. This is not withstanding the hundreds that were killed on Monday and noting previous abductions and killings by Boko Haram.”
“We cannot continue to live in a world where crimes against humanity such as abductions, sexual slavery, forced marriages, denial of education and senseless killings continue to exist and our leaders are not accountable. We demand all African Heads of State to demand action from their counterpart, H.E Jonathan Goodluck for the safe delivery of these young girls to their families immediately. Inclusive growth does not exist in a vacuum. Our leaders need to translate their talk into real action and rally forces to #BringBackOurGirls.” – Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director of FEMNET.”
- MELINDA GATES
“Boko Haram is committed to the idea that women are the property of husbands and mere instruments of reproduction. They are particularly opposed to the idea that girls ought to be educated, which is why they target schools. In fact, when girls are educated and free to pursue their passions, they contribute more to a thriving society. When women have a voice, they raise it to demand a life that is greater than what they’ve been told they have a right to expect. And these demands change the future for everyone.”
- TEJU COLE
His tweets are here
- TIME MAGAZINE
#BringBackOurGirls started in Nigeria on April 23rd by desperate parents and activists who didn’t believe their president when he said he was taking action to recover the kidnapped girls. They wanted to put pressure on the government to do more. They tried everything they could think of to raise awareness of the kidnappings within and beyond Nigeria.
One of those things was #BringBackOurGirls. It worked, likely beyond anything they’d imagined or hoped for.
Encapsulating both a story and a cause in just four words, the hashtag at first began to take hold on Twitter only within Nigeria. Activists wrote it on signs to bring to street protests. Then it began to spread within Africa.
- MICHELLE OBAMA spoke about it too, she said:
In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters…This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education — grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls. Let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time, and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright.
- OTHER EFFORTS (Few Links)
- WHAT IS YOURS?