On the 14th of April, 2014 there were reports that over 200 girls were abducted as they prepared for their physics examinations in their school in Chibok, Borno State, in the North-East of Nigeria. While there were quite a number of reports available on the internet, it took quite a while before wide public attention was drawn to the subject and there have been fears that the delay led to the difficulty experienced in the rescue mission for the girls. Below are some links to local and international news reports on the abduction of the girls.
However, credit must be given to the social media push that eventually gave this subject the global attention it received. In the week that the incidence occurred, there were only skeletal reports of the incidence and the reports ended up exposing conflicting information on the number of girls that were abducted and the number that successfully escaped. The lack of credible updates on the progress of the rescue mission for the girls provoked a social media frenzy which broke out on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and many other social media platforms. Nigerian men and women were passionately expressing their concerns and desperation to get the Nigerian Government to secure the rescue of the girls. Series of campaigns emerged to mobilize Nigerians to demand better action from the Nigerian Government and as the days went by, series of posts and tweets were unleashed calling on the Nigerian Government expedite the rescue of the abducted girls. Successively, Nigerian women started to mobilize protests in Abuja, Kaduna and Lagos States across the country. The social media frenzy #BringBackOurGirls and #SaveOurGirls went viral and the international community also joined in.
Eventually, women and girls (and men too) were engaged in protests in London, Washington, Canada, Australia and other countries. The support from the International Community was also reflected in various social media campaigns by famous celebrities around the world. It was highly commendable to see the potential of the internet to mobilize community action on various levels; first on the national level and on the global level. The Hash tag made a world of difference in this global action to demand the rescue of over 200 abducted girls in Nigeria. Over a million supporters signed the petition to mobilize world leaders to take action on the rescue of the abducted girls click here
It has been over 5 years and a half since the girls were abducted by Boko Haram and about 230 girls are still missing; the traumatized few who escaped captivity recall some of the girls being sold as 'brides' for as little as $12. While the world has long looked away, Nigerian women have continued daily demonstrations, calling on the Nigerian Government to intensify the search and rescue of the girls. Nigerian women remain resilient and determined to keep the girls in the public eye until they are rescued and reunited with their families.
While the global cry #BringBackOurGirls continues, we pray for the health and safety of the abducted girls and we hope for their successful rescue and reconciliation with their families who continue to suffer deep pain and despair. Continue to take action and mobilize global voices to tweet .
Take Action to Make Girls' Voices Count! Demand #BringBackOurGirls