Posts Tagged ‘Chibok’

I remember Monday the 14th of April 2014 like it was yesterday, waking up to the horrible news about yet another bomb blast, this time in the super busy Nyanya Motor Park. The explosion went off inside a car about 6.55am, the period with the highest traffic in the area as commuters from satellite towns and neighbouring states board vehicles headed into the city center.

While the government, international agencies and witnesses argued on the body count, families grieved as they shuttled between the many hospitals and the morgues in search of their people. Some of them would eventually settle for empty caskets, or a body part or two. That was the intensity of the blast.

I remember the outrage, and the confirmation that Boko Haram was not just one religion against the other, but a sect of murderers who had twisted their religion to justify mayhem against the entire country/region.

Screenshot 2015-04-16 18.31.24

Screenshot 2015-04-16 18.31.45

Far away in Chibok, in a Borno already ravaged by Boko Haram, over 300 girls drawn from secondary schools (closed because of security concerns) around the state, went to bed in hostels at Government Secondary School after a day of writing WAEC exams.

Not for long though. Insurgents invaded the school that same night, and carted away 279 girls aged 14 – 18 in one fell swoop. In one of the #BringBackOurGirls rallies I attended, I learned one parent was missing three family members (two daughters and a niece).

The government’s first reaction to the news of the abduction was denial. First denial that any girls were taken, then the arrest of some of the teachers and a parent by First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, then the accusation and counter accusations between the two major political parties on who was behind the kidnapping began, and then the unforgivable slip from the military that they had been found. All fingers pointed and to this day still point towards Sambisa Forest, with different people giving different accounts of its density/porosity being the reason why an onslaught against the kidnappers has not resulted in the rescue of the girls.

The first #BringBackOurGirls protest was on the 30th of April, 2014, led by Hadiza Bala Usman, Aisha Yesufu, and Obiageli Ezekwesili. I remember getting drenched as we marched, as we sang, as we rallied support and demanded answers from the National Assembly.

Hashtag activism brought to life, fueled by anger at the brazenness of the abduction, the reaction by government, and most important, the desire to reunite these children with the parents and families. And it exploded, all around the world. From parents, to school children, politicians (including First Lady Michelle Obama), celebrities, artists, people all over the world stood still for the campaign.

President Goodluck Jonathan first addressed the nation about the girls on the 4th of May, promising to do all in his power to ensure their rescue. Soon after, the Safe Schools Initiative by the Federal Government in collaboration with the international community was launched to ensure that children in the three least educationally developed states (Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno) got an education in a safe, terror-free environment. Activists including Malala Yousafzai also came to Nigeria to advocate for the speedy rescue of the girls.

More than 365 days after that abduction, the girls are still missing. A total of 57 have escaped at various times, and a number of them (purportedly taken from Chibok) were confirmed pregnant. Some parents of the girls have passed on from sorrow, and Boko Haram is still targeting schools. Over 48 children were killed when a bomb exploded on the assembly ground of Government Technical School, Potiskum, in Yobe State. Some of children killed were only 11 years old.

14th April 2015 was the anniversary of the abduction. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said,”Over the past 12 months, Boko Haram intensified its brutal attacks on boys and girls in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Hundreds of thousands of children have been displaced from their homes, and deprived of their rights to live and grow up in safety, dignity and peace. Boko Haram’s killing, abduction and recruitment of children, including the use of girls as ‘suicide bombers’, is abhorrent.”

In Nigeria, there was a commemorative march by the Bring Back Our Girls Community, silent, with red tape over their mouths. Co-Ordinator Oby Ezekwesili said, “We decided that we have spoken so often about this that we’re just going to try to show the people what it feels like … when your voice is taken from you, which is what the terrorists have done to our daughters.” Candles were lit later that evening to renew hope and faith that the girls would be rescued and reunited with their parents.

I agree and lend my voice to Malala Yousafzai’s letter to the missing girls – “I look forward to the day I can hug each one of you, pray with you and celebrate your freedom with your families. Until then, stay strong and never lose hope. You are my heroes.”

In a Northern Nigeria where only 5% of the girls go to school, they are indeed.

PS: Originally published on Future Challenges here.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Depending on who/where/what you are, this season might either be the “most wonderful time of the year”, or just another day filled with dread, rancour, or even worse, nothingness.

I’ve spent the last 20 odd minutes browsing through social networks as people exchange the warmest greetings with friends, family, and loved ones. And it made me think that there might be some who at this time won’t be unwrapping gifts from Santa, heading out for a day of festivities (maybe debauchery), or staying home to host the tons of people who will visit to share a laugh, drink, and a bite (and maybe a pressie or two). And so this is my message to you, you, and you.

Here’s my list, you’re welcome to add to it.

1. Nigeria’s security forces, especially the rank and file, and even more for the ones serving in the North East. Merry Christmas to you keepers of our land (second to God of course), first in line for whatever havoc Boko Haram and other evil entities think up per time. Especially under the poorest of conditions, the most demotivating remuneration, and appalling, unacceptable gear. The petty extortion on the roads, allegations of human rights abuses, appearance of cluelessness on the one hand, on the other you are our heroes. And to the ones who were sentenced to death for mutiny (apparently more soldiers have been added to the number), you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

2a. Internally displaced persons, who by no fault of theirs, have become refugees in their own land. Merry Christmas to you now without homes/farmland/livelihood, now dependent on the selflessness of groups like #SantaGoesToYola #ChristmasOnTheStreetz (God bless you guys), and the pungent hypocrisy of politicians who only visit for the photo ops. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering, I cannot imagine the questions you sleep and wake with every day, I won’t even try to imagine the conditions you currently face, despite the fact that you have state governors, house of assembly members, local government chairmen, and all the others who from the comfort and safety of their plush mansions in Abuja condemn the insurgency.

2b. Families who have lost brethren to the insurgency. Is it ok to say Merry Christmas? Whatever could be merry about it? From October 2010 and the bombing at Eagle Square, families have sent off their loved ones to work/school/play in the morning, only to receive their lifeless, decapitated bodies in the evening. Some have not been fortunate to receive more than a body part, some others, nothing at all. Where do I start from? Is it the Buni Yadi boys? Or the ones blown up while standing at morning assembly at Government Technical Science College in Potiskum? The hapless ones who got blown up in mosques, churches, bus parks, markets, malls? My thoughts and prayers are with you today and everyday.

3. Parents of the Chibok Girls. We must never forget there have been many kidnapped before these girls taken on the 14th of April, and many taken after (less than 10 days ago it was 185 taken from Gumsuri, a village near Chibok, also in Borno state). Eight months after, it’s moved from windy tales to the ‘only thing that matters’ – the elections in 2015. Never mind that Boko Haram might be breeding an army (one of the girls who escaped was four months pregnant in September, that there are chilling stories of how many times they get raped), and that these girls are walking shells of confusion, hurt and psychological trauma. All that matters to our government is getting re-elected in 2015, whether there are any of us left to vote or not. I am not a parent, but I felt separation anxiety for a toddler on his first days at school; I cannot imagine your grief (which has killed some), or your disappointment in this Nigeria we call ours.

4. Dr Stella Adadevoh’s family. Very special mention must be made of this strong, principled daughter of God who single-handedly (shame on the government for accepting the praise for her work and then wheedling out of giving her a national honor) put a plug in what would have become the biggest outbreak of Ebola this year. You (literally) died so we could live. You are our hero. Today, and always. Merry Christmas to the family you left behind.

5. Nigerians. Merry Christmas to us, wherever we are. We weathered another year, bumps, warts, and all, and must (all things considered), appreciate the fact that we are alive to see another year come to an end. Some of us have lost friends and family to disease or natural causes (rest in peace Lami, aunty NK), children have been born; loves have been won or lost, life has been what it has been to us. Devaluation of the naira, extreme insecurity, abysmal electricity, and the general feeling of hopelessness aside, we’re here. Still here. And it is at least one thing to be grateful for.

Merry Christmas.

In the final post from the #ChroniclesFromBonn series, you’re invited to catch up on the previous stories. You can find them below

1. #ChroniclesFromBonn – The trip!

2. #ChroniclesFromBonn –Welcome to school, meet the team!

3. #ChroniclesFromBonn – Opening Day

Ah ha! Now that you’re up to speed, welcome to the most incredible of the days!

I had a very interesting conversation with Maria from Ukraine on the walk to the session, which was both saddening and heartwarming at the same time. We talked so much about the difficulties both our countries are facing, and I won’t forget the really big hug she gave me.

So what did we talk about? Loads of things – the unrest in both our countries, Nigeria may be a bit more severe (and multi-buffeted) – including the hopelessness that accompanies ‘international claims/offers for help’. The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, each country stands alone. There might be some fraternization on the basis of prevailing interests at the time, but at the end of the day, you’re alone as alone can be. Or is it plausible that a country will love your country more than they love themselves? No!

Look at the Nigerian example. More than a month after the American, British, and French governments (and the Israelis I think) came into the country to help with the search and rescue of the 219 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram on the 14th of April, nothing. *Remember this trip was at the end of June* Like sometimes, it’s even hard to believe that any of them showed up.

Moving on.

I sat in on a lot more sessions today, starting with the keynote given by the Federal Foreign Minister, in German. Translators (you know those little devices?) always amuse me. I was reminded of just how much when I used this one. At some point I was listening to both the translator and the Minister, trying to match the words with the translations. Funny only when you take into cognisance that the only German words I know are ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’, and ‘please’. 🙂

Anyway, so I attended a session that really spoke to me, one about activism and citizen uprisings et al in Africa. It was one I really enjoyed, but one that also annoyed me on several levels. What makes people feel that because a certain form of citizen disobedience worked in country A it will work in country B? I was so amused/impressed/annoyed by the discussion that I wrote this – Africa’s Revolution: The Inaccuracy of Labels, thankful to Future Challenges for publishing it.

We (Digital Participation Camp) held our fishbowl session today too, and even though I HATED the idea of balloons (I have a living, breathing fear of them, and the sound they make when they burst), everyone else loved the balloons, the format of our session, and how interactive/fun it was! So, it didn’t bother me a lot.

Then, it was time for the boat ride! Whoop! I ran back to Bonnox, changed into a small white dress, and then I was river ready!

2014-07-01 16.47.55

Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!!

2014-07-01 16.47.11

Party time! Whoop!!

We got on the boat, and it was really lovely! The view, the music from the band on the upper deck where we were for most of the evening, and the food! There was a barbecue going on, so chicken, sausages, potatoes, and a really lovely salad! Then, Aya and I saw an ice cream tray floating around, and we followed it to the lower deck, only to find there was a full on buffet down there, including the amazing potato gratin I had a few days ago!

 

We had a bit, wandered around the ship for a bit, and then went back up upstairs, where it was really lovely to meet Isabel from Irrepressible Voices, and Eva from Tea after Twelve! I first met Eva in February in Hamburg during Social Media Week, and that meeting culminated in this post for their magazine – http://www.tea-after-twelve.com/all-issues/issue-01/issue-01-overview/chapter2/welcome-to-lagos/ – Lagos is truly the greatest city in the world!

I also met this lovely, really tall guy who goofed around with me! I remember staring and saying, “you’re very tall”, and then he said, “are you sure you’re not taller than I am?” Lol! Bless him!

2014-07-01 20.55.14

Wow… I take back every time I’ve ever said I was tall!

2014-07-01 20.55.25

…because life is too short not to have a laugh when you can!

 

Then, it was time for the party!! Whoop! We all went back down to the lower deck, and the GoodFellas played the entire time we sailed to (Sepideh where did we go again?) and back! Incredible music, 2000+ people on the ship dancing and having a really fun evening. Ready to see some videos? Cos I made some!

 

 

 

We docked about 12.30am, and I was so wired from excitement and exhaustion! The girls (Ruth, Aya) and I walked back to Bonnox, not before missing a turn that translated a 15 minutes work into an hour’s trek!

But, we got home ok, and everyone tumbled into bed immediately!!

Next day, the conference ended with speeches and a few other sessions, and the next day after that, it was off to Frankfurt to catch a flight back to Abuja, Nigeria. Bring on GMF2015 already!

PS – I blogged about GMF 2014 for Deutsche Welle, published by Future Challenges – a condensed version of this series. Find that here.

The #ChroniclesfromBonn Series was written at the end of June/beginning of July, when I spent time in Bonn for Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum – I was invited (all expenses paid, yaas) as a DW Scholar – privilege I’m super grateful for! Don’t ask why I’m just blogging about the trip ok (pretty please with icing on top), just enjoy it!

You already know I’m in Bonn, Germany – if you don’t know you need to subscribe to chiomachuka.com as soon as you can!

Another reason to do that is because all the pieces off Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum will be chronicled there, while the sights, sounds and tastes belong here!

We start as always, with the trip!

On the day I was to fly, I spent the morning doing my laundry, cleaning out boxes, and working with my tailor to ready all the pieces I wanted to take on the trip – #TeamAnkara

I also had a proposal to edit, emails to respond to, and CC Consulting Services to run! Na wa.

Somehow I made it to the airport on time. I say that because as with every trip I cut it really close and so when we were held up for about 20 minutes because President Goodluck Jonathan was going to pass by I nearly died of panic. Apparently he had cut short his trip to some African country because of the unfortunate EMAB Plaza bombing (gives you an idea of the day I traveled – 26th June). Why Mr President still hasn’t visited Chibok (200 + girls missing for over 100 days) is beyond me, but let’s move on.

Got to the airport, checked in, there was a bit of drama (isn’t there always) with some people clearing security. Didn’t do tatafo so I don’t have a story for you. Sorry!

Got past immigration and the officials who told me in several ways that I was beautiful and didn’t understand why I wasn’t grinning from ear to ear. (I said thank you o, I was just too tired to encourage the discussion, and I know that’s not a crime anywhere).

Boarded after crazy tweeting a big advert for #31Days31Writers, and after trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to watch Winter’s Tale with Colin Farell, Will Smith and co, I slept. Lord I was exhausted!

Woke up to a lovely dinner of mash and beef, and promptly went back to sleep!

Got into Frankfurt ok, and first thing I was reminded of was that the Germans always outdo themselves with WIFI! Free WIFI from Starbucks, from Telekom, everyone was offering free WIFI!

Caught a train to Bonn (let’s not talk about my spending €75 on a ticket that I found out later had already been purchased for me, choi), and I fell asleep as soon as I sat down – almost worried I’d been bitten by some bug!

Got into Bonn, hungry as a waif, and after sorting out a sim card I waltzed into a MacDonald’s and had the tastiest burger ever, complete with chorizo, peppers, and chili! Incredible! I didn’t take a picture though, I was that hungry!

Started reading a book there too – ‘Of Love and Other Demons’ written by Gabriel García Márquezy (a Nobel Prize Winner), and then I caught two trams and a bus to arrive at Bonnox Hotel and Boarding House, my home for the next seven days!

To be honest, when I saw ‘boarding house’, I was a little worried but the place (and my room) were gorgeous! Took a few pictures!

IMG_20140627_124745

Something a whole ‘cow’ theme at the place, but I really liked it!

IMG_20140627_130052

That’s my kitchen, peek of the ladies, and a selfie!

IMG_20140627_130134

Green, well done can be really calming… I promise you!

IMG_20140627_130042

As if I knew, my green bag came with me!

IMG_20140627_130005

Selfie gang! Did I mention I wore ankara everyday on this trip? #TeamNigeria

IMG_20140627_130021

Loved this bed. Not sure what I loved more, the bed or the bed!

IMG_20140627_124710

Another view of the exterior…

 

I can’t wait to cook!!

Totally grateful to God for a safe, uneventful trip (Lord knows I was too tired for any drama), and a super thank you to Joojo for pointing me in the direction of our lodgings and taking me to Vapiano (a fabulous Italian restaurant).

IMG_20140627_211323

All black has always been the easiest outfit to put together… This mirror must be missing me, I took a selfie every other minute!

IMG_20140627_221055

So at Vapiano, you order and the chef makes it while you stand and wait… everything takes less than 6 minutes, and is incredibly tasty!

IMG_20140627_221039

Don’t remember what I ordered, but that’s one of the chefs making it!

IMG_20140627_221825

End product!! Sun dried tomatoes are a blessing! Yum!

 

Our meal was fabulous! Got back to my room and after speaking to my folks, you guessed right, I slept!

By the second day, everyone had made friends, cliques had been formed, ad people generally knew who they were more comfortable hanging with.

We went to China town (isn’t it incredible how there’s a china town literally everywhere you go)? Dinner was fab though, and it was nice sitting and chatting with Sirenya (South Africa), Silindile (Botswana), and Kaushalaya (Sri Lanka) – lovely, lovely people!

Somehow, I had a lot of work to deal with from home, and by the end of the day, my presentation was moved to the next day.  Didn’t mind much though, because our sessions would hold at the world-famous Peace Palace!

The Peace Palace (also called the international sear of law) is a historic building, housing things like the International Court of Justice. By 2013, it had been in standing for 100 years, and is one of the United Nations heritage sites. Beautiful, breathtaking, I could go on and on!

Of course we took pictures!

IMG_2236 IMG_2402 IMG_2405





IMG_2423

I presented a 20 minutes talk on ‘Young people and politics – transcending borders and maximizing impact via social media’.

It was such an honor to talk about Nigeria, to plot the graph of our social media usage and how, regardless of the horrible things we’re seeing now, we’re coming into our own because we recognize we have a voice and boy are we going to use it! I’m so proud of my peers, of every young person who is daring to be different in their little corners – it is because of you that there is hope for this country!

Of course there were questions about Boko Haram being a Muslim vs Christian war, the abduction of the 200+ girls from Chibok, Borno, and the usefulness (or not) of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag. Here’s a summary of my answers:

  1. Boko Haram is not a religious war – it is the ambition of a few made manifest in the most devilish way.
  2. The fact that 45 days after we still cannot agree on the exact number of girls missing is absolute cause for concern.
  3. The day we did the march to the National Assembly and got drenched in the rain, the Chibok community in Abuja thanked us for standing with them when no one believed their children were missing. When we saw international support (in the form of the celebrities and movements springing up to echo the hashtag), we (I know I did) felt encouraged to keep going out, day after day, after day. Are there people who have hijacked the hashtag for their selfish ambitions? Of course! Doesn’t take away from the fact that we need our girls back, now and alive!

IMG_2359

*While I am not particularly impressed with the ‘West’ coming in to help, I believe that the light the international community has shone on Nigeria and our practices will hopefully, embarrass us into effecting changes we desperately need.

There was another presentation by from , and I really loved learning about her country. Loved it! Plus she’s got such a love for travel and adventure, and a signature shot she does in each country!

IMG_7755

Enough of the talk, here are a few more pictures!

IMG_2439

 

IMG_2445

Later that evening we had a speech performance by …. She’s amazing! Like, each time she was doing a speech, the hall would be so quiet it was incredible! She’s so good! Wish I would steal her and plant her in a room with our leaders so she can coach them. She’s so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

On the 28th I was introduced to Hadiza, organizer of the #BringBackOurGirls march slated for the 30th, in Abuja. Idea was to march from Unity Fountain to the National Assembly and the National Security Adviser’s and drop off letters asking questions but more importantly demanding a cohesive, maybe even coherent communication of whatever strategies they have to bring back the over 200 girls kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno on the 14th of April.

I blogged about it on the 29th, short post explaining why I was going to be a part of the protest, forgetting one important thing – my darling mother reads my blog. She rang that night and called me ‘Chioma’ (the name reserved only for times I have erred), and I started wondering what sin I might have committed. Then she mentioned she read my post (uh oh), and somehow I convinced her I would be fine.

The morning of the 30th I woke up pumped, really excited, uncertain, and a bit worried at the same time. I’d heard of the protest by Polytechnic students and how they got tear gassed by the police. I also know a couple friends who were arrested the day they protested the deaths in the tragedy called the #NISexam earlier in April. Somehow, I knew this would be incident-free but I was ready for anything to be honest.

Had a good brunch, dressed in my most comfortable Reeboks, and started walking from my sister’s house to the road for a taxi when I saw something I will never forget, a woman strangling a baby who couldn’t be more than 11 months old. I froze. She was screaming something (in Hausa) at a man who had just alighted from a bike and was trying to snatch the baby from her.

I crossed over to their side of the road, collected the baby (who had been staring blankly), and then the child started to cry. In between comforting the child and trying to find out what the matter was, I learned that the man is a Police officer (a Corporal), while the woman is his ‘wife’, and the mother of the baby. A bit of a story of how the man wasn’t providing for them and his son (born by another woman), and so she was going to kill the baby and then kill herself.

By this time I was in tears too. Got it together enough to scold both of them, and restrain the woman from inflicting more bite marks on the man (he showed me his chest with bites like he’d been attacked by an animal), promised to help the woman I’d help her start a business if I came back and that child was still alive, and I left. All of this took about 45 minutes.

Got in a taxi and sobbed all the way to Unity Fountain. How does a mother get so frustrated/disillusioned/distraught that she tries to kill her own child?

Got to Unity Fountain, super heavy police presence, SSS dudes trying to infiltrate the crowd (pretty unsuccessfully because they couldn’t have been more obvious), and loads of international press.

Oby Ezekwesili showed up early – she’s a woman and half – and she stayed till the end!! Dang! I was inspired, impressed, encouraged, all of those and more, all at once! She addressed the crowd, and we set off marching to the National Assembly. It started drizzling and she asked if we would melt under the rain, or if we were made of salt. No to both questions so we continued marching. We were joined halfway by the Commissioner of Police for the FCT Joseph Mbu and all I could think as I looked at him with his Bulletproof vest was, “so this is the person who didn’t let Governor Amaechi of Rivers drink water and drop his cup abi?”

We got to the National Assembly gate and we weren’t let in, by this time we were all pretty much soaked to our knickers. Madam Oby said if they didn’t let us in we wouldn’t leave and so we sat on the floor, in the rain. I had tears in my eyes that I couldn’t explain.

Shortly after the heads of the National Assembly (Senate President, Speaker of the House of Reps and his Deputy) drove to the gate, and addressed us, getting wet in the process. All political statements – if you’ve heard the government react to a tragedy you already know half of what they said.

Letter delivered, we marched back (it didn’t stop raining) to Unity Fountain. By the way, Titi Atiku Abubakar, wife of former Vice-President showed up at the National Assembly to join us, I only noticed because her bodyguard tried to push @_yemia to make way for his Principal. Of course Yemi wasn’t having it, and Titi herself asked the bodyguard to leave her alone. Overzealous animal.

Femi Falana walked back with us from the National Assembly, and maybe it was just my cynicism on overdrive but he was loudest for the cameras. We sang a bit more, Hadiza read the statement which had been handed in, there were a few words from relatives of the girls (the leader of the Chibok community kneeling down and thanking us for coming out for them reduced me to tears again), and then it was time to go. It was still raining.

Was really nice to meet @rotexonline, @AbdulMahmud1, @Bellanwa, @SuperGirlTimidi, @ChineEzeks, and @aishajana, tweeps I’ve interacted with but never met, and nice to see @elnathan, @alkayy, @abangmercy, @saratu, @OjaySays, @Xeenarh and of course, @_yemia.

One bowl of hot amala and ewedu after (thankful to the guy who helped us drive Mercy’s car out of the mud, and to Ojay for his jacket – I was shivering), and it was home (and there was no power), getting warm, and then drained (physically and emotionally), bed.

Last thought on my mind? That little girl.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

I don’t live in Borno. Never been either, and the two people I know from there, are resident in Abuja. I have friends who live in/around Nyanya though. The blast on the 14th? Could have been any one of them but that’s not the point.

The 200+ girls missing from Government Girls’ Secondary School Chibok have parents, brothers, sisters, maybe even boyfriends and/or husbands who are looking for them, who are distraught because not only is our military not sure how many girls were taken in the first place, they seem to be clueless on how to get them back.

The sheer inequality in the way disasters are handled in this country is the reason why I’m joining a peaceful march tomorrow. The parents are alone, no empathy or visit from our leaders, no words of comfort, nothing that says, ‘we feel your pain”. Nothing.

The 28th of April (yesterday) made it two weeks since these girls were snatched from their dormitories (Lord only knows why the school wasn’t shut down like all the others but let’s not go there) and we don’t know where they are – if they are still alive, what horrors they must have been exposed to – how many of them have been sold, raped, beaten, used for rituals, we do not know.

Bring back our girls

As someone on Twitter said yesterday, “two weeks, over 200 girls, no tampons, toothbrushes or change of lingerie” – disgraceful. Even more disgraceful is that there is no sense of urgency with the way this disaster is being handled. A meeting of all the joint chiefs and governors that degenerated into a “we invited them but they didn’t come” vs a “we weren’t invited” argument? Really? We’re playing politics with lives?

I speak to my folks at least three times a week (AT LEAST), and no, I am not an only child. I must salute the courage, the resilience, and the ability to absorb pain that the parents of these girls have shown cos I know mine would have passed on from the trauma. What would your parents do if they didn’t know where you were? For two weeks? And it didn’t look like anyone was seriously looking for you?

If you’re in Abuja, please join us tomorrow at the Unity Fountain (opposite the Hilton) as we march to The Presidency to respectfully ask that someone find the balls to bring our girls back.

Time is 3pm – 8pm (please ask today for permission to close early tomorrow). We’re wearing red in solidarity (but please wear whatever you’re comfortable in).

At some point, we need to go past the comforts of ranting on Facebook and Twitter, and put actions where our keypads are.
Youth are the leaders of tomorrow? Well 200+ of them are missing.

See you tomorrow.

#BringBackOurGirls

Enhanced by Zemanta