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New Yorkers rally for the return of kidnapped Nigerian girls

Nayaba Arinde | 5/8/2014, 10:23 a.m.
Bring Back our girls rally in Union Square. Olayemi Odesanya photo

It appears that social media is the new black and has brought the trending issue to the forefront, which the mainstream media has ignored. On Saturday, May 3, across the nation, many major cities were the location for mass rallies featuring T-shirts, buttons, brightly colored posters and unified vocals.

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Bring back our girls rally in Union Square

Protester Jennifer Adjie praised the initiative taken on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms that launched the surge.

“We learned about this through Instagram #bring our girls back. It’s on fire. People are getting their news online. We young people, it is our duty to do more,” Adjie said.

In New York, attorney Janet Fashakin told the AmNews, “I brought my daughter here because the kids we are looking for are the same age group—15 to 16. My daughter is 15, so it came home to me. She could have been one of them, because many of us here do send our kids back home to go to school. They are our daughters. We believe that Boko Haram has people in high places, and that is why it is hard to stop them. That’s why we have this rally; we want to focus the attention of the world on Nigeria because there are some untouchables that we believe are behind Boko Haram, so we need external forces to come in to help us.”

With this confusion and heartbreak as a backdrop, Nigeria’s capital of Abuja hosts the 24th World Economic Forum on Africa, with international leaders from the continent, China and beyond.

The politics are murky, with theories running from an underlying effort to destabilize Nigeria for foreign intervention, to trying to unseat the embattled Jonathan, noted Chika Onyeani, the publisher and editor-in-chief of African Sun Times.

Onyeani, who is also the author of “Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success” and “The Broederbond Conspiracy,” told the AmNews, “The government has been infiltrated. Someone is funding Boko Haram and providing them with military uniforms and weapons … There have been many kidnappings before, but never before children. Now if they take boys, they make them into conscripts or they are shot. The girls, they want to sell or make into child brides. They may kill the Christians and marry off the Muslims.”

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Bring back our girls rally in Union Square

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Bring back our girls rally in Union Square

Boko Haram have long been on the African radar as they launched a campaign of murder and mayhem on students and Nigerian civilians. While this nation is suddenly preoccupied with this dire quagmire, almost 2,000 have been murdered since January 2014 during fighting and counterattacks between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.

Onyeani noted that the girls, aged between 12-15 years of age, were taking their final exams.

Some are pointing out loudly that Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno State is from the same place where the Boko Haram originated. Even though school officials had warned the governor that the exam must not take place that day, Shettima stated that the school would remain open and the children must go to school, as nothing would happen.