Last April, 276 Nigerian girls were snatched from their boarding school in the now embattled village of Chibok in Borno State. The international outcry was loud but fleeting.

However, fearless determination scripted the words of those gathered on the steps of City Hall to demand that New York City and the rest of the world take action against Boko Haram for its murderous assault on innocent people in Northern Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

The founder of Liberated Peoples, actor and activist Gbenga Akinnagbe, joined New York City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. to call for local and national action, stating that the responsibility to address this issue lies with individuals as well as governments.

Cornegy stated, “The people of northeastern Nigeria are the victims of a systematic campaign of terror, and we demand justice for them. We demand help for them. We speak out against international and media silence in the wake of this terrorism. And we call on political leaders and aid organizations to act to save the precious lives that remain at risk today. We stand united in a call for action to save Nigerian lives. We stand against their senseless killings as we stand in support of the victims of violence here at home.”

Cornegy and Akinnagbe called on the United States to “provide humanitarian aid to those displaced by the conflict and to demand meaningful change in northern Nigeria.”

Akinnagbe, who played Chris Partlow on “The Wire,” said,“It is important for us to coalesce and speak on these matters because it doesn’t seem like anyone else is. The mainstream media has largely ignored the deaths that have been going on in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram. While you can’t blame a country if a fanatic group decides to take lives in the name of their political ideals, their religious ideals and so on, you can hold a government accountable for not securing the lives of their citizens. We’ve come out here not only to bring attention and awareness to the fact that these brothers and sisters are dying by great numbers, but to hold people accountable and ask for change.”

Asked what they were requesting of Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Barack Obama, Cornegy told the Amsterdam News, “I would ask them to use their platform to bring attention. I was a little bit hurt that in the State of the City [address] by our mayor, it wasn’t mentioned. And the president didn’t mention it in the State of the Union, and there were other atrocities mentioned. So the very first thing he could do is to acknowledge the suffering that people of color are facing not only in this country, but abroad. I would ask that the mayor has some comment on what is going on abroad, and then prepare to be of aid.”

Continuing worldwide and even among some of those gathered in City Hall plaza last week is the question of who is funding and arming Boko Haram, and for what agenda. The group is not a new threat in Nigeria. They first surfaced in 2009 but have recently increased their presence by committing mass killings, bombings and arson.

Cornegy’s office pointed out that “according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, some 10,000 people have died due to Boko Haram’s actions over the past year, compared to 2,000 in the previous four years. Tragic incidents have included the kidnapping of 270 girls from the Chibok boarding school, which spurred the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls in early May 2014.”

Akinnagbe and Cornegy cited as further impetus to action the Jan. 3 raid in Baga in Borno State, which Amnesty International has characterized as possibly the “deadliest massacre” in the terrorist group’s violent history. An estimated 2,000 Nigerian lives were lost that day, with a further 35,000 displaced.

Although he declined to make a public comment, Nigerian Ambassador Habib Baba Habu attended the news conference.

Blasting the fundamentalist group’s campaign “of senseless violence … not just in Nigeria, but Cameroon, Chad and Niger,” Dr. Segun Shabaka of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations said, “Boko Haram, we are here to say ‘No!’ to your genocide, mass murders, ethnic and religious cleansing, rape and destruction. Get on the right side of history. Stop collaborating in the destruction of your people. Stop being co-conspirators of death and destruction in Africa. And those who are cohorts with them, you will be exposed and punished.”

Whereas some, including a Nigerian government source, stated that U.S. military intervention was necessary, others were not so enthusiastic about that option.

“Politics is the new religion,” one bystander remarked. “Power and money is what is driving them. When we regain unity, then we shall regain peace and defeat Boko Haram.”

Writing in last week’s Amsterdam News, Nkechie Ogbodo, founder and president of Kechie’s Project, stated, “We have betrayed our girls by allowing our personal and sectional interests to come before our collective strength as one nation.”

Two imposed religions have citizens fighting among themselves. Ogbodo highlighted a statement by Princeton Lyman, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, “There is no national consensus in Nigeria on how to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency. What outsiders often fail to grasp is that this grim situation is merely the symptom of a deeper malaise: a breakdown of the informal consensus on power sharing between the Muslim north and the Christian south that had guided Nigerian politics for decades.”

Cornegy declared, “We will be calling on our government partners to send aid, but we will also be acting to aid ourselves. We will be raising attention, but we will be doing as we did in Haiti—sending much needed supplies directly on the ground where it is needed.”

He urged people to gather medical supplies and everyday essentials and look out for the next event being sponsored to highlight the issue.

Akinnagbe told the Amsterdam News that further events are planned. “We will be out here until there is some real, sustainable change,” he said.

For more information, contact Cornegy at 212-788-7354 or Akinnagbe at Liberated People: