Bring back our girls

May 11, 2014

I am struggling to understand what has happened in Nigeria. I am at a loss with how this could happened. I remember seeing it on the news a few weeks ago and thinking that it must be a hoax and by tomorrow there would be reports verifying that the story wasn’t true and it was a bad joke. I know people kidnap one person or groups of people. You hear on the news about groups of journalists being kidnapped in places or pirates capturing foreigners maybe five, ten or twenty of them. I even knew a girl who was kidnapped when I was about 10 years old. She was about two or three years old at the time. I used to play outside with her brother and some other neighbourhood kids. I remember one day my neighbour came knocking frantically asking if I had seen the child and that she’s gone missing. I remember going outside and walking around with my friends looking for her. However, what struck me the most child’s mother. Her emotions were indescribable. I remember seeing her in the street in hysterics. I went home praying that God would find her. Two days later police found her in a random location. A middle aged man abducted her. Why? We will never know. But over 200 girls missing all at the same time. I don’t get that.

The hashtag ‘#BringBackOurGirls‘ has going crazy on social media. Mashable states that as of last week #BringOurGirlsBack has been tweeted more than 1 million times. It’s creating awareness about the situation (thank God for social media, since news stations were not catching on in the beginning), but is this translating into action? I know I have reblogged a pic or two, tweeted as well, but is hash-tagging/reblogging going to bring the girls back? I know it’s sympathy, it’s spreading the news, it’s protest, but….. That opens up another stream of the conversation. Nigerian-American writer Jumoke Balogun of Compare Afrique (part of the Guardian Africa network) wrote Dear world, your hashtags won’t #BringBackOurGirls: Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good‘. Just reading the comments alone is overwhelming. Some commenters ask why hasn’t Nigeria found the girls yet? Another writes if she was a Nigerian warlord and say Justin Timberlake with holding a card with the hashtag, she would change from her ways! People are questioning whether President Goodluck Jonathan is doing enough to get the girls back. What happened to act now, ask questions later? Are there 234 girls missing or 276? Did anyone not see this happening? So many unanswered questions. Many which will never be answered. Many opinions.

I don’t have an opinion on who is looking for the girls, who is getting them, how they are going to get them. I still can’t even comprehend this. I am completely baffled, but the bottom line is… THE GIRLS NEED TO COME HOME!