Boko Haram is one of the world’s most murderous militant groups, responsible for killing thousands of men, women and children. And one month ago, most of the world had never heard of them.
But on April 23rd, nine days after nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from the village of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, a single Tweet – sent by Ibrahim Abdullahi of Nigeria ignited a movement. Since that time, #bringbackourgirls has been Tweeted more than two millions times.
Not everyone is impressed. On Fox News Sunday, George Wills said that is was an exercise in self-esteem.
“I do not know how adults stand there facing a camera and say, ‘Bring Back Our Girls.’ Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Uh-oh Michelle Obama is very cross with us, we better change our behavior?’”
No Mr. Wills, I don’t expect Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau to do anything, without being forced. But I wanted to declare solidarity with the kidnapped girls and call upon the world not to forget them, support all efforts to ensure their safe return, and ask all international agencies, organizations and groups to support Nigerian efforts aimed at rescuing them. (Change.org)
Will our rallying cry eventually lead to the safe return of all 276 young women?
Sadly no. Two have reportedly been killed by snake bites and 20 are in poor health. But hopefully some of the girls will ultimately make it back home because so many of us refused to ignore their abduction.
Raise awareness, sign the petition, and contact your representative.