It may have taken a few weeks, but the world’s attention has fixated on terrorist abductions in Nigeria, thanks, to a hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.The hashtag has become a rallying cry for women and men fighting for the release of nearly 300 girls captured by Boko Haram, a terrorist organization in Nigeria.
In the 23 days since the girls first went missing, the hashtag has been shared over a million times. Many prominent pols–from Hillary Clinton to Michelle Bachman–have joined the movement.
It is believed that on 19th April, 276 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok in the Northern Part of Nigeria while taking their final exams. The girls were taken by the extremist group known as Boko Haram , who had disguised themselves as soldiers and forced the girls up into the back of trucks. Yet in the days that followed, appallingly little was done to help. The Nigerian military claimed it had rescued the girls only to retract the claim. The story barely registered with the international media.
Then, on April 23, Oby Ezekwesili, vice president of the World Bank for Africa, gave a speech in Nigeria in which she urged the government to intervene and “bring back our girls.” Soon after, the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls came to be.Twitter users in Nigeria began to repeat her call, adopting the hashtag.
The celebrities across the world have joined on social media to ask for the release of the girls including by celebrities Kerry Washington, Chris Brown and Alicia Keys. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls.”
The hash tag was started off by Ramaa Mosa a Los Angeles director and mother of two and she has since created a facebook page too to amalgamate information about the story and give people suggestions about ways that they can take action. The page now has more the 43,000 likes.
Ameica’s first lady, Michelle Obama also joined #BringBackOurGirls movement on Twitter and posted “Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families #BringBackOurGirls ”
Social media of late has been seen as a tool to help curb different menace and to call upon the world to unite in giving a hand in times of crisis. It has also been viewed as a tool that could either build or destroy a personality.
The question now is, Will the #BringBackOurGirls, really bring back our girls? Only time can tell.