@cathslabiran captivating the crowd at @UncleErrols #PoetryJam
As most of us are aware, over 200 schoolgirls were abducted from a school in Nigeria. If you have been researching this atrocity you would know that these numbers change based on the source you refer to. If your source of news comes from the mouths of Nigerian officials then it is likely that you believe there were only 129 kidnapped and that 52 escaped. These same officials said they had freed all the girls a day after the abduction then retracted their information. However, if you’d rather listen to the head-teacher of the school where the schoolgirls were abducted you’d accept the horrific fact that 234 were abducted initially. Based on the headteacher’s statistics 187 are still captive. The fact that we cannot even get accurate figures from Nigeria’s leaders speaks volumes in itself. Regardless of who is correct and who is not the situation is that innocent girls have been taken and action needs to be taken immediately. The girls were reportedly abducted by Boko Haram.
What is Boko Haram?
- The direct translation of the name Boko Haram is “Western Education is Sinful.” One of the group’s goals is to set up a pure Islamic state while preventing westernization.
- They do not support the idea of democracy or Nigeria’s current education system.
- Before colonialism the area where Boko Haram currently occupies was predominately Muslim. However, when colonialism began British Christian missionaries came into the Bornu Empire. These missionaries began spreading Western Education throughout the Empire. Many people felt as if western education was being forced upon them and this led to the founding of Shabaab (what Boko Haram was originally called).
- The group was peaceful for many years. However, today their name is associated with the bombing of churches, the killing of college students and now the abduction of approximately 234 schoolgirls.
A lot of us are confused how a mass abduction could occur in a world where we have such advanced technology. It almost mirrors our disbelief of the Malaysian aircraft “vanishing”. Many people are appalled with the Nigerian government’s lack of action regarding the abduction of these girls. However, the idleness of the government is something that most Nigerians have unfortunately gotten used to. A government is supposed to represent its people and work for its betterment; however, the Nigerian government seems to do the exact opposite. It is getting to the point where the family members of the abducted girls are in talks about venturing in the Sambisa forest to retrieve their children themselves. The Sambisa Forest is seen as a hotspot for Boko Haram activity, which means it would be very dangerous for the parents to make this move. As we all know, there is no limit to a parent’s love and the lengths they would go for their children. In order to save the girls and to prevent the possibility that their parents would also be put in danger we must act. On the other hand, others sources believe the girls may have already been married off and have been transported the Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
How can we help? Firstly, we must not be quiet. It does not matter whether we are in Nigeria or on the other side of the world. Our voices have more power than we may think. The more awareness generated, the more pressure there is on the Nigerian government and governments across the world to take action.
You could also sign this petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/over-200-girls-are-missing-in-nigeria-so-why-doesn-t-anybody-care-234girls?share_id=gOwsvAIZla&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition that is addressed to the President of UN Women’s Government of Nigeria.
Pray about it, speak about, do what you can, but please do not forget. When issues happen in Nigeria there is often a lack of coverage or interest in the matters - this cannot be the case this time. There is no difference between 234 children being abducted in the US and 234 children being abducted in Nigeria. The same way we tweet and share pictures on Facebook and Twitter for missing children where we are, lets do the same for these girls.