Mothers have thrown themselves on the ground in protest because over two weeks ago, their daughters were abducted by Boko Haram (an Islamic insurgent terrorist group opposed to western education with ties to the Al Quaeda) right out of the Government Secondary School (GSS) in Chibok. 234 girls (ages 13-18) went missing and as of today, it’s being reported that 14 girls have escaped and the rest are still being held hostage and reportedly sold for $12 as child brides to members of the Boko Haram. Why in the world isn’t our government helping?!
It’s being reported that the US gives about $1 million a year in aid to the Nigerian military and soon plans to start training Nigerian special forces to fight the insurgency in the north. Nigerian military’s spending is not tracked, so even though the country spends about $6 billion a year on its military, it is hard to determine how much of that money goes toward fighting Boko Haram and how it’s used. And as it stands, American forces are not able to enter the country to help search for the kidnapped girls unless Nigeria officially requests that the U.S. do so. So when will Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan make the request?
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department says that the department is “in discussions with the Nigerian government on what we might do to help support their efforts to find and free these young women.”
Boko Haram has killed some 5,000 Nigerian men, women and children since they were established in 2009. In the the first few months of this year, they have already killed 1,500 people.
According to FBI figures, nearly 40 percent of all missing persons are people of color, but critics say that the most media attention is reserved for white women. It’s obvious that in America, Black people, especially Black women, who go missing are often forgotten about. And now with this devastating story of 234 girls going missing all at once and nothing could or has been done to help locate the girls…am I the only one that feels like the entire world could care less about Black women? Should we all be stepping in to help? YES!
The government must do “whatever it takes, even seeking external support to make sure these girls are released,” Nigerian Sen. Ali Ndume told the Associated Press Wednesday. His colleague, Sen. Bukola Saraki, tells Mother Jones the international community should lend a hand to Nigeria in the same way it did to families of the victims of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
As we all know, all missing children cases aren’t treated the same, especially when those kids are of color. The media pays more attention to missing White girls. Caylee Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey are good examples. Remember the national outrage? Of course these girls were adorable and the stories was disturbingly sad, they were single missing children. There are 230 Nigerian girls still missing. 230! Other than the parents who formed the million woman march in Abuja in hopes of securing the release of their girls, they haven’t been able to do much outside of protests. Of course angry Nigerians said authorities are not doing enough.
As of now, outraged Nigerans have utilized social media with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters to demand more from the government and to create more of a national outrage. Borno state Education Commissioner Musa inuwa Kubo said the government and the military are doing whatever it takes to secure their release. “This is a delicate situation that requires careful handling,” Kubo said. “When you have heavily armed men holding close to 200 girls hostage, you have to be very careful in your approach so as not to risk the safety of these girls you want to rescue.” Evidently, authorities have been withholding information for the safety of the girls. “It is a security issue and we just can’t be divulging all the efforts we are making to get these girls freed,” the education commissioner said.
What in the world is stopping Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan from getting military backing from another country to rain down on these Boko Haram terrorists? I’m no Secretary of Defense or anything, but since the Nigerian family members of the missing girls have tried to find the girls without weapons within the forests of Nigeria, one would think that helping them out with some fire power would be an effective way of getting the girls back. All Goodluck Jonathan has to do is say the word. Something is a bit fishy here, as Jonathan has promised to defeat Boko Haram, but things have become a lore more dismal over the last couple of months.
Is it just me or does it seem like President Goodluck Jonthan has thrown in the towel and just keeps pacifying the parents of the girls, claiming he’s doing all he can to defeat the Boko Haram. Things are only getting worse and it’s time that he acts. It’s time that we act. These girls deserve their lives back. Too bad there’s not enough concern.
“All we want from the government is to help us bring our children back,” wept one father named Pogu Yaga.
TAKE ACTION: Sign the Change.org petition that has been created so that this situation can be given the right level of coverage in international media and be addressed as a priority issue by the UNICEF, UNWomen and other international organization that can put significant pressure on the Nigerian Government to intensify its search efforts.