In such horrific times like these, it’s so uplifting to see such compassionate support. As many of you know, over 200 Nigerian teenage girls were abducted from their high-school by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Since then, important figureheads such as Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton have spoken out, demanding justice. Celebrities have joined this call for action, including Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Ellen Degeneres, Amy Poehler, Dustin Hoffman, and HG’s very own Zooey Deschanel. While many are trying to spread the word, it’s still unclear as to what is going on, and how forcefully measures have been taken to find these girls.
Boko Haram recently released a video which demands the release of militants held by the Nigerian government in exchange for the return of the missing girls. The video shows a group of girls wearing full-length hijabs and praying. Filmed are three girls who claim that they have converted to Islam, and they say they haven’t been harmed by any of the men. This is the most recent news that we have been able to confirm.
I still want to emphasize the fact that not enough action has been taken to rescue these young girls. Nigerian authorities have stated that its security forces are “interacting with experts all over the world” in order to find the girls, yet nobody is able to come up with the actual number of missing individuals. Basic information about the abduction is key to solving this horrifying act of terrorism, and without it, the search seems unorganized and fruitless. For example, the number of rescued girls keeps changing; first it was 129, then 121, then none at all.
The Commissioner Tanko Lawan states that “It is really difficult to say the actual number of girls that were abducted.” He states that the students were taking their exams at the Chibok school when the abduction may have happened. But how exactly did school officials or the military let this happen? Furthermore, the original report stated these girls were abducted in the middle of the night, not when they were taking exams.
“I think there’s a bit of insincerity in the system. You can’t tell me that 200 and something girls got moved to a particular location and nobody [from the military] saw them? It’s a confusing situation,” says Ade Ogundeyin, CEO of a Nigerian security company.
President Obama has sent intelligence, logistics, and communications teams over to Nigeria, however Senator Feinstein asserts that we would only send more assistance if we are requested to do so. However, the Secretary of Defense says the US does not intend on sending any troops over. “The Nigerians ought to be handling things in their own backyard, but frankly it’s a big vast country with a bunch of bad guys acting like cowboys and running around. They can’t handle it. I think that’s why we’re treading very carefully, but we’ve got to be more forceful than what we’ve been thus far,” says Senator Chambliss.
However, there is the possibility that Israel will provide help for Nigeria, and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan keeps saying he’s optimistic, that everyone’s efforts should lead to an eventual, successful rescue.
We definitely hope so. Keep posting, keep spreading the word, keep using the hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls. The amount of noise we have all created is the reason why this tragedy is gaining so much spotlight and attention. Never underestimate the power of language, kindness, and unity.