On April 14, 2014, two hundred and seventy-six female students were abducted from their dormitories in Chibok Secondary School, Borno state by the rampaging terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
Of the 276, fifty-seven girls managed to escape from the terrorists that same day, leaving 219 girls in the captivity of Boko Haram.
Following the relaxed and almost lackadaisical attitude of the Goodluck Jonathan administration towards rescuing the girls from the claws of their captors, different individuals from across the nation rose with the clarion call to Bring Back Our Girls.
The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls which has so far recorded a huge success in terms of making the public aware of the predicament of the kidnapped girls was first used by Ibrahim Abdullahi, a lawyer based in Abuja on April 23, 2014.
One of the major forces behind the movement for the freedom of the Chibok girls, a former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili endorsed the tweet and this paved the way for an awareness campaign that took the world by storm.
The desire to see the captured girls liberated led to the merger of several concerned forces and individuals to begin the Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group, spearheaded by Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu.
The purpose of the Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group is to ensure that the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014 are rescued by the government and also to make sure that the government becomes accountable to Nigerians on security issues.
So far, in the second year of the abduction of the girls, their freedom has still not been guaranteed with the government giving excuses like ‘lack of security intelligence’ for its failure to rescue the girls, or even confirm their wellbeing.
Even though the main mission of the BBOG group to ensure the safe release of the Chibok girls has not yet been accomplished, some major successes have been recorded in the campaign for humanity.
In creating awareness for the plight of the girls and forcing the Federal Government into action, the BBOG did not only bring the attention of Nigerians to the struggle, the movement became a worldwide trend with notable figures across all walks of life toting the #BringBackOurGirls tag for the camera in a sensational awareness campaign.
The viral nature of the campaign eventually led to an endorsement of the struggle by the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama as well as world renowned political figures.
This ensured that the international media spotlight was turned on the government – which consequently galvanized Nigerian troops into action.
The campaign did not just stop at trending for a brief period of time.
The BBOG campaign went further to entrench itself as a foremost group committed to seeing that the girls are released while providing a platform for a large part of the Nigerian and international populace to have interactive and engaging discussions on different social media platforms to the effect of achieving this mission.
On Twitter, the movement has over 15,000 followers with the hastag #BringBackOurGirls tweeted over 6.1 million times after the first tweet in April 2014.
Also, the Facebook page opened by the movement has over 236,957 fans and has continued to engage concerned parties positively in the bid to ensure freedom for the girls.
The campaign also created a platform for the aggrieved and forlorn parents of the missing girls to find succor and some semblance of hope for the return of their children as well as the assurance that a group of people are committed to making sure that their children are returned to them in good health and of sound mind.
The BBOG group was also able to secure a meeting with Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent President of Nigeria – a meeting which had in attendance, the parents of the kidnapped girls.
And even though it turned out to be a disappointing encounter, the Chibok parents would be eternally grateful to the BBOG activists who have made the rescue of the girls – their ultimate ambition.