Dear Molara Wood, your disdain for #BringBackOurGirls is a failure of judgement

by Sola Fasasi

On Monday, photos began to circulate about an event for the inauguration and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Chibok Girls Endowment Project.

Expectedly, the Bring Back Our Girls movement began receiving enquiries, and they issued a blistering disclaimer, saying in part:

“After 902 days of painstaking advocacy, it is disheartening and unfortunate to suddenly see attempts, by external actors, to use it for selfish purposes. We have carefully built our reputation as a well-organized and disciplined global movement that is completely self-funded.”

The group also demanded an apology.

But the Internet wouldn’t be the Internet without one person or the other missing the point completely.

Let’s read that again: ‘That name has gone too global for anyone to claim sole ownership’

Really?

It was the BBOG movement who ensured that the captured girls received global attention, and it was they who stayed with the grieving parents long after that focus shifted to other issues, standing with them in the sun and in the rain, day after day for over 900 days, demanding that the government to keep their promise, enduring insults from many who have never stood up straight for anything in their lives.

No one gets to dictate to them how to feel about the name ‘Bring Back Our Girls’, and the uses to which that name is put, especially since there is no evidence of any contact between the organisers of that event and the group.

Trying to reap where you did not sow is one of the main reasons why Nigerian society is where it is, and the BBOG movement have not just a right, but a duty to ensure that this does not happen to their name as well.

This is not all, however. Let us examine this response to one of the above tweets:

This claim was eventually disputed.

The larger picture here is this attempt to weaken the exclusivity of the name by saying it belongs to ‘all’.

Were ‘all’ there when the group made personal sacrifices to keep the heat on the government?

This is not Molara Wood’s first attempt at criticising the group. Back in January, she said this:

Regarding the BBOG, there are three types of people: enthusiastic supporters of the group, those who still view them as political and the kidnapping itself as a scam, and people like Molara Wood who appear to support the group on the surface, but are always looking for an angle with which to criticise, whether that angle has any merit or not.

This particular angle, about who originated the slogan, does not have any merit. Apart from the fact that the precise words Soyinka used are in dispute, even if he did use the exact words, his mere utterance of it did not give it global recognition. It was the work of Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu, Bukky Shonibare, Maureen Kabrik, and others who stood with the parents of those missing girls for over 900 days that brought that recognition. Whatever position they take on the use of that name is well earned, and it will be better if everyone else left them to it.

Sniping from the sidelines is not a good look.

And you, madam, now look like you’re losing it.

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