by Joel Ighosa Ighalo
I do not know if it is appropriate to call them the Bring Back Our Girls Family or not. Indeed, it must consist of people who differ in tribe, tongue and religion, yet these people chose to unite in order to plead the cause of young school girls who are in no way related to them. The motto of the United States Marine- Semper Fidelis which means “I am faithful” comes to mind when I contemplate their single mindedness.
After the news of the abduction of the Chibok girls on the fourteenth of April, 2014 broke, when the world was stunned to wakefulness, and when the administration in power didn’t know what action to take, there arose this latent school of thought which posited that there was no girl missing. It had such a sizeable following among Nigerians, the result of which many a countryman was not sure if the girls were truly missing or not.
This was probably reinforced by the inability of the Nigerian Armed Forces to locate them anywhere in Nigeria. Therefore, when the Bring Back Our Girls Group mounted pressure on the Federal Government through the instrumentality of Social and Mainstream media, prominently among which was twitter, it resulted in attacks on the personalities of a number of the agitators. This reflected a failing of our countrymen to appreciate the urgency of the matter. Furthermore, even as the verisimilitude of the capture of the girls remained in doubt, there was this penchant to dismiss the Bring Back Our Girls Group as a party of attention seekers.
The quest by the Bring Back Our Group to recover the missing Chibok school girls soon became subsumed in local and partisan politics as the period of electioneering drew nigh. While the party in opposition pledged to rescue the missing girls if elected, it remained a huge albatross, hanging on the neck of the incumbent, a failing of the administration. It couldn’t be easily concealed. It suffices to say that the abduction of the Chibok girls threw up political points which were cashed in on. Once upon a time, political posters appeared in Abuja with the message, “Bring Back Our Jonathan.” It offended the sensibilities of many a countryman, and the incumbent had to order its immediate removal.
The Bring Back Our Girls Group held rallies on the streets, dauntless and unbroken. Interestingly, their demonstration is set against the background of a country where people are more disposed to leaving the unfolding of unsavoury events to providence rather than taking up the fight and prosecuting it to a logical conclusion, if it lay within their power. But hope endured. When the Federal Government announced the release of some of the school girls, I was quite surprised to see the hashtag BBOG trend on my timeline. It made me begin to wonder if many of the people who were full of praise for the release of the girls and the Bring Back Our Girls Group had not, at any time, derided this family.
The Bring Back Our Girls Group ought to be commended for what they have done; for not making the Nation forget the existence of these girls. They diligently nurtured the flames of public consciousness. I make bold to say that in Nigeria, there have been so many unresolved issues. Noble men have been done away with, and after the hue and cry was over, everything returned to normalcy as if it never happened. The fight for justice having been knocked out of their kinsmen.
Therefore, a family like the Bring Back Our Girls Group deserve all the commendation for reminding Nigerians of our shared nationality and humanity.
Joel Eghosa Ighalo is an International Law student, Historian, Reader and a Nigerian dedicated towards the maximization of the country’s potentialities. He tweets @_empighalo