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Published On: Tue, May 6th, 2014

Our schoolgirls are still missing

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Chibok girls stillBy Alexander Edem

I feel helpless, I feel hopeless, I feel lost, what can one man really do against the overwhelming odds. I stay in Lagos, far away from Chibok, but my thoughts are always with those little girls. Truth is we all have the collective responsibility as human beings to do something, whether you are a human being with political power or not, so here is my plan, a three stage offensive. This can only work if we all stick to it together to see it through.

Rally support for the cause using social media. This is already being done with the hastag #BringBackOurGirls already trending, but we have to do more, people are reluctant of their own to leave their well structured way of life to be involved in a mass protest or mass movement. We need to use our social media profiles to continuously get the word out to our followers, keep the pressure on and people will begin to take notice.We will need the help of some big celebrity names here; Eldee and Darey Alade are already leading the way. This is time to unite all those followers under a single cause.

Strategy is simple, keep up the pressure on social media, keep using the hashtag to spread the word and most importantly involve media personalities from all over the world. Amanpour, New York Times, BBC, as a rule, our government does not take notice until an international searchlight is beamed on them.Next year is an election year, politicians want to court our favours looking for votes and for follower ship, but what are they doing with issues that we are actually concerned about, nothing. They are busy trading blames and calling it a conspiracy. So here’s what we can do as citizens, start by demanding more from the people that represent us in government, from your local government to your reps in the house to the senators representing your senatorial districts, let us be very clear about our message, WE WILL NOT STAND DOWN TILL OUR GIRLS ARE WITH THEIR FAMILIES.

Until, we begin demanding more from our political office holders, then nothing is going to happen, let them know that there will be no reelections, nothing, if they do not take our message to the President, they say they represent us, this is the time to prove it, we need some representing, the girls from Chibok need some representing. They need political office holders who are still human beings and feel empathy towards another human being to take our message to the President. The people of Nigeria refuse to be cowed into submission, but we can all come under one umbrella and demand that the huge resources of this country be channeled towards finding and bringing back our girls. This is the Nation’s top priority now, there shall be no talk of campaigns or elections or reelections until Mothers in Chibok have confirmed to us that our girls sleep safely with them.

Strategy: Take the message to your local political representative and demand that they transmit it at a higher level. If you have emails or telephone numbers for once let’s leave asking for contracts etc. and concentrate on letting them know how we feel about this situation. Write on their Facebook walls and tweet at them on their twitter handles, look for every creative way to make them know that this is not going to be swept under the carpet.If all else fails, we will go Economical on them. Slowly but surely, we should grind the economic machines to a halt and demand that until we see actionable processes put in place to bring these girls back then the Nation’s economy will remain comatose. We will need the help of all Labour Party leaders who are still human beings, as well as those who still care about the value of the human life.

We will need all professional bodies to forget about salary and wage increases for once and set their sights firmly on making a statement to the World that out of the over 170million people in this country you can still find human beings. When the young girls of Chibok are brought back then we can resume our daily activities. Our objective is not to cripple the Nation but to let it realize that the people who generate wealth for the country (Nigerians) have made a conscious decision to make the No 1. Priority of this country to be to find and recover those girls, that nothing else will matter and we will only let up when actionable steps have been taken to find and bring them back, when resources in men and materials have been put into doing this.

I do not have children of my own yet. I am still single but I feel the pain of the Mothers like they were my own little sisters. I cannot even begin to imagine the trauma that the Mother’s are going through. I see protests by mothers, but this isn’t about Mother’s alone it’s about all of us Men, Women and Children. Its about anybody who has a sister, mother or who is a human being, its about standing up for justice in the face of tyranny, oppression and intimidation, it’s about demanding more from ourselves, much more than what our daily lives offer, its about recognizing a worthy cause and rallying around it, bringing all our networks, contacts to bear in making one definitive statement: we will only sleep easy, when the girls are with their families, not before.

Twitter: #BringBackOurGirls


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