It was only two days ago that I told you why I don’t blog about Nigeria. I woke up yesterday morning to find my Instagram feed over flooded with pictures like the ones here and hash tagged with #BringBackOurGirls. I found it sweet, especially the posts from the international community. Several celebrities – whose names I cannot now remember – put up a picture demanding that our girls be brought back. And then, just as I expected, there came posts about marches and protests.
Here in my corner of America (DMV), there are two protests that I know of. One is at the Nigerian Embassy on a Tuesday, and the other one starts at the Lincoln Memorial and ends at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C. This suddenly tastes very familiar. Oh, yes, it was the time we (I, Igwe, Funmie, and other friends) joined the protest in Washington D.C. for #OccupyNigeria. You know we missed work for that event?
I cannot speak for everyone else, but for me, I felt like I was making a statement and therefore making a difference. But in the end, did I really help? I mean, the awareness and press coverage was fantastic, but did freezing my ass off on the streets of Washington D.C. make a difference? Did I really make life better for at least one single person in Nigeria? I walked the walk and I blogged about the event. I even posted pictures from other walks in other cities, States, and Countries. Do you know what happened with #OccupyNigeria? Well, the protesters in Nigeria had to take a break from protesting to go and eat. The rest is history.
I wish I could say that I was (am) angry at the people in Nigeria, but I wasn’t (still am not). They had to eat. If they did not eat and they died while protesting, then what difference would they have made? But what about the rest of us in foreign nations? Did all our protest make any kind of difference? The only people that would have been willing to protest without going home to eat are people who are willing to die for Nigeria. I can tell you now that I wasn’t (and I’m not now) one of those people.
Now with the case of this #BringBackOurGirls campaign, I am really grateful to the international community for sharing the pictures and bringing more awareness to this issue, but is Boko Haram listening? Are the abductors moved by our social media campaign – complete with a hash tag? Do they even know that the people of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are calling for the release of our girls? If they do know, are they threatened? Are they afraid? Are they even moved?
Americans are ferociously following and promoting this campaign because they don’t know Nigeria. We, Nigerians, we know ourselves. The activists who tweet all day and wish fire and brimstone on our leaders, they are cute and all, but how many Boko Haram members are following them on Twitter — and how many of them are aware of what is going on?
I don’t believe that any number of tweets would move the Boko Haram people and make then return our girls, but maybe against all hope (though I seriously doubt it), the social media campaign will move the leaders. But as I like to ask, na today yansh begin dey back? Our leaders are not there to help us or make our lives better. Everyone just wants a piece of the national cake.
Do you know that there are so many people living in Nigeria who still have no idea that over 200 girls have been abducted? They don’t know because they’re not on social media, and we know that most of Nigeria is poor, so what does that tell you? It tells you that most of Nigeria is out of the loop. As for the people who are going to be marching in Washington D.C.or in New York (or any other place), I wish you the best of luck. When I find out how many girls my gele will save, then maybe I’ll tie one on my head and appear for the protest.
P.S. On another note, the people who work at the embassy are a bunch of morons, I kid you not. They can barely give you your passport on time, so what can they possibly do about over 200 missing girls?