Thursday, May 19, 2016

#BringBackOurGirlsNYC is joyful that one of our #ChibokGirls was rescued on March 18, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome
(718) 951-5000 x 1742
NYC Wednesday March 19, 2016

It is wonderful that Amina, one of our 219 #ChibokGirls that was held captive by Boko Haram, was rescued yesterday, March 18, 2016. It was reported that she now has a baby and is allegedly expecting another baby.  Although it is unfortunate that this poor child who has just been rescued has become a mother under the horrible circumstances of being a Boko Haram captive, this rescue is great news because although the inaction of the Federal Government of Nigeria under a previous administration allowed these poor girls to languish in captivity for so long, they are valuable human beings and citizens of Nigeria.  Each of them is valuable and deserving of our celebration of their rescue from Boko Haram captivity. 

Sadly, news reports include the alleged death of six (6) of our #ChibokGirls already.  This is very sad news. While awaiting official confirmation, we hope and pray that there are no more deaths before all our #ChibokGirls are rescued.

We are glad that Nigerian and other news sources are reporting this story. However, it is important to consider the complexity of the psychological condition of a person that has been subjected to this kind of extreme trauma, brutalization and sexual battery for more than two years.  Privacy is key. So is the building of a trusting relationship between victim and a therapeutic team. There is currently no structure for this in Nigeria.  This is most unfortunate.  Our long term goal is to advocate the development of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate framework that not only deals with the psychological and physical trauma suffered by our #ChibokGirls but by all victims of trauma in Nigeria.  

It is very important to recognize that these young women may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or other serious psychological conditions, and may not be in a position to make decisions on what they want to do or not.  It is important to protect their privacy. They should not be paraded throughout the media and asked to speak about their trauma in a way that exposes all their private life to a curious public without commitment to long-term, culturally appropriate psychosocial care for them and their families as well as their communities by the Federal Government of Nigeria and their various states of origin.  There is also need for public education on the effects of the kind of trauma that they have endured and appropriate supportive community responses.

We hope that all others still in Boko Haram captivity are rescued and reunited with their families.  We hope they are accepted by their families, communities and all other Nigerians, and that they are given the long term, culturally appropriate psychosocial support to resume normal lives. 

We resolve to keep demanding: #BringBackOurGirls until all remaining 218 #ChibokGirls are reunited with their families. After their rescue, we will continue demanding that their privacy is respected and they, their families and communities receive long term culturally appropriate psychosocial care offered by the Nigerian government, assisted by national and international agencies that have the know-how and experience to deliver such care.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First #ChibokGirl Rescued


I woke up to the great news that one of our #ChibokGirls was rescued.  

The news first came to me from Prof. Hauwa Biu, who is a stalwart in the movement. 

BBC also reported it: Chibok girls: 'First kidnapped girl found' in Nigeria 

So did Bukky Shonibare, who has been a key member of the Abuja BringBackOurGirls family.  

I am glad that Nigerian news sources are reporting this story. They include: Channels TV, Sahara Reporters, and Nigeria's Guardian. The UK's Telegraph also reported the story. I had initially posted, but removed the links to these stories from this blog because they have photos of our #ChibokGirls. My rationale: It is important to consider first of all, the complexity of the psychological condition of a person that has been subjected to this kind of extreme trauma, brutalization and sexual battery for more than two years.  Privacy is key. So is the building of a trusting relationship between victim and the therapeutic team. We don't have any structure for this in Nigeria.  This is most unfortunate.  Our long term goal is to develop a comprehensive, culturally appropriate framework that not only deals with the psychological and physical trauma suffered by our Chibok girls but by all victims of trauma in Nigeria.  For the time being, it's important to recognize that these young women will be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and maybe other serious psychological conditions, and may not be in a position to make decisions on what they want to do or not, even as they are paraded throughout the media and are asked to speak about their trauma in a way that exposes all their private life to a curious but unsympathetic public that is just interested in the sensational event of the moment.  

Sadly, these reports include the alleged death of six (6) of our #ChibokGirls already.  This makes me very sad, and I hope and pray that there are no more deaths before all our #ChibokGirls are rescued.

Although it's unfortunate that this poor child who has just been rescued has become a mother under the horrible circumstances of being a Boko Haram captive, this rescue is great news for me because although I'm angry that Nigeria allowed these poor girls to languish in captivity for so long, these are human beings and each of them is valuable and deserving of our celebration of their rescue from the homicidal psychopaths that have held them in captivity. 

Hoping that all others are rescued and accepted by their families, communities and Nigerians, and that they are given the psychosocial support to resume normal lives. 


Many people have asked me "what is this psychosocial support about?"  My paper on the trauma of captivity and agony of return deals with an aspect of it.  It will be published soon by the Social Science Research Council's African Peacebuilding Network.  

Have a wonderful day!






Thursday, April 14, 2016

DAY 7: #2YEARS ON #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION FOR OUR #CHIBOKGIRLS



SUGGESTED TWEETS


  • #2YearsOn #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescuing #ChibokGirls. 2yrs Boko Haram captivity #HopeEndures
  • Pls help cover #BringBackOurGirls #ChibokGirls still captives #2YearsOn #HopeEndures for their rescue
  • Thanks for supporting #BringBackOurGirls & Girls Education. #2yearsOn pls keep demanding #ChibokGirls rescue
  • Thanks for supporting #BringBackOurGirls. #2yearsOn pls keep demanding #ChibokGirls rescue #HopeEndures 
  • Thanks for supporting #BringBackOurGirls. #2yearsOn & for demanding #ChibokGirls rescue #HopeEndures
  • Thanks for supporting #BringBackOurGirls. #2yearsOn keep demanding #ChibokGirls rescue #HopeEndures



Monday, April 11, 2016

DAY 5: #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION FOR OUR #CHIBOKGIRLS

 
TWEET WITH US. DO ATTACH OUR PRESS RELEASE BELOW TO YOUR TWEET.  THANKS!

@NGRPresident @ProfOsinbajo Please redouble efforts to rescue our #ChibokGirls April 14 will be 2yrs in BH captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures 
@POTUS #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures
@realJohnKerry #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs in Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures
@secgen #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of our ChibokGirls. April 14 = 2 years in Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures 
 
 
 

Take advantage of the Act4Accountability toolkit to get up to speed on all the letters you might want to write. It has sample letters that you can modify or just sign and send as is.

HERE AGAIN, ARE OUR SAMPLE TWEETS. DO ATTACH OUR PRESS RELEASE TO YOUR TWEET.  THANKS!

@NGRPresident @ProfOsinbajo Please redouble efforts to rescue our #ChibokGirls April 14 will be 2yrs in BH captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures 
@POTUS #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures
@realJohnKerry #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs in Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures
@secgen #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of our ChibokGirls. April 14 = 2 years in Boko Haram captivity. #2YearsOn They're #CryingToBeRescued #HopeEndures 

DAY 4: #BringBackOurGirls Global Week of Action

 
 



 Here's #BringBackOurGirlsNYC's appeal: Please also tweet at President Buhari and VP Osinbajo, as well as Pres. Obama and Sec. of State Kerry, plus UN Secretary Gen Ban ki Moon.   Below my tweets to them today:

@NGRPresident @ProfOsinbajo Please redouble efforts to rescue our #ChibokGirls April 14 will be 2yrs in BH captivity http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post%2Fchibok-two-years-on

@POTUS #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs Boko Haram captivity. #HopeEndures http://news.trust.org/item/20160408173256-2jw7n

@realJohnKerry #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. Approx 2 yrs in Boko Haram captivity. http://news.trust.org/item/20160408173256-2jw7n

@secgen #BringBackOurGirls. Please prioritize rescue of our ChibokGirls. April 14 = 2 years in Boko Haram captivity. http://news.trust.org/item/20160408173256-2jw7n

My people, can you tweet these things and ask your friends to do likewise?

Another #BBOGNYC stalwart on FB drew attention to the fact that the US Democratic Party's New York City debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is happening on April 14, which is the 2-year mark of our #ChibokGirls abduction by Boko Haram.  We should remind the two candidates that our girls remain missing. Both candidates are loving grandparents.  Both campaigns have flooded my mailbox with all kinds of solicitation and invitations. I will just keep responding to them with our "What you can do" demands and ask them to say what they're doing to help rescue our #ChibokGirls and all others held captive by brutal Boko Haram.  

Here are my tweets to both:

@HillaryClinton #BringBackOurGirls Pls prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. April 14 = 2 yrs in Boko Haram captivity. http://news.trust.org/item/20160408173256-2jw7n

@BernieSanders #BringBackOurGirls Pls prioritize rescue of #ChibokGirls. April 14 = 2 yrs in Boko Haram captivity. http://news.trust.org/item/20160408173256-2jw7n

Please also ask Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to work on rescuing our #ChibokGirls however they can.

Listen to Angelique Kidjo, who's right on point about the origins and perpetuation of Boko Haram violence, and the importance of educating our girls in the African continent:
Angelique Kidjo: Educating Africa’s girls


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