For How Long Must the Chibok Girls Be Missing?
500 Days … and counting!
For Immediate Release
August 21st, 2015
Dr. Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome Shahara C. Jackson
(347) 249-6502 (347) 765-0509
New York, NY – Sadly, August 27, 2015 will be 500 Days since April 14, 2014, when armed militants from the radical group Boko Haram stormed the school dormitories of the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. On the night of the abduction, militants showed up at the boarding school dressed in Nigerian military uniforms. The militants abducted 276 young girls, stole supplies and burned the school to the ground. Many schools were closed due to concerns about the lack of security and safety voiced by families and school officials. However, local education officials decided to briefly reopen the Chibok school for exams. Without the promise of safety and security, many students, especially girls, may avoid attending school, which exacerbates the educational and economic inequality and forms what Nigerian youth education advocate Ojonwa Miachi calls a “foundation for more conflict and violence.”
To date, 57 girls were able to escape from Boko Haram captivity but 219+ girls remain in captivity and have reportedly been used as sex slaves, suicide bombers and sold/forced into marriages with Boko Haram members. The world remains silent, but we cannot! We must continue to raise the awareness that it is #500Days since this horrific crime. We must be in solidarity with our BBOG families, community leaders and concerned citizens worldwide!
We will gather in NYC for prayer and a peaceful demonstration on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00pm in the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations (777 United Nations Plaza – corner of 44th and 1st Avenue) for interfaith prayer service. Directly following the service, at 1pm, there will be a silent vigil to the Nigerian Consulate and Permanent Mission to the UN (828 2nd Avenue at 44th street).
Remarks to be made by founding members of #BBOGNYC – Professor Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome, Bobby Digi, Evon Idahosa, Esq. and Shahara C. Jackson; as well as NYC Council Member Laurie Cumbo, District 35 Council Member & Chair, Committee on Women’s Affairs; Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, Imam, The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc.; Rev. Dionne P. Boissiere, Chaplain of the Church Center for the United Nations; Cantor Lisa B. Segal, Kolot Chayeinu/ Voices of Our Lives; Hon. Ruth Messinger, American Jewish World Service, Aisha Oyebode, CEO, Murtala Muhammed Foundation & BBOG Lagos; Pat Sellers, and Marcia Fingal, The Collegiate Church of NY/Intersections International.
Please join us. We are asking everyone to wear RED as a symbol of the bloodshed of children throughout northern Nigeria.