Nigeria: In defense of hashtags and #BringBackOurGirls

Nigeria: In defense of hashtags and #BringBackOurGirls

I am not Nigerian and I do not have constitutional rights accorded to me by the Nigerian government. I cannot participate in Nigeria’s national democratic process. I have never been to Nigeria.

I have not known the pain of having a child abducted. Neither am I familiar with the group trauma experienced by the Chibok community, or the thousands of other Nigerians who have been devastated by Boko Haram’s unspeakable actions and further victimised by their government’s indefensible inaction.

And yet I have posted almost every reputable update of which I’ve become aware regarding the nearly 300 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. On every occasion that I have clicked “share”, a twinge in my stomach has reminded me of my own powerlessness and has made me feel guilty and vain for engaging in so-called slacktivism.

Yet, I clicked and shared updates about the Chibok girls and the abusive antics of the president’s wife, Patience Jonathan, anyway, and I even used the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls a couple of times, feeling self-conscious about it.

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