Nigerians in Massachusetts on Thursday joined the worldwide protest against the abduction of over 200 students of Government Secondary School, Chibok.
They chanted “Destroy Boko Haram” and “Bring Our Girls Back” and said they were unimpressed with the Nigerian government’s efforts in dealing with the incident.
The protesters made up predominantly of Nigerians in the Diaspora marched around the Boston Commons, a central public park, some wearing red and waving banners that read “Help our failing Country” and “Stop Boko Haram now”.
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo and daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo told the crowd “let’s keep up the pressure”, calling on Nigerians to be actively involved and not leave it “to others”.
The social-media crusade #BringBackOurGirls which began following the abduction has been re-tweeted over a million times and has attracted the support of global celebrities and voices.
Meanwhile, American President Barrack on the heels of this campaign dispatched to Nigeria military personnel and hostage negotiators to help in getting the girls back.
Other voices at the Boston protest called for Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan to move beyond rhetoric, tackle the pervasive corruption in the country and for the international media to continue the intense coverage being given to all the issues related to the kidnappings.
However, Darren Kew, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, Boston speaking at the rally suggested that as Boko Haram evolves from an organization into a movement, the government should pursue a strategy that would “separate the hard-liners from the fence sitters” in the group.
Kew also proposed engaging the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council, noting the need for a resolution that condemns the acts of Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, as events unfold, co-organizer of the Boston protest, Godwin Nnanna, said the aim of the rally was to, among others, support the growing movement to ensure this issue remains in global agenda.