Al Jazeera is reporting that First Lady Patience Jonathan has accused ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ protest leaders of fabricating some of the abductions of the 234 schoolgirls in Chibok last month. The First Lady allegedly ordered the arrest of one leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar in particular. The ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Protest was formed to raise awareness about the missing school girls (actual numbers have fluctuated and been disputed) kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery by the Islamist Fundamentalist group Boko Haram. The ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ protest movement has spread across the world. If the movement is working, then why is one of the leaders being arrested?
Al Jazeera reports:
“Saratu Angus Ndirpaya of Chibok where the kidnappings took place, said state security service agents drove her and protest leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar to a police station on Monday after an all-night meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja, the capital. She said police immediately released her but that Nyadar remains in detention.”
Ndirpaya and Nyadar had met with First Lady Jonathan during the meeting at the presidential villa. The Guardian is reporting that Nyadar was arrested because of “impersonation.” Apparently, the First Lady and others were under the impression that Nyadar had lost two children during the Boko Haram abductions, but apparently Nyadar does not have any children. Supporters of Nyadar insist it is a misunderstanding and that the First Lady is misconstruing the meaning of “Bring Back Our Girls,” which is not literal, but rather figurative, so Nyadar should be allowed to protest.
With all of the people changing their social media profile photos to ‘Bring Back Our Girls,’ it seems that there must be something else at work. There’s even a photo of United States First Lady Michelle Obama holding up a sign that says, “Bring Back Our Girls” so is First Lady Jonathan also calling for her arrest? Celebrity Mary J. Blige is spreading the word about the crisis and she has no children. Should she be arrested as well?
The Burton Wire hopes that The First Lady isn’t elevating this issue because of the embarrassment of failing to control Boko Haram or starting a search for the girls two weeks after they were taken. You would think the government would appreciate any help they could get, especially since the protest leaders are only raising awareness, not money.
Whatever the case, the Nigerian government needs to focus more on finding the girls and less on harassing women who are helping to raise awareness about the abduction of the girls. Had the protesters not raised hell and brought worldwide attention to this issue, would the Nigerian government or other countries like the United States be doing anything to find these girls?
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site, The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.