Worth Watching: #BringBackOurGirls

by | Jun 4, 2014 | Uncategorized

#BringBackOurGirls Sign
#BringBackOurGirls Sign

From a protest in New York
Image: Michael Fleshman / Flickr Creative Commons

Many people have been speaking out for the release of the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped on April 14 by Nigerian sectarian militants Boko Haram. The world of social media exploded with #BringBackOurGirls, a movement that included everyone from Alicia Keys and Michelle Obama to the average Instagrammer.

Our friends at the Ignatian Network had a chance to interview a Nigerian Jesuit about the situation in Nigeria. Fr. Agbonkhiameghe Orobator, SJ is the provincial of the East African Province of the Society of Jesus who called on Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, to resign after his government’s inability to track down the girls and bring Boko Haram to justice.

Some highlights of the video include:

  • On the president: “I think there are other capable Nigerians who can step into the fray and offer the kind of leadership that we need…”
  • On larger systemic issues in Nigeria: “… in this part of the country there is widespread poverty, there is high youth unemployment, deficiencies in infrastructure…”
  • On larger support of terrorists: “These religious organizations [e.g. Boko Haram] do not operate in a vacuum. They are being backed by people who are known in Nigerian society.:
  • On the balanced needed by hierarchical Church: “I think the Church needs to come out and denounce these kinds of actions… and the Church needs to step up its own efforts at dialoging with elements within the religious spectrum of Nigeria.
  • On the grassroots Church: “I think we should pay attention to what the Christian communities have to offer and therefore galvanize Christian communities to also be involved in this whole process.”

Fr. Orobator pulls no punches as he calls on all members of society to seek out the safe return all 276 kidnapped girls and makes it clear that it’s everyone’s responsibility to #BringBackOurGirls.


Vinny Marchionni, SJ

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