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Here are 177 names of the (at least) 276 Nigerian school girls, ages 15-18, who were abducted by Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram. I’ve been personally invested in this heartbreaking story of these girls being taken from Government Girls Secondary School, an elite academy of both Muslim and Christian girls, in Chibok and the first thing I thought when I found out about their names being released was, now I can speak their names in my prayers. For weeks, we’ve been thinking of these individual girls stuck in their personal horror as a number. It’s a beautiful thing to give them all a name. They all matter.
At this point, the entire world is anticipating the safe return of these girls and many vocal critics have chastised Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for not doing enough to #BringBackOurGirls and it was this social media outrage that helped motivate the president to take action.
Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for Nigeria’s President, told CNN, “The President and the government is not taking this as easy as people all over the world think. We’ve done a lot but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.”
Thankfully, the U.S. has sent help to Nigeria, in the form of a team of technical experts, which includes U.S. military and law enforcement personnel capable of sharing their skills on intelligence, investigations, hostage negotiating, information sharing and victim assistance, as well as officials with other expertise to aid the Nigerian government’s search girls who have allegedly been sold off as child brides to the Boko Haram for $12.
Please use these girls names in prayer. Many people feel that revealing these names puts these girls at risk, however, the names were released by a Nigerian organization and has been reported on by both the Nigerian and U.S. Media.