Nigerians living in the Boston area are holding a candlelight vigil today to mark the one month anniversary of the mass kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
“These girls are still in captivity and we hope the international outcry will not dwindle,” Godwin Nnanna, 39, of Danvers, said. “We’re determined to continue to call for action until their release.”
The vigil will take place at the State House from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees plan to wear red in honor of the schoolgirls. Organizers said the vigil will include various community groups and religious groups.
On April 15, more than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. There are 276 girls still missing, which has sparked outcry and rallies in Nigeria and across the world as people demand action to find the girls. Currently the US and other countries are providing assistance to Nigerian officials in the search.
“It’s been over a month since these girls were kidnapped and we haven’t seen any progress,” said Jamiu Giwa-Bello, the president of the Nigerian-American Multi Service Association (NAMSA). “We wanted to do this vigil so the world won’t forget these children.”
NAMSA, an umbrella organization for various local Nigerian groups, helped organize the vigil.
“We expect the pressure that’s building up here and in other states and cities will continue to put pressure on our government to help do something,” Giwa-Bello said.
The group also plans to honor the thousands of other victims of Boko Haram, who have launched various attacks over the years in Nigeria. Nnanna said they want to make sure the fight against Boko Haram continues beyond the situation with the kidnapped girls.
“We don’t want the outcry against Boko Haram to end with the release of these girls,” Nnanna said. “It should continue a fight against terrorism. Terrorism is a global threat and requires global action.”