WASHINGTON, D.C – Act4Accountability (ACT4) is thrilled about the news on Day 913 since the abductions, and we commend all parties involved in the negotiations that have led to the liberation of the young women. We look forward to a confirmed list of names and the verification of their identities.
We welcome the transfer of the young women’s debrief, care, and re-integration to the Office of the Vice President as a positive sign than the previous handling of Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki. This process should include the expertise of medical professionals and local NGO’s trained to provide post psycho-trauma services for the young women and their families.
“The coordination of the release is a big step in the Nigerian Government’s communication with the insurgency group, Boko Haram. We encourage them to build on this momentum and facilitate the release of all persons still being held captive.”, said Omolola Adele-Oso, Act4Accountability’s Executive Director.
Finally, ACT4 urges the Nigerian government to promote better communication and transparency with the families, members of the #BringBackOurGirls community, and other Nigeria allies regarding ongoing rescue missions.
About Act4Accountability (ACT4): We are building a culture of accountability among Africans and the diaspora through civic engagement. ACT4 accomplishes this goal by educating the public, designing tools for organizing, and leveraging technology. We are changing the norms of social justice work by leading our own initiatives and telling our own stories. At our core, we believe that accountability is essential to any sustainable community and that every authority is accountable when a diaspora raises its voice. Visit our www.act4accountability.com for more information.
ONE MISSING CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRL REUNITED WITH MOTHER
218 Still Held Captive By Boko Haram
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Act4Accountability (ACT4), an organization dedicated to building a culture of accountability among Africans and the diaspora through civic engagement welcomes the news of the reunion of the abducted Chibok girl, Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki from Mbalala local government area of Chibok with her mother. The two were brutally separated in April 2014 when Boko Haram kidnapped 276 female students from Chibok Secondary School in Borno State, sparking the global #BringBackOurGirls movement.
The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a vigilante group set up to help fight Boko Haram, found Amina along with a baby and a man on May 17, 2016 while on patrol at the fringes of the Sambisa Forest and the Nigeria/Cameroon border. Amina, now aged 19, was 17-years-old when she was kidnapped two years ago with 275 other female students from their school in Chibok, Borno State. The Murtala Mohammed Foundation has confirmed that Amina is the mother of the four-month-old baby and information about the man found with them is still under investigation.
Amina has reportedly confirmed that six of the Chibok girls have died and Boko Haram members are holding hostage other girls from that town under heavy security. “This is wonderful news for Amina’s family and the #BringBackOurGirls movement!” exclaims Omolola Adele-Oso, Act4Accountability’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, this was another rescue facilitated by Nigerian citizens instead of the Nigerian government. It affirms the need for continued advocacy regarding the rescue mission promised by President Buhari,” she says. Regarding potential information gathering, Adele-Oso adds, “We hope that the intelligence debrief with Amina will lead to prioritized rescue missions in Boko Haram strongholds and a coordinated rehabilitation plan that includes increased post-traumatic resources for every rescued citizen.”
Finally, ACT4 calls for better reporting from all media outlets in protecting the privacy of Amina and the baby. While Amina is technically considered an adult, she and the baby are victims and they should be afforded the same treatment as child victims of physical or sexual abuse and exploitation.
About Act4Accountability (ACT4): We are building a culture of accountability among Africans and the diaspora through civic engagement. ACT4 accomplishes this goal by educating the public, designing tools for organizing, and leveraging technology. We are changing the norms of social justice work by leading our own initiatives and telling our own stories. At our core, we believe that accountability is essential to any sustainable community, and that every authority can be held accountable when a diaspora raises its voice. Visit our www.act4accountability.com for more information.
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When it comes to corruption, Act4Accountability wants to change the beliefs of the next generation. We believe civic education is one way to make this change happen.
ACT4 is raising $40,000 to pilot a two (2) month after-school civic education program for 200 7th to 9th grade students and 20 teachers in rural Nigeria. Part of the funds raised is to conduct the research for the most appropriate model and curriculum that can be implemented in two months.
Public/government schools in Nigeria teach civic education at the junior and secondary school levels. However, teachers are often not properly trained to efficiently teach such curriculum. The curriculum in the junior secondary years suffer from duplication, content density, and in are many areas void of connection to the realities of youth daily lives. The absence of quality civic education is one factor why the values of tolerance, transparency, and accountability are challenged in the Nigerian society, hence the perfect breeding ground for corruption.
This program will be a new way of teaching values in schools and encourage these students to be civic and community minded. In the midst of cynicism, we believe it is possible to turn the tide and build young men and women of integrity. For more about the program, visit http://act4accountability.com/involvedwithus/act4civiced/
Event Date: October 15, 2015 at 2 pm EST/ 7 pm WAT
BringBackOurGirls: Everything You Want to Know
On October 15, 2015, ACT4 hosted a global discussion on the one and a half year anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 girls from their school in Chibok, Nigeria. Panelsists included Bukky Shonibare (Adopt-A-Camp and BBOG Abuja), R. Evon Idahosa (Pathfinders Justice Initiative), Emmanuel Ogebe (Human Rights Attorney), and Adotei Akwei (Amnesty International USA).
The panelists: Bukky Shonibare of Adopt-A-Camp and BBOG Abuja
Bukky Shonibare is a strategic team member of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign (Abuja, Nigeria). She founded and coordinates Adopt-A-Camp, an initiative that assists Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northeast, Nigeria (http://adoptacamp.org.ng/). Bukky is currently running a Master’s programme in Managing Peace and Security in Africa while being a member of working groups of international bodies like the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS – Resolution 1325) with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA); the Early Warning and Rapid Response initiative with ECOWAS; and Humanitarians Actions and Natural Disasters Support (HANDS) Operations with the African Union.
R. Evon Idahosa of Pathefinders Justice Initative, Inc.
R. Evon Idahosa is the founder and Executive Director of Pathfinders Justice Initiative, Inc., an international NGO which seeks justice for survivors of child sex abuse and sex trafficking in the developing world. She is a trained English Barrister and an American lawyer who worked as a partner in a national defense law firm in New York for over a decade before venturing full time into activism on behalf of women and girls. As a native of Nigeria, Ms. Idahosa is particularly passionate about addressing the shrouded issues of child sex abuse, sex trafficking (modern day slavery) and gender based violence in the developing world because of her compelling commitment to the liberation of women in developing countries. Her passion and compassion are geared towards developing a generation of women who stand confident in who they are, what they bring to the table and what they can achieve. She is a firm believer that if you can empower a woman and engage men as allies for gender justice, you can change any society. Ms. Idahosa is a dynamic speaker and published writer whose voice echoes thousands of young voices via PathFinders’ #TakeMeOffMute (anti-child sex abuse) and #Not4Sale (anti-sex trafficking) campaigns. An organizer of #BringBackOurGirls New York, she has been named as one of New York’s New Abolitionists (www.newyorksnewabolitionists.com) and been nationally recognized for her efforts in seeking an end to gender based violence in Nigeria.
Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International USA
Adotei Akwei is Managing Director for Government Relations for Amnesty International USA. Before rejoining AIUSA, Adotei was the Deputy Director for Government Relations, for CARE USA. As Deputy he worked on Climate Change, Emergencies, Countries in Conflict and Micro-finance in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to taking this position he served as Regional Advocacy Advisor for CARE’s Asia Regional Management Unit, where he supported CARE country offices in the development and implementation of national level advocacy strategies, as well as helping develop and implement regional advocacy priorities. Before joining CARE, Mr. Akwei worked with Amnesty International USA for 11 years, first as the senior Advocacy Director for Africa and then later as Director of Campaigns. Mr. Akwei also served as the Africa Director for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, now Human Rights First, and as the Research and Human Rights Director for the American Committee on Africa and the Africa Fund. Mr. Akwei received his Masters in International Relations from the College of William and Mary and his Bachelors from the State University of New York College at Purchase.
Emmanuel Ogebe, ESQ
Emmanuel Ogebe is an international human rights lawyer specializing on Africa. He also doubles as special counsel for the Justice for Jos Project. Mr. Ogebe has testified before the US Congress’ Africa subcommittee and was instrumental to the International Criminal Court’s decision to examine Boko Haram for crimes against humanity. Mr. Ogebe current works to place some of the escaped Chibok girls and other Boko Haram victims in safe schools.
Nathan Hosler of Church of the Brethren
Nathan Hosler is the Coordinator in the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness in Washington DC and the Ecumenical Peace Coordinator for the National Council of Churches. Before coming to DC, Nathan and his wife, Jennifer, were engaged in peacebuilding work with the Church of the Brethren in northern Nigeria for two years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Languages and a Master of Arts in International Relations.
What do you do when the news headlines read, “200 School girls kidnapped in Nigeria”? What happens when two weeks later there is no official word from the head of state and claims of their rescue are revealed as lies? If you are from Nigeria, you are probably resigned to the reality that nothing will be done and these girls will be forever lost to their families and community. Why? The collapse of a social contract between the Nigerian government and its citizens has created a culture, where accountability is largely absent. Until now. Read More
#BringBackOurGirls One-Year Solidarity March held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. was hosted by Act4Accountability, Amnesty International USA, Africa’s Daughters Foundation, The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, and Tribex Marketing. The march commemorated the one-year anniversary since the April 14, 2014 kidnapping of 276 girls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram. Since the abduction, approximately 50 girls escaped and 200+ remain missing. We must continue to show the world that we will not forget the girls’ stolen dreams!
One Year Later, D.C. Area Marches in Solidarity with Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday April 11 at 2:00 p.m., steadfast #BringBackOurGirls supporters will march from Federal Triangle to the U.S. Capitol in solidarity with the missing Nigerian schoolgirls to commemorate the one-year anniversary of their abduction by Boko Haram. This local demonstration, hosted by Act4Accountability, Amnesty International USA, and other humanitarian organizations, coincides with worldwide marches to raise global awareness of the girls’ persistent missing status and call for enhanced search and rescue efforts. By amassing a swell of public engagement and media attention, organizers hope to add this important human security issue to the sociopolitical agendas of newly elected Nigerian leaders. This message will be reinforced by a short program of dynamic speakers, including the newly appointed Director of the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs, Mamadou Samba.
Nearly 365 days ago on April 14, 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram. The group claims responsibility for an escalating number of deadly attacks, bombings, and captures in the northeast region of the country; including the unprecedented raze of Baga that killed a record 2,000 people in a single strike. After nearly 6 years of unrelenting violence, the Nigerian military recently launched a counterattack against Boko Haram during the 6-week postponement of the general elections. Despite combat support from neighboring Cameroon, Chad, Benin, and Niger, troops reportedly reclaimed captured towns with varying success. Moreover, approximately 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls remain missing.
“If you really want to bring ‘change’ to Nigeria, then prioritize national security, value civic engagement, and operate with transparency,” says Lola Adele-Oso, Act4Accountability Executive Director, in a message to Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo, and soon-to-be elected local government officials.
Act4Accountability is hosting the march in collaboration with Amnesty International USA, Africa’s Daughter Foundation, Tribex Marketing Group, and The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. Supporters are encouraged to wear red and bring signs, family members, and friends.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page and follow @Act4Account on Twitter.
About Act4Accountability (ACT4): We are building a culture of accountability among Africans and the diaspora through civic engagement. ACT4 accomplishes this goal by educating the public, designing tools for organizing, and leveraging technology. We are changing the norms of social justice work by leading our own initiatives and telling our own stories. At our core, we believe that accountability is essential to any sustainable community, and that every authority can be held accountable when a diaspora raises its voice.
Act4Accountability commends the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian diaspora for the peaceful conclusion of the 2015 elections. The historic and competitive political races in the 55th year of Nigeria’s independence, saw the opposing candidate and party unseat an incumbent through a nonviolent and highly participatory electoral process.
These elections also signify a victory for accountability; a message to Nigerians and other African nations that a people dissatisfied with its governance are not helpless. The increased level of citizen participation illustrates that Nigerians have taken a small step to hold public officials accountable for their actions, inactions, and resulting consequences.
The work done by many civil society organizations in Nigeria and the diaspora to educate citizens about their voting rights and electoral monitoring, elevated the level of transparency witnessed in the democratic process. Election day marked a turning point for civic engagement and participation by the Nigerian people. We intend to maintain this heightened citizen inclusion in all areas of governance by holding the new administration to their campaign promises, the Constitution, rule of law, security, a peaceful national reconciliation, and other areas of development.
On the eve of the one-year anniversary since the abduction of 200+ missing girls from Chibok, Act4Accountability encourages all members of the diaspora and our allies to call on the Buhari-Osinbajo Administration to make the girls’ rescue and rehabilitation a high priority.
Congratulations to the President-Elect Mohammadu Buhari and the Vice-President Elect Yemi Osinbajo. Long live Nigerians. Long live Nigeria.
Join Act4Accountability, Amnesty International USA, Africa’s Daughters Foundation, The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, Tribex Marketing, concerned individuals, and speakers from a broad spectrum of movements on Saturday, April 11, 2015, 2:00 pm in Washington, DC (Federal Triangle Metro Station)
Help us amplify the voices amplify calling for more action in the rescue of 219 Chibok school girls and those recently kidnapped by Boko Haram from the towns of Damask and Gwoza. Join us at the #BringBackOurGirls: One Year Solidarity March!
Together, we can show the families of those missing and the people of Nigeria, that the African Diaspora and the international community have not forgotten their loved ones. Not enough has been done to rescue those abducted, and the humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria continues to grow.
The Washington, DC community can play a pivotal role in this campaign! We need your help to show up in large numbers, while building collaboration across movements and international borders.
Join us on April 11, 2015 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Let’s march in solidarity for Chibok, Nigeria, and Peace!
We will gather at 2:00 PM at the 12th street elevator exit of Federal Triangle Metro Station (orange, silver, blue lines). Wear red in solidarity with the BringBackOurGirls movement in Nigeria. Bring your friends and your signs.
If you would like to make placards, we have instructions for you in the Toolkit.
We advice everyone to take the metro. Please note that this is not a protest. If you have any questions, please contact us.