Just an example of the latest social media buzz a call for the release of close to 300 schoolgirls age 15-18 kidnapped by the infamous Boko Haram. This has attracted over one million re-tweets of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls all over the world not forgetting the United States first lady and many other dignitaries who have joined the global outcry.
Ibrahim M Abdullahi, a lawyer in Abuja was one of the first to use the hashtag in a bid to exert pressure on the authorities to impact on the girls’ search, the call hencefourth spread through the medium with a team of between 20 to 30 from Abuja behind the hashtag which attracted international community’s attention. This move can only be compared to the Arab Spring uprising by citizens in 2010.
The terrorist recently struck again in Warabe village of Gwoza where they abducted 11 teenage girls between ages 12-15 also carting away foodstuffs and livestock belonging to the villagers before fleeing into the bush.
Social media has been a major platform of the campaign to bring the girls home with a Facebook page and Twitter handle pursuing the largely embraced project. The American government has also released a team to help locate the Nigerian girls thanks to social media which had the news disseminated widely and concerns spreading first hand without involving any media houses.
Citizen journalism being the new norm with the current technological exposure playing a big part in it, hashtags tagged on Twitter as well as Facebook status shared can spread across boundaries within seconds with immediate impact following. The big question however is how much the big social media buzz will impact their return home.
Mainstream media has been forced to step aside for individual to handle the latter in hopes that this will impact release from the extremist. The newly embraced mode of communication and information has played both negative and positive in the society since individuals air heartfelt views on their pages.
Mobilized citizens came together for a rally on the same earlier today at Nigeria, Lagos.