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Vigil remembers girls taken by Boko Haram

Photo by Shelby Knowles
Students involved in Texas A&M Amnesty International hold a vigil.
 
Photo by Shelby Knowles Students involved in Texas A&M Amnesty International hold a vigil.  

A vigil Thursday evening sought to reinsert #bringbackourgirls into the public mind.
Texas A&M Amnesty International, a student organization, held the vigil at Rudder Fountain to remember the 300 girls taken by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram on April 14, 2014, from Chibok Government Secondary School in Nigeria.
Derin Oduye, political science senior and president of Amnesty, said the vigil was held to bring awareness to Bryan-College Station.
“These people need to know that people are still thinking about them, after the ‘bring back our girls’ stuff, people forgot and people stopped caring,” Oduye said.
Boko Haram is based in Nigeria and is growing slowly across the continent of Africa, now occupying countries including Niger, Chad and part of Cameroon, Oduye said.
“Boko” means western education is a sin, Oduye said.
“Like you’re [Boko Haram] against people, Africans, getting education, basically women getting education,” Oduye said. “They’re against western ideals and values.”
James Spencer, nuclear engineering senior and secretary of Amnesty, said after the kidnapping in April, the #bringbackourgirls campaign was widely spread by political leaders and celebrities, including First Lady Michelle Obama. However, Spencer said the movement was short lived.
“It kind of seemed to die away or kind of got to a point where we thought it was settled well enough,” Spencer said. “My whole hope with [the vigil] is to bring awareness with it on the first level, so people know it’s still ongoing, even if it’s not those girls there’s going to be other girls that could kidnapped as well.”
Spencer said he hopes spreading awareness on campus will remind people that the issue is still ongoing.
More than 200 of the girls are estimated to still be missing, Oduye said.
Oduye said Amnesty members have written letters to the family members of the girls as well as congressional leaders, specifically U.S. Rep. Bill Flores and Secretary of State John Kerry.
“It basically says we’re students … I’m really passionate about educating people about what is going on in Nigeria as well as I want you to take action as a congressional leader to shed light and take this to Congress and tell our congressional leaders that we’re passionate about it and people do care,” Oduye said.

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