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April 30, 2014

Nigerians demand greater action to #BringBackOurGirls

Thousands of Nigerians criticise the government's failure to find the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division Obiageli Ezekwesilieze leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, in Abuja on April 30, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / PHILIP OJISUA)

Nigerians online and on the streets are calling for the return of more than 180 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from the northeastern province of Borno two weeks ago. On Tuesday and Wednesday, protesters gathered in the capital Abuja in what they called a "million-woman march". While the march, organised by Women for Peace and Justice, did not hit a million attendees, the issue has gained attention online and around the world. 

According to local unconfirmed reports, the kidnapped girls are being sold to militants as brides for $12 each, allegedly across the Nigerian border into Cameroon and Chad. Since the kidnapping, Borno officials say only 129 girls were taken, while locals maintain that 230 were snatched and 40 girls managed to escape. 

Using #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters, many are campaigning for the government to put more resources into finding the schoolgirls. #BringBackOurGirls has been used more than 60,000 times in the past few days.