Obiageli Ezekwesili

TIME 100 2015 Obiageli Ezekwesili
Afolabi Sotunde—Reuters

Like northern Uganda, where I live, northern Nigeria is very isolated. For many years, the women who were abducted from our region remained invisible. So although I have not met Obiageli Ezekwesili, I know the #BringBackOurGirls campaign that she championed is very important. It would have taken a long time to raise awareness about the girls taken by Boko Haram without her using her platform as a former Minister of Education.

We need to remember that these girls are undergoing psychological and maybe physical torture. So I love that the campaign says, “Bring back our girls,” and not “Bring back my child.” Everybody is in unison with the parents and the relatives. Everyone is feeling their pain. Everyone will be ready to embrace the girls and offer them care and compassion if they are rescued or manage to escape.

It has been a year, and the girls haven’t been rescued, but she has made a difference by speaking about it. Not just speaking but shouting. I know some people will say she is too loudmouthed. The loud mouth is needed. People hear it.

Nyirumbe runs St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, a school for former captives of the Lord’s Resistance Army and disadvantaged women in Gulu, Uganda

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