Are Social Media Platforms not Effective? Analysis of Social Movements for the Release of Nigerian School Girl Leah Sharibu Abducted by Boko-Haram

Are Social Media Platforms not Effective? Analysis of Social Movements for the Release of Nigerian School Girl Leah Sharibu Abducted by Boko-Haram

Author: 
Nwammuo, Angela
Publisher: 
Adonis & Abbey
Date published: 
2018
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Salawu, Abiodun, jt. author
Journal Title: 
Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict Transformation
Source: 
Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict Transformation, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2018, pp. 95 - 119
Abstract: 

Boko Haram, the terrorist group in Nigeria had on February 19, 2018 stormed Government Girl's Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi in Yobe State and abducted 111 girls. On 21st of March, 2018, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced the release of 105 girls. Five of the girls were said to have died before the release. The lone abducted Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, was not released due to her refusal to convert to Islam, as reported by the released girls. Ever since then, many Christian Associations like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN); Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) and others have been involved in calls via social media platforms for the release of Leah. It is, however, worrisome that these social movements notwithstanding, Leah Sharibu is yet to be released. The need to find out the nature of communication strategies used by Christian Associations in social media campaigns and whether the rhetorical devices in the campaigns are persuasive enough to ignite the needed actions for her release is the problem that this study intends to investigate. In analyzing the Facebook messages, rhetorical criticism was employed in studying selected messages posted between the months of February and April, 2018 on the case of Leah by Christian Associations. Findings indicate that the rhetorical devices used by Christian social movements through social media are not persuasive and therefore not able to force the Federal Government of Nigeria to expedite actions that will lead to the release of Leah Sharibu as was the case in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Protest and the 2014 #BringBackOurGirls campaign. There was no call for offline activities in form of protests or rallies by the Christian groups. The study recommends that engagement on communication platforms, as well as rallies, protests, demonstrations, be used in fighting for the release of the abducted school girl and others in similar circumstances.

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CITATION: Nwammuo, Angela. Are Social Media Platforms not Effective? Analysis of Social Movements for the Release of Nigerian School Girl Leah Sharibu Abducted by Boko-Haram . : Adonis & Abbey , 2018. Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict Transformation, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2018, pp. 95 - 119 - Available at: http://library.au.int/are-social-media-platforms-not-effective-analysis-social-movements-release-nigerian-school-girl-leah