Political illiteracy may not matter to those millions who support Boko Haram's nihilistic brand of jihadism, regardless of its negative impact on Nigeria's security, territorial integrity and communal relations. Yet, some may see the emergence of such violent insurrection as inevitable in a country plagued by corruption, state terror, political manipulation of ethnic divides and areas of extreme poverty.
We know there is a terrible price to be paid for silence in the face of violence; for apathy in the face of oppression; and for indifference in the face of injustice. We cannot stay silent and walk by on the other side of the road. We must stand up and speak out for those who cannot stand or speak for themselves. But we cannot do it on our own.
I was horrified to hear about the recent attacks in the coastal town of Mpeketoni - it just highlights how vulnerable poor communities are in the country and, in particular, women and girls. With the ongoing plight of the 300 abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria and the horrific killings of two teenage girls in India and now Pakistan, never before has there been a greater time, to raise funds and awareness to put a stop to such cruel practices and to safeguard the lives and education of girls across the developing world.
We are still fighting for the rights of children to have a free and quality education. It is now over two full months ago that more than 200 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. This terrible situation is the worst nightmare any parent can experience.
Due to ineptitude, corruption and indiscriminate violence, the military is one of the causes of the insurgency, which now forms a strategic part of an arc of jihadism that stretches from Algeria to Somalia. Giving funds and resources to the Nigerian armed forces risks exacerbating the problem. Boko Haram thrives on the endemic corruption that has characterised post-independence Nigeria.
This week has seen a flurry of activity around an issue that for far too long has been forgotten, silenced or viewed as an inevitable consequence of war: sexual violence in conflict. All of this is extremely important - but in the rush to 'do something' about the horrific crimes being committed in Syria, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and other conflict zones, we should not forget some basic premises.
Unlike hashtag campaigns that have come and gone before, #BringBackOurGirls has unified a global audience and, apart from a microscopic percentage of Boko Haram supporters, the whole world is behind the message, if not the means, of the campaign. Hashtag campaigns about everything from Orca captivity, to gay marriage, to Invisible Children; even the #YesAllWomen hashtag have all divided national and global opinions (rightly or wrongly) where #BringBackOurGirls has united the world's population in solidarity.
Today, on Nigerian Children's Day, the girls will still be held in captivity - and their horror continues unabated. We still do not know whether they are being trafficked into slavery or have been abused as has happened to past hostages. And while the Nigerian government has sent more troops to Borno state to back up the 15,000 already on the search, and as satellite and aircraft surveillance has been stepped up, it will take a delicate operation to secure every child's safe homecoming. As we prepare to celebrate Children's Day in Nigeria, America and in many countries around the world, our thoughts are firmly focused on practical measures that can ensure the safe release of the girls and the end of the nightmare for their families.