The Amphi-theatre of the Freedom Park was half empty rather than half full, but it did not matter as Nigerian writers, most of them poets and their friends gathered together to hurl words, not bombs at Boko Haram.
Convened under the aegis of Dafe Iwurie’s 24 Media which had convened a similar event during the Jos crisis, the #bringbackourgirls reading was an opportunity to vent and hurl verbal missiles at the terrorists who have taken 234 girls hostage.
There was rage and fiery denunciations from the stage as well as naming and shaming.
Poets and writers from outside Nigeria and Lagos who couldn’t be physically present sent in pieces in solidarity and they included Professor Akin Adesokan from the US, Sam Umukoro from the UK, Hymar David from Benin city amongst others.
Toni Kan, who was compere, said in his opening remarks that “even though words do not cut or bite or break bones, the evil hate words because they give them sleepless nights which why they burn books and imprison writers.”
Speaker after speaker from social worker and former UN staffer, Ier Jonathan who gave out 10 free #bringbackourgirls tee shirts, to ageless actress, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, OAP Cordelia Okpe, Ethnomusicologist, Dr. Bade Dosunmo and golden voice, Yinka Davis,Writers as well as Arukaino Umukoro all denounced the reign of terror and called for an end to the Boko Haram menace.
Others at the event included poet, novelist and Ake festival head honcho, Lola Shoneyin , lawyer and writer, Ayodele Moroko Clark, Ade Bantu, poet, Efe Azino, lawyer and writer, Adebola Rayo and many others.