News / Africa

Activists Demand Nigeria Rescue Abducted Schoolgirls

Four girls returned to the families after gumen kidnapped more than 200 girls from a northern Nigeria school, Chibok, April, 21 2014.
Four girls returned to the families after gumen kidnapped more than 200 girls from a northern Nigeria school, Chibok, April, 21 2014.
Heather Murdock
Nearly 200 teenage girls in Nigeria have been missing for two weeks after being taken captive by suspected Islamist militants.

As activists plan a million-women march on Abuja this Wednesday to demand their rescue, some analysts say the dire security situation in Nigeria’s northeast could destroy Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's chances for re-election next year.

For some women in the country's restive north, the government’s failure to rescue the teenage students is an affront to all women.
 
“We have a national leader who is supposed to champion the protection of the entire country," said Aishatu Ngulde, a member of Baobab for Women’s Human Rights in Maiduguri, the original home of the Boko Haram insurgency. "But since this thing happened, we have never had our president tell the entire nation that he is deploying our air force with their jets.”
 
The frustration is mounting, with many people saying they cannot understand why the school was not better guarded in the first place.
 
 
Ayo Omolale, 30, is a political science student at the University of Abuja. He says two weeks after the girls were kidnapped the public is increasingly frustrated by the government's failure to save them, Abuja Nigeria, April 28, 2014. (Photo: Heather MAyo Omolale, 30, is a political science student at the University of Abuja. He says two weeks after the girls were kidnapped the public is increasingly frustrated by the government's failure to save them, Abuja Nigeria, April 28, 2014. (Photo: Heather M
x
Ayo Omolale, 30, is a political science student at the University of Abuja. He says two weeks after the girls were kidnapped the public is increasingly frustrated by the government's failure to save them, Abuja Nigeria, April 28, 2014. (Photo: Heather M
Ayo Omolale, 30, is a political science student at the University of Abuja. He says two weeks after the girls were kidnapped the public is increasingly frustrated by the government's failure to save them, Abuja Nigeria, April 28, 2014. (Photo: Heather M
“[People are] panicking because they do not know what is happening to them right now. Of course they might be raped," said Ayo Omolale, 30, a political science student at the University of Abuja, explaining that saving the girls is more complex than just political will.

"Militants may be holding the girls as sex slaves, cooks or porters, but they ultimately also serve as a ‘human shield’ for militants," he said, adding that he thinks this possibility may prevent the military from attacking the culprits with "full force."

According to some analysts, fallout from the growing security crisis, including the kidnapping, may spill into next year, harming the ruling party’s ability to win the presidential elections.
 
No candidates have formally declared, but President Goodluck Jonathan is widely expected to run.
 
Clement Nwankwo, who heads the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre in Abuja, said ultimately the central government controls security forces, and will take the blame if they are not found.

“The immediate responsibility on dealing with the security issues lies with the president and his security chiefs," he noted. "And he needs to inform the governors, which is also what he needs to do with Nigerians, inform Nigerians what steps he is taking to address the security issues.”
 
But some young people say it is not the ruling party nor the opposition party they blame, but all of their leaders.
 
Tobi Obanisola, a 20-year-old philosophy student, believes Nigeria’s elite must be connected to the Boko Haram insurgency because the militants have expensive equipment, like heavy artillery and trucks. He said many current opposition leaders seem as corrupt as the party in power, and if it were up to him in 2015 he would vote for “none of the above.”

“The law permits me to endorse corruption in Nigeria if I vote. That means whether I like it or not I have to vote a political party," Obanisola said.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful," has been blamed for thousands of deaths in the past five years, including hundreds of children in their schoolhouses.

The group has mostly attacked churches, mosques, schools, and other public targets in the northeast, but occasionally extends their reach. On the day the girls were kidnapped, a bomb blast in the capital killed 75 people at a bus station.

Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri.

You May Like

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: roseline
April 29, 2014 7:40 PM
what is our dear president doing? Is boko haram stronger than nigeria security force. if so we should invite foreign security such as america and others
Or divide. this country in 3 boro haram and islam Go there way yorobas there way and igbos there way.
what is hard in this stuff. Oh president is hoping in nigeria army which majority are almost moslam who are supporting bokoharm there brothers . OK

by: sunny adewuyi from: new york
April 29, 2014 11:05 AM
The evil of Islam and Christianity is growing in leaps and bounds in Nigeria and Central African Republic were brothers are killing brothers in the name of their slave master's religions.Imagine what an ignorant boro haram is doing to his people in the name Allah.Isn't it time for the Africans to realized its time to do away with these fraud called Islam and Christianity through which over 300 000 000 black men, women and children have been murdered.

The Northern oligarchy is using this fool to further propagate their slave master's faith and it does not take the Nigerian Government more than 100 daring men to rid this evil of Islam off our land and free these innocent children.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
April 29, 2014 11:58 PM
Dear Sunny, you are absolutely right that we Africans have to shake these bogus religions off our mind and body. Our European and Arab salve masters cruelly imposed on us their respective phony (Christianity and Islamic) faiths to make sure that we permanently entrapped into never-ending religious conflict.
Nigerian government MUST destroy this evil BH organization without mercy and rescue the 200 innocent children safe and sound otherwise the government must be held accountable.

by: Ibiye Omieibi-Davids from: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
April 29, 2014 3:55 AM
It is a big big shame the way the government seem to be moving on as if the abduction of the girls is inconsequential. The president should be more concerned with ensuring the return or rescue of these girls. This should be our utmost priority.

by: Truesage Idowu from: Nigeria
April 29, 2014 3:07 AM
As one of the well meaning Nigerians, I am using this opportunity to ask for the assistance of the United States of America, France, Germany, Israel , United Kingdom and other allies to assist Nigeria in taming the scourge of boko aram.
The proliferation of ammunition due to the uprising in Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Chad and other African countries has fed the armory of these terrorist with great consequence on the lives of Nigerians. Also, it has being investigated that the liberal citizens are the ones being annihilated by these terrorists. Christians and liberal muslims are being massacred to pave way for the agenda of terrorists over that axis of Nigeria. "The body language of some northern politicians is in support of these terrorists instead of an outright criticism of their actions".
The foreign allies of Nigeria should assist Nigeria with the mop up and destruction of light weapons and weapons of mass destruction. We require the deployment of drones in this axis to curtail the excesses of these terrorists.
The allies of Nigeria should also pressurize China and Russian to stop the proliferation of these weapons to Africa.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
May 02, 2014 8:42 AM
Before it's too late, urgently Nigeria needs to annihilate completely Boko Haram .....not taming.

by: kezora from: asia
April 28, 2014 9:14 PM
Now the real test has come that is boko haram ,this not about taking chieftaincy title ,embezzeling public fund,inccessant bribery and corruption ,infected and selfcentered unprogressive leaders ,who will care to comment on this page knowing that the government have no clue,these girls fate is in the hand of God
In Response

by: Allison Vigna from: United States
May 01, 2014 10:52 PM
Please Mr President ,
These young girls need help to be found.
They are somebody 's daughters and sisters.
I have granddaughter s I could not even think about the US abandoning me in this time of horror. In the name of Jesus please find these young girls please help and do whatever that is in your power to reunite these girls with their families.Amen

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs