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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs