News / USA

    Nigerians in US Express Anguish, Anger About Kidnapped Girls

    Activist Dr. Delois Blakely, right, is joined by others while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.
    Activist Dr. Delois Blakely, right, is joined by others while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.
    Adam Phillips
    The world has been outraged and saddened by the kidnapping in northern Nigeria of 276 schoolgirls by the extremist group Boko Haram, which has threatened to sell them into slavery. For Nigerian-Americans who have watched these events from afar, the anguish and anger have been acute.
     
    At the Amarachi Lounge, where New York Nigerians like to gather after work, Samuel Adewumi, a youth educator, watched a news report showing a Boko Haram video of the kidnapped schoolgirls.
     
    A father himself, Adewumi feels for the girls and their parents.
     
    “It really hits home to feel like someone would actually come in, take your child for no reason and have them somewhere you can’t locate them; you have no idea how they’re being treated and if they are being fed, if they are even alive,” he said. “That’s enough to drive somebody insane.”
     
    New York more up to date than homeland
     
    Brigid Turner, a Jamaican national who lives in Brooklyn, holds a sign while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.Brigid Turner, a Jamaican national who lives in Brooklyn, holds a sign while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.
    x
    Brigid Turner, a Jamaican national who lives in Brooklyn, holds a sign while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.
    Brigid Turner, a Jamaican national who lives in Brooklyn, holds a sign while chanting during a rally in front of the Nigerian consulate, May 10, 2014, in New York.
    Nigerians in New York, thousands of kilometers away from their West African homeland, may be more up to date on the crisis than their relatives back home.

    When Daniel Onyeike spoke with his mother earlier in the day, she had not seen the video and was ready to believe reports that it might be fake.

    “First of all, there is no light. So how can you hear the news? You can’t watch TV. So it’s not like here where everyone has Internet. So how are you going to know what’s going on?’” he asked. “You’re only listening to rumors or [reading] the little local paper you can afford, which is maybe printed in someone’s backyard. And whatever story or whatever propaganda he spreads, that is what you are going to take.”

    The “he” Onyeike is referred to is Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose government has been unable, or some say unwilling, to locate or rescue the girls.
     
    “And the fact that it took Nigeria some 20-something days to even react to this situation is really disgusting,” he said with a grimace.
     
    Fear and chaos impact businesses

    Meanwhile, business has suffered on both sides of the Atlantic. Until recently, Onyeike sold used vehicles in northern Nigeria from his office in Brooklyn, but the rise of Boko Haram has ended that, at least for now. 

    “Business is not moving. Life is not moving on as usual. Everyone is scared. So it’s not good for me. It’s not good for Nigeria. It’s not good for anybody. Everybody wants these girls back. Everybody wants Boko Haram to be destroyed,” Onyeike said.  
     
    Well, not everyone, asserted Samuel’s brother, Joseph Adewumi, who owns a bar. He said that supplying terrorists like Boko Haram costs a lot money, and that there is money to be made from terror as well.  
     
    Money fuels terror
     
    The Boko Haram kidnappings have inspired some, like Samuel Adewumi and his 19-year-old daughter, a college student, to bring their loved ones closer.
     
    "We haven’t talked about it directly. More I guess affirming each other in our lives more so than we have before. She sent me the text today, ‘Daddy, I miss you,’ out of the blue,” he said.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 14, 2014 1:26 PM
    Well, if VOA will agree to publish the queries people are raising, it would be an expression of outcry and outrage, the anguish Nigerians feel about the kidnapping. How could this happen in place where state of emergency is in place? No single gunshot, no official whatsoever questioned, not a single checkpoint had an encounter with the kidnappers purportedly traveling in convoys of over 7 lorries!

    It's absurd to say all this happened without a challenge from any quarters. Even then, the 30 soldiers or so sent on guard in the location did not even fire a warning shot. The whole episode is questionable. Unfortunately VOA is censuring these questions and portray only what they see as good for them and not for the masses left agape with unanswered questions. Does this depict a lack of security or it is a case of an arranged collaboration with boko haram? Poor Nigeria!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora