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

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: 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.
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