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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid