News / Africa

Nigeria Offers Reward for Info on Abducted Girls

A woman attends a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
A woman attends a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
VOA News
Nigerian police offered a $300,000 reward on Wednesday to anyone who can give credible information leading to the rescue of the nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist rebels.

Police listed six phone numbers in their statement and urged Nigerians to "be part of the solution to the present security challenge" and call in with "credible information.”

Last month's mass kidnapping by the militant group Boko Haram in the remote northeastern village of Chibok triggered an international outcry and protests in Nigeria, piling pressure on the government to rescue the girls.

Three weeks ago, Boko Haram abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from their dormitory in Chibok in Borno state in northern Nigeria. Some have escaped, but the kidnappers hold more than 270 girls.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened in a video to sell the girls “on the market.”

Public anger mounted after locals on Tuesday said another eight girls had been seized from the same remote northeastern area by suspected members of the group, which is seeking to carve out an Islamist state.

The Nigerian government has been widely criticized for not doing enough to find and rescue the girls.

Other countries offer aid

The U.S. military has no plans to carry out a rescue mission for the schoolgirls but is sending personnel to Nigeria to "advise and assess," a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama's administration has announced plans to establish a "coordination cell" of experts in Nigeria to bolster efforts to find the girls, who Boko Haram has threatened to sell into slavery.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the U.S. offer  to send an American team to Nigeria to support the government's efforts to find the girls.

The degree of U.S. assistance is still being defined but the Pentagon said that the cell at the U.S. embassy in Abuja would include fewer than 10 military personnel.

France also said it was boosting intelligence ties with Nigeria and sending security service agents there to tackle Boko Haram. Around 10 experts from the external DGSE intelligence service with satellite surveillance knowledge would first be sent to join United States and British teams, official sources said.

The kidnappings, and other attacks by Boko Haram, have overshadowed Nigeria's hosting of the World Economic Forum, which is due to start later Wednesday. Nigerian officials had hoped the event would draw attention to the potential of Africa's biggest economy as an investment destination.

International aid welcomed

Dandalin VOA reported that one father of a missing girl said the families are happy now that countries such as the U.S. are helping in the search for their daughters.

He described how the abductions unfolded and how some of the families had to take matters into their own hands in searching for the schoolgirls.

Media reports said several parents had taken motorcycles into the Sambisa forest, a known Boko Haram hideout near the school where it is believed the girls were taken.

At first, the father said he was so distraught by the abduction, he couldn't eat for a week. He was hospitalized several times in the past three weeks while his wife is still unable to perform her normal chores.
He said the 30 or so military personnel stationed in Chibok at the time of the abductions put up a fight, but there were too many well-armed extremists.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Chamunorwa Mashiri from: Zimbabwe
May 08, 2014 4:50 AM
Kidnapping is a form of terrorism very bad

by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
May 08, 2014 3:19 AM

The way to fight ignorance is through education.
But fighting armed ignorance also requires force -- unrelenting, brutal; with no hesitation and no mercy.

by: KOK from: Accra Ghana
May 07, 2014 4:51 PM
A WAY TO DEAL A SEVERE AND SUMMARY BLOW TO BOKO HARAM IN NIGERIA. All the Ecowas member countries should come together and mobilize a formidable military force to the forest where these guys are and shell the forest for 14 days without stopping. All the people or villages within the border town of Nigeria,Cameroun,Chad and Niger should be be relocated temporary to the main cities before the operation kicks off.The task shall be complete destruction of the terrorist hideout.In carryingout this assignment by the combined team of the military forces of THE ECOWAS countries, all lethal weapons should be deployed both by land and by air strikes.All sponsors of the BH should be arrested,tried,court martialed and killed.There should be no room for the recovery of the BH sect. Prior to carrying out the above suggested plan,intelligent report should be obtained,and analyzed for the immediate release or rescue of those kidnapped school girls. If it means paying some ransoms for the release of these girls,Nigeria should pay and use that as a bait to lure the BH boys. The BH has an insider who is giving them correct information about any counter strategic plans by the military .The same group of shielded informants always divert the attention of the security forces to another area when the BH wants to carry out attack in a particular area in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.This appears to be what happened in the recent attack in which 300 people were killed, houses burnt and 8 school girls kidnapped again.Get rid of those informants and you will discover that BH is complelely weakened.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 07, 2014 1:21 PM
US government agrees to help recover over 200 kidnapped school girls taken since the middle of last month. Twenty days of the ordeal, the president of Nigeria wakes from his sleep to tell Nigerians what has been happening. While he was busy sleeping, other leaders across the globe have been wondering what was going on in the country and have made plans what to do but they could not move before the Nigerian government moved – they would not cry more than the bereaved.

In his characteristic manner the Nigerian president has just announced to the Nigerians and the whole world that there has been a horrendous case of school girls kidnapping in the country without laying out concrete action plan to show that he knows what he was talking about. There was nothing extra ordinary in his statement to show that he has extra knowledge or intelligence on the matter more than what the media houses and grapevine have been reporting. In line with that, the president did not go beyond his usual rhetoric of “we will find them wherever they may have taken them”, which is only a political statement that has no assurance whatsoever.

However, the issue here is not the inaction or lack luster approach of the Nigerian government and security operatives in the country. The question is whether the situation in the country will allow these genuine efforts of international sympathizers achieve its goals. For instance, can an army composed of more than 80% muslims mostly having sympathy to boko haram ideology, grossly opposed to the president’s political ambition and think Jonathan should not be president, allow the international efforts to succeed? Before now it has been sung that the security operatives in the country are themselves the problem, but the president has in his characteristic manner disregarded the call, thus the trouble has continued.

by: Jillian Von Krushivvitz from: D.C.
May 07, 2014 12:55 PM
The problem is, the PROPAGANDA DISSEMINATION NETWORK, aka, VOA, will not do any truthful reporting. The FACT of the matter is the CIA is complicit in funding the so-called "enemy", but to deceive the masses, VOA uses language such as "terrible crime" to condition the people with their psyop reporting. PATHETIC JOURNALISM, START TELLING THE TRUTH!
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 07, 2014 2:17 PM
Put a blame on CIA is absurd. Islam encourages people to wave war against infidel . it is ok from point view of Islam to rape and kill non Muslim. Is this the ideology of Islam? .

by: Patrick from: USA
May 07, 2014 8:48 AM
The Interpol and similar organizations must come together with all apparatus and end this immediately before copy cutter's take their stand. We are all born free, many laws has already enslaved humans mentally and physically, this is a grotesque move.

by: ali baba from: new york
May 07, 2014 8:45 AM
unfortuenly, The Nigerian Gov. does not understand the behavior of radical Muslim. these people have no conscious, manner, morality and principal. The only language they do understand is the language of power. The Nigerian Gov. has to be tough with them .Basher el Assad . Nasser of Egypt had dealt with them harshly because there is no other way to deal them . Nigerian Gov. please save your words and tears. get guns and men and deal with them decisively

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