News / Africa

Nigerian Group Grateful for US Help in Finding Abducted Girls

Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
Peter Clottey
The vice president of a group of northern Nigerians living in the United States expressed gratitude to the U.S. government following its decision to help the West African country find the school girls abducted last month by Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram militants stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Nigeria’s northern Borno state, then packed the teenagers onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon. The group has since threatened to sell the over 250 abducted schoolgirls, which has drawn global condemnation.

Sani Babaliya, vice president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Zumunta Association condemned Nigerian politicians who he says are attempting to make political capital out of the abduction of the school girls to discredit the Nigerian administration in the run up to next year’s general election.

Babaliya says the abduction of the girls should be seen by all Nigerians as a national heartbreak.

“This is not the time and the place to play the blame game. Using politics or using religion, using tribes and cultures to want to score cheap political [points] is not helping the nation at all,” said Babaliya. “Consequently, it is not going to help the person in the long run who would think this might help him or her to score some political points. This is a national tragedy, and it should be treated so.”

He says Nigerian leaders should unite as a people to help end the violent activities perpetrated by Boko Haram militants.

“The leadership at all levels should really step up to enhance their effort in defeating terrorism. It is evident right now, these terrorists [are] on a daily bases making progress in causing mayhem to ordinary citizens of Nigeria,” said Babaliya.
In a televised speech Sunday night, President Jonathan said his administration will find the girls and set them free.

But some Nigerians have been critical of both the Borno state and the federal governments of being too slow and not doing enough to secure the release of the abducted school girls despite repeated promises to do so. They contend that each day the girls are not found could complicate rescue operations to free them.

“You cannot have such a thing to happen and the leadership is so unresponsive for almost three weeks,” said Babaliya. “Thanks to the international community, that is the reason why both levels of leadership are coming up at least for the first time to do something about it. As time goes on the chances of bringing back these innocent girls is getting bleaker.”                                                      

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s police on Wednesday offered $300,000 reward to anyone who can give credible information leading to the rescue of the abducted school girls.
Clottey intev with Sani Babaliya, Zumunta Association VP, DC chapter
Clottey intev with Sani Babaliya, Zumunta Association VP, DC chapteri
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs