News / Africa

Nigerian President Makes Promise to Malala to Rescue Kidnapped Girls

Malala Urges Nigerian President to Meet With Kidnapped Girls' Parentsi
X
July 15, 2014 2:08 AM
On a visit to Abuja, Nigeria, the Pakistani schoolgirl and education campaigner Malala Yousafzai has called on Nigeria's president to meet with the parents of the school girls abducted by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. More than 200 girls are being held in the northeastern part of the country, where Boko Haram is waging an insurgency against government forces. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London

Related video report by Henry Ridgwell, "Malala Urges Nigerian President to Meet With Kidnapped Girls' Parents"

Heather Murdock

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has promised Malala Yousafzai -- a Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban on her way to school -- that his government will rescue the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.  The promise came at a special meeting in Abuja Monday, exactly three months after the girls were taken.  Boko Haram has also released a new video mocking activists calling for the return of the girls.

Three months ago in the Nigerian town of Chibok, nearly 300 schoolgirls climbed into trucks manned by men in fatigues.  When the men started burning down the schoolhouse, the girls knew they were not, as they had said, soldiers rescuing them from a coming attack.
 
More than 50 girls escaped that night but more than 200 remain missing.
 
"What are we demanding?  #Bring back our girls now and alive!  What are we demanding?  Bring back our girls now and alive!" protesters shouted during a rally.
 
In Abuja, activists in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign still rally each day to demand their rescue.
 
Boko Haram, the insurgent group that has killed thousands of people this year alone, claims to be holding the girls and has threatened to sell them as "slaves."
 
After her meeting with President Jonathan Monday, Malala said the president promised the girls will be rescued.
 
"The president fortunately promised that he will do something for these girls," Malala said. "And he promised me that the girls will be returned as soon as possible."
 
Visiting Nigeria on her 17th birthday, Malala is an activist for girls' education.  Two years ago, the Taliban shot her in the head for her work in Pakistan, drawing international outrage and making her famous worldwide.
 
Malala says she spoke to some of the schoolgirls that escaped, adding that although they are free, they are still suffering.
 
"I spoke to him about those girls whom I met yesterday, and who were telling me they cannot go to school," Malala said.  "They have dreams. They want to become doctors, engineers and teachers but the government is not providing them any facility.  They also need health facilities.  They also need security but the government is not doing anything."
  
Sitting next to Malala, presidential spokesperson Reuben Abati defended the government's record on education.
 
"This administration has spent more on education than any other administration before now," Abati said. "Education is one of President Jonathan's main priority areas."
 
But Malala says more than 10 million children have no access to education in Nigeria, and calls on the international community as well as the Nigerian government to address the problem.
 
However much of northeastern Nigeria has been under emergency rule for more than a year and authorities say they simply don't have the manpower to secure all the schools.  Hundreds of children have already been killed in their dormitories.
 
In a newly-released video, Abubakar Shekau, the man who claims to lead Boko Haram, grins as he mocks the #BringBackOurGirls activists.
 
"Bring back our girls?  Aww-oo.  Bring back our army.  Bring back our army," he taunted.
 
He's referring to his repeated demand for the release of Boko Haram prisoners.
 
In the video, Shekau also claims responsibility for last month's bombings in Lagos and the Nigerian capital of Abuja, and he threatens Muslim clerics that preach against extremism.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (2)
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 17, 2014 8:17 AM
That's not entirely true. Goodluck said he will release the girls he kept, the ones that Boko selected for him.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 14, 2014 1:05 PM
A coward in an equally cowardly organization. If Shekau was a man and really has a troop and not a gang of robbers robbing girls, kidnapping school children, breaking into banks and private homes to steal money, why do his fighters hide themselves. That is to show that he has no army - as he calls them - they are only hired thugs and will disperse as soon they meet a strong opposition - like in Cameroon. It is the press' way of glorifying banditry; instead of showing that boko haram is a set of hungry hoodlums and gangsters who use every available means to rob innocent citizens, they elevate if higher status than it can ever achieve, even though its all evil.

The promise to release the girls, you wish that the president said what he is capable of doing.

There is no country in the world where terrorism is permitted, yet boko haram, without a territory of its own, has access to military transport vehicles (armored personnel carrier) and could pose for photograph - are we sure these people are not hibernating in our military barracks, and perhaps enjoying our taxpayers' money too? As yet the foreign military assistance seems to have yielded no result, is it true that they mellow down after realizing that the issue of the kidnapped schoolgirls is more political than realistic? What is going on and what is the Nigerian government not telling us? Do we still have investigative journalism anywhere? Can the Nigerian case be independently investigated and results made available so we, the expectant public, can stop speculating? Before we as Malala to join the #BringbackOurGirls# protest.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid