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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs