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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid