News / Africa

Outrage Over Nigeria Abductions Spikes

Heather Murdock
More than five days after the abduction of more than 100 teenage girls in Northeastern Nigeria, 85 girls remain missing, believed to be deep within a dangerous forest. 

Women leaders in the north are outraged, threatening to march into the forest themselves to recover the girls.  Authorities say they are working around the clock to recover the girls, and so far 44 have escaped.
 
On Monday, one woman’s niece was kidnapped from her schoolhouse with more than 100 other girls.  

“I’m a mother, and I feel it. I feel it. I feel very sad because we don’t know where they takes all these children for," she asked. " What are they doing to our children?  We don’t know, that’s out thinking.  So we are very sad.  We are not happy,” she said.  
 
No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but it is widely believed they were taken by Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group that has killed thousands of people in the past four and a half years, including scores of school children.
 
In the past, female students have been spared by militants, who say girls should go home and marry, in accordance to their own version of Islamic law.
 
But Boko Haram has also been known to kidnap girls and women, forcing them to be their ‘wives.’  Northern women say they are angry at the kidnappers, and at security forces.
 
“If care is not taken definitely all the mothers of Nigeria will rally out.  Definitely.  Please, we are now pleading.  We are now pleading,” said Maryan Abubakar, a president of the Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria.
 
The Nigerian military says it is making “ongoing frantic efforts” to rescue the girls and authorities have promised to use every resource available to help.  
 
Authorities say vigilante groups and hunters are also searching the forest, where insurgents are believed to be hiding out. Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno State, where the girls were abducted, has offered a $300,000 reward for any information leading to their rescue.
 
But Pastor Julie Dauda in the northern city of Kaduna says it’s not enough:
 
“They should double their effort and make sure that something is done immediately.  Unless they may be thinking that their children are safe?  It may turn to be… their children tomorrow," she said.
 
Last month, schools in Borno, one of three northeastern states that have been under emergency rule for a year, closed after dozens of children were shot or burnt to death.  Despite the shut down, the girls abducted from Chibok reportedly turned up to take their exams.
 
Ayuba Tula, the spokesperson for African Youth Corp in Nigeria, says attacks on schools are destroying northern parents’ chances of educating their children.

“The rate at which things are going, everybody’s so scared, you know? Nobody would like to give up his own child at the end of the day," said Tula. "You don’t even know the whereabouts of the child. You don’t even know if the child is killed.  You don’t even know if the child is being molested.”
 
Tula says armed guards should surround all schools in Nigeria.
Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, and the group says children should be forbidden to study anything but the Koran.  
 
Islamic scholars in Nigeria say the group is criminal in its actions and ideology, not Muslim.
 
Ibrahima Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna

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by: Sani Aliyu Hunkuyi(Mr.) from: Kaduna, Nigeria
April 21, 2014 2:00 AM
We want the VOA to use its professional journalism to investigate the allegation that Boko Haram is a conspiracy against Islam and against the Muslim North. The evidence to be investigated by VOA should include why northern Christians who were found to have links with Boko Haram but these findings were ignored by the authorities such as the instances in which Christians were caught attempting to bomb Churches but these persons were not thoroughly investigated to confirm the persons behind their deadly acts. For instance, the arrest and interrogation of a Christian called Yakubu Bityong by the Nigerian SSS on charges of financing Boko Haram the discoveries were not made public.
VOA should verify the roles played by Muslim ex-Presidents and Heads of State in suppressing what was viewed as Muslim insurgencies like the President Shehu Shagari and Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari. These Muslim Heads of State did not waste time in brutally dealing with similar incidence of Maitatsine in the early 1980s. Both Buhari and President Babangida arrested and jailed the pro-Iranian Muslim radical Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for preaching anti-government doctrines, even though El-Zakzaky and his followers had never carried any weapon and never attacked anyone. In fact, El-Zakzaky was against the burning of Churches during the Kanfanchan crisis riots and was still jailed by the then Muslim-Head of State.
VOA should investigate the story on the leader of Boko Haram who is widely known to be Muhammad Yusuf. The question we want the VOA to work closely with former President Obasanjo to investigate. It is because Obasanjo is generally viewed even among Muslims that he is a respected and patriotic citizen of Nigeria. He is in good position to help the VOA in investigating if it was true that Professor Jerry Gana had twice bailed the leader of Boko Haram Muhammad Yusuf. It can be confirmed by the VOA that Professor Jerry Gana is an elder in Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and he was a Minister under the former President Obasanjo. The VOA can do Google Search on the link of Professor Jerry Gana to Boko Haram and that there is no evidence to show that Prof.Jerry Gana had ever denied the story on his link to the leader of Boko Haram Muhammad Yusuf.
Nigerian Muslims widely believe that there is an international conspiracy being hatched against Islam and the Muslims worldwide. Some Muslims believe that the conspiracy is being financed by Israelites such that the sort of bombing taking place in Nigeria are seen to be similar to bombings that are happening in some Muslims dominated countries of the World and these are done to discredit Islam and to put Islam in bad light. We Muslims will remain firm in our belief to ALLAH as our God and we will continue to worship Him to the end of our lives. We call on those looking for true acceptable religion to accept Islam, in view of Islamic link to renown Prophets of ALLAH right from Adam through Abraham, Moses up to Prophet Jesus who the Christians claim to be following. No wonder that we see Muslims naming their children after these prophets of ALLAH including Isah(i.e Jesus name) and Prophet Muhammad(SAW) of Muslims is the last Prophet to be sent by ALLAH with Islam to teach mankind on how to worship ALLAH. That is why we see Islam is worldwide and Muslims are not allowed to criticize Jesus but to explain that Christians were misled in taking Jesus to be God instead of that Jesus was sent to teach mankind on how to worship God(i.e ALLAH) just as Prophet Muhammad of Muslims was last to be sent by God(i.e ALLAH).


by: U Umaru from: Maryland Usa
April 20, 2014 7:59 AM
The so called SSS in Nigeria is only good in torture for pay.They can't collect intelligence.The Boko Haram leader may be in a prominent muslim leaders house;just as Osama Bin Ladin was been kept by Pakistanis predending not to know.


by: Dan micky from: Owo Ondo State
April 20, 2014 2:01 AM
I surgest fedral govt should send armyforce to various school's to guard them. I pray may GOD hav mercy on us in nigeria.


by: m.abdul naser from: bangladesh
April 19, 2014 4:25 PM
This is a dangerous idiology to abduct innocent girls from the school.it is also more dangerous thing to use those girls as their wives in the name of holy religion without having any authority from holy al quran.we the muslims have to raise our efforts to end and dismantle those maniacs from our society as early as possible wherever we live by all means.I am very much shocked for the above abduction of the nigerian childrens and urgently requesting to the govt.to do early search and rescue operation by using all forces to console the parents who lost their loveones.


by: Joseph Wisgirda from: California
April 19, 2014 4:19 PM
Boko Haram are scum and cowards. Kidnapping young girls from a school is the act of desperate dogs without honor. Hey Boko Haram zealots : Come out from the shadows, give the girls back, and air your grievance like a man, not like little boys. Or do you lack the courage?


by: Abuja from: Africa
April 19, 2014 3:59 PM
hey VOA... these scumbags are not "gunmen"... they are Muslims, and you have no idea of the atrocities they are committing on these kidnapped children... tell it like it is... i simply don't hear the outrage from the UN... where are the condemnations... where are the denunciations... where are the calls for retributions...???


by: ali baba from: new york
April 19, 2014 3:48 PM
I hope that girls kidnapping will be a turning points for aggressive plan to eliminate boko harm . Islam has no shame. they were kidnapping little girls and raping them for the name of Allah. for west ,it is unusual. For me it is business as usual . .Muslim lobby wear a suit and tie and convince our lawyer whom graduated from Harvard and let our Harvard Lawyer believe that Islam is a peaceful religion because one million killed as a result of violence of peaceful Islam


by: Sweetpea Baker
April 19, 2014 3:39 PM
Hate crimes that are done by a group in the name of a religion, cast a great dishonor, not just to the people of that religion, but also to that religion itself. The people of Nigeria owe it to their own conscience to treat each other as they would treat their own family. If any of these kids are harmed, which is probably already the case, it will be a great disgrace to those who turned a blind eye, just because the proponents of terrorism were doing it in the name of their religion. Murder is murder. No group should be allowed to use the name of religion in forwarding a religious goal. That would be blaspheming the name of God.

In Response

by: Karen M. from: U S A
May 05, 2014 6:45 PM
Well it is clear that Satan is alive and well in Nigeria. These monsters who kill, rape and slaughter in the name of religion have no idea what God really wants. They are horrible creatures who carry out Satan's commands. What is worst of all in my mind is absolute silence from Muslims everywhere about this.
Where is the outrage. Why aren't there swarms of angry Muslims on the internet condemning these actions? Why are world leaders tiptoeing around when it comes to all the violence .
Why are the leaders of Islamic groups outraged? Silence is consent!

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