News / Africa

    Nigerians in US Rally for Kidnapped Girls Back Home

    Nigerians in US Rally for Kidnapped Girls Back Homei
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    Mariama Diallo
    May 07, 2014 1:22 AM
    The threat by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram to sell the scores of school girls it says it kidnapped three weeks ago has sparked outrage around the world and prompted calls for action. In the U.S., rallies were held Tuesday in Washington and New York to press for their freedom. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
    Mariama Diallo
    The threat by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram to sell the scores of school girls it says it kidnapped three weeks ago has sparked outrage around the world and prompted calls for action. 

    The United States says it will send a team of experts to Nigeria to help in the search for the more than 250 girls and Britain is offering help as well.  Eight more girls were reported kidnapped this week.

    Meanwhile, rallies were held Tuesday in Washington and New York to press for their freedom.
     
    They marched and brandished signs in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, calling for action.
     
    Nicole Lee, a human rights lawyer, said just because the kidnapping happened in Nigeria doesn’t mean people shouldn’t care.
    Crowds demand efforts increase to find kidnapped girls in Nigeria, in front of the Nigerian embassy in Washington, May 6, 2014. (Mariama Diallo/VOA)Crowds demand efforts increase to find kidnapped girls in Nigeria, in front of the Nigerian embassy in Washington, May 6, 2014. (Mariama Diallo/VOA)
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    Crowds demand efforts increase to find kidnapped girls in Nigeria, in front of the Nigerian embassy in Washington, May 6, 2014. (Mariama Diallo/VOA)
    Crowds demand efforts increase to find kidnapped girls in Nigeria, in front of the Nigerian embassy in Washington, May 6, 2014. (Mariama Diallo/VOA)

     
    “Everybody, no matter what our race or citizenship, needs to really care and understand that if it can happen there, it can happen here. Human trafficking is all over the planet,” said Lee. 
     
    Nigerian Omolola Adele-Oso, the lead organizer of Tuesday's rally, called on her government to do more.
     
    “It’s your responsibility to keep your citizens safe. It’s also the responsibility of the government that everyone should get a fair education and not live in fear,” said Adele-Oso.
     
    In a video released Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau claimed responsibility for the mid-April abduction of several hundred school girls and threatened to sell them.
     
    "Just because I took some little girls in [getting a] Western education, everybody is making noise… I took the girls and I will sell them off," he threatened.
     
    The announcement dismayed relatives and generated widespread outrage.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he spoke to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and promised help.
     
    “Our embassy in Abuja is prepared to form a coordination cell to provide expertise on intelligence and hostage negotiations and to help facilitate information sharing and victim assistance. President Jonathan was very happy to receive this offer and is ready to move on it immediately,” said Kerry.
     
    Yet some Nigerians have been critical of the government, saying President Jonathan's administration has not done enough to secure the girls' release. 
     
    And for Nigerians living abroad, the frustration of feeling helpless is tangible. At a New York rally, there were more calls for action. Bukola Oreofe, executive director of the Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum was among the participants.
     
    “What [President Jonathan] has to do is summon his security agencies, his armed forces, the intelligence agencies and go after Boko Haram,” said Oreofe.
     
    Nigeria just recently became Africa's biggest economy; outpacing South Africa’s. It hoped to highlight the sub-Saharan country's potential investment destination as it prepares to host its first World Economic Forum in a few days. But the event will most likely be overshadowed by the recent bombings and kidnapping incidents by the militant group Boko Haram. Right now what's trending on social media is not the WEF but the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

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    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 07, 2014 1:58 PM
    What a foolish joke to say he will sell the girls off on the market. Are they puppies, kids, kitten or chicken? They are not even babies, they are adults or semi adults, how can they be sold any way without them finding their ways back home? What I think is there is something going on in the globe which the ordinary eye cannot quickly see: the abduction in Nigeria is just one of the most horrendous of them in that the girls are taken alive and not presented as an accident mid sea but has a semblance of an aircraft that just disappeared mid air.

    How can those girls have been abducted and no one is ready to say what direction they were driven to; were they taken in a train, a bus, or canoe, a boat, or a car? How did it happen? But girls are missing, that is all we know. The inaction of the Nigerian government does not prove that those girls are not missing, but that someone well connected understands what's going on somewhere which they are not explaining to the ordinary citizen in the country.

    That brings the question to light whether all these name like Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hakani Network, and other faceless terrorist organizations do really exist. Are they not names formulated to deceive? Why are all of them Islamic? Is it because that is the only religion that has provided a hiding place for such evils to be accommodated in its principles and practice? Can Islam never change from providing this avenue for destruction to become a truly human religion so that those who trade is evil may look for other avenues? Surely if Islam will remove violence (jihad) from its principles and practice, those in search of ways to harm others will just easily be picked out before they get round to doing it.

    Now they have added kidnapping and stealing to the feathers in their cap. What a way to be abhorrent, Anti human!

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