News / Africa

    Obasanjo: Some Nigerian Schoolgirls May Never Return

    Two Months Later, Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Still Missingi
    X
    Heather Murdock
    June 13, 2014 4:54 PM
    Two months ago, in mid-April, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their schoolhouse in northeastern Nigeria. Since then, nationwide--even worldwide--protests have demanded their return and countries around the globe have offered to help. But the girls remain missing. For VOA, Heather Murdock reports from Abuja that analysts say the time for ordinary solutions is over.
    Heather Murdock
    Some of the schoolgirls abducted by militant group Boko Haram may never return home, Nigeria's influential former president Olusegun Obasanjo said, in some of the most pessimistic comments yet on their fate from a member of the country's elite.
     
    Obasanjo said President Goodluck Jonathan's administration had taken too long to respond to the April mass abduction. Once Jonathan's mentor and one of his strongest political allies, Obasanjo turned against him last December.
     
    “I believe that some of them will never return. We will still be hearing about them many years from now,” Obasanjo told the BBC's Hausa-language radio service on Thursday, in comments echoed in an interview with Nigeria's Premium Times website.
     
    The warning from Obasanjo, who stepped down in 2007 and nurtured Jonathan's own rise to power, will dismay parents who have now waited 60 days for any news of their daughters, taken from a school in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria.
     
    Obasanjo's criticisms underline divisions within his and Jonathan's ruling People's Democratic Party, heightened by the failure of the government and army to rescue the girls and by political jostling ahead of presidential elections due in 2015.
     
    “If you get all of them back, I will consider it a near-miracle ... Do you think they (Boko Haram) will hold all of them together up till now? The logistics for them to do that, holding over 200 girls together, is too much,” Obasanjo said, according to Premium Times.
     
    “If the administration had acted quickly, we could have rescued them,” he said.
     
    Pressure
     
    Boko Haram, which wants to set up an Islamist caliphate in Africa's largest economy, has fought back against an army offensive and killed thousands in bomb and gun attacks, striking as far afield as the central city of Jos and the capital Abuja.
     
    “As these events get reported, it's bringing far more publicity for their (Boko Haram's) cause and it's putting pressure on the Nigerian government,” Martin Roberts, a senior Africa analyst at research firm IHS, told Reuters.
     
    Activists have staged regular street protests demanding that Jonathan step up efforts to free the girls. The president has also faced hostile media coverage and a vociferous global #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign.
     
    Jonathan has traded accusations over the failure to crush Boko Haram with the main opposition party, which runs local authorities in the northeastern regions at the heart of the five-year-old revolt.
     
    Obasanjo, twice president and a powerful political godfather, has progressively fallen out with Jonathan. In a letter leaked in December, he said any decision by Jonathan to seek a second term in the 2015 poll would be “morally flawed”.
     
    Jonathan has not confirmed he will run again, but campaign-style posters and banners bearing his image have sprung up around the capital.
     
    His assumed ambition to seek re-election is a thorny issue in religiously mixed Nigeria, where alternating the presidency between the majority Christian south and the mostly Muslim north has been considered an unwritten rule.
     
    Jonathan, a southern Christian, was vice president and came to power when President Umaru Yar'Adua, a northern Muslim, died in May 2010, three years into his first term.
     
    Underlining the growing pressure for more action on Boko Haram, Nigeria's defense ministry said on Thursday it was studying the military tactics used by Sri Lanka to crush the island nation's rebel Tamil Tigers.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: babalola biodun from: Lagos,Nigeria
    June 13, 2014 2:25 PM
    By not returning of the abducted girls will surely have negative effect on 2015 presidential election.This issuse of boko-haram is an international issue and not just only Nigeria or Jonathan case. The insurgent use different name in different countries.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora