Late last night TV new anchor, T.J. Holmes tweeted the above in regards to the Nigerian girls abducted at the hands of Islamic organization that feels that “Western education is sin.” A Nigerian reporter claimed that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was “spurred into action” by the social media outrage over the missing girls. Goodluck Jonathan has also asked for international help. It’s about time, considering the number has grown from 234 to almost 300. “The Nigerian military is saying the number of missing girls is above 300,” reporter Alexis Okeowo said. So what is the Nigerian President doing to #BringBackOurgirls?
“Wherever these girls are, we’ll get them out,” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed Sunday. He also said that he’d sought help from the President Barack Obama, and also approached other world powers including Britain, France and China for help on security issues. “This is a trying time for this country… it is painful,” he said, and pleaded for the cooperation of parents, guardians and the local communities in the rescue efforts.” While it’s a beautiful thing that President Goodluck Jonathan is attempting to find these girls, there’s still a chance they may not be found.
“We will get over our [security] challenge,” Goodluck Jonathan stated, adding that Nigerians were “justified if they expressed their anger against government” over the perceived slowness in rescuing the girls who were kidnapped from their hostel in Chibok town, in northeast Borno state, on April 14.
Over the weekend, US Secretary of State John Kerry promised Nigeria some much needed help, “The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice,” Kerry said.
The United States is sharing intelligence with Nigeria to help find the girls and according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation: “We are sharing intelligence that may be relevant to this situation. You are going to see a focus on this in all three channels of government: diplomatic, intelligence and military,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.
The United States could offer satellite imagery and electronic intelligence such as communications intercepts. U.S. Africa Command has long been helping Nigerian forces improve their training and operations to counter Boko Haram militants. My question is–why hasn’t it been working? And furthermore…where in the world are the girls?! Reports claim that some of the girls were taken across Nigeria’s borders to Cameroon and Chad, parents said last week, quoting villagers. And many sources say some of the girls have been sold off into marriage for a mere $12.
The latest report on CNN is reporting that a man, claiming to be a Boko Haram leader plans on selling them. “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse. “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language.
Access to education is a basic right and is not a valid reason to target innocent girls. We’ve got to do all we can to stand up against terrorism. In recent years, Boko Haram has carried out dozens of attacks, killing hundreds of people at schools, churches, police stations, government buildings and more. Targets include Christians, senior Islamic figures critical of Boko Haram and people the group believes are engaged in “un-Islamic” behavior, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says. This particular attack is bold, unprecedented and should evoke fear as it shows just how brazen the Boko Haram is in attacking defenseless children.
A special thanks goes out to those of us in the United States who care enough to rally. Many people joined forces in NYC’s Union Square for a #BringBackOurGirls rally, where they urged women to wear African headwraps. The result was a sea of beautiful African colors and angry people, wanting to ignite a fire. Thankfully, that fire was large enough to be noticed and caused President Goodluck Jonathan to finally make some moves towards finding these young girls. I’m keeping my eyes on this story.
TAKE ACTION: Sign the Change.org petition that has been created so that this situation can be given the right level of coverage in international media and be addressed as a priority issue by the UNICEF, UNWomen and other international organization that can put significant pressure on the Nigerian Government to intensify its search efforts.
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