Nigerian president 'impotent' in face of Muslim abduction of girls

crime | May 12, 2014 | By Martin Barillas

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja has called on the Nigerian government to save the hundreds of girls kidnapped by the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram. "We want concrete action to free the kidnapped girls", said Cardinal John Onaiyekan , the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja. According to CNA, the Nigerian churchman said "It is still more baffling that our president seems to be impotent. We have to see concrete action. Up until now, we are hearing practically nothing concrete on the issue. I think almost every Nigerian is taken aback. We cannot explain what is happening." Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been widely criticized for his government's response to terrorism.
 
 
Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped on April 14 from their boarding school in Borno, the northeastern-most state in Nigeria, by Boko Haram and sparked outrage the world over. Both President Obama and Michelle Obama have strongly condemned the abduction. Military and other security advisors from the United States, United Kingdom, and France, have been deployed to the petroleum-rich African nation to assist in efforts to rescue the girls and stem the tide of violence inspired by Boko Haram, which is affiliated with the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
 
So far, their fate is uncertain. According to some witnesses about fifty girls have been seen passing near the towns of Tiringoulou and Birao in the Central African Republic. According to some media reports, overnight on May 4, the girls were brought from Birao to Tiringoulou where they were taken on board an aircraft coming from Sudan. 
 
 
On May 12, Boko Haram has released a video in which proclaimed that the girls had converted to Islam. Most of them were Christian. In Nigeria, as in other countries afflicted by extremist Islam, girls and women are frequently raped and forced to abjure their religion in exchange for their lives. They are then forced to marry Muslim men. The leader of Boko Haram has since demanded the release of members of his organization who are currently imprisoned in Nigeria as a condition for the release of the girls. 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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