This past Saturday, May 3, 2014, this writer joined one of the many vigils taking place across the country to rally and pray for the safe return of the Nigerian girls kidnapped in Chibok Government Girls Secondary School, an elite academy of both Muslim and Christian girls, mid-April 2014. We met at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Men, women and children stood in solidarity for their safe return. We were joined by sisters from Nigeria and Liberia who shared stories about their individual experiences on the continent.
Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram’s alleged leader, Abubakar Shekau, has come forward claiming in a video, “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.”
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sin,” was declared a terrorist organization in November 2013 by the Obama administration. Their 200 heavily armed militants in 20 pickup trucks and more than 30 motorcycles, deceived the girls into thinking they were there to save them from criminals. The Islamic extremists set the school on fire.
During the hourlong rant, the leader also said, “Girls, you should go and get married.”
The parents of the abducted girls refuse to speak with media, fearing the backlash it may cause their daughters. One report claims that at least two of the girls have passed away due to snake bites and 20 are ill.
The names of the Nigerian girls have been released. Please pray for their safety and return to their families.
See the list of names after the jump.