A member of the House of Representatives urges Buhari to negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
However, if it is about the Chibok girls, I support negotiating with Boko Haram. Life is precious. Anything that will bring the girls back is in order. Outside that, we should not negotiate with them. By the way who are we negotiating with? They have no agenda; nothing! They say they are anti book, yet they kill uneducated farmers. They say they are muslims, yet they kill Rasheeds and Ibrahims innocently selling goods at markets in the North East. Meanwhile, with Buhari who has deep background in military and security, I believe we will soon end them (Boko Haram). We also have to block corruption in the military.
The Pakistani schoolgirl meets with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria in the country’s capital, Abuja. Her visit is in support of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in Chibok, Nigeria on a few months ago. Over the weekend, Malala met some of the schoolgirls who were able to escape Boko Haram and the families of the missing girls, and promised to take their messages to President Jonathan. She urges President Jonathan to meet with the parents of the victims. The president says he will do so before they leave Abuja to reassure the family of the victims that the government is doing everything it can to rescue the girls. Jonathan:
Terror is relatively new here and dealing with it has its challenges. The great challenge in rescuing the Chibok girls is the need to ensure that they are rescued alive.
The 62 women and girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria last month escape from Boko Haram militants. The women were able to escape when their captors left the camp to attack military and police in Damboa. Bukar Kyari, a local vigilante fighting Boko Haram in Maiduguri, says:
The women seized that rare opportunity to escape when they realized they were alone in the camp. But we still have five women, including a nursing mother, missing.
This group is believed to still be holding 200 missing schoolgirls that were abducted 80 days ago in Chibok.
After talks between the African Union and the United Nations in New York, Uganda’s ambassador says the African Union is involved in the search and using a wide range of measures. He describes the AU’s involvement as:
…quiet diplomacy, because some of this information, we don’t want it to reach those who abducted the children. There are intensified efforts and a number of countries are helping Nigeria. Now some of those efforts cannot come into the public, but these efforts are there, and we are hoping that these girls can be recovered very soon.
As #BringBackOurGirls groups seek a court order to block the ban, Nigerian police announce that they will again allow peaceful rallies that urge the government to act on getting the girls released. However, the police also say there is a risk that Boko Haram supporters will attack the demonstrations and advise those who want to attend to “seek proper advice and guidance from the police” in order to “avoid any unpleasant circumstances.”
Nigerian police ban demonstrations in the capital city of Abuja that demand the government rescue the girls. Commissioner Joseph Mbu notes that the proliferation of protests there is posing a serious security threat and says:
I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness. Information reaching us is that too soon dangerous elements will join the groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosive(s) aimed at embarrassing the government. Accordingly protests on the Chibok Girls is hereby banned with immediate effect.
The Borno State education commissioner says that four girls have escaped. The commissioner declines to give any further details about it. There are still 219 missing girls. Nigeria’s “This Day Live” reports that the four girls were discovered after education authorities opened data pages for families of all the girls.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh reports that Nigeria’s military knows where the kidnapped girls are but won’t use force to rescue them:
We want our girls back, I can tell you that our military can and will do it but where the girls are held; can we go there with force? Nobody should say that the Nigerian military does not know what it is doing; we can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back. So we are working, the President has empowered us to do the work. If there is anyone castigating the military; definitely, there is something wrong with that person. The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are but we cannot tell you that. We cannot come and tell you the military secret; just leave us alone, we are working to get the girls back.
A Pentagon spokesman tells CNN that the US cannot confirm Badeh’s report.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama reports that 80 US troops have deployed to Chad as a drone launch-and-recovery team. The president says they will remain as long as their support in resolving the kidnapping situation is needed. Other US resources in the area include a Global Hawk drone and the MC-12 Liberty reconnaissance plane.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan cancels his visit to the scene of the Boko Haram led kidnapping of more than 300 Nigerian girls from the Northeastern village of Chibok. Instead, Jonathan is flying from the capital Abuja to the Boko Haram summit in Paris to discuss the kidnapping and insecurity in Nigeria.
Members of a Nigerian village kill dozens of people they suspect to be Boko Haram members planning a new attack on their village. The villagers take control of two trucks they believe to be carrying Boko Haram members, detaining ten people and killing at least 41 alleged Boko Haram fighters.
The Nigerian government is considering “all options” when it comes to freeing nearly 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, including negotiating with Boko Haram or a possible military operation with foreign aid. These actions are spurred by the fear that the girls could be sold into slavery or married off to Boko Haram fighters.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan accepts an offer of assistance from Israel. The United States, United Kingdom and France already have sent experts and equipment to assist the Nigerian military in finding the more than 200 missing girls. China has also offered to help. Jonathan’s spokesman says the president told [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu that Nigeria would be pleased to have Israel’s globally acknowledged anti-terrorism expertise deployed to support its ongoing operations.
US Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel says it won’t be easy to find the girls, but assistance at this point does not include the use of US troops.
The video, which was obtained by AFP, shows Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau claiming that the girls have converted to Islam. He says they will not be released until all of the group’s prisoners in Nigeria are freed.
Speaking on the eve of Mother’s Day, Michelle Obama condemns the kidnapping in the White House weekly radio and Internet address. She asks the nation to pray for the girls’ safe return and for their families. She also notes that 65 million girls around the world aren’t in school and stresses the importance of education everywhere.
In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.
This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls. Let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time, and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright
Fox News Radio’s John Gibson decries “Hashtag activism”:
I would love to see the girls freed. I would love to see Boko Haram wiped out. But for the life of me I cannot figure out how hashtagging helps. Except. To. Make. The. Hashtagger. Feel. Good. About. Himself.
Limbaugh criticizes the Twitter campaign in response to the Nigerian Kidnappings:
I just think this is pathetic. I’m just stunned. We got 300 Nigerian girls kidnapped by an Al-Qaeda group, and nobody cared or talked about it for a while. Hillary wouldn’t call ’em a terror group. Now, all of a sudden, for some reason, we’re on a big push to get ’em back and this is how…?
But are we really this powerless? The correct way to look at this is the audience that will see it — the Twitter, low-information universe — will say, “Oh, Mrs. Obama! At least they care, and at least they’re trying to do something.” If somebody — sadly, unfortunately — had a family member kidnapped, this is might be what they would do, right They’d go to Twitter and say, “Bring back my daughter.” I find it just sad. I mean, this is pathetic, the message this sends to people around the world.
Celebrities including First Lady Micelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, Angelina Jolie and Mary J. Blige lend their support to a Twitter #bringbackourgirls hashtag campaign
Abubakar Shekau appears in a video, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping and threatening to sell the girls:
I abducted your girls. By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace
An intermediary who has said Boko Haram is ready to negotiate ransoms for the girls also said two of the girls have died of snakebites and about 20 are ill. He said Christians among the girls have been forced to convert to Islam.
Secretary of State John Kerry pledges US help in the search and rescue effort in Nigeria. While the secretary mentions no specifics, a senior State Department official traveling with Kerry tells reporters the help will include security, communications and intelligence aid. The US is not yet directly involved.
We don’t see this as just being a security problem. There are broader issues here that . . . relate to how the government works with people in these communities.
The principal of the government school where the kidnapping occurred, tells CNN that at least 230 girls are missing, based on parent reports and a review of records. The provincial governor’s office puts the number at 234, 129 of them science students and 105 art students. The confusion, says the governor’s spokesman, happened because the art students didn’t leave campus as expected and the dormitory head didn’t count them as missing.
Terrorists break into a girls’ school in Chibok, Nigeria, shooting guards and abducting about 200 students. Some 30 girls escape. No one takes credit for the act, but it’s assumed to be the work of Boko Haram, an extremist group linked to al-Qaida.
There is confusion about the number of kidnapped girls. According to the Associated Press, parents say that 234 girls are missing. However, other sources report that 129 were initially kidnapped, but some escaped, leaving the total missing at 85. Parents, say these sources, are afraid to bring their daughters out for a head count. The discrepancy in figures can’t be readily resolved.