Monday, July 14, 2014

Nigeria: Update--Teen Celebrity Being Told Schoolgirls Abducted in April Will Be Returned Doesn't Make It So

According to Reuters, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan promised on Monday (July 14) that more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram  militants would "soon" return home, teenage Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai said after meeting him. 

COMMENT: It would have been far more transparent if Malala's meeting with President Jonathan had been televised.

Teenage girls by any name are not adults and unfortunately don't have the wariness and "street-smarts" of adults. They can only relate what they've been told by infinitely craftier politicians such as President Jonathan.

Malala, who became a global celebrity after surviving being shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, was visiting Nigeria to support an international campaign for the release of the teenage students abducted in mid-April by the Islamist insurgent group, Boko Haram.

Tragically, raising parents' hope that their daughters will be returned to them after so much time is tantamount to believing in a fairy tale and raising expectations when NEITHER Malala or President Jonathan have even a clue as to where the missing girls are or whether they'll ever return.

The Nigerian girls' plight triggered an international #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign supported by Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie that reinforced false hopes.

Such false hopes drew global attention to the war in Nigeria's northeast and the growing security risk that Boko Haram poses to Nigeria, Africa's leading energy producer.

"The President promised me...that the abducted girls will return to their homes soon," Malala, who has called the 219 missing students her "sisters," told a news conference after a 45-minute meeting with Jonathan.

Malala did not say whether the Nigerian leader had given her any fresh details of the military search operation for the girls to support his assurances. 

Although the nations of the UK, US, France, Israel and INTERPOL have been on-site for 2+ months, we are nowhere closer to knowing where the 219 schoolgirls are today than was known in April.

Malala added that President Jonathan had also promised that once the missing girls were rescued, they would be given scholarships to go to school in any part of Nigeria. Unfortunately, Jonathan made promises he knew that would never be kept.

Boko Haram, inspired by the Taliban, say they are fighting to establish an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria. The group, whose name means "Western education is sinful," has killed upwards of 10,000 people and abducted hundreds since launching an uprising in 2009. 

Now considered the main security threat to Nigeria, the insurgency is growing bolder by the day. 

Police said on Saturday (July 12) they had uncovered a plot to bomb the Abuja transport network using suicide bombers and devices concealed in luggage at major bus stations.