Local Nigerians Plan Minn. Rally to Help Girls Kidnapped in Native Country

Updated: 05/08/2014 7:40 AM
Created: 05/07/2014 6:03 PM
By: Todd Wilson

Local Nigerians are following the kidnapping crisis in their homeland.

"I just wonder why anyone in their right frame of mind would do that, abduct innocent girls for no reason," said Adekola Adediran, President of the Minnesota Institute for Nigerian Development.

He says no one here in Minnesota that he knows of is directly affected by the kidnappings, but it doesn't stop them from checking daily on updates.

Nigeria is located in West Africa, and its population is more than 168 million people. For the most part, the north is primarily Muslim and the southis primarily Christian.

The girls have been missing for nearly three weeks, but President Goodluck Jonathan didn't speak out during that time. Wahutu James Sigutu with the University of Minnesota believes the president was moved to action through social media.

"The flip side of this is they are having an economic summit this weekend so everybody is flying into Nigeria. So that is forcing Goodluck's hand to say something about what's happening in his country," he said.

The country recently asked for help from France, Great Britain and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

 "More than three weeks have passed since the abduction, but little progress has been made towards freeing the girls," a mother recently said about the kidnappings. "There are reports that the girls are being forced into marriages with their captors and the leader of Boko Haram has openly threatened to sell them,"

Adediran is planning a rally Saturday.

South Africans protest in solidarity against the abduction three weeks ago of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram.
Photo: AP/Ben Curtis

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