Houstonians join nationwide rallies for kidnapped Nigerian girls

050414_video_AM_10pmnigeriaprotest (KTRK)
May 4, 2014 9:15:29 PM PDT
Rallies for school girls kidnapped in Nigeria were held across the world this weekend, including right here in Houston.

It's been almost three weeks since nearly 300 teenage girls were taken from their boarding school in a mass kidnapping that has since been heard around the world. On Sunday, Houstonians joined the fight to get those girls hom with a demonstration on the corner of Westheimer and Post Oak.

"Over 250 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in Nigeria," protestor Uchenna Udobi said.

"We're asking them, begging and pleading that they bring back our girls," added Joanne Nwaogu.

The Nigerian government says on April 15, 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school by Islamic terrorists. Nkiru Nnadi can't help but feel a personal connection.

"I went to high school in Nigeria in a boarding school and the nightmare it would have been to be taken away from where my parents have trusted and kept me to get an education," Nnandi said.

The girls have been abducted by a terrorist group called Boko Haram, whose name in their local language means "western education is a sin." The girls were considered to be heroes in their families for getting an education. Now the terrorists are auctioning them off.

"They are selling these girls for $12, using them as slaves," said Nwaogu. "These are young children, beautiful young girls that deserve to have a life."

Nigerians have been calling on their own government to do more to find the missing girls. And pleas for help have spread across the globe from protests in London to the National Mall in Washington and on Sunday, to one near the Galleria.

Everyone agrees more needs to be done.

"It is a dire need," said Nwaogu. "It is very imperative. You're talking about people's daughters. Imagine if your daughter was taken from you."

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