Demand for the safe return of more than 234 missing Nigerian school girls has spread to New York and the U.S. Senate.
Frustrated U.S. citizens have taken their support for the kidnapped students and their families from social media to the streets. Not satisfied with simply showing solidarity through a hashtag, people gathered in New York and D.C. over the weekend to continue calling global attention to the abduction of the young ladies.
In New York, supporters gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square on Saturday to call out the Nigerian government and the U.N. for their ineffective attempts to handle the mass abduction.
“I am angry!” Makho Ndlovu of Brooklyn shouted during the rally , according to the New York Daily News. “It makes no sense that girls can be abducted and the world doesn’t care. I am angry! To the Nigerian government, our eyes are watching. To Barack Obama, our eyes are watching. To the United Nations, our eyes are watching.”
In Washington D.C., supporters gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to add their voices to the movement.
Meanwhile, a new U.S. Senate resolution about the situation has been introduced. Senator Barbara Boxer of California announced the measure, condemning the mass abduction. The bipartisan resolution is also being backed by Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). It states that they are urging “the U.S. to assist in efforts to rescue the students.”
Sadly it seems that there may actually be more girls missing than previously believed. According to the Associated Press, the number of kidnapped girls is now being estimated at more than 300. One Nigerian police official has stated that 53 of those girls have managed to escape, which is more than what had been reported before.
The number of abductees could continue to rise, however, as Police Commissioner Tanko Lawan revealed during a press conference in Borno, Nigeria that students from several schools had been brought to Government Girls Secondary School for final exams.
“The students were drawn from schools in Izge, Lassa, Ashigashiya and Warabe A.” Commissioner Tanko said. “That is why, after the unfortunate incident, there were various numbers flying around as to the actual number of girls that were taken away.”
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#BringBackOurGirl: Parents, social media demand return of 234 missing Nigerian girls