The Craig Fahle Show

Behind the Kidnapping of 270+ Girls in Nigeria

May 6, 2014

photo courtesy Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters

Wayne State History Lecturer Saeed Khan and Carl LeVan, Professor in the School of International Service at the American University, discuss the political and social scenario in Nigeria that led to the kidnapping of 270 school girls.

"Many of these conflicts are part of the same conflict that has been going on for the last 50 or 60 years since independence from the British."

Saeed Khan | History Lecturer, Wayne State University

On April 14, 2014 about 270 school girls ages 16 through 18 years old were abducted by an Islamic militant terrorist group from a boarding school in Chibok, a city in the northern state of Borno, Nigeria. Initially, the story did not receive much exposure until the families of the girls began protesting for their children's safe return. Many of the parents believe that their government has ignored the tragedy and needs to do more to address it.

Last Wednesday, April 30, crowds took to the streets in protest of the country’s parliament. According to BBC News, the Nigerian President agrees that the security forces are still unaware of the whereabouts of the nearly 270 school girls. A video released by the terrorist group Boko Haram [which, in English, means “western education is a sin"] shows the leader, Abubakar Shekau.

According to CNN, Shekau says

“I abducted your girls. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell them. He commands me to sell."

What's the larger conflict?

There is tension between the North, which is predominately Muslim, and the South, which is predominately Christian. The introduction of Sharia law to 12 Nigerian states has incited conflict for years since 2000.

Surrounding the kidnapping is a series of bombings in southern Nigeria.

Where is Nigeria?