Nigerian cardinal calls for action to free kidnapped girls

Cardinal John Onaiyekanal

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja has called for 'concrete action' to save the hundreds of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, saying his country is 'ashamed' by the failure to find them, reports the Catholic News Agency.

'Up until now we are hearing practically nothing concrete on the issue,' Cardinal Onaiyekan told Vatican Radio on May 6. 'I think almost every Nigerian is taken aback. We cannot explain what is happening.'

'It’s still more baffling that our president seems to be impotent. We have to see concrete action.'

Nearly 300 girls, most of them aged between 16 and 18, were kidnapped April 14 from their boarding school in Borno, Nigeria's northeastern-most state, by members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009 and hopes to impose sharia law on Nigeria. It has targeted security forces, politicians, Christian minorities, and moderate Muslims in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north. There are 276 girls still in captivity, while 53 escaped, the Associated Press reports.

The schools in the area had been closed due to the threat of Boko Haram; Cardinal Onaiyekan said there was supposed to be security at the school, which had temporarily reopened so that the girls could take final exams.

FULL STORY Nigerian cardinal urges action to free kidnapped girls (CNA)

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