Congresswoman Wilson speaks at rally for kidnapped girls
By Derek Joy
The sun rose hot over Rolling Oaks Park in Miami Gardens as people gathered for the rally with athletes playing basketball on the courts in the background.
Dr. Yinka Tella, a counselor at Broward College and Nigerian native, organized the rally to garner support for the #bringbackourgirls social media campaign. Terrorists kidnapped 300 girls from their Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria on April 15.
“We’re trying to mobilize international support for the 300 girls who were kidnapped in northeastern Nigeria one month ago,” said Tella. “They’re claiming they’re Muslims. We know they’re not. They’re claiming they’re fighting for a cause. We know they’re not.
“They’re terrorists, anarchists and warmongers. While some of the girls escaped while being transported, there are nearly 300 still living as sex slaves under the threat of murder. It shows mans inhumanity to man.”
Boko Haram, billed as an Islamic extremist terrorist network, has claimed credit for the kidnappings. Boko Haram, according to Tella, means “Western education is taboo.
That terrorist network has resisted the inclusion of western values, particularly educating females, into Nigerian culture. They have been blamed for some 1,500 deaths this year in Nigeria.
“I’m so upset,” said El Portal Village Mayor Daisy M. Black. Basically, when I think about it, those girls didn’t want to be a part of that. They’ve had their lives taken away from them.
“These girls didn’t have a choice. It’s human trafficking. They’re being sold in other countries, forced to have sex with and marry men they don’t know and didn’t choose to be in their lives.”
Congresswoman Federica Wilson of Miami, (Dem., District 24), was the featured speaker. Wilson won bipartisan support in Congress in crafting a Resolution demanding American and international support for the girls. Congress will vote on it this week.
“I stand with you today demanding we bring back our girls,” Wilson told the mostly Nigerian American participants. “I can’t even imagine what it’s like for these girls, their mothers, their fathers, their sisters, their brothers, their families.
“I’m outraged that President Good luck Jonathan didn’t show up when the girls were kidnapped. He did nothing to prevent them from being kidnapped.
“I’m putting the U. S. House of Representatives firmly on notice to condemn this kind of terrorism,” added Wilson, while noting “more than 100 Members of Congress have signed her Resolution.”
As a part of the overall effort to garner the international sup-port, the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians in South Florida aim to secure 100,000 signatures on a petition by May 25, which they plan to submit to President Barack Obama.
“Nothing like that happened when I was growing up,” said Miami Gardens Councilman Ehrabor Ighodaro, a Nigerian native who is a criminal justice professor at Florida Memorial University. “This is a recent phenomenon. There are multiple causes. The grievances the extremists have are an infiltration of western values they consider in conflict with their values.”
Ighodaro who has seven- year- old twin daughters – Esosa and Idia, said: “I can’t imagine them being abducted. I applaud President Obama for the stance he has taken against this act of terrorism. You can’t muddy the water talking strictly military intervention.”
The overwhelming thought is that Boko Harem committed this act to influence the Presidential election this year. The group is said to prefer a President from northern Nigeria who is isn’t supportive of western culture and education for females.
Said Wilson: “Education is truly a girl’s best chance for a brighter future, especially in Nigeria.”