Home World Africa news Missing Nigeria girls: Malala Yousafzai meets President Goodluck Jonathan

Missing Nigeria girls: Malala Yousafzai meets President Goodluck Jonathan

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Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has reiterated in a new video message that he is prepared to negotiate a prisoner swap for them.

He also expressed support for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of a new Middle Eastern state.

Boko Haram sparked a global outcry when it abducted the girls three months ago.

Goodluck Jonathan’s government has faced strong criticism for not doing enough to curb violence by Boko Haram, especially in the wake of the kidnappings.

Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants

Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants

Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, met Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and urged him to meet the families of the kidnapped girls.

She also met relatives of the girls on Sunday, and expressed solidarity with them.

President Goodluck Jonathan has not spoken to the relatives, exactly three months after the abductions.

The military has also failed to debrief some of the girls who managed to escape from captivity, he says.

In a statement after his meeting with Malala Yousafzai, President Goodluck Jonathan said he would meet with the parents before they left Abuja “to personally comfort them and reassure them” that the government was doing “all within its powers to rescue their daughters”.

The notion that the government has not been doing enough to find and rescue the girls was “very wrong and misplaced”, the statement said.

“Terror is relatively new here and dealing with it has its challenges. The great challenge in rescuing the Chibok girls is the need to ensure that they are rescued alive,” Goodluck Jonathan said.


After meeting the parents, Malala Yousafzai said she understood their suffering.

“It’s quite difficult for a parent to know that their daughter is in great danger. My birthday wish this year is… bring back our girls now, and alive.”

Two years ago, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban militants for campaigning for girls’ education.

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