Obama is MIA. Michelle addressed the country in what is usually president’s weekly address to the nation, delivering the weekly address for the first time since President Barack Obama took office. “Her invention” came as the disastrous consequences of Obama’s failed foreign policy and jihad denial continue to unfold.
Hiding behind his wife’s skirt.
It demeans the issue for Obama to throw Michelle out there — this isn’t about school obesity.
“Boko Haram abduct more people and force 3,000 from their homes,” By Harriet Alexander, Peter Foster, Telegraph, May 10, 2014
The wife and two children of a retired police officer have been abducted by Boko Haram, and 3,000 people have fled the town of Liman Kara, after yet another attack
Three thousand people have fled their homes in northern Nigeria, and the wife and two children of a retired policeman have been abducted, as Islamist militants launch another attack on the embattled region.
As the hunt for the missing 276 schoolgirls taken on April 14 continued, suspected Boko Haram militants continued their campaign of terror unabated.
Residents fleeing from the town of Liman Kara said that the insurgents blew up the bridge that links the states of Adamawa and Borno – both of which are under a military state of emergency. Liman Kara, on the border with Cameroon, has been plagued by attacks from the group for several years.
Abawu James Watharda, chairman of the local government, told AP that no one could count the dead because 3,000 survivors had fled Friday night’s attack on the town.
On Monday Boko Haram blew up another bridge, linking Nigeria to neighbouring Chad, as part of their attempts to prevent police from following them to their caves.
The abductions and carnage in Liman Kara came as Michelle Obama, the First Lady, took over the US president’s weekly address to the nation to call for the release of 276 kidnapped schoolgirls.
“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters,” she said of Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. “We see their hopes, their dreams – and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
Her intervention came at the end of a week of mounting international indignation at the abduction of the schoolgirls by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, whose name translates as “western education is forbidden”.
“Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken,” she said. “This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”
Delivering the weekly address for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, Mrs Obama used the opportunity to highlight both the particular plight of the missing Nigerian girls and the general deficit of education for girls in many countries around the world.
She praised both the courage of those girls who had returned to schools across northern Nigeria to take their exams despite terror threats against the school, and their parents for daring to let them go.
“Many of them may have been hesitant to send their daughters off to school, fearing that harm might come their way,” she said, “But they took that risk because they believed in their daughters’ promise and wanted to give them every opportunity to succeed.”
As British and American advisers deployed to Nigeria to assist in the search for the missing girls, international anger continued to grow. The United Nations Security Council issued a statement late on Friday evening demanding the “immediate and unconditional” release of the girls and promising to “consider appropriate measures” against Boko Haram.
Mrs Obama, in keeping with her self-appointed role as “First Mom” in which she has promoted the importance of study, exercise and healthy eating, also had a stern warning for any American children who were failing to fully grasp the privileges offered by their own birthplace.
“I hope that any young people in America who take school for granted – any young people who are slacking off or thinking of dropping out – I hope they will learn the story of these girls and recommit themselves to their education,” she said.
Noting that 65 million girls worldwide are not in school, Mrs Obama also cited the courageous example of the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who still campaigns for girls educational rights despite being shot in the face by the Taliban on her way to school.
“We know that girls who are educated make higher wages, lead healthier lives, and have healthier families. And when more girls attend secondary school, that boosts their country’s entire economy,” concluded Mrs Obama.
“So education is truly a girl’s best chance for a bright future, not just for herself, but for her family and her nation.”
The First Lady had joined the social media “hashtag campaign” to free the girls earlier last week, tweeting a picture of herself at the White House holding up the now ubiquitous “#BringBackOurGirls” slogan first coined by a Nigerian lawyer. Nigeria has the third most active population of Twitter users in Africa, after South Africa and Kenya.
Their distraught parents took to the streets of Chibok to demand action; when the government failed to answer their pleas, the protests spread beyond Borno state and were picked up in the capital, Abuja, and echoed around the world.
But it took Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, almost three weeks publicly to address the issue – by which time Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau, in a video obtained by AFP, claimed the abduction of the girls and threatened to “sell” them in the market as “slaves”.
With the pressure mounting on Mr Jonathan, he finally accepted David Cameron and William Hague’s offer of assistance – an offer which was first made as soon as the kidnapping took place. And on Friday the first British and American experts arrived in the capital, Abuja, to assist efforts to locate the girls.
On Saturday the Nigerian army said it had dispatched two divisions to hunt for the girls. The soldiers are stationed in the border region close to Chad, Cameroon and Niger and will work with other security agencies, said General Chris Olukolade, spokesman for the coutnry’s defence headquarters.
“The major challenge remains the fact that some of the information given here turned out in many occasions to be misleading,” he said. “Nevertheless, this will not discourage the collaborative efforts that are on-going.”
The air force has flown more than 250 sorties, a signals unit and the police are involved and a multinational task force has also been activated, he added.
Yet the authorities seem to be no closer to locating the missing teenagers.
Mr Jonathan said on Friday that he believes they are still in Nigeria, and have not been spirited away across the border to Cameroon or Chad. But criticism of his government’s response is growing – reinforced by claims from Amnesty International that the army in Maiduguri, 80 miles from Chibok, was warned four hours before the assault was launched, yet was incapable of preventing the attack.
On Saturday an open letter to the Nigerian government was published in The Financial Times, signed by 50 leading personalities, including former world leaders as well as the singer Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Muhammad Yunus, calling on the international community to do everything to ensure the return of the pupils.
“We urge all local, national and regional governments, with the full support of the international community, to dedicate their expertise and resources …to #BringBackOurGirls,” it read.
Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also signed the letter, as have numerous United Nations officials.
Pamela Geller is the Editor of PamelaGeller.com
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