First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a rare radio address to the nation where she highlighted the Mother’s Day weekend to speak out strongly against the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls by Islamist militants who have threatened to sell the girls into slavery.
“Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night,” Michelle Obama said Saturday in a weekly radio address usually reserved for President Barack Obama.
“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,” she said.
The First Lady is a formidable woman who correctly inserted herself into an international tragedy. As a mother of two daughters and a confidant to the president, Michelle Obama is signaling to the world that she takes a tough position on terrorists –especially when it involves the kidnapping of Black female students.
As First Lady, Michelle Obama has also taken on the role of a calm but authoritative leader in the White House during times of crisis. And it’s a welcomed one.
“I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find these girls and bring them home,” Mrs. Obama said.
“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams – and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now. Many of them may have been hesitant to send their daughters off to school fearing that harm might come their way. But they took that risk because they believed in their daughters’ promise and wanted to give them every opportunity to succeed.”
The Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram, which does not believe in girls attending school, has taken responsibility for the kidnapping, saying that they are selling the girls.
Although Muslim and Christians for the most part exist peacefully in the African country of 175 million people, fringe groups like Boko Haram oppose Western values, including educating girls.
The kidnapping has generated mounting outrage from the international community amid accusations that the Nigerian government did not move swiftly enough to rescue the missing girls.
The problem, for many, is this: there are no visible signs that the Nigerians are making any progress and with each passing day the gets colder. The United States, Britain, China and France have all offered help in the search since the girls were taken from their school in mid-April.
Last week, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan insists that he will track down the terrorists.