Chicago-area Muslim groups condemn Nigerian kidnappings

Chicagoans with close ties to the region are condemning the kidnappings and keeping the missing Nigerian girls close to their hearts. (WLS)

May 7, 2014 10:00:00 PM PDT
Members of Chicago area Muslim groups are condemning the Nigerian kidnappings, many of whom have close ties to the region.

Chidinma Onyinye Uchendu, 21, known as Chi, will graduate from Loyola University Friday. Eight years ago, Chi's mother brought her daughter from Nigeria to the United States for an education, but celebrating a college degree is bittersweet knowing that close to 300 girls in her native country are being deprived of the same opportunity.

"Just think about the potential they are depriving our great nation," said Uchendu. "I cry and say God thank you for getting me to this point because I could have been one of them."

It's been almost three weeks since the Nigerian school girls were kidnapped in northeast Nigeria by the militant group Boko Haram, which opposes Western-style education, especially for females. The group's leader has threatened to sell the girls on the open market.

"I have family friends from that area," said Saki Adigun of the Nigerian Islamic Association, "and it's? bad."

Saki Adigun has had contact with families affected by the kidnappings. Adigun joined the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and other Chicago Islamic organizations to call on world leaders, including President Obama to help find the girls.

Many blame Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathon for not doing enough.

"He's the head of the government, he is president of Nigeria," said Adigun. "He could have done better."

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