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Special Report: Nigerian New Yorkers Incensed Over Nigerian Government's Handling of Teen Abductions

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TWC News: Special Report: Nigerian New Yorkers Incensed Over Nigerian Government's Handling of Teen Abductions
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Nigerian New Yorkers are incensed after the abduction of hundreds of school girls in their home country and local activists are demanding that the Nigerian government do more to protect students there. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed part one of her series.

When the Broadway hit "Fela" captivated audiences, it was the first time many Americans learned about the social injustices in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. It also highlighted Nigerians who fought back against corruption. Ogugua Iwelu was a chief consultant for the musical and he says the abduction of hundreds of girls in his country comes as no surprise.

"That's what Fela was talking about: inconsistencies—the government corruption, neglect. What we are going through right now are the properties of that action," Iwelu says.

A terrorist group, Boko Haram, is claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of more than 200 girls in mid-April and this week Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he will accept support from countries like the U.S., France and Great Britain to help track the students down.

Chika Onyeani is the publisher of the African Sun Times and condemns the governments slow response.

"The government can be blamed for not doing enough for not having the intelligence to find out where these girls are," Onyeani says.

Onyeani also fears Nigeria's military may have been infiltrated by the terrorist group on the day of the kidnapping.

"On the day they went there, they were dressed in Nigerian Army uniforms. They had Nigerian army trucks. Who are the people who are providing them with these things?" Onyeani asks.

Thanks to social media, the international community is now rallying support for the girls and African Activists are hopeful that the girls will be found safely sooner rather than later.

We talked to the United Nations, African Union, all of these entities and also our elected officials here in this country because this is really a human tragedy," says Sidique Wai of the United African Congress.

Nigerian officials are also offering more than $300,000 for information about the girls' whereabouts.

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