Nigeria Defends Its Actions as More Girls Abducted

Nigeria's president says his government may not say much, but it is working to bring back the girls taken by Boko Haram gunmen.

One of the mothers of the missing schoolgirls wipes her tears as she cries during a rally.
One of the mothers of the missing schoolgirls wipes her tears as she cries during a rally. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

On the heels of heavily armed suspected Boko Haram gunmen storming into a northeastern Nigeria village Tuesday night and kidnapping eight more girls, Nigeria’s government is defending what many have criticized as an ineffective response.

“The president and the government [are] not taking this as easy as people all over the world think,” Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told CNN.

Jonathan continues to be criticized for what many have said was his government’s lack of immediate response to the initial abductions. The Nigerian government continues to defend its response even as details emerged Tuesday about the second abductions, CNN reports.

“We’ve done a lot—but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.”

Okupe told CNN that the government has two special battalions that have been devoted to the search for the missing girls. While it is unclear if these troops were recently dispatched or already searching prior to global outrage behind the abduction, Okupe told CNN that additional troops are on the way. He also noted that helicopters and airplanes have searched 250 locations.

The latest kidnapping believed to be carried out by Boko Haram involved eight girls ages 12 to 15, Reuters reports.

“They were many, and all of them carried guns.They came in two vehicles painted in army color. They started shooting in our village,” Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe, where the attack happened, told Reuters.

A police source told the newswire that the girls were taken away on trucks, along with food.

The Islamist rebels are still holding more than 200 girls they have claimed responsibility for abducting from a secondary school on April 14. There is no confirmation that the latest abduction was carried out by the group.