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Activist: Nigerian government should do more to protect its citizens

Saturday - 5/31/2014, 2:42pm  ET

Nigerian rally (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
It's been several weeks since 200 school girls were kidnapped by a Nigerian extremist group. On Saturday, a group of Nigerians rallied outside the Nigerian Embassy in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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WASHINGTON -- It was a cry to refocus on the more than 200 school girls who were kidnapped more than one month ago by terrorists in Nigeria.

On Saturday, a group of mostly Nigerians rallied outside the Nigerian Embassy in Northwest D.C.

The group wanted the Nigerian and American governments to do something to help bring the girls home. And the crowd sent the message in a song: "All we are saying is bring back our girls."

"The Nigerian government has to do more to protect the citizens of Nigeria," says Margret Bidi, a former vice president of the Zumunta D.C. chapter, an association of Northern Nigerians from the country's 19 northern states. "These activities have been allowed too long."

Bidi says the Nigerian government has let BoKo Haram, an Islamic extremist group, impose its agenda on the country. "It is targeting women and it is targeting Christians," Bidi claims.

BoKo Haram believes in Sharia law -- which, in part, is a set of Islamic principles implemented in Muslim countries. In the end, Bidi says, the BoKo Haram agenda is harmful to Nigeria.

"We see them come in different names -- BoKo Haram or Al Qaeda, or whatever -- we still know that they are under one umbrella," Bidi continues. "The northern part of Nigeria is being destroyed by this agenda: bombing places, destroying schools and stopping children from going to school, strikes at universities, [and] schools open very few months a year."

Despite all that, Bidi claims the Nigerian government has ignored the plight.

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