Families of some of the missing schoolgirls in north-east Nigeria are preparing to meet the country’s President today, more than a month after their children were abducted.
President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to make an official visit to the village of Chibok today after mounting political pressure to show his face in the place where the extremist group Boko Haram seized hundreds of girls last month.
Mr Jonathan has been pilloried for his failure to appear in Borno state since the first group of girls were seized on 14 April. His critics argue the prolonged absence shows he does not care about the remote communities affected. As international attention on the plight of the abducted girls has risen, so too has pressure on the President to make a public show that he is bothered by their disappearance and is doing something about it.
In pictures: Nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls
In pictures: Nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls
A total of 276 girls were abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing
One of the kidnapped girls looks into a camera
One of the missing girls talking to the camera
The missing Nigerian schoolgirls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram alleging they had converted them to Islam
Girls wearing the full-length hijab holding a flag reading "There is no god, but Allah" and "Mohammed is Allah's prophet"
A man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau
Abubakar Shekau speaks on the video
Girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying are filmed by an unidentified man (R) in an undisclosed rural location
People carry signs as they attend a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos
A protester demonstrates against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London
Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Prime Minister David Cameron appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme
People participate in a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign demonstration and candlelight vigil in Los Angeles
Girls holding heart shaped banners in a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign demonstration and candlelight vigil in Los Angeles
14/19 South Africa
South Africans protest in solidarity against the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram and what protesters said was the failure of the Nigerian government and international community to rescue them, during a march to the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg
Karilyn Coates (10) joins others in a candlelight vigil for the more than 300 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Colorado Springs
Mothers of the missing Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists gather to receive informations from officials. Nigeria's president said that Boko Haram's mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls would mark a turning point in the battle against the Islamists, as world powers joined the search to rescue the hostages
Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division (3rd L) Obiageli Ezekwesilieze speaks as she leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom in Abuja
18/19 Bring Back Our Girls
Kelly Hoppen tweeted: 'Please make sure you do this, we must stand together and not forget them'
19/19 Bring Back Our Girls
E.L. Rock Star tweeted: 'Join The Movement'
Mr Jonathan asked France to arrange a Paris security summit last week with neighbours Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin, and officials from America, Britain and the EU to discuss a co-ordinated response. He is expected to fly to Paris shortly after today’s visit in Chibok.
The Nigerian government’s handling of the threat from Boko Haram has also come under international criticism. A senior US Defence Department official hit out at the nation’s failure to deal with the Islamic extremist group. Alice Friend, the Pentagon’s principal director for African affairs, said: “In general Nigeria has failed to mount an effective campaign against Boko Haram.” She added that Washington had been “deeply concerned” for some time by how much the Nigerian government had “struggled to keep pace with Boko Haram’s growing capabilities”.
Ms Friend said it was more troubling that Nigerian security forces were committing atrocities during operations against the group, which means American human rights law would bar providing any assistance.Reuse content