Local group of Nigerians react to violence in home country

Local group of Nigerians react to violence in home country

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The leader of Nigerian terror group Boko Haram is now offering to release the more than 200 captured schoolgirls in exchange for prisoners.

The Nigerian government is considering negotiating with the group nearly a month after armed men took the girls from a school.

Worried members of a Nigerian group with a presence in the Charleston area say the violence is giving their country a bad reputation.

Members want the Nigerian government to get rid of the turmoil.

Christian Ihemedu said, "I just pray that the international community and mostly the Nigerian government should do whatever it takes to return these girls home."

Ihemedu and Solomon Nkwocha are U.S citizens living in Charleston.

"Both of us were born in Nigeria," said Ihemedu.

They and many Nigerians around the world are outraged over the recent violence.

"The people are rising up now. The movement you see on the ground is because the people demanded something be done," said Nkwocha.

The men say a new wave of violence where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 school girls is causing turmoil in the country.

Nkwocka said, "Ever since the present president came into power. Prior to that, it was just quiet. The government seems to be powerless to really confront them or defeat them."

Nkwocha says there is no place in Nigeria for Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden."

"We can't have some group dictating that women are only meant for wives and cooking for their husbands or serving their husbands. Those days are over," said Nkwocha.

Nigeria, just over twice the size of California is a complex nation.

Ihemedu  said, "We have so many different tribes, and with this tribe comes different ideology, a different way of thinking, different languages."

Religion also plays a factor.

Those in the north are mostly Muslim and Christians and live mainly in the south where Ihemedu and Nkwocha were born.

Members of the group, Nigerian Community in Charleston, danced to music while celebrating the country's Independence Day last year.

Ihemedu and Nkwocha say the world should know Nigeria still has that spirit.

Ihemedu said, "So I want to reiterate that Nigeria at large, is a very peaceful nation and people are very peaceful people."

Nkwocka said there are around 75 families in the group Nigerian Community of Charleston. Their members are made up of area professionals.

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