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City, state leaders protest for Nigerian kidnapping victims - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Local leaders protest for Nigerian kidnapping victims

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Protesters from Nigeria and several other African countries joined local leaders to speak out in support of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

"They've been gone for over a month now," said Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, District 54. "That's far too long," she added. "We've been far too silent."

Eutibe Aluyi grew up in Nigeria and attended a boarding school similar to kidnapped students. "People are now in fear," she said. "They don't want to go back to schools, and that not acceptable. If girls don't go to school, then that means there is no future for their families."

The protesters added two more words to the slogan, "Bring back our girls now. Bring back our girls alive." This week, the Islam extremist group responsible for the kidnappings, Boko Haram, released video of the girls alleging they been converted to Islam.

"It is not fair for anyone to go and take people's children," said Mary Lari Tsado. "I am sure he has a village. He didn't go to his village to abduct children because he knows it is not right."

Friday, Miss Africa USA 2013 Kathy Onwu - who is a Nigerian native - said the Nigerian government has to be careful taking on the dangerous rebel group.

"I know that the president is really nervous not knowing what to do, and it could it good really good or really bad," she said. "As far as negotiation is concerned, we are a really young country, and we have to be wise in our decision-making."

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said at a press conference Saturday in Paris, Boko Haram is no longer a local terrorist group but is functioning as an Al Queda operation.

Local protesters say they want more action from the U.S. and more support from local government.

"I know that there are petitions being taken being sent to our government officials, our congress members, our senators and also our president to let them know that we think it's important that they put resources into bringing our young girls back and to bring them back now," Gilmore said.

In the international meeting Saturday, world leaders said Boko Haram is set to get larger and more serious, threatening global peace.

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