Nigeria’s President Refused Help for Weeks in Search for Kidnapped Girls — Infiltration by Islamic Extremists May Be Reason

Protestors hold placards as they demonstrate outside Nigeria House in central London on May 9, 2014, to demand the return of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram Islamist group. (Image source: AFP/Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s president for weeks refused international help to search for more than 300 girls abducted from a school by Islamic extremists, one in a series of missteps that have led to growing international outrage against the government.

The British Foreign Office says the United Kingdom offered help the day after the mass abduction. And the U.S. has said its embassy and staff agencies offered help “from day one” of the crisis, according to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yet it was only this week that Nigeria accepted help from the U.S., Britain, France and China.

The delay underlines an apparent lack of urgency from the government and military to find the girls, for reasons that include a reluctance to bring in outsiders as well as possible infiltration by the extremists.