May 8, 2014 10:17 am

Nigerian students in Winnipeg work to help missing girls

Monica Igweagu, president of the University of Manitoba Nigerian Students Association, hopes their video helps spur the Nigerian government to act.

Global News

WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Nigerian Students Association is working to raise awareness of the missing schoolgirls in their home country.

They’ve joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign with a YouTube video pleading for the return of more than 200 girls abducted from a school in Nigeria.

“We feel like there’s not enough media out there on this information,” said Monica Igweagu, 23, the president of the association. “We felt like we shouldn’t have been quiet about it, because it could have been one of us.”

WATCH: Nigerian students plea for return of hundreds of schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Nigeria.

A group called Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping of more than 200 girls from the Chibox Government Girls Secondary School on April 14. The leader of the extremist Islamist group has threatened to sell the girls. There are contradictory reports about where the girls are and their wellbeing.

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RELATED: How Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls from Chibok

The video Igweagu and her fellow students made is a plea to the Nigerian government to act to bring back the girls.

“The point of the video is actually to reach out to the leaders to get them active,” Igweagu said.

“Please bring our girls back home. It’s time for them to go back to school,” one student says in the video, wiping his face.

Igweagu hopes more videos will be made to pressure the Nigerian government to do more, although speaking out isn’t typical Nigerian behaviour, she said.

“We’re more like people who sit in our houses and mourn and pray and hope it gets better, but we need to change that mentality. We need to start getting active,” Igweagu said.

There’s room for all to get involved, she added.

“Issues like this need international help. We need people from outside to get involved and help us.”

RELATED: Nigeria kidnappings: Canada offers equipment to locate Chibok girls

© Shaw Media, 2014

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