Editor’s note: Some fresh disturbing accusations have been leveled against the United States Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton on July 20, Wednesday.
Charges against Hillary Clinton
On Tuesday night in Cleveland, Chris Christie leveled serious charges against Hillary Clinton on her policy record in Syria, Libya, and Russia. But Christie really brought the wahala when he accused Clinton of having some sort of culpability for the 2014 kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.
In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al-Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list. What happened because of this reckless action by the candidate who is the self-proclaimed champion of women around the world? These terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young girls two years ago.
These schoolgirls are still missing today
What was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign! Hillary Clinton, as an apologist for an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria resulting in the capture of innocent young women, guilty or not guilty?
Fact-check time: It is true that the State Department under Hillary Clinton did delay putting Boko Haram on the foreign terrorist organization (FTO) list for a variety of valid reasons. My Post colleague Glenn Kessler gave a great rundown of the complicated issue back in 2014, noting importantly that the Nigerian government was opposed to the designation. But there’s no evidence that a U.S. FTO designation could have prevented Boko Haram (which hasn’t proved to have a strong affiliation with al-Qaeda) from kidnapping the Chibok girls. Boko Haram was kidnapping women and girls before and after Chibok. When the United States finally designated Boko Haram as a terrorist group in 2013, that did not stop the group from gaining enough strength against the Nigerian military to capture a territory the size of Belgium in 2014, from using girls as suicide bombers or from slaughtering enough people in 2014 and 2015 to earn the top spot as deadliest terrorist group in the world. To top it all off, Hillary Clinton had finished her term as Secretary of State when the school girls were kidnapped in April 2014 (John Kerry was in charge by then).
Oby Ezekwesili and campaign Bring Back Our Girls
Nigerian activist Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank vice president for Africa who is credited with coining “Bring Back Our Girls” in 2014, is none too pleased with the New Jersey governor. In an emailed statement, Ezekwesili said Christie’s remarks were “a cheap aggrandizement of the tragedy of our abducted 219 schoolgirls still in terrorist captivity, 828 days later.”
Though the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag went viral globally in May 2014, tweeted by the likes of politicians and celebrities, the movement was first and foremost a Nigerian effort, not an American one. “That [Christie] egregiously attributed our #BringBackOurGirls hashtag to the Obamas is proof that he had never even followed nor had any empathetic connection to the tragedy nor bothered to know the facts of the local and global advocacy that it triggered,” Ezekwesili said. “If he had, he would have known that hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was and remains the rallying cry of Nigerian citizens.”
Ezekwesili continues to advocate for the Nigerian government to find the 219 girls who are still missing. President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his government would be willing to negotiate for the girls’ release. The United States has said that it has spotted groups of the girls using local intelligence and drone visualization. But the Nigerian army has said that it fears that offensive attempts to free the girls could result in the girls being harmed.
“Is it not a shame that in the over two years of our advocacy for them, not once did the voice of Governor Christie echo empathy for the girls until yesterday when he decided to pawn them for political gain?” Ezekwesili said.
“I advise him to put himself in the place of the parents of the missing girls especially since he is also a father of two daughters. The least the Governor can do now is to quickly publicly apologize to the girls and their parents and cease dragging them into the United States political arena.”