NFL legend and Nigerian-American Christian Okoye wants to know why it has taken so long for the Nigerian government–and the rest of the world, for that matter–to pay attention to the plight of the 276 girls kidnapped by Islamist terrorists in Africa.
Last month the Nigerian Islamist terror group Boko Haram kidnapped some 276 girls from their homes and classrooms to prevent them from going to school and becoming educated. The terror group has been selling these poor children into sexual slavery and otherwise abusing them ever since.
But nearly a month went by before the world began to take notice of the plight of these girls. Worse, during those four weeks the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has done little to solve the crisis and return the teens to their suffering parents.
Christian Okoye, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1987 to 1992, was born in Enugu, Nigeria and spent the first 21 years of his life in his African homeland before migrating to the US to NFL stardom.
Now the former football star is speaking out against the inaction of Nigerian government.
“It had been almost 4 weeks and [Jonathan] hadn’t done anything,” Okoye told TMZ Sports. “I’m happy people outside the country got involved because it prompted [him] to finally do something about it.”
The player lamented that endemic political corruption in the nation of his birth has led to such inaction. But it may be worse than mere corruption. Some sources say that the Nigerian government had advanced warning of Boko Haram’s intentions to kidnap girls.
Okoye ruefully noted that the late but welcome attention from the rest of the world has finally forced President Jonathan’s hand.
“I’m happy people outside the country pushed the President to do something. I hope that the awareness leads to the end of the crisis,” Okoye said.
Six American military advisers arrived in Nigeria on May 9 to begin exploring ways to assist the Nigerian government in locating and freeing the 276 kidnapped girls. But US officials warn that any rescue operations must be a Nigerian sponsored and controlled campaign.
Christian Okoye was a two-time Pro Bowler and the 1999 UPI AFC Player of the year.He rushed for 4,897 yards during his six-year professional career.
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