Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record this evening in support of H.Res. 573, a bill he co-sponsored condeming the abduction of Nigerian school girls by terrorist organization Boko Haram:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill, which I am proud to cosponsor, and I thank the Gentlelady from Florida, Congresswoman Wilson, for spearheading this effort.
“It has now been over a month since over 230 girls and young women were kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria. Boko Haram, the terrorist organization that has been attempting to impose its extremist views onto millions of people in Nigeria and in neighboring Niger and Cameroon, is a dangerous and destabilizing force in West Africa.
“This is a region where millions of people are trying hard to overcome poverty and where national and local governments are focused on creating opportunities that can expand a growing middle class – ingredients for peace, prosperity, and democracy.
“The very name of Boko Haram means a rejection of secular education and the democratic values it teaches. The girls who were kidnapped – in an action that is nearly unthinkable to those of us here in America in 2014 –are courageous individuals who dared to go to school and pursue opportunities that generations of girls and women before them never had.
“Congress ought to condemn Boko Haram forcefully and send a clear message not only that the world cannot – and will not – accept its brand of violent extremism, but also that the American people stand in solidarity with all the girls and young women of West Africa who are bravely pursuing an education or yearning to do so. West Africa faces many challenges, and it’s time to marshal the resources of the U.S. government and our allies to help address those challenges and to ensure that all the girls and young women who were abducted can return safely home.
“I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill so we can ‘bring our girls home.’”