WASHINGTON – Michelle Obama on Saturday decried the kidnapping of scores of Nigerian schoolgirls who have been missing for nearly a month and used their plight to speak out for the rights of girls everywhere to get an education.
Delivering the weekly presidential radio and Internet address on the eve of the U.S. holiday honoring mothers, the first lady and mother of two said that, like millions of people around the world, she and President Barack Obama are “outraged and heartbroken” over the April 15 abduction of nearly 300 girls from their dormitory.
She asked the nation to pray for their safe return and stressed the importance of education.
“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters,” the first lady said in the five-minute address, referring to Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12. “We see their hopes, their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
She said what happened more than three weeks ago in Nigeria was not an isolated incident, but “a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions.”