Michelle Obama: In Nigerian Girls, 'Barack and I See Our Own Daughters'

May 12, 2014 - 6:07 AM

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Mrs. Obama makes a Twitter plea for the return of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Delivering the Saturday radio address on Mother's Day weekend, first lady Michelle Obama talked about the hundreds of Nigerian school girls abducted by "a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education."

"In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters," Mrs. Obama said.

She framed the situation as one of "grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls." She did not mention that the schoolgirls are Christian and their abductors are Islamist.

Mrs. Obama assured Americans that "Barack has directed our government to do everything possible" to help the Nigerian government find the girls and bring them home.

She also talked about the more than 65 million girls worldwide are not in school -- and she had a message for young Americans who may be taking their education for granted:

"So education is truly a girl's best chance for a bright future, not just for herself, but for her family and her nation. And that's true right here in the U.S. as well -- so I hope the story of these Nigerian girls will serve as an inspiration for every girl -- and boy -- in this country.

"I hope that any young people in America who take school for granted -- any young people who are slacking off or thinking of dropping out -- I hope they will learn the story of these girls and recommit themselves to their education."

Mrs. Obama said the Nigerian girls "embody the best hope for the future of our world," and she said the U.S. is "committed to giving them the opportunities they deserve to fulfill every last bit of their God-given potential."

She urged Americans to "pray for their safe return."

"So today, let us all pray for their safe return. Let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time, and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright."

On Monday, video obtained by AFP news agency purports to show some of the abducted schoolgirls. Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that kidnapped the girls, now claims the girls have converted to Islam, and it said they will not be freed until Nigeria frees all Boko Haram prisoners.