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CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO OUR NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY

HE. General Muhammed Buhari and HE. Hayjia Aisha Muhammed Buhari On behalf of the Association of Nigerian Women Leaders in Diaspora, popularly known as ANWLD, I wish to extend my humble congratulatory message to you as our newly elected President, HE General Muhhamed Buhari and the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, HE Hayjia Aisha Muhammad Buhari on your Election Victory. We are Non-partisan, and a Nonprofit Organization and has always worked with every elected President and the First Lady since 2010. We support Democracy, Peace and Unity, Good Governance, Accountability, and Rule of Law. As the newly elected President, we seek for Women empowerment and Gender equality . In theses areas we look forward to partner with the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, HE Hayjia Aisha Muhammed Buhari in advocating for women empowerment and girl child development. We also advocate for intervention on Women Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Female child abuse across the globe.. We believe that the Change for today, is Women, and if you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole nation. !!! Women are the agent of change, and behind a woman is her child... We also advocate for girl-child education across the globe, and sincerely solicit your partnership in these areas. Again, we salute you, and congratulate you on your grand slide victory on the 2015 Election in Nigeria. We look forward to working with you...

Respectfully Submitted,
Dr. Mrs. Rita Amachree,
Founder/President, ANWLD

Mikulski, Collins Lead All Twenty Bipartisan Senate Women Condemning Abduction and Mistreatment of Girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram

Bipartisan Senate women call for additional international sanctions against Boko Haram terrorist organization

May 6, 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today led all twenty Senate women in sending a bipartisan letter to President Obama condemning the abduction and mistreatment of more than 200 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria and calling for additional international sanctions against the organization. Boko Haram has threatened to sell the girls as slaves, and some may have already been sold into child marriages.

"We are outraged and horrified that these young women have been kidnapped, sold into slavery, had their education curtailed, and may even have been forced into marriages," Senators Mikulski and Collins said. "Education is a basic right for boys and girls who deserve an equal opportunity to pursue their education without fear of violence or retribution-no matter where they live. The Senate women stand united in condemning this reprehensible crime and are firm in our resolve that it will not be tolerated. We will not stand by and allow the Nigerian people to continue to be terrorized by Boko Haram and will continue to lead the effort to impose tough economic sanctions against this group."

The United States State Department has designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and has reported that the group has links to al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb. In their letter, the Senate women urge President Obama to press for additional international sanctions in the United Nations Security Council, compelling a greater number of countries to join the United States and others in imposing their own sanctions.

"We condemn these appalling actions in the strongest possible terms, and we agree with you that the abduction of these girls is an outrage. The girls were targeted by Boko Haram simply because they wanted to go to school and pursue knowledge, and we believe the United States must respond quickly and definitively," The Senators wrote. "In the face of the brazen nature of this horrific attack, the international community must impose further sanctions on this terrorist organization. We urge you to press for the addition of Boko Haram and Ansaru to the United Nations Security Council's al-Qa'ida Sanctions List, the mechanism by which international sanctions are imposed on al-Qa'ida and al-Qa'ida-linked organizations. Their addition to the List would compel a greater number of countries to sanction Boko Haram, joining several countries, including the United States, which have already done so."

A copy of the signed letter is available here.

Senators Mikulski and Collins were joined by all the Senate women in signing the bipartisan letter to President Obama including Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The Senators' letter to President Obama follows:

May 6, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:

As the women of the United States Senate, we are writing to you today deeply disturbed by the abduction and mistreatment of more than 200 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. Boko Haram has threatened to sell the girls as slaves, and some may have already been sold into child marriages. We condemn these appalling actions in the strongest possible terms, and we agree with you that the abduction of these girls is an outrage. The girls were targeted by Boko Haram simply because they wanted to go to school and pursue knowledge, and we believe the United States must respond quickly and definitively. In the face of the brazen nature of this horrific attack, the international community must impose further sanctions on this terrorist organization. Boko Haram is a threat to innocent civilians in Nigeria, to regional security, and to U.S. national interests. The National Counterterrorism Center has found that Boko Haram has engaged in multiple attacks on Westerners and repeatedly targeted students at schools and universities, threatening the ability of young Nigerians, particularly women, to attend school.

While we applaud the initial U.S. condemnation of the kidnapping, we believe there is much more that the United States government should do to make clear that such an attack will not be tolerated. We urge you to press for the addition of Boko Haram and Ansaru to the United Nations Security Council's al-Qa'ida Sanctions List, the mechanism by which international sanctions are imposed on al-Qa'ida and al-Qa'ida-linked organizations. Their addition to the List would compel a greater number of countries to sanction Boko Haram, joining several countries, including the United States, which have already done so. The Department of State reported that Boko Haram has links to al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb when it designated the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and General David Rodriguez, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, has described these links before Congress.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working together until girls and women worldwide can pursue an education without fear of violence or intimidation.

Sincerely,
Barbara A. Mikulski, United States Senator
Susan M. Collins, United States Senator
Kelly Ayotte, United States Senator
Tammy Baldwin, United States Senator
Barbara Boxer, United States Senator
Maria Cantwell, United States Senator
Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
Deb Fischer, United States Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator
Kay Hagan, United States Senator
Heidi Heitkamp, United States Senator
Mazie Hirono, United States Senator
Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator
Mary Landrieu, United States Senator
Claire McCaskill, United States Senator
Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator
Patty Murray, United States Senator
Jeanne Shaheen, United States Senator
Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator
Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator

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Thank you for writing. Along with millions of people across the globe, Michelle and I are outraged and heartbroken over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. No child should be forced to live in fear for getting an education and pursuing her dreams.

Like people everywhere, Nigerians deserve to be free from violence and from terror. The United States will not forget the people of Nigeria during this difficult time. At my direction, and in coordination with our international partners, our Government is providing extensive assistance to help find these girls and bring them home to their families. Sadly, this is not an isolated act of terror, and we stand with the Nigerian people in their ongoing struggle against violent extremism.

As the Nigerian government works to root out Boko Haram and associated groups, we will keep providing assistance to help them develop a comprehensive approach to handling the threats posed by these groups. And we will continue aiding Nigeria as it dismantles these networks of terror and takes meaningful, effective actions to create a future safe from the horrors we see today. Combating terrorism means protecting civilians and ensuring respect for human rights-not only in Nigeria, but around the world.

The United States is committed to doing its part to help prevent mass atrocities, protect basic human rights, and promote opportunity for all. We do so in partnership with other governments, the United Nations, and with religious institutions, unions, and civil organizations both at home and abroad. Using every available tool, we will keep working to resolve the root causes of conflict, build lasting institutions, and train the peacekeepers, police, and soldiers who protect those in danger.

More broadly, promoting peace and prosperity means securing equal rights and opportunity for women and girls. When women succeed, nations are safer, more secure, and more prosperous. We will continue empowering women and girls everywhere to pursue the education that is their birthright, and to participate fully in their societies. Thank you, again, for your message. In these Nigerian girls, many of us see our own daughters. Their courage pushes us to fight to ensure all children have the opportunities they deserve and the chance to reach their fullest potential.


Sincerely,
Barack Obama

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