BOSTON (CBS) — More than a hundred Nigerian college students have come to Boston this Memorial Day weekend, and they will stay in the United States for the next few years as part of a program sponsored by the Nigerian government.
The students were largely awestruck as they got off their international flights at Logan airport. Organizers believe this is the first time any of the participants had been in the U.S.; for some, this was their first trip out of Nigeria.
Said Philomena Agbe, simply: “Oh my God, I’m in America!”
The students will begin their studies at Northeastern University. Some will stay there while others will move to one of seven other colleges. They are keenly aware of how lucky they are to have this opportunity, they said, especially since education is a luxury not available to everyone in their home country.
Weeks ago, militant Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 young schoolgirls in Nigeria.
“That’s why we are not in support of what the Boko Haram people are doing,” explained student Donyegha Corubein. “And we’ll be lending our voices and helping our president to tell Boko Haram to release our sisters.”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticized for his response to the abductions. But the Hon. Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to President Jonathan, says efforts like this partnership with Northeastern prove the president’s resolve.
“That is what the world must understand, that here is a president who believes in the education of young boys and girls,” said Kuku.