Exactly this day in the year 2014, over 200 girls of a government owned school in Chibok a sleepy community in Borno State, North-Eastern Nigeria were kidnapped by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group. The issue which started like a child’s play has gone beyond the nation’s borders and has attracted the attention of the international community and observers with a call for the Nigerian government to work assiduously and secure the release of the girls.
The then government under the leadership of President Good luck Jonathan immediately entered into a negotiation with the armed groups. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make a headway as he lost the election to the incumbent President under the adminstration of Muhamadu Buhari.
I wouldn’t want to dig into the archive and bring up issues as to the remote and immediate causes that led to the abduction of the school children who at that time were writing their senior school certificate examination. When the present administration came on board officially in May 2015, it swung into action and immediately relocated the Military high command from the nation’s capital, Abuja to Maiduguri the Borno State capital. This was seen by many as giant step in curbing the excesses of the insurgents.
Though, this served as a temporary relief, as they were able to secure the release of some of them, however, some others weren’t secured. This has made them to be in the captivity of the insurgents for more than half a decade.
In a national wide broadcast to Nigerians yesterday, the President according to media reports was said to have extended his good wishes to the people of the Chibok community as they held prayers to mark the sixth year anniversary of the abduction of their daughters.
Needless to say that we have heard this “gospel” over the years and it seems as though no visible action is been taken aside the talks and gestures which are more of political propaganda. It is almost unbelievable that the Nigerian military and the nation in general are been held in ransom by a seemingly faceless group of individuals whose mission is unknown and who lack the tactics, skills, experience and formation in matters relating to warfare.
Think of the parents whose life have been cut short as a result of the trauma and emotional agony they are forcefully subjected to at the mere thought of their children been held as hostages. Afterall, no parent would want his or her child, however stubborn and notorious he or she may be, to be subjected to conditions that are not humane and are hazardous.
Moreso, a South-Western Nigeria proverb has this to say that “A dead child is absolutely preferable to a lost child”. This is exceptionally true especially in a situation like this whereby the government is to be blamed for its laxity in its security architecture which has overtime been proved to be unreliable, porous and inefficient to Nigerians.
I do hope that the military increases the speed and tempo of her operations in order to effectively secure the release of these children who I ld say are victims of circumstances and to put an end to the ravaging insurgency plaguing the North Eastern States which has continually painted the nation black in the international community.