Let's Talk About It


It is nearly a month now since more than 200 teenage girls were abducted in the town of Chibok in Borno State by the criminal group known as Boko Haram.

The attack on the innocent girls on April 14, 2014 took place barely 24 hours after the same group of terrorists bombed the Nyanya bus terminus in Abuja, killing hundreds of Nigerians and maiming a lot more.

The smouldering hulks of burnt vehicles, the search for loved ones from one hospital to the other, the rush by many good natured compatriots to freely donate blood, indeed the sheer anarchy brought on the people by freewheeling criminals in Abuja and Chibok within a space of 24 hours, created what the Americans would call a “Perfect Storm” a situation in which several bad things happen at the same time, creating the feeling that nothing could be worse.

Indeed what actually could be worse where faceless villains waste lives and collect human booty as if Nigeria does not have a government anymore?

Even the citizenry has gone comatose judging by the indescribable placidity with which the shocking news of the capture of hundreds of school girls below the age of 20 was received across the country.

It took all of a fortnight to get the womenfolk to organize themselves for protest marches to demand the rescue of “our daughters.”

The labour organizations appear to have lost the ability to mobilize Nigerians to show real anger at what is happening.

Nigerian students cannot come together to rattle the indolent political leadership.

The religious organizations are preoccupied in the search and concern of how many Christians and Moslems are among the poor girls now going through hell in the hands of a band of soulless malevolent goons.

One is even petrified to learn that these defenseless teenagers are now separated and distributed like merchandise to be wives of people who buy them as slaves and treat them accordingly.

The great pity of it all is that nobody seems to know the exact number of the young ones that are now in captivity in the fangs of Boko Haram.

Even the location of the girls at the time of their abduction is shrouded in confusion.

Were they removed from their dormitories or from the Chibok Local Government Headquarters “where the students were preparing to write the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, SSSCE?”

A resident of Chibok who escaped the attack is said to have told news reporters that the operation started at 9pm and lasted till 3am the following day?

This took place in state under emergency regulation and infested with thousands of all sectors of the security operatives.

Meanwhile the politicians go about their business of “going into plenary,” “going on break” and “going on holidays,” while the country is aflame.

The parallel conclave of politicians, technocrats and statesmen engaged in the National Conference is busy splitting hairs over inconsequential issues as they sign for their million Naira allowances.

In other climes where human beings are appreciated and human life respected, the National Assembly would have risen in indignation and adjourned “sine die” until a lead is found on the fate of the missing teenagers.

While members are on such a recess all allowances due them should be computed and reserved as a token of support to the parents and guardians of the students.

The National Conference should also have closed shop to demonstrate its condemnation of the open declaration of war on the country by criminals.

The conferees should all go home to join in prayers and other desirable actions to free the girls.

As for the security services, we do not know enough of their modus operandi.

Like God Almighty, they move in mysterious ways their wonders to perform.

We lay men cannot even advise them on security matters.

If we are allowed to proffer some suggestions, one would like to hear of some spies infiltrating the Boko Haram Cult over the years, operating as “mad men,” “cattle rearers,” religious clerics and “drivers.”

In the colonial days serious crimes like murder were soon solved by ordering CID operatives who visited drinking bars and who became “touts” at motor parks.

It isn’t just enough flaunting “SS ID Cards” molesting harmless citizens at functions as our modern day security operatives do.

At the sound of a burst balloon some of our so-called security operatives take off.

We are told that the “impregnable” Sambisa forest where the Bokos of this world operate and plan to Har(a)m the society, is well known to the armed forces and the police.

But they dare not venture into the forbidden zone because the felons are supposedly better equipped than the Nigerian armed forces.

Current myth has it that an army boss who actually moved his men into the forest and had a rich harvest of fallen terrorists, was eventually rewarded with a premature retirement.

In fact the leadership of a section of the zone where this act took place and who were privy to learn of the “disaster,” threatened to take the army boss before the World Court on a charge of genocide.

In other words, the heavy casualty of terrorists seemed to have terrified their sponsors and backers.

The occupants of the Sambisa forest can never be more powerful than the Nigerian Army, Air force, Navy and the Police.

What is required is the appropriate political, as well as, military initiative to get the boys on the move.

They need to be properly motivated and equipped.

Rumours of some officials pocketing allowances meant for the troops should not be heard again.

And it was time a clear cut authority is established in the disturbed areas.

A state of emergency connotes a total, though temporary, seizure of power by the central authority.

The Governors of the states under Emergency should be shunted away to enable military officers to take effective control while receiving their orders from their Commander-in-Chief.

The abduction of the innocent female students, no matter how it ends, should serve as a watershed to impunity and rascality in this country.

Let us all bear in mind that, even as we debate and occasionally trivialize these issues of abduction and kidnapping of human beings, some distraught families are pining away in agony as they await the return of their loved ones.

Let us remember them in our daily prayers that relief should come quickly to remove their distress and agony.


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Christian Voice