It’s been about fifty days since Boko Haram kidnapped school girls in Chibok, Northern Nigeria. These days, the issue is being less talked about probably because of the Nigerian ‘culture’ of talk-and-forget-about-it. This abduction could have served as the end way for Boko Haram if well handled.
However, the arrogance of the Nigerian government has not helped matters so far. Initially, they didn’t believe the girls were missing. Their first act of rescue came after international outrage. Then, they came with buck-passing. They made it sound as if the opposition parties ‘staged the play’. Later, the terrorists offered a bargain that some of their members be released in place of the girls. Although that offer sounded illogical, I expected the government to have embraced it – at least for the sake of the girls’ well-being. If any of the government officials had a relative abducted, they wouldn’t have taken the matter lying down.
We are now at the mercy of ‘foreign spies’ who have unofficially taken over Nigeria out of the government’s cluelessness. While efforts at putting the terror on check by our military must be commended, it’s unwise of a top ranking military official to be disclosing that they know the whereabouts of the girls when they actually have no proof of it. It’s been a week since Army Chief Badei made that pumpous statement. Up till this moment, we are yet to have the breaking news of the missing girls’ release or the capture of the terrorists. Whatever happened to those who had been arrested in connection to the kidnap and other recent heinous activities of Boko Haram coupled with the Nigerian security agencies’ notorious ‘torture-to-confess’mechanism should have given us a way out of this mess.
Earlier, a government official said we shouldn’t blame the government but the terrorists for terrorism. She was actually right. We wouldn’t have blamed the government if it had provided us security. Providing us security not only includes funding security but also not condoning security threats from among those in government. Mr President had once said Boko haram had infiltrated his government. We recall that a Senator from Borno State was once linked to Boko Haram only to be granted bail after providing some affidavit of the Vice President’s knowledge of the romance.
Arrogance barred the initiative for negotiation in Nigeria but almighty America which values the life a citizen negotiated with ‘terrorist’ Taliban. They exchanged five ‘terrorists’ for one American. If our prison system were okay, one wouldn’t think we should nurse any fear of doing a similar exchange. Definitely, some of the so-called terrorists in detention might not have participated in the said terror activities. We, as Nigerians, are not unfamiliar with people being falsely accused, charged and sentenced over crimes they knew nothing about. While in the detention, the ‘criminals’ should have been reformed and transformed to better people. The reverse is usually the case here in Nigeria. I trust that the US government did what it did after it had got the assurance that the five former Taliban leaders can do no arm. Guatanamo Bay is one of the most dreaded prison destinations in the world, mind you. Is the Nigerian government still thinking of using force on those savages to secure the girls’ release? That’ll be fatal! Let’s stop this arrogance and bring the innocent girls back alive!
By Abdussalam Amoo
Abdussalam Amoo could be reached on twitter via @ibnamoo