It is 67 days since we were informed about the violent abduction of our girls. The initial indifference of Nigerian leaders elicited feelings of horror leading to the international community rising up in defence of the rights of people of Nigeria and calling for actions which will bring the girls back. Many countries offered to help and have already landed in Nigeria to assist with intelligence.
This uproar gave birth to #bringbackourgilrs! Campaign which is now a viral worldwide campaign that has forced the Nigerian government to spring into action albeit reluctantly
The world obviously remain shell shocked that although international communities are on ground assisting with intelligence and many more are on standby ready to land in Nigeria and assist with the recovery of these girls; nothing which may give any indication that we are nearing the end of this national embarrassment seems to be happening. The attitude of Nigerian leaders toward information sharing with citizens is regrettably lacklustre. This leads people to draw adverse inferences keeping the social and print media awash with sentiments, lies, conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory, near truths and truths.
Despite all sentiments, the truth remains that the children have not been found and must be found or declared not missing anymore before any honest peace loving Nigerian can go to sleep and sleep safe and sound. I have a feeling that unless we do so, life will never be the same again in Nigeria and many of us including women and children will become more at risk of such audacious violent abductions while boys and men will remain at greater risk of being slaughtered like animals by Boko Haram or other groups that will spring up as a result of our governments indecisive response to Boko Haram menace.
Although the international community is united in their condemnation of the failings of our government, Nigerians differ in opinion and attitude to what they feel needs to be done in order to address the melee. This attitude is born out of our long standing distrust of one another due to differences in religion and tribe. Most southerners stand for the conspiracy theory which suggests that the girls are not missing and the abduction did not happen at all. Others believe that it may have happened but it was certainly staged by some Northern oligarch in order to distract the current leadership in which case the Nigerian president must ignore them and focus on 2015 election. These theorists also believe that these are the children of poor northerners who are usually used as instruments of mayhem whenever things are not going the way of the oligarchs who do not place any value in the lives of these vulnerable people. Therefore, if they are prepared to play games with these children who belong to their badly marginalised subordinates, they are welcome to even kill, cook and eat them if that suits their idiosyncratic ideology. Nigerians are used to their games and have become rather fed up and tough skinned. They will therefore not be perturbed. Accordingly, the oligarchs are only whining because power has been taken away from them for longer than they can bear and they want it back at all cost. In their opinion 2015 may be too far so if necessary they will incite the military into action.
Funny enough many political players, umpires and spectators are ready and willing to use this tug of war to kill and bury what has become generally known as “born to rule” attitude of some Northern leaders which had in the past assisted them to hold on to power in Nigeria. I personally know that these sentiments abound but not many Nigerians especially our Northern siblings are ready to accept that they exist. The position is made worse by the fact that poverty and illiteracy are higher in the North. This gives credence to the feeling that if they had power for all that long and failed to make the difference in the lives of their subjects, they have really nothing to offer Nigeria and must stay away or submit to true democracy and allow others the opportunity to lead Nigeria on merit only basis.
This is a very sore point for many Northern Nigerians. This is quite understandable but whether they see the elements of truth in that feeling and ready to be objective in their reaction to them remains a matter for public debate. In my view the ordinary modern young Northerner has since moved on. He/she is not proud of their elders’ past. They recognises that for Nigeria to work, they must move with times and give democratic leadership the chance to thrive in Nigeria by merit and not born to rule attitude. The rest of Nigeria must embrace these attitudes and treat one another with love and respect. Our problem is not in our young Northern, Southerners, Eastern or Western siblings but in the failure of our fathers to behave appropriately towards one another.
If the older Northerner believed in born to rule whether or not he could, the older Southerner should have stood up to him but he did not and so our dilemma today.
Many lies have been told by politicians about our Chibok girls. The initial lack of information about the girls, their names, ages, parents and pictures did not help.
I am most pleased that the pictures of the missing girls have been published today’s edition of “This Day” newspaper. This will at least rest the fears and theories that they are not indeed missing. I am sure that families, friends and neighbours can recognise and tell the world if anyone of them is still living at home and the nation is being taken on a goose chase. Until that is done, I would like to believe that those who are of the view that they are not missing will now stop and think, empathize with the children and their families and join the search for them.
Looking at the theories along with my suspicions of some politicians from the concerned states, the various inaccuracies in every affected person’s account of events and the political games, I see a number of factual contradictions and have this niggling idea that something is not adding up.
I have this feeling that the girls are undoubtedly missing but certain politicians may be in the plot just to cause fear and anti-government sentiments. The motive may be either an attempt to cause problems and force the military to intervene or to cause anarchy of the type that will force the leading party to rethink their idea of the current President returning to power in 2015 contrary to the terms of the so much talked about but never seen underworld agreement forbidding the President from going for a second term.
So my personal theory is that the girls may not be in the hands of Boko Haram. They may be nicely hidden away somewhere while the politicians continue with their agenda. The parents of the girls or the girls are not in the plot. There is therefore a possibility that recorded frightening delusions of Boko Haram are well planned hoax to cause panic and fear. Otherwise why were the videos of the girls recorded with the emblem of Boko Haram alone and no sign of Shekau with them or nearby? My mind suggests that in order for us to believe Shakau, we need to see him and his men in the midst of the girls or with them and all or some of their girls appealing to us to accede to their demands so that they will come home. Why has none of the girls spoken about their plights in the videos and asked us to hurry as they are at risk. This is typical of many hostage cases or is Boko Haram looking for their 7 virgins on earth instead of after death?
Should my view be true then that is very very unfortunate because the politicians who may have masterminded this would have showed no love or care for other human beings. They must therefore never be allowed anywhere near leadership in Nigeria again. Someone needs to be investigating them and taking them to international human rights court.
I also believe that the efforts of our security men and international help have been hindered because of these possible hidden truths. Members of the international community who are acting as intelligence must have considered these facts, found out who these politicians are, measured the catastrophe it will cause if they blow the lid off them. Therefore they cannot function maximally unless our leadership is able to deal with the backlash of any revelations from their intelligence.
I fear that our leaders will be reluctant to put the result of their findings in the public domain because many of them are heavily compromised and risk being exposed as colluding with Boko haram to destabilize the country. They possibly need serious assurances and protection before they can let the girls go and such assurances may include non-disclosure of their identities or involvement in the saga.
So we may really be in a no win situation and may have to grant any of their wishes before they can release or ship them abroad. I want all of us to look at my views with open mind and ask questions.
Otherwise, we will never be able to separate the lies, conspiracies and sentiments from the truth and our campaign may last a life time.