IT is now obvious that rather than the over 100 young school girls reported to have been abducted in Chibok, Bornu State by the dare-devil mercenaries, Boko Haram, it is over 200 that were actually taken away into uncertain fate.
So over 200 family units and scores of others, including relatives, neighbours, colleagues, friends and well wishers, and the rest well-meaning Nigerians are still in mourning over this unhealthy disappearing act, over this mind-boggling nightmare… in the daytime!
Now, the issue is not actually about the number; it could have been one or two school girls for the sake of taking count; the average American will tell you that the American security and safety system values the life of a single American citizen as equally as it does 200, and would deplore an equal amount of resources, even ready to nearly deplete her armoury, of course an arsenal of technocratic men, women and machineries, to ensure the safety of one as much as it would the 200 others; the issue, really, is about the awe that the entire security system in Nigeria inspires in the minds of everyone, the idea that you are actually on your own, except of course, you have found favour in the sight of the God who neither slumbers nor sleeps! It is actually between you and the good Lord!
Again, there is a whole lot about numbers, without meaning to sound contradictory, that makes the whole affair even more horrific. Over 200 young girls cannot be in anyway likened with a band of soldier ants marching across a footpath, yet, while growing up this writer noticed that hardly were such sights unnoticed, both by children and adults, except someone was ready for a militant insect attack!
Over 200, close to 250 young schools girls aged be between 11 and 15 are stock piled in trucks and are taken through motorable road networks, driven past a security checkpoint and diverted into a bush path and no one noticed the unusual excursion. That leaves an unsavoury taste in the bud. They could have cat walked past manned checkpoints, chaperoned by Boko Haram, for all anyone cared.
With due apologies to good, dedicated and committed officers and men of the nation’s various security agencies, it is not enough to announce that terrorism has infiltrated the rank and file of Nigeria’s security personnel list, it is high-time to start sifting the chaff from the wheat. There shouldn’t be any politicking in this particular one. It is either there is a security mechanism or there is not, in which case Nigerians could, under the covering of relevant legislation, be free to take up arms and do this watch-night properly with God as a perfect ally.
The announcement, two days back, that some of the arrested armed men in Chibok had confessed to being members of terrorist groups, is, to say the least, stating the obvious; it is a belated form of damage control because the very moment some of the girls who escaped mentioned that armed ‘security operatives’ were on the same path where the trucks trode, then the fear factor gasps couldn’t be contained any longer. Uptil this moment, the sighs, hisses, gasps, moans and out cries continue endlessly. Hundreds of innocent daughters are still missing.
It was gathered that over 200 fathers had, in a self-help bid, mobilized and stormed the Sambisa forest regions in that area of Chibok where some of the girls had escaped through crooked paths, but the search party couldn’t see the end of the search terrain from the beginning. They returned, to seemingly endless uncertainty. We also hear of search and rescue operations from various security agencies which apparently did more aimless searching than worthwhile rescuing. Nothing seems to be working.
As at yesterday women have also mobilized, God help them, to storm the forest in search of their daughters; we pray for their safety, and implore government to watch their back, if that is a good idea. Agreed, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has in manner that suggests confession and anticipated penance, declared that there are terrorists even in the Federal Cabinet, however, cleansing follows a good penance. It is time to cleanse the system from inside out, and if any government agency needs to be sent to purgatory, it’s the nation’s security agencies, the whole of them. Jonathan should keep politics aside and work!
Our good friend, the Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar wore a somber look, infact, he looked as if he was pelted by fragments of the Nyanya Park explosives during the on-the-spot assessment with the President that fateful day; the look got at us, but our prayer however is that he should translate the pain and bitterness on his face that his heart alone couldn’t contain into concrete action on squaring up with the security dilemma in Nigeria.
It is our hope that as he mobilizes action to meet action, his score card would read that for the first time in the nation’s history, the police was not only on top of crime and criminality situations, but unraveling the mysteries surrounding them, even the uncertain aura around terrorism.
It is also our hope that his score card would bear the credit for the safe rescue of over 200 young school girls.
While we await action to be expedited on that very important issue, even in baited breaths, let us come before the Lord our Maker whose mercies are sure, and in broken and contrite heart ask Him to Arise and help us. By now, our backs should be broken enough for our knees to bend before Him! Let’s Pray!