600 days is a long time not to have seen someone, let alone one’s sibling, daughter, son or family member. How does one comprehend the emotional, psychological trauma parents, siblings and family members must have gone through? It still beats me to think of the over 200 girls who were forcefully taken from their school.
Since their abduction, several questions have been asked and still being asked; bordering on several issues like the inability of the Armed Forces to curtail the monstrous advances of the unrelenting Boko Haram. But with recent revelations on how funds meant for military hardware and arms were misappropriated; it is glaring the gallant soldiers of our Armed Forces are men and women of valour, who made do with what they had. And as the weeks ago by, more revelations would definitely be made public.
While this writer has written several pieces on the Chibok Girls; 600 days after the abduction of the Chibok Girls, the public still wants to know the fate of the girls and other hapless persons abducted by Boko Haram. And to be frank, the previous Jonathan Administration did a mess of the job. The Buhari Administration’s handling of the Chibok Girls issue has been nothing short of an “omni-shambles” episode. One of Mrs Oby Ezekwesili’s tweets on Saturday, the 5th of December 2015 went thus: “DAY600 of OUR #ChibokGirls. I know of some who say they have become ashamed to ASK ANYMORE. HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED!” I read it and as a young man; I felt downcast as to why anyone should be ashamed to ask for what is right. Hoping those who she referred to weren’t women but men.
In the last week of November, a Nigerian lady in the UK got in touch and asked me some questions about the Chibok Girls. One was why I was interested in the Chibok Girls’ plight. Paraphrasing, I said it is the right thing to do. Also, I met and wrote about a young man by the name Peter whose sister and nieces were amongst the Chibok Girls. Titled; THE DAY I MET PETER FROM CHIBOK which was also published via The Guardian; in which I stated that I met a certain Peter (a 19year old married man with a 2month old boy), whose sister and 2 cousins were among the Chibok Girls. I couldn’t bring my self to call Peter for this piece (it would be unfair to only communicate when another 100days was near).
Several months ago, I was discussing with a Rwandan diplomat stationed in the West and the diplomat went thus; "Can a country give up on her girls? In Rwanda, children are a ''pearl", when you lose it you search for it until you find even if it is under your dead body. A girl is the "future of humanity.” This statement left me thinking and wondering where Nigeria and Nigerians have gotten it wrong.
While detractors who still believe the abduction of the Chibok Girls is a scam and who still relish in the grotesque of attention seeking naysayers; silence about the fate of the girls is not an option. To detractors, they should realise that, those who drink to sink their sorrows must know that sorrow knows how to swim.
And to those who would rather remain silent; they should realise that all that is necessary for evil is for good men to do nothing.
600 days later, 1 year + 235 days, 276 Chibok schoolgirls abducted, 57 escaped, 219 still missing, 0 rescued. Not a good scorecard for the Buhari led administration.
Photo Credit: Office of Gordon Brown.