365 Days Since We Lost Our Chibok Girls
Written by Oma Ehiri
14th of April 2014 was a dark day in Nigeria and for Nigerians as word went round on the abduction of some young Nigerian girls in Chibok- a town in Borno State. The girls who were about 219 in number were kidnapped from their school at night by the Boko Haram sect- a terrorist group that has been attacking the country, particularly the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
As we wept for the girls andprayed that the Government will be able to locate the girls, the Boko Haram who had claimed responsibility for the abduction, derived joy in sending out pictures of the girls and continually instilled fear in the lives of Nigerians. Our Government took measures to find the girls and reunite them to their families but Nigerians were not satisfied at the way in which the Government were going about the matter. No concrete results were reached even as hopes were at one point raised that the girls were on their way home.
Nigerians got tired of waiting on the Government and decided to flood the streets and call the attention of the international community to the abduction of the girls. The whole idea was to hassle the Government and also get the international community to get involved in the rescue mission. One of the most vocal voices has been the former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili.
Today, all that perceived propaganda and political undertones associated with the abduction have not brought back the girls. Many say that the critics of the present Government, planned the abduction to undermine the Government of the Day. If this was indeed their plan, they have succeeded coupled with the inability of the media team of the presidency to contain the situation.
As the present Government was planning to either hand over power to another Government or continue, they embarked on a strategic and time bound action to get rid of the terrorist group in the North before they spread to other parts of the country. Nigerians had thought that in the process, the girls will be found. Unfortunately, those days are gone, some girls have found their way back, the Government of the day is about to handover in a few days and our girls are still away for 365 days.
This makes us to question how effective is our Secret Service team? Why couldn’t they interrogate the girls who escaped to get intelligence reports on those girls. What happened to all the politicians who say that they were in contact with the abductors? Why couldn’t they get the abductors to release our girls? It is heart breaking to have such a memorial while the girls are away when they should have been home attending a thanksgiving service to remember this day. Our prayers are with the girls and their families for their plight affects every Nigerian.