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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Please Let Us Forget The Chibok Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has continued to maintain that he will fulfil the pledge he made to the parents of the Chibok girls about bringing back their daughters alive from their abductors.

He reiterated his promise to bring them home alive and has reportedly said that he would not rest until he had done so. While it is good that president Buhari is optimistic about getting these girls home to their families, it is egregious for him to tell such callous lies and to politicize such a heart-breaking incident. I say that the president is lying because, except he is naive and stupid, even he does not believe his own words. So why has he continued to lie to the grieving parents and to the nation and the world?

I have written a number of posts about the Chibok girls saga, and each time, I have suggested that we all accept the possibility of never seeing these girls alive again; and this possibility dwindles rapidly with every passing day. It is not that they are all dead, but the truth is that Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram's maniacal leader, was not joking when he said he was going to sell them or marry them off to his 'holy warriors' or mujahideen. The terrorists have abducted so many others since the start of their deadly campaign, but the Chibok kidnapping woke the world up to their atrocities by the sheer number involved, and probably the fact that it involved teenaged school girls (many of whom have become women).

I am taking the very painful option of letting go of the Chibok girls because the way it is being handled is not only disgraceful, it also says a lot about those to whom we have entrusted the running of our country. How long does president Buhari think he can continue with these puerile promises? How long will he continue to make a fool of himself? Why has he chosen to continue to keep these wounds fresh? Is he really oblivious to the fact that his inability to take a stand and be decisive in this matter is only prolonging the needless suffering of the relatives of these girls? If he is deliberately using this Chibok thing for some political purpose, does he really believe that the suffering it has engendered is worth whatever political dividend he hopes to gain from it?

With the use of young female suicide bombers by Boko Haram, who is to say that Stockholm syndrome has not set in for the kidnapped Chibok girls? It is very plausible that not only have they been brainwashed and coerced into joining the suicide bombing campaign, they may have willingly joined the bombing campaigns in solidarity with their abductors, and to get back at a country that has so callously betrayed them.

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