Confronted by the fact that some innocent little girls are in captive, the prisoner swap seem a way to go, no doubt. However, understanding that you don’t go into a negotiation without verifiable proof of strength, I can almost tell that the government may not be in any good position to negotiate properly. Are we going to ask for the release of the Chibok girls alone or other victims currently in captivity? How many prisoners are we looking at and what are the grounds for comparison? Are this girls and other being released as they were captured or some abused sick young girls? After the swap, what happens? The military invades Sambisa forest or the President lavishes amnesty on some God damn bloodsucking religious bigots? Emotions alone would get us nowhere. The girls are important just as ensuring no more girls or Nigerians are kidnapped nor killed again. Nothing else would take the place of total annihilation of this rogues and every other group like theirs.. MEND, OPC, EGBESU and their likes. (My post on Facebook on June 2nd, 2015)
Nigerians, like every other nationals have said a number of things about the approaches to be adopted in dealing with the activities of boko haram. Unfortunately, it is becoming a mere huge collection of theories and opinions. We don’t seem to be helping matters and this is not because we are unwilling but because we don’t have the faintest idea of what the truth is.
Basic facts like lack of co-ordination, lack of political will, insincerity and corruption are unarguably correct but the depth of atrocities being perpetuated remains unknown to the majority of commentators. Till date, we can’t say for sure the number of girls that were actually kidnapped, so I really don’t know how many girls we are expecting if after all, we decide to swap prisoners with boko haram. We also can’t tell for sure how many people are actually killed per bomb blast; we have always relied on close estimates. In the real sense, who says these estimates are actually close? There are no emergency centres where people can look for missing family members or colleagues. We can’t also say for sure how many people have actually been kidnapped by boko haram. So what are yardsticks for determining the number of prisoners to be swapped? Is this just about the Chibok girls? So whose daughter deserves freedom and whose doesn’t?
I can make a wild guess that boko haram as an organisation knows exactly who they are penning down to be swapped in their favour; they know for sure who is important to them in the prisons. They most likely would therefore be making more informed decisions and negotiating better than the government.
How then can we help if we don’t know the truth? One minute, the Nigeria Army knows where the girls are, the next minute, they don’t know. At one point, the girls are in sambisa forest and then we are told they are scattered around Niger, Chad and Cameroun. Today, the days of boko haram are numbered, tomorrow, they have infiltrated the Nigeria security formation. So many conflicting nonsense and nothing from the Nigeria leadership seems to be helping correct this confusion.
The least we want to combine with our current state of insecurity in confusion; according to late Fela Kuti, ‘It breaks bone’. Our bones are broken, we seem to be fixed on one spot; we aren’t moving in the direction of anything that looks like success.
The Okupes of the presidency and Reno are busy making more enemies than assisting in correcting the many wrongs against Nigerians. To say a thing around what the problems are and what the possible solutions could be earns you the tag of an opposition. What the hell is Labaran doing to make any sense out of this?
These are just issues bothering my mind. I have not decided to write on this matter to become a paper activist and I am sure this goes for a number of writers who have at one time or the other commented on the state of insecurity in Nigeria. I am hoping one of the very many problems I have raised may be looked into and addressed. I would remain threatened if these girls and many others currently in captivity are not rescued. I would remain unnecessarily defensive if none of these gruesome killings is unravelled and the perpetuators brought to book. I would remain dumbfounded if the government of Nigeria would go to negotiate with criminals with uninformed and incorrect statistics. I would never feel secured to travel around this country talk less of seeing other Nigerians as my brothers; my eyes don’t scan and I can’t tell from a distance who is going about is packs of C4s strapped to his or her chest.
Now emotions are taking charge and common sense is being relegated. ‘What if your daughter was also kidnapped?’ How would I oppose swapping? There’s no way I would but the question is what if my daughter is not one of the chibok girls? What if my daughter is not being considered as the mistake of boko haram? What if my daughter is not covered by the bringbackourgirls hashtag? The what ifs are on the increase but I dare ask, what if the leadership of this country had done the right thing? What if the truth is known to us as a people? Would we have to swap prisoners?
Already we can almost tell where this may end; the President is already introducing amnesty as an alternative for remorseful terrorists? How do we define remorse? What lessons are we handing down to criminals and the criminally minded? Does it mean you can actually kill, maim, rape and still get away with it in this country? The way Asari Dikubo did? Tompolo and other Niger Delta criminals?
Damn it! Oh God of the heavens, take us away from this ugly mess. Help this country Oh Comforter.
We take this crops of leaders as our own natural disasters and this terrorists as a fallout of the disasters. You are able to restore calm to the most disturbed lands; Oh Lord, restore calm and order. Rid our lands of these beasts and give us the mind to learn from our mistakes. Amin
God help Nigeria.