Having to write on an issue of serious international relations isn’t my thing and so I would be careful not to posit but ask more questions in my bid to share my concerns on the current kidnap saga that appears to be sending Nigeria and Nigerians right to the front burners.
More than ever, we as a people are once again united on a singular issue that has proven to us that except we begin to see one another as belonging to the same family of Homo sapiens, care for one another, respect one another without recourse to ethnicity or religion, we are doomed.
I still see a lot of good in our unity as a country and may not have been willing to negotiate this for the unknowns of breaking up; sadly it looks like this is where we are headed. I have therefore started considering possible options and scenarios should we finally get to that decision to go our separate ways after 100 years of forced and misguided marriage.
Loads of drama and mixed reactions had trailed the kidnap of hundreds of girls from Chibok in Maiduguri. Every Nigerian is talking, the world is talking and all seem to have an opinion on the kidnap.
I agree with this level of reaction especially from my understanding that death comes with closure but not kidnap. Not even when the kidnap is under some very interesting circumstances; all key parameters that would help connect with a pragmatic rescue plan remain unknown; the actual number of victims, the motive, the current state of the victims, and the likely location of the victims. Lack of these knowledge therefore puts me top on the list of those who feel strongly our leadership isn’t on top of this matter.
Another interesting twist in this matter is the some people still think the whole kidnap saga is a hoax! Nobody is actually missing, there’s no Sambisa Forest etc. Few have canvassed logical argument as to why it may be silly to think such a scandal could happen while others have been utterly economical with common sense. In all of these, the common factor is that the kidnap style looks too simple to be true or too clean to have been carried out without some inside high profile connivance. Whatever it is, I can tell that we are in big trouble.
Our trouble is further compounded by the fact that these criminals seem to be getting bolder by the day and always have ample time to carry out their dastardly acts. While clamouring for the release of the Chibok victims, eight more girls have been kidnapped and over 300 hundred people killed all by boko haram. To think that boko haram gets up to 12 hours to carry out operations, killing, maiming and burning further confirms this trouble.
These girls, where ever they are, from whatever angle we choose to see it; whether of the conspiracy theorists school of thought or the realists, are already transformed. They are not returning the way they left. They would have been tortured psychologically and possible sexually abused, who knows. Either of these is too much a price to pay for their age.
Considering the urgency of this matter, and the glaring incompetence and unwillingness of the government to take charge of this situation, help has been sought from the United States and that is a cause for concern.
The signal we have sent is simple, ‘we can’t deal with this, please help!’
The Pentagon has somehow defined the scope of assistance and limited same to communications, logistics and intelligence-planning. That’s fair enough but it looks to me like if this is about all they are here to do, we should have called them in long ago as it has been common knowledge we were terribly way off the mark in these areas.
Can it then be safely assume the troops are coming in with loads of state-of-the-art arms and other equipment that would atleast help our military match the sophistication of boko haram? It looks to me though, we don’t have enough time on our hands to have our military elaborately trained on information management, handling advanced arms and intelligence if what we are about to deal with is just rescuing the girls. They have been away for over 3 weeks.
Does our military have the true coordinates of sambisa forest or they would rely on the American troops to help them get that? Would the troop now give our men the needed confidence to go into the forest to confront boko haram? Are they giving our military the arms they never had? What more information do we have to share with the troops besides the briefs they have had from Pentagon because I seem to just feel that the Pentagon would most likely have more information than our military?
In all of these, I would say, this issue should not have degenerated into what we currently have and now that it has, it is one issue we can deal with if the right attitude and political will has been exhibited by our leaders. These two qualities lacking are so key that I doubt if the American troop would achieve anything meaningful if nothing is done about them. If, I mean if by chance, our leadership however turns a new leaf at the prompting of the American troop, you would agree we are in a bigger trouble.
Mr. President has vowed this kidnap would be the beginning of the end of boko haram; that is the prayer of a number of Nigerians even though we would have preferred it had ended long before now. His standpoint is fraught with weakness and disconnect from reality. Activities of boko haram suggests a very long beginning of a very long end.
Whatever happens after now would confirm one or more of our fears; are we mere pawn on a political chess boards or are we a pack of lions being led by a sheep?
I hope these girls are brought back; whatever is left of them and an end is put to this menace.