Chibok Girls: Like Jonathan, Like Buhari?



Last week, the notorious terrorists called Boko Haram released another video showing some of the abducted Chibok girls to mark their 28th month in captivity. It re-awakened the hope that the girls are yet rescueable after all.

It is not question of re-awakening hope. It is question of activating practical means of the rescue. We have never lacked in hope.

You don’t understand. I mean that seeing them in that video again showed that they are not all dead. And that something can still be done to free them from their captors.

I understood you perfectly. I am saying that we have hoped enough. We have prayed enough. In fact, we have strategised enough. Let the girls be brought back. That is all that matters now. Nothing else!

Huh, you talk as if the girls are wilfully being held back or ignored or abandoned to their fate.
That is what it seems.

Noooo, that is not fair. Are you not aware of how the military has been routing the Boko Haram insurgents? Are you not a witness to how the insurgents have been degraded, sacked, chased, killed, maimed, arrested ravaged and even—

(cuts in) Enough of your chain of circumlocution. That’s not what the Chibok parents need now. That’s not what Nigerians need now. Not glib talks. They need action. An action that will retrieve the girls back home. An action that will end this prolonged trauma and agony. An action that will change their tears for laughter. An action that will be a soothing relief.

My dear, the soldiers are doing their best. You know how the dreaded Sambisa forest has been demystified. You know how the many camps of the terrorists have been damaged, how many have been captured and even killed. You know that the remaining grains of terrorists are on the run. When last did you hear of attacks as they used to do those days? Be still. Boko Haram will soon be history.

I am not doubting you. I don t care if Boko Haram becomes Geography. All I am saying is that this is a new government. The failure of former President Jonathan’s administration to rescue the girls was used against him and got voted out of power. Many thought that Buhari will come smoking the terrorists out and handing over the girls back to their wailing mothers within a short time. But alas, Buhari has been in office for 15 months now and unable to deal with the Chibok issue decisively, whereas Jonathan was with the Chibok problem only for 13 months. And Nigerians were abusively impatient with him. So who, between Jonathan and Buhari has had a longer time to deal with the Chibok question now?

Don’t forget that Buhari never promised having or using a magic wand to rescue the girls. You must also note that Buhari is facing too many distractions: from killer herdsmen on rampage, through the destructive Niger Delta Avengers down to a fast-shrinking economy occasioned by fall in oil price, not forgetting other pockets of troubles ranging from the Biafra threat of IPOB, increasing number of illegal bunkerers, the menace of corruption that had left the nation hollow, padding-friendly lawmakers, huge deaths at the IDP camps etc.

What an excuse! Is there any government without governance challenges? Didn’t the Buhari government say Jonathan bought no arms and that was why the insurgents had a field day? And that was why the Chibok girls remained in captivity? Didn’t the APC propaganda machine say the Jonathan administration was clueless on how to rescue the Chibok girls? So where is the clue they have now? What have they done with the arms they have bought? Are the Chibok girls not yet missing and hapless? And do you know many of them have died? Over 40 have been married out? Many have long become mothers? Didn’t you see some pregnant in that video? Are you not worried that only about 50 of the girls were in the video? Where are the others?

Don’t misrepresent facts. Even the worst critics of Buhari know that the narrative about the insurgents in Nigeria is no longer the same? Yes, not all 219 or so girls are likely to be found and rescued, but if you remember where we are coming from with the insurgents, you will hail the Buhari administration for having run roughshod over the Boko Haram terrorists.

As at today, no territory or even community is under the control of the terrorists. They have been completely put to rout in all directions. Look, the technology being deployed right now by the military will soon end the Chibok girls’ nightmare. Didn’t you see what the Nigeria Airforce did to the Arepo pipeline vandals? Just be patient. A solution is being worked out. Don’t forget the few remaining terrorist use the Chibok girls as shields. That is why all care is being taken to ensure that the military does not apply a medicine that will kill both the disease and the patient at the same time.

Or are you not aware that the military has declared some three persons including a journalist wanted in connection with their link with Boko Haram? Just be calm. A little while, the sun will shine on the rescue plans and strategies being planned.

Hmmm, this is like sermon on the mount. Look, all these will amount to nothing if the Chibok girls remain elusive. They have to be rescued and reunited with their families. Otherwise people will say of this Chibok challenge, it is: like Jonathan, like Buhari.

God forbid. Be optimistic. It will soon be dawn.