Over the weekend my adorable daughter Yuadoo slipped a paper painting to me; one off the many flashes of her lavish pool of multitalents and sheer brilliance. It was the colourful picture of a chic girl shaded beneath a blue umbrella, and drowned in a flowing brine of colours.
As it’s wont of me, especially in recent times, this gift came as a soothing balm over the scathing emotional bruises incurred from the Jangede girls’ abduction saga.
From Chibok to Dapchi, Kankara to Kagara and now Jangede. Where next? I pondered. Just one abduction too many.
As I looked at her a film of tears smooching my eyes, I thought of the agonies and travails of the said 317 or 279 girls, most of whom should be Yuadoo’s age cohorts, and of course like her, priceless jewels to their families. I wondered my predicament if she were one of the abductees, God forbid, as I queried my citizenship and responsibility, the essence of leadership and the survival of Nigeria as a country. Here is one girl child showcasing hers and just a stone throw away another’s is blighted, all in one Nigeria.
As a tear droplet strolled down my cheek from already flooded eyes, and my mind wandered acres afar, I barely heard her asking “Don’t you like it daddy?”
“I do”, I retorted. Yes, I truly did. I am happy for her talent and scrupulousness but sad for her hapless peers as well. Just like I do for Leah every other day, I’m compelled to wail for my Jangebe daughters too. This is sadly the tragedy of Nigeria my beloved country, where we’ve taken for granted the solemnity of our peace and unity, and mortgaged our collective oneness on the squalid alters of bigotry. We fail to ask questions because ours may be gored. Yet this administration has failed to provide basic security. Period!
Daily we ignore the throbbing echoes of silence, and daily we drift to our precipice.
I speak, for someday, just someday soon, I dare say, we’ll earnestly yearn for a country but then we may cry too late. Because, with the Jangebe 279 and the likes we arrantly waste our tomorrow through our conspiracy of silence.
Dr. Terna-kester Kyenge,