THE abduction of students in the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, which Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari claims to have been perpetrated by “local bandits,” is worrisome as to whether or not these schoolboys would undergo similar torture and travail the Chibok girls underwent six years ago.
Well, Boko Haram appears to have admitted that it’s been responsible for the December 11 seizure on Tuesday, December 15. And in the meantime, “bring back our boys” is slowly but steadily becoming a hashtag – that is, #BringBackOurBoys. Whilst some ‘escapists’ have fled for dear life, others are apparently in despair and disillusionment. I think bringing back the hundreds of boys should be of utmost concern to us rather than quibbling and grappling over the principality or power behind such perpetration.
The horrific and terrific experience of the Chibok girls begins to dawn on us as it did pose so great a challenge before us.
The Nigerian government seems to have been lagging and lackadaisical – as it were, myopic – to the crucial calls and existential exigencies of the April 14, 2014 event.
I remember: It was a day when the benign female students were taking one of their West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations and, suddenly, they went a-scuttling and a-hiding at the sound of approaching jackboots; jolted and carried away into faraway lands, a certain number of the girls were tentatively Islamised, sold, and even callously raped.
Such a force majeure is indeed rememberably disheartening and depressing. And I do think the Buhari administration should have fortified those Northern states of the country vulnerable to attacks and abductions of the group of terrorists who have been bent on breaking in through the fissures of disintegrated decision makings on securities.
Well, probably, ideally, Operation Shege Ka Fasa would have proven formidable and resistant to the monochromatically programmed invaders and intruders, provided the Federal Government, together with the Northern elders and elite, had envisaged and prepared for the rupture and return of attack allegedly attributed to Boko Haram. But the reverse is the case: Buhari’s Nigeria has by and large been promising and compromising matters of security, which shouldn’t be.
So the home-call truth is that the abduction doesn’t warrant any form of abnegation or aspersion but rather an astute corrective measure to the ‘little pandemic’ at hand. We haven’t concentrated too much on the COVID-19, anyway. But it’s time we began to jointly, every which way, provide palliatives of new security agencies that would give hope and assurance to supposedly liable Boko Haram victims.
That’s what I think the Federal Government could do to contain the colossal wrongdoings of soporific security personnel. Crucially, Kankara is in a woebegone state and unable to close two eyes asleep. How about other zonal states – Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and the like – which have consequently and tumultuously been in hysteria and hypomania and hypochondria because of the “many days are for the owners, one day is for the thieves” possible pragmatic displays of the Boko Haramists?
If the hunter continues to shoot without the bird perching, then what’s the essence of the hunter’s shooting? That’s the idea: technically, it would be a herculean task eviscerating Boko Haram; but typically, it’s not impossible to build impenetrable walls of Jericho around potentially besieged cities and schools.
All the billions of naira loaned from The World Bank, for example, could be channelled towards the security and protection of the future of our generation. All the donors and supporters who aided and abetted the curbing and containing of the first-wave coronavirus (where art thou?) could still come along, much more actively and proactively, with President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting the battle for the soul of the nation.
It’s only with this mindset and spirit of esprit de corps that we can repatriate and rescue the boys from the claws of the adversities. It’s only when we see governance as a collective effort – as the COVID-19 has taught us – that we can again have each other’s back by bringing all hands and hearts on deck.
Interestingly, that is what unites us as a definite, democratised entity. So, like Franklin Roosevelt would say, “on my part and yours we face our common difficulties.” The common difficulties in ensuring abducted Kankara school boys are redeemed from the roughshod of the abductors. The common difficulties in making sure that the safety and security of lives and property are not only properties of the 1999 Constitution but more importantly properties of our conduct and character.
Therefore, social activists and crusaders who had been on the frontline of #BringBackOurGirls should not be weary in well-doing for in due season they would have their rewards. That’s to say that the battle for the soul of the nation is not a one-off thing. That’s to say that no gender is free from any form of violence, denial, or infringement of any of his or her rights.
Really, that’s what makes leaders leaders: Leaders who are readily available to assail both the boys and girls and men and women from anything and anyone that poses a threat to their livelihood and survivalhood, in particular, and to the growth and sustainability of nationhood, in general.
That’s how we can subside the recurrent life-threatening difficulties of Boko Haram, a group whose raison d’être remains an unspoken, unstated, unpredictable baffling will-o’-the-wisp.
What is even more considerable, these Boko Haramists have purposively migrated from the North East to North West – respectively, from Borno to Katsina. Logically, they might be storming in on the North Central five or six years to come, if care is not taken. It’s as such pertinent that the Buhari administration strategically circumvent the Northern geo-political zones with indispensable special-weapons-and-tactics teams.
Ige, a social commentator, wrote from Lagos
Vanguard News Nigeria