If not for anything, the abduction of over 200 girls on the night of 14th April, 2014 at Government Secondary School, Chibok has brought the attention of the international community towards the plight of the North easterners in Nigeria.
Before the abduction, innocent citizens in that part of Nigeria were perishing on daily basis courtesy of either the activities of the murderous criminals fighting in the name of religion or by the blood thirsty soldiers employed and paid to protect the people. Yes, the defenseless citizens found themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea. Between the dreaded members of BH sect fighting to “topple the infidels’ reign” and the soldiers vowed to sustained the regime. Both parties killed and maimed innocent Nigerians with impunity.
While all these were going on, the international media in their usual hypocritical and selective modus operandi had shunned away from the region. Save for Al Jazeera and some local private media organisations, most of the gruesome stories of massacres, bloodbaths, extrajudicial killings and collateral damages would have remained untold. A single life lost in Syria, or a student short in an American University by a colleague or a Palestinian shot to death by an Israeli soldier is worth publicising than 200 lives wasted at once by a suicide bomber in Maiduguri.
But the abduction of the Chibok girls changed the situation. With Michelle Obama setting in the train, many first ladies of the Western countries took to street in show solidarity with the girls. The international media turned their gadgets to the region and the Nigerian government intensified efforts to freed the girls.
I have been a feminist all my life, always canvassing and agitating for the rights of women in our societies. But the level of attention accorded to the Chibok girls is getting on my nerves. Why the government is more concerned in freeing them than the rest of the captives. What of thousands of young boys who were equally abducted, conscripted or cajoled into joining the insurgency. What effort is being made to free them and rehabilitate them rather than condemn them. Why always trying to appease the Chibok girls’ parents and forgetting the parents of Buni Yadi school children who were murdered in cold blood in their slumber. What effort is being made to alleviate the suffering of the millions of IDPs languishing in camps in the most of deplorable conditions. Why the special treatment to Chinook girls? What of the many other women who were equally abducted and freed but left to suffer stigmatization from their kith and kin. What effort is being made to rehabilitate them and integrate them into the society.
Recently, one of the girls identified as Amina Ali was freed by the Nigerian Army. Few days later, another one by name Sara Luka was also freed whose identity was shrouded with controversy. The Parents of the Chibok Girls Association rejecting her while the Army trying to prove her among the abducted girls. What a laughable matter. Was that important? I think what is important is that, she is a Nigerian, abducted and freed and that’s all.
Did the girls deserve the treatment or as usual we are trying to prove our perpetual loyalty to the Western world? Is our president afraid of Obi Ezekweseli and her cohorts wearing red jerseys camping at the Fountain Square or he is discharging his duty as a the president of Nigeria? If the former is the answer, then he should come to Kano and hear the heartrending story of a widow who had lost all her five sons in the Kano Central Mosque bomb blast. There are thousands of men and women with similar tragic experiences, in Kano, in Gombe, in Yobe, Adamawa and Maiduguri, nursing inflicted physical and emotional pains, dying in silence because they have no Obi Ezekweseli or Michelle Obama to raise a placard on their behalf.
There are still many girls and women in the dens of the insurgents not just the Chibok girls.
A word is a enough for the wise.