Federal Government And The Challenge Of Purposefulness – The War Against Abduction
Elated, could be the best way to describe the reaction of most Nigerians, even sympathizers all around the globe, when the news of the purported ongoing negotiation between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram insurgents dropped in, more so as it concerned the abducted Chibok girls.
The source of the report even went further to inform anxious Nigerians that a deal had been struck for the girls to regain their freedom and was specific at announcing Monday, 20 October, 2014 as the very day that they would be physically handed over to the government.
One could only imagine how excited the majority of Nigerians, especially the parents, relatives and acquaintances of these girls must have felt: to have back in your arms your beloved daughter, in body and soul, after over 180 days in the grip of those mindless brutes, to them, must have sounded much more like a fairy tale.
Quite understandably, the excitement cum anxiety could hardly be described. Most of the parents, especially the mothers, have undoubtedly cried bitterly and uncontrollably days and nights since their beloved ones have been taken away. To committed sympathizers such as the “BRING BACK OUR GIRLS” group, Monday was going to turn out to be the very moment they had been hoping for and so could not wait.
However, to cynics and sceptics, they couldn’t afford to be excited at the news and so had rather choose to wait and see. Their position too should be understood, judging from the spate of uncoordinated and self-contradictory information dissemination style this regime has become notorious for, over the years. Trust gullible Nigerians, government apologists and praise-singers immediately, in a state of assumed triumph, engaged in singing their common songs and chest-beating, calling perceived opponents and critics of the government names. But before we could finish saying uhuru!, the heart-rending reports of another round of bloody attacks on innocent, defenceless civilians right there in Adamawa State, hit us like a thunderbolt.
And quite typical of this government, the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs reportedly came out via Twitter to tell whoever cares to listen that the government never fixed any date for the return of the Chibok girls. As he put it, “the mischievous rumours” were aimed at discrediting the government. How hollow could that claim have sounded to all concerned? Perhaps, Dr.Reuben Abati would soon come up with his own version. That has been the trade mark and so nobody should be disappointed.
However, our concern in the whole scenario is the degree of levity displayed by the Federal Government over this unabated wastage of lives and property within and around territories under emergency rule and which our military has constantly been claiming to be firmly under its control. Of much more concern are we over the insurgent’s new found knack for abducting women (and girls) at will and the government never appeared to be so concerned about this incessant debasing of human dignity and in particular, the reckless abuse of womanhood.
It’s so sad to see our women and girls been gradually reduced to mere pets that can be picked up in droves and tamed for whatever purposes. We are also amazed at what appears to us as a gross tactical error on the part of our military, who seemed to have so trusted the insurgents, based on the purported deal, and so dropped their guide; an advantage the brutes quickly took to unleash terror once again on innocent Nigerians.
It is against any known military strategy the world over, for one of the parties in a war, to relax its combat formation for a moment, even during negotiation of any kind. This unfortunate display of naivety appeared to have given the insurgents this undue advantage which has now claimed the lives and freedom of scores of innocent Nigerians.
The Action Team Against Conscription and Kidnap, ATACK, a nationwide network of CSOs and NGOs with the objective of agitating the cause of victims of abduction, kidnap, hostage-taking, forced marriage and conscription, is hereby calling on the government to, as a matter of utmost importance and urgency, put in motion the necessary machinery aimed at forestalling any further kidnap abduction of Nigerians, especially our women and girls. We are not in a jungle and ours is certainly not a banana island. Government must realize that our dignity as a sovereign nation will always be measured and evaluated by the way we relate with ourselves as decent and civilized people. It has to do whatever it could to put a permanent stop to this dehumanizing and grossly debasing trend. The insurgents, we believe, are stoppable if the political will on the part of the government is there.
23 October, 2014