...too many answered questions!
|abducted school girls|
Nigerians woke up on Thursday, April 14, 2014, to the news of the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) in Chibok town, Borno State by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents. The news came at a time when Nigerians were yet to recover from the Monday bomb blast that rocked Nyanya Motor Park, a few kilometres from the Federal Capital City, where scores of people lost their lives and property worth millions of naira vandalised.
It is over 50 days now and the helpless girls have not been found.
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Secondary schools in Borno State had earlier evacuated their students from the schools after the insurgents killed 59 boys in Federal Government College, Buni-Yadi, Yobe State on February 25. However, some schools were selected for students in SSS3 to write their WASSCE. GGSS in Chibok was one of the schools where the examinations were conducted and students from different schools were merged to write their exams there.
On the fateful day, the Arts student were said to have completed their examination. They were reportedly told to go back home immediately after their exams. While some of them went home, others remained in school with the science students who were waiting to write their Physics paper.
254 girls were said to have been in their dormitory when the insurgents struck. 40 girls reportedly escaped while they were being transported leaving 234 girls behind. The escapees said the insurgents, who were dressed in the Army uniform, said they wanted to transport them to a safe place since they received reports that the school would soon be under attack. They said they jumped out of the vehicles when one of the other vehicles developed a fault. The other girls were reportedly transported to Sambisa forest, South of Borno State, the sect hideout.
A lot of mysteries have surrounded the kidnap of these girls and several questions have been raised by critics. One of the questions is the exact number of the abducted girls. Varying figures have been released among which are 219, 234, 254, 276 girls. This disparity, among others, have made some people (such as Asari Dokubo) to insist that are no missing girls.
One of the mysteries is how 40 girls would escape without being shot. One could argue that the insurgents left them because they already had a lot of girls. Another is how the girls were transported without being noticed, not to talk about being challenged by any of the villagers. If they had been transported by Hilux trucks as claimed, how many trucks would they have used for over 200 girls? Also a mystery is why the names and pictures of the abducted girls and those that escaped were not released by the school and WAEC. It was argued that the pictures and names of the escaped girls couldn’t be released in order to ensure their security.
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Another question is why the kingpin of the insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, releases videos to say exactly what people say happened to the girls? Shortly after the kidnap of the girls, the media speculated that the girls were being sold and married off to neighbouring countries of Chad and Niger with a bride price of N2000. Shekau released a video on the 5th of May to say he would marry them off and sell them saying there is a market for selling girls. Later, some people said he was forcefully converting the girls to Islaam. On the 12th day of May, he released another video of the girls dressed in Hijab and reciting the Qur’an. This video sparked controversies.
The first is how majority of the girls who were not Muslims and had never recited the Qur’an could recite fluently. The second is the exact location of the girls. Sambisa forest is said to be a “forest”, but in the video, the location of the girls didn’t portray the forest we were made to believe. One wonders if they are actually in a forest or not. The third is that the girls looked neat and well-fed. This generated a question of how the insurgents got the money to provide Hijab (Muslim attires) for all the girls. Definitely, the money would be coming from somewhere and the food items would be bought from a market.
Another bothering issue is the way the government is handling the issue. It took the President nineteen days to publicly speak on the abducted girls. He didn’t believe that the girls are abducted in the first instance. The Nigerian Armed Forces have not been able to find the exact location of the missing girls and their kidnappers. Truth be told, if they really want to locate them, they would have done that. The videos are being uploaded on the internet; the IP address can be traced to get the location. The Nigerian Forces looking for the girls can easily trace which bank large amounts of money are being withdrawn from and which markets food items were being purchased in large numbers. Also is how he is uploading the videos. Is he using a generator or he is PHCN powered? Who pays the PHCN bills or where do they buy large quantities of fuel to power their generator?
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The display of the First Lady on National television also prompted lots of reactions first of which was her reaction was 22 days late. Her exhibition prompted an article written by Tunde Asaju titled, Change the Joke Jesters. He wrote, “The First family is a circus, the security chiefs are the jesters the government is a comedy of errors and nobody is amused except the courtiers, contractors, the ten percenters and the rented crowd. The idiotic way of handling serious issue of embarrassment rubs off on the global recognition earned by our citizens abroad... What a shame that our ship of governance is sinking or at best adrift, our Captain is either too inebriated to handle the situation or at best has left the ship to hunt fingerlings. Change the joke jesters, nobody is laughing.”
One other developing issue is the foreign-aid. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and China offered to help Nigeria find the missing girls. While some Nigerians have hailed their efforts, others are against it. Personally, I believe if Nigerian government is serious about fighting the insurgents, they would have done so a long time ago. The reality of the situation with the United States and the so-called world super powers is that, whenever they go into a country for “interventions”, they leave it worse than they met it. Take a look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya and a host of others. Those countries are worse than when the U.S. went there. We also need to understand that they once predicted Nigeria would not remain as a country after 2015. This implies that when Nigeria was being created in 1914, it was not intended for it to last beyond a hundred years. It was an experiment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boko Haram is their creation and being funded by them to destabilize Nigeria so that they can come in for assistance and split the country. After all, Taliban was a CIA creation to fight the former USSR.
- story by Safiyyah AbdurRasaq (Our correspondent, Abuja)