You don’t mess with babies and innocent children. The days of Boko Haram are numbered. Fanatics and maniacs always overplay their hand. To Nigerians, our collective indolence has allowed this septic and cancerous sect of Islāmic militants to fester for five years. Five years! They are operating on a “scale and ferocity that underscores how far Nigerian security forces are from protecting civilians” (Reuters). Only Nigerians will guffaw at this statement. Security forces ko? Nigeria Police ni?
The Police Force Chief and senior officers should be indicted for gross incompetence, bribery and arrant negligence which has enabled these Boko Haram fanatics even exist, unleash their religious fervor on a secular country and acquire a formidable cache of high-powered arms and ammunition. The money for hand, back for ground attitude has made Nigeria a country without a system or conscious law enforcement culture, a breeding pool for injustice, corruption and criminality. Everyone asks, “why bother, when justice is sold to the highest bidder?”
In 2012, The New York Time published an extensive article on Boko Haram’s reign of fear in Kano, which is the organization’s stronghold, stirring both hatred and sympathy from the locals:
“The Nigerian state is typically the enemy, and many analysts see the nation’s enduring poverty as one reason…Boko Haram’s stronghold, about 75 percent of the population is considered poor…aware of the glaring contrast between his or her own life and those of the elite. Since 2009, the group has killed well over 900 people, Human Rights Watch says… Crowds quickly gather around to voice their heated discontent, not with Boko Haram, but with what they describe as a shared enemy: the Nigerian state, seen by the poor here as a purveyor of inequality.”
International attention is mounting pressure on the government to show it is working to protect civilians. How inept is the government? Our girls were taken away last month. Daughters didn’t come home at night, parents lived in bushes, yet the government and rest of us snuggled and slept soundly. My sincere apologies… Nigeria is simply living up to it’s name “The sleeping giant of Africa.”
This violent Islamist quasi-army is deeply embedded with the locals of the large, impoverished and dusty metropolis of Kano who live with uncertainty, terror and threat of retribution if they give any information to the authorities. So with bravado, Boko Haram strikes forcefully, repeatedly mostly against the authorities unleashing mayhem and death.
Finally, their cries are heard all around the world, their captors required them to kowtow. But their inner strength, produced the wails, not in surrender, but in defiance. Boko Haram cannot break our daughters’ will to be free.
Our girls are strong-minded. They’ll survive this. I only pray they hold their heads up and remember to extend forgiveness, and not become enslaved to their experience.
African diaspora which started as slavery, characterized by inhumane treatment, shipment of human cargo and savagely torn dreams and families, produced a mutated class of Africans, who have the ocean winds and slave ships as unstable foundations. They remain homeless, without mores, lost in America and Europe. But Alex Haley and others like him, have sought their roots, not that it can offer them anything more than solid dirt soil from which their ancestors were cruelly uprooted.
Africans spared the cattle prods, the scourging whips, the hangman’s noose and the humiliation of our race, have instead signed up for voluntary exodus. We are dispersed like dandelion plant parachutes, dreaming of a better life anywhere in the world but home, while most of our egocentric and mercenary leaders turn our nations into their personal piggy banks and strip its dignity. Hoping for change, our hearts quiver…longing for home.
Home? It’s tempting to be sympathetic, considering the anguish, frustration and abject poverty that drives anyone to associate with a group like Boko Haram. Nigerians have prayed for a revolution against the blatant corruption and injustice in the government, but is this the answer?
Led by a grungy, lice-plagued religious fanatic and his brain-washed acolytes who, call the abduction of our girls…over 200 of them from exam halls at Chibok village, the massacre of over 125 innocent citizens at Gamburu, the car bombs that killed over 94 people at Abuja recently…revolution and worship. Worship to Allah!? What in this religion condones the subjugation of women and massacre of fellow citizens impaired by the burden of poverty?
Violence or Jihad isn’t an effective recruiting strategy or solution to Nigeria’s deeply rooted corruption — An Islāmic State or Sharia Law, where the rate of amputation as punishment is alarming isn’t either. Obviously, people prefer to keep their limbs and religious freedom, but blinded by hatred these maniacal militants persist. We need another way to fight the institutionalized monsters of inequality, poverty, nepotism, despair and hopelessness in Nigeria.
Malala Yousafzai, the world’s most famous advocate for girls’ right to education, a survivor of an assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban in her native country in 2002, has decried this abduction of the Nigerian girls, in her interview with CNN’s Christian Amanpour saying, “Girls in Nigeria are my sisters.”
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened in a video to sell the girls abducted on April 14 from a secondary school in Chibok “on the market” according to Reuters. These Boko Haram group and others like them are an abject apology to manhood, masking their neurosis and sexism under the cloak of religion.
Reuter also reports that President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the U.S. offer to send an American team to Nigeria to support the government’s efforts to find the girls. Finally! U.S. President Barack Obama has said the kidnappings “may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime”.
I agree. It’s about time. But this will not be the last of such organizations, if Nigerian leaders continue the pillage of our nation’s treasury and their disdain of its citizens. I pray for the safe return of our girls, daughters and sisters. These are our daughters.