Missing Nigerian Girls Abducted by Boko Haram Islamic Militants

Credit Pixabay - African Girl

Credit Pixabay – African Girl

#BringBackOurGirls.

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:

Credit- PointBlankNews

Credit- PointBlankNews

“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.

Credit: BBC.CO.UK

Credit: BBC.CO.UK

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.

Credit: Pixabay - Dandelion

Credit: Pixabay – Dandelion Parachutes

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.

Credit: NIMASA Seafarers

Credit: NIMASA Seafarers

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.

 

 

News Sources:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/05/us-nigeria-bokoharam-idUSBREA440BJ20140505
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/06/us-nigeria-girls-idUSBREA450IO20140506
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/world/africa/in-northern-nigeria-boko-haram-stirs-fear-and-sympathy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/07/world/africa/malala-nigeria-boko-haram/

If I Could Peek at the Super Power of Love

Love Super Power

The super power I would have chosen would have been the ability to travel through time.
Definitely.

I love…’love’ and the greatest love story that I would have wanted to see or know was my fathers’
Call it a stroke of genius or what, but before my Dad passed away, I sent him a voice recorder to tell stories about his childhood and family history.

Sadly, I didn’t get all the juicy details I really needed, one because ‘someone else’ – my brother was the interviewer.
And we know guys do not care much for details.

But, thankfully, I still got some nuggets which I am using in my book.
Dad went to Morehouse College and married his American sweetheart and returned to Africa with his new bride and their growing family.
I would give anything to be the fly on the wall, while she had told her family and friends that she was relocating to a third world country.

It’s one thing for her family when crazy, young love is on your turf, with civilization, 911 and emergency services at your disposal, how do you let your baby girl go off with a strange African? How did she navigate the unknown in the even stranger language, culture,  food and the village life??
Oh… the questions…

There must have been something extraordinary and fearless about this African-American beauty, who loved, married my Dad, and returned with him after his studies to the Nigeria, Africa in the 1960s.
There was not much to help with her research. She did not have any extensive background information about Nigeria, now called (erroneously, in my opinion) as the ‘Giant of Africa’ or have access to travel, adventure websites.

She did not have today’s internet or safari travel agencies, which among the poverty, corruption and painful maladies also paints an exotic picture, promising the thrills and wonders of:

‘Exciting tourist attractions, Historic sites nestled amid rivers and rain forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, remote creek villages, miles of pristine beaches and exotic national Wildlife reserves, museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural melange right down to everyday traditional markets, spectacular sights and sensual delights awaiting the traveler to Nigeria.’

Love Super PowerShe had to trust her husband completely and rely on stories from books which labelled Africa, the Dark continent, a third world and undeveloped country.
Horrid stories of savages living on trees, barbaric rituals, black magic – ‘juju’ and still she migrated, taking that dreaded sixteen-hour flight with their two sons. She had a vow to keep, one to love and cherish till death.

I’m a fill-in-the-gap person, so the ability to go back and see how it all evolved who have come in handy. Sure, I can make up stories and extrapolate how she was swept off her feet, but like they say, there’s nothing like the real thing, baby!
Love is the real thing. It’s the only super power that matters 🙂

Prompt: You get to choose one superpower: The ability to speak and understand any language, the ability to travel through time or the ability to make any two people agree with each other.

Boarding School Days at Feddy

Visiting Sunday @ FGGC Owerri

Visiting Sunday @ FGGC Owerri – Some 30 years ago!

“Hey! you in that yellow dress…come here. Don’t make me chase you!”

Somewhere in my peripheral vision, I could see someone pointing at me and gesturing wildly. These were the times I wished I could be a ghost, a phantom, a whisper or  any kind of unseen being in boarding school. My yellow-checked day dress embraced my dread and trailed behind my bony ankles as I trudged across the lush field to attend to the senior student’s needs.

Her dagger-like fingernails pegged my ear lobes, a painful reminder that my name would be Hey, till years gave me power and senior status. The summons would be followed by commands, I would be dismissed with grunts, only to be hunted – another day like prey across the green fields between yellow house and Class 1Z .

In Nigerian culture, you don’t wake up in the morning and toss a greeting to your parents like it’s a frisbee. Respect and reverence was the norm. Our elders and these seniors students took their sense of entitlement to rocket-propelled heights. Our junior years in a girls’ boarding school were grueling – we did their laundry, fetched endless buckets of water, scrubbed floors and cleaned the dormitories. Sometimes we just provided entertainment like breakdancing or singing when the senior students got bored.

I got a lucky break when a senior prefect came to my rescue and assigned me to classroom and notice board duties. So instead of the back-breaking hard labor required in the dorms,  I made banners, arranged articles and learnt cursive and incredible ways to make the letter y and g become even more awesome, with feathered or sprouting curves and bold swirls on those huge banners.

Friends and kindness made years go by as we crept under the windows of  these upper class seniors to get to class or the school tuck-shop. The highlight of each month was visiting Sunday, when our families came to spend the day. We smuggled banned delicacies and specialties. My mother (the beauty in the middle) cooked stewed  jellof  rice, fried beef & chicken, corn on the cob and african pears and replenished our school supplies and groceries.

We took pictures, posing with our chicken wings – like we had something to prove.  For those who think I made this picture thing up, that’s us sucking on chicken wings. (My sister and I are the skinnies’ on the front row, our then baby sister in a striped top between us, flanked by our brother and friends) There’s an unidentified  peeping-betsy on the side.

I spent all my allowance on Bartho’s whatyoumaycallit rolls and ice-cream Saturdays and escaped into Mills & Boons and Harlequin idiotic fantasies of deft brassière snapping bad boys. Somehow it never occurred to me that these were not African guys. Well, now I’ve seen the light (inside joke).

It has been over thirty years but our experience, like a stiff, strong drink, remains intoxicating and is yet to wear off. I created my FB page yesterday and again my Feddy sisters showed up to support me. Thanks for remaining dear friends, and forever sisters!