The politics of the Chibok girls?
Sometime last year, 15th April, 2014 to be precise, there was hula hala everywhere, the social media went agog, and internet was set ablaze, newspaper sand everywhere had one major discussion, the abduction of the Chibok girls. Before they gained the famous or rather infamous title Chibok girls, they were hitherto normal secondary school girls, who were preparing to write their senior secondary school examination. Like all unsuspecting preys, they never imagined that they would fall so easily to the hands of their predators. They girls were abducted under mysterious circumstances in the village of Chibok in Bornu state, Nigeria by the extremist Islamic group Boko Haram. I would have loved to tell a line by line plot of the story of the abduction of the Chibok girls, however, that is not the aim of this article. The kidnap of the girls brought about intense publicity, it is however worthy to note that this was not the first terrorist attack on Bornu or Nigeria; however it would not be presumptuous to state that this was the proverbial stroke that broke the camel’s back.
It was a singular event that brought the whole country to one unanimous decision, the girls must be brought back and even there was a hash tag that made famous by politicians and celebrities on twitter, instagram, and other social media: # Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG). The activities of the bring back our girls group were spearheaded by some former top government officials such as Oby Ezekwesili, Dino Melaye and even some non - governmental organizations, they campaigned for government intervention in the rescue of the abducted girls. The government publicly spoke about the girls for the first time a month later precisely on the 4th of May, 2014, it made efforts to bring back the girls to no avail, in a counter reaction, the leader of the notorious Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau released a video on the 5th of may 2014 in which he arrogantly attested to the fact that the aforementioned group actually kidnapped the girls and had no intention of releasing the girls. This brought about renewed interest in the case and the BBOG carried about their demonstrations around wearing their symbolic uniform; white and red with a tape on their sealed lips. Prayers and fasting were made by various religious groups, the dailies made it a point of duty to carry a day to day report on the progress the group’s activities. Each day, the absence of the girls was recorded in the dailies. In response of his seemingly nonchalant attitude, the former President Good luck Jonathan explained his silence as his desire not to compromise the details of the security measures that are carried out in order to rescue the girls.
Upon the induction of a new government, the hopes of the parents of the girls and other well meaning Nigerians were raised a savior has finally come alas the girls would be brought back. The new president Mohammad Buhari in his inaugural lecture assured the country and the whole world that the government would do everything possible to ensure that the girls are brought back safely. To this effect, President Buhari and the first lady visited the mothers of the Chibok girls two weeks later. Countries all over the world offered assistance for the rescue of the girls, countries like France, Canada, Iran, China but to mention a few.
It is however a matter of great concern that the year has almost come to an end and it seems that the epistle of the Chibok is closing with the end of the year. The way the protests have died totally ( I stand to be corrected) and the sudden cold feet which has being developed in the case of the girls are very disturbing, not to mention the fate of the girls. Only very few remember the Chibok girls every now and then. My questions, which I am throwing directly to anyone who really cares? What happened to the Chibok girls? When are they coming back? Or were we, gullible Nigerians used to as mere tools to achieve an end? Did we unwittingly participate in theatre of the absurd? What were the intentions behind those demonstrations?