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Chibok girls: Day 300 and Spartans

By Dolapo Aina
17 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
“Leaders stand for something-vision; leaders stand on something-values,” Dr. Myles Munroe WHEN I began composing this piece, there was so much to write about, but I couldn’t figure out how to begin. My first piece on the Chibok Girls’ 100days in captivity titled (my link Chibok girls: 100 Days later) was the material I needed…

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“Leaders stand for something-vision; leaders stand on something-values,” Dr. Myles Munroe

WHEN I began composing this piece, there was so much to write about, but I couldn’t figure out how to begin. My first piece on the Chibok Girls’ 100days in captivity titled (my link Chibok girls: 100 Days later) was the material I needed to make this piece an easy read for everyone (including boys, girls and the ordinary man who might come across the article)—no prolixies or grandiloquent sentences. As Nigerians would say: “In simple English, no grammar.”

  But before I begin, can you reflect on your past 300 days and recollect the successes, failures, disappointments you experienced or witnessed? Basically put, task your memory back to 300 days ago around the 14-15th of April 2014. 

  You would agree with me that, 300 days is pretty much a long time ago. A long time for you as a citizen with freedom to even recollect all your activities; a long time for an adult to be in prison and a long time for anyone’s sister, mother, niece, aunt or grandmother to be missing. A long time for over 200 girls to be abducted and El Padre de Pais-The Father of the Nation has not rescued them. Before you forget, the Malala visit, which prompted a PR meeting with the parents of the girls. 

  “The public didn’t know who their leaders really were-until the leaders became enmeshed in scandal.” Dr. Myles Munroe.

  Can you recollect the numerous statements from our government officials about the operations ongoing to rescue the girls, the statement of the return of the girls initially when they were kidnapped? The made-up negotiations with an unknown negotiator? The list is endless. 

  But the statements of two vocal African Presidents (the latter of whom I had an audience with much later on in 2014) during the early days of the Chibok Girls abduction is important for any Nigerian to read and reflect on. I was comically rebuked by some as to why I had to include the African Presidents’ comments in my first piece. Do read.

  That is why the Ugandan Head of State- President Yoweri Museveni would state in disbelief and berate the current Nigerian administration headed by President Goodluck Jonathan; for calling on the United States to help him rescue the Chibok girls. In President Museveni’s words: “We have never called the United Nations to guard our security. Me, Yoweri Museveni to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call on the UN: I would rather hang myself. We prioritised national security by developing a strong Army; otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children.” He said that inviting foreign power would be a vote of no confidence in his government, if the state couldn’t guarantee security of the people.

  That is why Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame (who doesn’t kowtow to the whims and caprices of the West) made this hard-hitting and sincerely blunt commentary. Don’t read his comments if you don’t have the guts to read the truth. For those who have read some of President Kagame’s speeches, you would concur that he tells you what several other African Presidents wouldn’t dare say. President Kagame went thus: “When I am watching television and I find that our leaders, who should have been working together all along to address these problems that only affect their countries, wait until they are invited to go to Europe to sit there and find solutions to their problems…it’s as if they are made to sit down and address their problems, Why does anybody wait for that? In fact, the image it gives is that we are not there to address these problems…they are (African leaders) happy to sit in Paris with the President of France and just talk about their problems.”

  The Rwandan President went further: “It doesn’t make sense that our leaders cannot get themselves together to address problems affecting our people. 

  “African leaders, we don’t need to be invited anywhere to go and address our problems, without first inviting ourselves to come together to tell each other the actual truth we must tell each other,” he said.

  There is nothing more to add to the statements by the African Presidents. I would conclude with this, several years ago, I met two siblings (six- year-old and four- year -old) who always called me hero and anyone they liked, hero; emphatically saying (you are my hero!) Apparently, they watch too much cartons back then. They also called their daddy and mummy heroes. When a child looks up to his or her daddy everyday calling him my hero-meaning I love you, I look up to you; for I trust you would protect me in any circumstance with all you have; it is expected that this daddy has to cater, train and protect (to the best of his abilities) his child no matter the foreseen or unforeseen circumstances. A child knows daddy might not have the muscles of an Incredible Hulk; to beat up a superman, but a child would know when daddy stands up for his child.

“The nations of the world do not lack people in leadership positions. They lack genuine leadership in their leaders,” Dr. Myles Munroe

  But when daddy fails to live up to his fatherly responsibilities (knowing fully well he has the resources) and regularly gives excuses, would not his child (citizen), wife (government), nuclear (national) and extended (international) families conclude that “daddy is a very irresponsible Papa?” 

  The military stated the location of the girls was known to the military but their abduction is now DAY 300. The President does not need to be a Spartan to rescue our girls from the hands of mentally-ill men who surely are being financed. 

  King Abdullah of Jordan didn’t grow muscles before he stated he would fly an aircraft to bomb ISIS’ controlled locations in Syria after the video of the gruesome murder of a Jordan pilot was released. 

  Mr. President, sir, where is the decisive presidential authority synonymous with leaders?   

•Aina writes from Lagos

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