Litmus test to #bringbackourboys
History teaches us about past events. It answers questions of ‘how’ ‘where’ and ‘when’ did events occurred. The essence of seeking answers to such questions is nothing more than to reflect and avoid repeating the same mistakes. In Nigeria, History was a curriculum subject before it was removed from the secondary school curriculum.
About four weeks ago, around 8 pm to be precise, my immediate younger brother who happened to be in his 20s, as usual, parked his motorcycle at home. Few minutes after parking the bike, he received a friend’s phone call, asking him to lend him the bike to attend a reception! Alas, my brother refused to honor the request, but he promised to take him to the venue of the reception.
Despite that, he is not used to going out without informing our mom, but on that fateful day, around 9:30 pm he took his bike without informing her!
The clock ticked 11:30 pm, yet, this young brother was still not home and we tried his phone number where it rang, but the call wasn’t picked. To cut the story short, on that day, I along with our parents couldn’t sleep till dawn, wondering where he was! Needless to tell you the situation our mom found herself in, for you all know the bond between mother and her child. The next day, we got to know that he was arrested by a police patrol team on his way back home from the reception.
Around February 2014 a deadly attack was carried out by BH Terrorists in Federal Government College Buni Yadi of Yobe state, in which the lives of about fifty students were lost. In that same year, the same deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram invaded a female boarding school in Chibok and took away hundreds of girls in the school. That has happened at a time the Northeastern region was faced with a heartbreaking number of out of school children, the tragedy of Chibok girls abduction and the killing of Buni Yadi students led many parents to stop their wards from attending school; out of fear of losing them. This was done during the era of an administration that Northerners regard as “the most clueless”.
Efforts were put in place to rescue those abducted schoolgirls, a politically clouded campaign team known as Bring Back Our Girls (#BBG) was formed by the then major opposition figures to force the government to rescue those girls, airwaves, and internet were always buzzing with Chibok stories, yet, the efforts were unsuccessful. Until the present administration tried and rescue some of them.
Later on in 2018, the same terror group abducted more than a hundred children in the same region, this time in a different state.
The abduction of girls in Dapchi draws the attention of the local and international media, which led them to raise their voices at the same time. Fortunately, most of them were rescued, but there remains a girl that was not released by their abductors.
These and many more historical events occurred in a region ravaged by the high rate of illiteracy, poverty, and lack of social amenities! Not only that, the region has strong shock absolvers to survive the effects of Boko Haram terrorist activities.
On Friday 11th of December, the Commander in Chief of Armed Forces of Nigeria arrived in the ancient city of Daura (his hometown) for a one-week vacation. The president and some members of his entourage arrived in Katsina via a plane, and later on, transported to Daura via a helicopter.
To date, on all his trip from Abuja-Katsina, he neither use a car nor their main road. Even on his trip to Daura, he flew in a helicopter. This is to tell us that he might not be aware of the dangers of Nigeria’s death traps (roads) and how kidnappers consistently attack road users.
Some hours after the arrival of the President, a group of armed men with AK-47s invade a government-owned school in Kankara (a town of short distance away from the President’s vacation home) and abducted about Six Hundred Students, although, later on almost half of them were lucky to escape the kidnappers along the way, but over three Hundred are still with the kidnappers or unaccounted!
Now, let me take you back a bit, compare the one night pain and fear my mother went through for not knowing the whereabouts of that my younger brother and that of the parents of those Six Hundred Students!
At this juncture, I want to believe that, due to the present economic meltdown facing the nation, it is almost impossible for the majority of the parents of these abducted students to source ransom money to free their children, as it is rare for the elites with the financial strength to enroll their own in a govt. secondary school, public schools are for the have-nots!
In an effort to contain the situation, the Governor of Katsina State ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the state pending a new security arrangement by his government. This is a time, where the education sector is trying to overcome the aftermath effect of COVID-19 lockdown on the sector, today, all the boarding schools are closed!
This adds more salt to an already inflicted injury since even the central government is not certain of how and when this ravaging insecurity would be overcome. As usual, the President only managed to express condemnation of the “Cowardly Attack”.
As stated above, the school that witnessed that ugly abduction is only a few kilometers away from the President’s home town. Although, he was on hand that he managed to visit his farmhouse and checked on his animals, yet, he only sent a delegation to the grieving parents!
During the #EndSARS violence, the Speaker of the National Assembly vowed not to approve the 2021 appropriation budget until a provision to compensate people of his constituency and region that lost their lives and properties on the hand of #EndSARS is included in the budget! Alas, this is happening at a time where many were killed in the North.
Last August, a day after the Beirut explosion that claimed the lives of over 300 persons and rendered thousands homeless, the then Lebanese Prime minister announced his resignation because he felt that as the C-in-C of the country, he failed to secure the lives of his countrymen and women!
During the campaign tension, insecurity was the major weapon used to oust the Jonathan government, the current president was quoted saying, “Jonathan should vacate and give way to competent hand to govern the country”. Unfortunately, insecurity is now all over the Northwestern part of the country.
This Kankara scenario is a litmus test for the president to look into history with a passion for future deterrence and use his power to bring in ambitious, fresh, and capable hands from the military with feasible and contemporary ideas to end these insecurity menace ravaging the country.