Open letter to President Buhari
Dear President Buhari,
I am compelled to write this open letter concerning a matter of utmost national import, to wit:- the abhorrent and systematic capture of part of our national treasure, specifically, the recurring and unconscionable kidnapping of the country’s school-aged girls in dastardly fashion.
Following vacillating accounts of the facts, during the week of February 18, 2018, the country was obscenely jolted by the mystifying report of yet another horrific and violent abduction of approximately 110 (one hundred and ten) school girls from another school in Nigeria, the Government Girls Science Technical College in the town of Dapchi in Yobe State. In the aftermath of the unresolved calamity regarding “the Chibok girls” whereby, approximately 300 (three hundred) other girls were savagely stolen from their school, it is incontestably confounding that this dreadful catastrophe has ensnared the nation again. How alarming! The nation still awaits, in scandalized despair, the evasive news of the rescue of all the Chibok girls from the loathsome and unbridled clutches of child abductors; only to be confronted by the stark reality that more girls “the Dapchi girls” had been pugnaciously kidnapped. Lamentably, an avoidable recurrence. Consequently, our republic is forced to ponder in persistent horror, where next, the menace will appear.
For posterity, I am obligated by sober civic responsibility to describe in graphic depiction, the fate endured by and dreadfully exacted upon these innocent children in captivity, to eradicate any iota of ambivalence concerning, the callous enormity, amid the vortex of malignant evil that engulfed the girls, desecrated their existence and eviscerated their hopes and dreams. Such fate should not befall any citizen of Nigeria. The evidence attendant with the return of some of the Chibok girls, in repugnant and sickening dimension, underscores the extent of their oppression, both physical and psychological, during their reprehensible confinement.
Alas, regarding the physical evidence, as grotesquely predicted, some of the Chibok girls eventually reunited with their families and communities, returned with babies. Without any equivocation, it is categorically declared that, the Chibok girls were not pregnant at the commencement of their abduction and brutal imprisonment. Therefore, the revolting and irrefutable conclusion is that they were impregnated in captivity through repeated acts of despicable rape and sexual defilement. Such fate now awaits the presently enslaved Dapchi girls. Therefrom, the nation must in agonizing introspection consider the real underlying motivation for these abductions. Again, the evidence compels the logical conclusion, that a primary objective, is the odious apprehension of the young girls for sexual and physical exploitation. Utterly repugnant! How can such heinous brutality flourish in the “Giant of Africa”? It must be decisively aborted.
The full spectrum and impact of the psychological trauma endured by the apprehended girls may take years to unravel. Tragically, the young girls who were forcibly taken as hostages, repeatedly violated, and witnessed the sexual domination of their peers, endured abject hopelessness, vile degradation, and excruciating separation from their families and loved ones, at a minimum, will exhibit signs of cognitive, emotional and social impairment with long-term consequences of national implication, that may reverberate through generations unborn. These atrocities bear the classic insignia of war crimes and overt terrorism. Moreover, the pernicious torment is not limited to the abducted, but rather, permeates the afflicted communities and aching soul of a completely traumatized nation, for an attack on one Nigerian is an attack on all. This constitutes hell on earth; living in relentless trepidation of the next insurrection while considering the gruesome fate of our seized children. Woe of all woes! The unambiguous declaration of open hostilities against the nation by the marauding guerillas can no longer be ignored or tolerated, particularly since, in blatant rampage, they claim our youth as the spoils of war. This declaration of war necessitates the full onslaught of the might and power of the Nigerian government. The unprovoked and unconscionable attack on our innocent children must be annihilated in the strongest of terms. The fate of any nation depends on the welfare and enduring aspirations of all its children, female and male. No nation can survive otherwise or thrive in the perpetuity of malevolent peril.
The onus to obliterate this threat and ensure the security of Nigerians subsists squarely with your administration and must not be abdicated, by dereliction or commission, for the consequences are absolutely ominous. Therefore, in an ardent appeal to terminate this sacrilege, protect our youth and safeguard the nation’s survival, I implore Your Excellency to:
Explicitly designate and address this horrendous matter as one of extreme national priority and urgency;Create an elite special operations command to investigate the kidnappings and extract the captured; Expend all necessary resources to rescue all abducted Chibok and Dapchi girls through coherent and comprehensive search and rescue operations;Direct the full arsenal of the nation’s armed forces to suppress the diabolical scheme and the perpetrators;
Augment the surveillance capabilities of the nation’s intelligence apparatus to monitor the insurgents and utilize the information expediently to prevent future abductions; Retain renowned experts in abduction prevention and anti-insurgency techniques to assist the nation in developing integrated long-term strategies and lasting solutions to eliminate the threat;
Protect all schools in the high risk areas of the nation by deploying superior and competent security forces to defend them;Ensure that the money allocated for these measures is not misappropriated; Enjoin the legislature to enact laws that classify such abductions as aggravated crimes against humanity with corresponding punishment;
Establish welfare programmes to handle the constellation of the issues confronting the rescued girls and their families; and Declare a period of national mourning for the kidnapped girls.
For the sake of the abducted girls, their families and the nation, and in the confidence of the fundamental rights enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, that guarantee all Nigerian citizens the right to dignity, personal liberty and freedom from discrimination, and Your Excellency is sworn to preserve, protect and defend, I await most earnestly, dynamic action by Your Excellency’s administration to conclusively purge the nation of this blight seeking with wanton impunity to irreversibly compromise our youth, national existence and our collective heritage.
Thank you for your kind attention and solemn consideration of this letter. In reflective contemplation of the full measure of the promise of Nigeria, I remain, a concerned citizen.
Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, is a public affairs commentator.
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