Hearts were broken, on April 14, 2014, when news spread that some 276 students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, had been abducted by the Boko Haram sect.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, last week, released a statement, in response to Federal Government’s efforts at handling the sad event.
The presidency had been prompted by the seventh year commemoration of the event during which it was noted that only 164 girls had been rescued, while the fate of the remaining 112 is, unfortunately, unknown.
This sad story, including two others, top the events that unfolded at the Aso Rock Villa past week.
Chibok girls, hope lost?
On April 14, Shehu, in a statement, assured that the release of the remaining Chibok girls was still work in progress, noting they remain constantly on the minds of government, as they are always on the minds of their parents.
“No one is giving up hope here. Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course. The recent decisive push by the military against the terrorists gives hope that a breakthrough is possible and could happen anytime soon,” Shehu stated.
Hope of release of the remaining Chibok girls offers a sense of deja vue, as it appears to be one of those songs composed to soothe the souls of aggrieved parents, and other concerned Nigerians.
Many years down the line, and with many of such promises unfulfilled, there is only but fading hope.
Will the remaining Chibok girls who are yet to be located become mere statics? The future, indeed, looks grim in the face of continuous abduction of students for ransom across the country.
The excuses offered by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) serve no real purpose but to remind citizens of the failure of leadership, with the Presidency increasingly sounding like a broken record and deepening the pains of the traumatized families by its seeming inaction.
Two other talking points
Security, best not good enough!
President Buhari, on April 15, said that the new Service Chiefs were doing their best to contend with the security situation in the country.
Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly on arrival from his medical trip to the United Kingdom, he said: “Oh yes, they have been in the system all the way, they know what is wrong, they know what is right and I think they are doing their best. I hope their best will be good enough for Nigeria.”
After the prolonged agitation for the change of Service Chiefs, Nigerians had hoped to have a breath of fresh air, security-wise.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
The security situation, made worse by growing banditry, Boko Haram insurgency, farmer-herder crisis, among other ills, is yet to show signs of improvement.
The best of the new Service Chiefs is obviously not enough.
Again, everyday failings of the administration in the area of security management have remotely been traced to a faulty security architecture.
The President, therefore, must accept responsibility for the failures of the administration he leads or find sufficient courage to initiate action to drive a truly federal system where constituents can become accountable for security of their environs.
Otherwise, the country should brace for the emergence of more self-help efforts like Amotekun in the southwest and Ebubeagu in the southeast.
Osinbajo’s unity talk
On April 14, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo admonished Nigerians to recommit themselves to the unity and peace of the country.
He gave the admonition in a message to Nigerian Muslims observing the Ramadan fast.
“In particular for our nation, we must recommit ourselves now and in the future to the advancement of the unity, brotherhood, and peace in Nigeria,” he said.
At a time when Nigerians are mostly divided between ethnic and regional lines, the need for the entrenchment of the spirit of unity, brotherhood, and peace cannot be overemphasized.
A thing of great concern, however, is the inability of the Buhari-led administration to address the varied issues and concerns that deepen the divide among Nigerians.
Until the government commits itself practically to building a stronger stakeholder mentality, Osinbajo’s preachments may just amount to nothing.
By John Chukwu…
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