Words, words, words is all we ever hear from political leaders when calamity befalls the Nigerian people, with promises which have become stereotype; the same speech, over and over again, save for the person delivering it.
Three years; 1,080 days, after over 200 girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, government is yet to bring them home as promised, yet some set of people dare call themselves leaders of the nation.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is what binds us together as a nation, and is the only reason full anarchy has not been let loose on the collection of tribes and ethnic groups that make up the geographical location and space known and referred to as ‘Nigeria’.
The preamble of this sacred document states clearly in black and white, that it is provided “for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people”.
The nation’s political leaders remember and promote these objectives, in as much as it serves their selfish interests.
It is still unfathomable how the most populous black nation on the face of the earth, with the humongous amount of resources, both financial and material, available to it would go to sleep daily knowing that some young innocent girls are in the hands of terrorists who may have turned them to sex slaves, passing them around their fithy selves.
After the girls were kidnapped, the government in power preferred to spend time and resources fighting imaginary opposition figures it felt were using the kidnap issue to run down the government, rather than spending time and resources to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of the news, and if need be, mobilise quickly for their rescue.
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As usual, where the lives of ordinary Nigerians are involved, the politicians played their usual games, not minding that the citizens they had sworn to protect were being driven further into the deadly Sambisa forest with every passing minute.
By the time the leadership came to terms with the fact that the kidnap saga may be true after all, the little hope there was to rescue them had vanished into thin air. However, the kidnap presented an opportunity for their warped sense of reasoning, as it may have been used as an excuse to further loot an already bastardised treasury.
Funds allegedly budgeted for operation against the fight against terror, found their way into private accounts, and accounts of kids of those put in charge of the war on terror. Others are said to have acquired mind blowing properties in upscale arrears of the country, and secured funds for their fourth generations unborn.
Another set of leaders came on board, appealed to Nigerians that they would get back every single one of the girls if they were voted into power. Two years down the line, Nigerians are still being fed with the same speech, ‘everything would be done to ensure they are brought back alive’.
The government prides itself and expects to get medals for having rescued some of the girls, while some parents still find it had to sleep, some have become hypertensive, even as some must have died from the thoughts of what their daughters must be going through in the hands of the terrorists.
How do the so called leaders go to sleep, or drive around the streets, with such on their conscience, assuming they have one? How do other Nigerian parents sleep, or go about their daily activities, knowing that it could happen to them, save for the few who ensure that their kids are secured physically?
Save for the tenacity, and staying power of former minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, and members of her group, the BringBackOurGirls, it’s a sure bet that this issue will have been dropped long ago, as governance would move on.
A parent would feel better with the knowledge that their kids are dead, than being haunted with the unimaginable things they may be subjected to in the hands of barbarians, whose claim to existence, is that they are allowed to roam free by a callous and irresponsible leadership, in charge of a nation of people whose mentalities have been made to feel grateful for getting crumbs from their patrimony.
As the hours continue to transmit into days, and days into months, one simple question the government needs to answer is: what would it loose if it drops every other thing, and go after the terrorist, with a view to ensuring that the girls are brought home, and reunited with the parents?
What right do they officials in charge of the nation’s affairs have to call themselves leaders, when the people they profess to lead do not feel them? ‘Who them epp?’
By Etaghene Edirin
RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears