Image: The author, Prince Charles Dickson
So, Buhari won an election several dudes, especially the first guy from Lagos or was it Ibadan, went-a-trekking, a woman joined in from the Kaduna axis, can’t remember if she fainted because she was supposedly pregnant or nursing. Then another dude started from Bauchi state, at some point he was even declared missing.
All the trekking is done, and we have simply forgotten, that’s who we are in Nigeria, we learn slowly and forget quickly, our history is blurred because we choose to have it so, we learn so much about Washington, London, and Tokyo, and know very little or care less about ourselves.
So today we have generated so much noise about a Saraki and his circus with the Code of Conduct Tribunal, one that even the Chairman had not declared his own assets at any point.
We have killed ourselves on various platforms over the ministerial list, developing hysteria, on the corrupt ones, the not too corrupt, and those that spoke beautiful “Queen’s English”.
I have seen experts emerge on how to stone the devil in Mina and not get stoned back, we have even been more concerned about Syrians and the tragedy of power there, than at home.
We have watched all the drama that ensued the kidnap of former SGF, Olu Falae, and some prominent Nigerians, some have after freedom engaged the Police in the frivolous debate of whether ransom was paid or how much was paid–In few cases the kidnappers were caught but trust the Nigerian police, our judiciary and off course the media–the ordinary Nigerian is unaware what finally happens.
However we have tried with the Chibok girls, really we have tried, first many paper house have kept a dateline on their front page, intact I know an online news media that has a per second timeline. The #BringBackOurGirls# has tried to keep the fire flying.
Sadly we have strolled on, from it did not happen, to it happened to paint Jonathan black, then it happened because it was a Christian village or community, and the principal was Muslim, and why was her daughter not abducted. Then where were the parents stopped from entering the dreaded Sambisa initially when there were chances to get them? Why was the school poorly protected?
Then, “diaris god, and principal na only you wake come”—we moved on, till the Pakistani noble heart got government at least to officially say something to the effect that they would be found.
Before then, we heard they had been married off, for less than $2, to far flung places as the crisis ravaged Central African Republic, we even watched videos courtesy Shekau’s Boko Haram studios of the now veiled girls who had now converted.
Everyone was talking, and had become an expert in even the environment were the movie was shot.
Ex-President Obasanjo spoke, and off course in his known fatalistic motion, “these girls are all probably dead and may never be found”.
I heave a sigh, my heart is heavy, as I ponder what manner of nation or people are we, and so Ngozi went to Chibok, with heavily armed personnel in some PR expedient venture, and till date no governor has been to Chibok, the so-called progressive governors, PDP governors, Northern governors–Jonathan did not go, after a trial went wrong, Buhari has not gone, but may prove me wrong and go.
Every weekend, life goes on, weddings, that soon afterwards end in divorce, birthdays, graduations and all sorts of festivities, but not anyone has done anything significantly about the Chibok girls.
The fountain in Abuja continues to witness a handful of Nigerians who despite being scorned have kept the faith, maybe not necessarily right but in the way they know best.
The Nigerian armed forces have sent out different messages, prosecuted a few officers for negligence but apart from saying it knew where the girls were, did not want to escalate violence when rescuing them, all such tales by moonlight, the force has done little in rescuing these girls: but I again I absolve them, because do they really have good intelligence on the whole big picture.
So, I dare ask, if El-Rufai, Tinubu, Amaechi, Godswill, Rochas, or Jonathan’s daughters were abducted would we still be doing countdowns, would we be debating regarding how they were kidnap, or shortly celebrating the Nigerian Police and its unsung bravado.
If two American, or Britons were missing in Taliban controlled Afghanistan, what do we think would have happened?
What if the Chibok Girls were the Ijebu girls, or the Kaduna girls, or Lagos girls, we even celebrated or marked the Intl’ day of the girl child, very little mention of these innocent hearts.
How about the parents and families of these abducted girls, the trauma and continuous unease and torment of being in a state of neither here nor there. Sure if I said now, too many of us, may your daughter be abducted—a loud and religiously and fanatical “God forbid” will follow.
For a highly religious nation, what prayers do we offer every weekend on behalf the Chibok community, one that 98% of us had never even heard of until the abduction, you ask God for rent money, tuition, money for vacation, but have you asked for some miraculous release of these girls, where is the renowned voodoo hunting expert, of the champion miracle working T. B. Joshua, has all that failed too, or because it is Nigeria, it is possible that no one was kidnapped.
We have expanded energy on corruption talk, how the economy is failing, bailout for criminals, and more energy on assessing politicians that should be hanged in the first places. May their daughters be abducted: May all they hold sacred be denied them…
Will the true story of the Chibok girls be told, will Nigerians know the truth, and away from the knowledge, will Chibok know the joy that comes with a nation together in sharing one’s grief. And finally will we ever find these girls—only time will tell.
Prince Charles Dickson is a Freelance Journalist