April 14 came with both shock and disbelief. Boko Haram terrorists had bombed Nyanya in Abuja early in the day, killing more than 100 innocent souls. When the news of missing girls came about 15 hours later, not many, including those in the Presidency, believed it was true. But, like thieves in the night that they are, the terrorists did steal 276 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on 4-14. Initially, the school authorities said the missing girls were 120. The number kept climbing with more discoveries until it hit 276. About 57 of the captives have so far been able to escape from the evil men that have been spreading blood and tears across the country.
That over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped 100 days ago are still held captive in an evil forest named Sambisa must remain one of the greatest tragedies that have happened on the Nigerian soil. All that the military authorities and even President Jonathan have told the nation is that they know where the girls are being held and are being careful to not hurt them through rescue operations. All the technologies that have been invented, all the advanced nations that have offered to help and all the funds voted for security have not been able to snatch the captives from the claws of the terrorists.
When President Jonathan met with the parents of the abducted girls in Aso Villa yesterday, how was he able to look a parent in the face and declare that his government existed to protect citizens like the girls from danger? Who among the parents could have believed him? This motion without movement from the Presidency and the politicisation of the girls’ abduction can only show the stuff of which we are made as a people.
Those who claim to know where the girls are held have not told us the conditions under which they live inside Sambisa forest. What do they eat? What do they drink? What protects them from the elements – rain and sunshine? And mosquitoes? And the sex maniacs among the unwashed dogs claiming to be Boko Haram? The magnitude of this tragedy is simply unimaginable.
We must not fail to appreciate the efforts of civil society organisations, churches, mosques, the mass media and international organisations in the struggle to rescue the girls alive. The #BringBackOurGirls movement has been wonderful. But all these efforts have been dwarfed by the non-achievement of the ultimate prize: return of the girls.
Have we not prayed enough? How much longer should we fast? The terrorists hiding behind religion to commit evil against innocent people seem to be deaf ostensibly because they belong to the devil. They cannot listen to the voice of reason because they have been condemned already and seek to go down with everything and everyone on their way.
It is not time for mourning yet. But, after waiting for 100 days, the nation would be justified to take desperate measures. Our girls must return home. Dead or alive!