Following the April 14, heartless abduction of 234 students of the Government Girls College, Chibok in Borno state, by the notorious Boko Haram terror group, critics of President Goodluck Jonathan, seem to have found an emotionally-charged soft subject upon which they can exploit to heap more invectives and unprintable epithets on the Nigerian leaders. The desperate opposition has equally found on its laps a topic that makes the President seemingly vulnerable as the opposition basks in wicked lies and cheap propaganda. In the event, rather than join hands with the government to seek a solution to the crisis all manners of fly by night experts have emerged claiming to have all the answers on how to “Bring Back our Girls” except the “clueless President” and his equally “colourless wife”, both of who do not seem to have any idea of what to do about the children. How unkind can anyone be in the name of politics? But must we play politics with the lives of over 200 girls, even with the lives of 20 girls?
When President Jonathan said that he had no idea where the girls were being kept, he made a genuine and honest admission. The military whose duty it is to seek and rescue the abducted girls may know where to go in search of the hapless children, but for anybody to say that the President MUST RESIGN as a result of that honest admission is not just hogwash but absurdity taken too far. Even then rescuing the Chibok girls is not going to be that easy. Has anybody considered what might happen if a single shot is fired in the direction where the abducted girls are kept in an attempt to free them? If such a thing happens the terrorists will surely shoot all the girls, and then the President would be blamed for not “finding” a better way of freeing the girls without force.
As a matter of fact, those who bait the President to make a slip over this matter would stop at nothing as they lampoon Jonathan and his wife for not being pro-active over the rescue efforts. I do not even understand why anybody will seek to harass the President’s wife simply because she, as wife and mother, sharing in the pains of the students’ parents, waded into the matter, in an honest expression of concern and empathy with the affected parents.
Now, a desperate opposition acts like a drug-addict denied his favorite binge is making a mince meal of the poor woman for things she said and those she did not say. Dame Patience may not be your ideal First Lady, yet she has never pretended to be Michelle Obama. That Patience is married to the President cannot turn her a Christian Amanpour She likes being herself and strongly supportive of her husband. And that is it.
But let us face it, why is it that all these latter-day experts on search and rescue job and even the nation at large, have never given a thought to a major fact that emerged in the heat of Dame Patience involvement in the matter. A Senior official of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, declared in the presence of some wives of governors invited by the First Lady at the weekend, that the examination body wrote to the Borno State Government suggesting that the Chibok girls be transferred to an alternative approved centre at nearby Uba town for security reasons, a suggestion the governor rejected on grounds that his government had made “adequate arrangement” for security. The governor reversed himself only after the abductions had taken place.
In fact given the way the Borno state governor handled the matter both before and after the abductions, some conspiracy theorists have accused the governor of complicity in the abduction saga possibly because of the dominant number of Christians among the schoolgirls. Why would the governor do that you may ask? Because this same governor had earlier on boasted, yes, boasted, that the terrorists were better equipped than the whole Nigerian army. And that given the superior firepower of the murderous gang, the Federal Government cannot win the war against terror. Now, think of these statements and you will agree that what we are facing right now is akin to self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is indeed a carefully choreographed plot designed and manipulated with the singular objective of helping the opposition achieve its wicked machination of making the country “ungovernable” as they earlier promised, in order to hound the “clueless President” out of the Presidential villa which some people with their stupid “born to rule mentality” believe that our collective Patrimony is their birth right. The same desperados and for the same objective, instigated Murtala Nyako to write his satanic letter to Northern leaders.
It is so unfortunate that while the Chibok girls are still marooned in the evil forest of Borno, going through all forms of unimaginable acts of harassment in an uninhabitable and unhygienic environment, some people are having fun in front of television cameras all in the name of demanding “Bring Back Our Girls” without giving a second’s thought or even acknowledging whatever effort the Jonathan administration is making along that line. A global movement has sprung out of the crisis reaching New York and Washington ostensibly to attract international attention to the domestic a crisis but actually to further embarrass the Government.
Even our respected lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, SAN, found it more patriotic to offer his legal services to the parents of Chibok girls instead of participating in the committee set up by government to look into the abduction saga. We are not told whether Falana’s service is being offered gratis. Much as I concede to Mr. Falana his right to decline serving on the Chibok committee, it will be sad if he accepts legal fees to now take government to court for not “bringing back our girls”. Where is equity and good conscience? But then what would you expect from a desperate opposition which is unable to draw a line between humanitarian crisis and partisan politics.
**This is a previously published article during the national discourse on #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS