Boko Haram’s over seven-year reign of terror has witness the kidnapping of thousands of Nigerians. Militants stormed the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria in the spring of 2014 and 276 girls were taken by the militants.
The Chibok schoolgirl’s high profile abduction is only the most prominent case.
This all makes me question where our humanity has gone.
The atrocities carried out by the jihadist militants can best be imagined.The hostages under their control have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, dehumanized and even killed. The Chibok abductees have been forced into marriage and subjected to sexual violence. These militants have lost their humanity.
This all makes me question where our humanity has gone. Are we losing ours?
This morning I heard on CNN that Boko Haram has released a video appearing to show approximately 50 girls dressed in headscarves, far less in number of the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Islamist group.
In the video, a Boko Haram militant can be seen standing before the remaining girls. The man, whose face is obscured, adds: “They should know that their children are still in our hands.” This is horrendous! My humanity is in grief. Beyond the Chibok girls, are pertinent issues that we must address as a people.
We could have had Bompai Girls from St Louis secondary school, Bompai, Kano or Federal Government Girls College, Kazaure, that is FGGC, Kazaure Girls??? I was offered admission into these choice schools but my parents enrolled me into St Louis Secondary School perhaps because I graduated from St Louis private primary school, Airport road, Kano. I often imagine what it would have been like if the Chibok incident had happened in Bompai, especially considering the fact that I graduated from St Louis Secondary School, Bompai, Kano. I often imagine what it would have been like. As a very young girl schooling in Kano, St Louis Secondary school, Bompai Kano was reputed to be the best secondary school for Girls- a leading elitist school, with highly qualified British and Irish teachers ;the girls in St Louis were the type that Boko Haram would have targeted and love to abduct. They were the children of presidents, governors, ministers, industralists etc. My classmates then were the Dangote, Abacha, Dantata, Waziri Ibrahim, Ayoola, Ezekwu girls etc.
I often imagine what the government of Nigeria would have done if we were abducted by Boko Haram. I doubt if the outcome will be the same with the Chibok girls. I have asked my dad this question several times, as a top National Security Advisor in Nigeria, what will be his reaction if his only daughter was in the custody of Boko Haram? He mull over it …His answer was that Nigeria was much better then… It tells you that Nigeria of today is different from just some very few years ago. Prominent Nigerians who could afford to send their children to Harvard or Oxford were content and very happy to have them in National Universities like Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), University of Lagos, University of Jos etc. We were also very proud to gain admission to prestigious Nigerian Universities like Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife). This citadel of learning has become a den of cultists mostly caused by corruption. Obviously this class of Nigerians send their wards abroad now.
In a country where truth and justice has since been buried; yet we yearn for peace. A great country like Nigeria has been held captive by the insanity, the monstrous greed and senselessness of a group of constantly recycled old leaders who have no interest of Nigeria and Nigerians at heart. These group of people have held our generation captive in our own country, they have succeeded in ruining the future of so many youths in that great country where am so proud to say we have very hardworking, determined and resilient youth population capable of bringing positive social change. Hopefully humanity would be restored and regained. We must secure the space for the youth in Nigeria to contribute the best that they have and all that they are to make Nigeria great and blossom like a flower.
We must let humanity in us speak, we become less human when nothing hurts within us each time a human being is hurt. We become less human when we stand by and watch injustice and evil been perpetrated by others without blinking an eye. It diminishes our humanity.
It is only human that a part of our humanity dies when a human being dies; whether white, black, or brown, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, gay, bisexual, etc., a human being is a human being first and foremost; so respect for the sanctity of life is paramount. We must not learn to tolerate murder, injustice, oppression and evil. Each time I hear stories of horror coming out of Nigeria a part of me dies a million times. We as a people must let the beauty of our lives grasp hold of our souls. We must look at life with truth. We must look at life with joy. We must realize the fact that the beauty of life is to experience yourself; you can only accomplish this in truth. We need TRUTH in Nigeria!
The truth that is in us as Nigerians are silent; we must speak the truth and allow life to flow into our souls. We should allow light to flow into Nigeria.
Our so called leaders must realize that the beauty of life largely depends on how happy others can be because of you. What they leave behind is what is woven into the lives of others not the number of Jets, luxury homes abroad, skyscrapers, luxury cars and huge foreign bank accounts that is a product of robbery, stealing and emptying of a nation’s treasury. The consequences of which is the injustice in the Niger Delta, the marginalization of minority tribes, economic and social inequalities, rampant poverty, deaths, injustice, migration, lack of social amenities, lack of infrastructural development, etc.
What kind of peace do we seek in Nigeria? Do we seek a ‘peace’ where only those in power and their family grow? A security of the slave? Or do we seek genuine peace, that is durable, and sustainable- a peace for all time.
A peace that makes life in Nigeria worth living. A peace that enables Nigerians to grow; to hope and to build a better life for their children.
Our so called leaders must listen to the voice of conscience if they still have it. Peace can only come to Nigeria from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward serving humanity. Peace will come to Nigeria and live inside Nigeria when we create a Nigeria that supports everyone. This is what can cure the virus of violence, unabated killing, hopelessness and inequality.
Peace and justice is the only battle worth waging…