FEATURE ARTICLE

Nathaniel EhikioyaThursday, July 17, 2014
akhatorn@yahoo.com
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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THE CHIBOK GIRLS AND A CORRUPT SYSTEM

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igeria is one of the most populated countries of the world with blacks making up more than ninety-nine percent. It is a country flowing with abundant resources, both human and natural. Today's report shows that my country is the sixth highest oil producing country in the world but import petrol. The country is blessed with talented people who do not fold their hands to wait for the government to provide their daily meals in the form of welfare as others do in some developed countries. Despite all these, Nigeria is classified as underdeveloped country.

The stigma surrounding the underdevelopment of Nigeria has been lingering around my fatherland for decades. The government of this country has failed the people they govern in all areas. This case has been revealed to the entire world by the Abuja (Nyanya) bombing and the kidnapping that took place in Chibok town almost the same day in April of this year by the same group of people. It shows to the world that our leaders both in civilian dresses and the khaki uniform do not have the people at heart. The interest of most office holders is centered on what they can ilegally acquire for themselves and their families. No leader wants to take responsibility to fix the evil of corruption that is widespreading and destroying the existence of my fatherland. The corruption at every nook and crannies is pushing many people to do what they would not have even thought about in their existence. A person that is frustrated can do anything to be recognized. For a man to think that education is a sole right of the male child may not be a result of religious orientation, rather a frustration of a failed system due to corruption.

The people at the helm of affairs in my country are well educated, but they cannot rise above the evil of corruption. When it comes to making decisions that would move the country forward, they tend to speak from both sides of their mouth. During elections, we often hear candidates making all sorts of promises, but when the mandate is received, those promises are put aside for the next generation. At swearing in ceremonies, they take the oath of office by repeating the oath with action as if they are prepared to abide by it. For example, the office of the President oath of office goes thus, "… I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…" This goes on and on. When the test of time comes, the oath is put aside.

Let me remind everyone that the two hundred plus Chibok school girls have been missing for more than four months and I can categorically state that the efforts to bring them back home may be diminishing each day. Be reminded that these girls could be your daughter or somebody you know just the way Marcelina Iyogun (blessed memory) was my cousin. Our elected leaders have failed to discharge their duties for which they received their mandate. Where in the world will such kidnaping took place and a President is giving excuses not to visit the place? Look at the frivolous excuse he gave in France when he was responding to a reporter's question that it is not possible for him to be moving from one house to another to sympatize with families of kidnapped school girls. This President should have provided a better answer that he is scared of being kidnapped as compared to what he said. It took me time explaining to my colleagues and friends that he is a Ph.D holder in Zoology and politics is just his minor. In any case, whether he is in Aso Rock as full-time or part-time, he has the resources and the security to deal with any power that threatens his authority. Unfortunately, as of this time, he is not excercising such power in the case of the kidnapped Chibok secondary school girls. But in the case of forgiving looters, he uses his authority as a full-time President. Is this how Presidents discharge duties faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

The dreaded Boko Haram is said to have sophisticated weapons that supercede what the government is providing to her military. Who will believe this? Every year, so much money is budgetted for the military and other emforcement agencies, no one has ever called for proper accountability. But then, where does such money goes to, if it has not been used to buy necessary equipment? On the other hand, do we have the resources to produce the more sophisticated weapons the Boko Haram is using manufactured in Nigeria? If no, how do these weapons get into Nigeria? The civilians do not mar the borders, it is still the uniform men and women that allow them to bring them in. This is why the Nigerian people must unite to stamp out corruption as much as possible.

Sometimes I wonder if the population of people that make up Boko Haram could be more than five thousand in number. How many trained Military men and women do we have in Nigeria that have been seating in offices collecting salaries? I think they out-numbered the population of Boko Haram andtheir weapons. The Military gave up even before the fight began. There will always be excuses not to confront a situation if one is afraid of a fight. This was why they claimed that the Boko Haram is better equiped than the military. In addition, the Nigerian government claims to know the whereabout of the Chibok girls, but one cannot really see the efforts they are making towards the rescue of these girls. No government members have ever thought about these girls as their daughters, hence they do not appear to care about their freedom.

I do not believe that the President is incapacitated in dealing with the Boko Haram issue. He knows that even before he assumed office, he was informed by a former Head of State of what to expect. He cannot claim he does not know the source of Boko Haram. This is where I crave the indulgence of Chief Obasanjo, who will not waste time in dealing with the root of such menance. As a matter of fact, no such evil can rear its ugly head with Obasanjo as the President. It will not make any difference if these perpectuators of evils are his friends, neighbours or not. The same Power that is vested in today's Presidency was the same power that the former received. Why then is the current leader scared of the power behind Boko Haram?

Furthermore, I feel sad to recall that it is more than four months that the Chibok girls got kidnapped, and in the next five months, news about their having babies will begin to come out. As of today, many may have died, some may be sick, some may have been inflicted with diseases sexually transmitted or otherwise. Some may not survive the ordeal of giving birth as adequate preparations may not have been made for these children having babies. Despite all these, my fatherland is talking about general election and the current President believes he is the most qualified person to rule Nigeria. It is a shame.

The evil of April 14, 2014 will hurt Nigeria from moving to greater height if not addressed now. I am calling on every stakeholders to continue to speak out until the truth is out. The Chibok girls will not be forgotten when the generations of histories about Nigeria is written. The earlier something is done, the better for the growth and development of our fatherland.

Finally, I wish the Christian Association of Nigeria can stand solidly behind the Chibok girls as Malala, Michele Obama and other world leaders have done. I wish the Nigerian women can say, we will not give any man food until these girls are brought back. I wish the mothers of these girls can match straight to Aso Rock and ask the government of Nigeria to kidnap them until they find these daughters of ours. Until Nigerians rise up to these challenges, then the evil perpectuated by some of our corrupt leaders and Boko Haram will continue to spread. Who knows the next victim to fall prey? Hopefully, it may not be you.

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