FEATURE ARTICLE

Abi Adegboye, PhDSaturday, March 3, 2018
[email protected]


DEAR NAKIA OF WAKANDA, LET'S TALK ABOUT CHIBOK AND DAPCHI GIRLS

n Wakanda, women hold many positions - deliverer, warrior, advisor, inventor, healer, and lover. You are leaders in your own right just as Queen Amina was the warrior queen of Zazzau (now Zaria in northern Nigeria) in the 15th century.

During her 34-year reign, she headed an army of 20,000 men and conquered most of the Hausa city states including Kano and Katsina forcing them to become vassals of her kingdom. She achieved and sustained dominance of territories as far flung as Nupe and Kwarafa. In her time, Zazzau was the center of trade pulling traders from near and far. She initiated the cultivation of kola nut as a cash crop and her kingdom prospered.

Centuries later, Amina's progeny are unrecognizable in the hooded misses forced to be child brides or carted off like spoils of war. Because they dare to seek an education to empower themselves, they've become easy prey for elite-backed terrorists who wish to return to a feudal past even preceding Amina's reign! They are deprived of a childhood, education, and the security of homes and communities that nurture them.

Like Klaw, Boko Haram carries out the mandate of its wealthy sponsors to reinforce their stranglehold on progress in northern Nigeria. And complicit leaders sit on the fence debating whether the girls were kidnapped, how many were kidnapped, and whether Boko Haram kidnapped them. Perhaps, what's really going on in their minds is whether crying foul against Boko Haram is haram. After all, these are the same leaders who decided in the Senate that a girl is an adult once she's married. And the same ones who release captured terrorists, so they can strike again.

Nakia, and just in case you can reach Amina in the land of make-believe, we really need deliverance for northern Nigerian girls who are caught between avaricious leaders and rabid terrorists. If you were both here, you'd have rescued the Chibok girls within a week of their kidnap (after all, how far did these terrorists go? They are still in the country and Sambisa is not so dense that google maps can't locate it). Moreover, you would have prevented the kidnap of Dapchi girls by posting extra security in all girls' schools in the region. You would have done what needs doing to empower these girls to become deliverers, warriors, advisors, inventors, healers, lovers, and leaders in their own rights.

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