The abduction by Boko Haram of children from Chibok is the issue occupying centre stage in politics right now in Nigeria. Government response to and management of this abduction have not been effective – a large number of the children , we are told, are still with their captors and locating them continues to be a challenge.
Very far away from the scene of this affront to decency and female dignity, especially in Abuja and Lagos, demonstrators and marchers have mobilised under very arresting logos to demand that immediate action be taken to ensure the safe and immediate release of these girls. Dialogues have been held by some of these marchers with government security agencies and a modus operandi for engagement and information sharing was tweeted to have been agreed upon by one of marchers’ spokesperson. But marchers and demonstrators are also using social media to give their cause (and a very legitimate cause for that matter) and themselves considerable visibility. And here they are several steps ahead of government, and whether deliberately or by inadvertence are making government look bad, insensitive and unresponsive.
And this should not and need not be so. Government must join up in these marches and demonstrations, and for two reasons. No wise government should allow itself to be “caught” and cast in adversarial posture to a movement to free children who have been kidnapped by cruel, heartless and scheming persons. So, Government officials, spouses of ministers, legislators etc should join these marches and protests. Join, ride on the public outrage at this violation of the innocent and channel the outflowing energy to the benefit of your programmes and the peoples. Secondly, If you are not in a march, your agenda and point of views will hardly ever be recognised nor projected. So Government officials must join up. Strategic considerations suggest joining up.
Joining up will also enable a second and equally important message to be given greater orchestration. “ABDUCTORS, FREE OUR CHIBOK CHILDREN”. This message is just as important as the first which can be summed up as “GOVERNMENT, RESCUE AND FREE OUR CHIBOK CHILDREN”. Whilst the current primary message focuses on the government and therefore presents a good handle for its indictment for its inability to assure the safety and security of persons living within its space, the second opens the way for reaching out to the captors, either directly or indirectly through their community and religious leaders, to free children they have taken captive and hold against their will in violation of all the laws of decent conduct.
Join me in praying for the safe of these children and for purposeful, effective and targeted intervention that would ensure this in the very near future.