boko haram kidnapped school girlsEditor’s Note: I think it is good to have the perspective of someone who is “there” from time to time. In America, the Christian girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram are almost an afterthought now. We deal with so many scandals that yesterday’s lead story is now buried on the back page. Perhaps since today is “Father’s Day” we should send good thoughts and prayers to the hundreds of Nigerian Dads who are still hoping that their girls come home. -Dean Garrison

When Will Our Girls Return Home? by Toks Ero

I am sad that bomb blasts have become a regular occurrence in Nigeria. In less than a month, we have had two in Nyanya, Abuja killing scores of Nigerians. The abduction of over 200 or rather almost 300 school girls in a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State by the daredevil Boko Haram insurgents is just saddening. One can only but imagine that fate of these girls and their parents.

Aside from those that died from the bomb blasts, many more are still in pains at various hospitals and care centres in Abuja; and the girl’s? No one knows, not even our military or security agencies know their whereabouts.

While Nigerians across religious and ethnic divides, non-governmental organisations and politicians have condemned the satanic activities of the Boko Haram insurgents, President Goodluck Jonathan rising from a joint Security Council meeting with the thirty-six states governors, religious leaders and traditional rulers again swore that Boko Haram will soon be smoked out of their hiding places.

Again, at a breakfast church service held at the Aso Villa Chapel, the president for the umpteenth time assured Nigerians of his governments’ resolve to deal decisively with the Boko Haram insurgents once and for all. Nigerians have been hearing these assurances. They do not want to hear them anymore; they need to see result yielding action. Nigerians are not wrong to doubt the presidents’ seriousness and ability to solve this security problem gnawing at our collective psyche.

It is an embarrassment that this negative occurrence has become the subject of worldwide attention on Nigeria.

The parents of the girls and the Nigerian masses I believe have lost faith in the government’s bid to rescue the girls. If the girls are actually in the Sambisa forest as we are told, why is it so difficult to rescue them? What is the usefulness of our military and security agents? If the Boko Haram agents actually hold fort in the Sambisa forest in Nigerian territory, why can’t our armed forces invade the forest? It is really unacceptable to have individuals hold offices without the requisite competence needed to carry out the responsibilities the office demands. Our armed forces have disappointed us. Heads should roll. People should be sacked. Nigerian lives should not be gambled away by incompetent officials who remain in service despite evident lack of productivity.

Perhaps it is a thing of joy that Nigeria is getting help from America to help find the girls; but what happens afterwards? If the Boko Haram problem is not solved once and for all or at least minimized to an acceptable level, Will the American emissaries remain here to help solve future occurrences? Our security and military systems and personnel need to be upgraded and routinely reviewed to cope with the demands of contemporary counter terrorism strategies.

Mothers and various women’s groups have publicly wailed begging the insurgents to release their girls, but the insurgents seem to be enjoying the sadism. I fear these vampires may have turned these little girls who are yet to become women into objects for satisfying their animalistic and base desires.

The business of governing a people is a serious one that should not be sacrificed on the altar of incompetence. The abilities and decisions of a president affects each and every citizen. President Jonathan should begin to act like he actually understands that the Boko Haram and insecurity issue is casting a slur on his reputation and unspoken bid to return to the villa in 2015. While he may have told us to leave the 2015 matter for now, what we see is a president who is really desirous and actually campaigning to return to the villa come 2015.

Nigerian’s expect President Jonathan to tackle and solve the Boko Haram and insecurity situation in the country as his legacy rather than just being recorded as a onetime president of the country. Nigerian’s expect President Jonathan to act like he values the lives and wellbeing of each and every citizen. Nigerian’s expect President Jonathan to take decisive action against those who threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if he became President.

It is disrespectful to Nigerian’s to see President Jonathan adorning cheerful dispositions in various public appearances while Nigeria is in trouble. Not freeing our girls from the evil clutches of the Boko Haram dissidents may just be the compass directing President Jonathans’ return journey to Otuoke for a much deserved rest after a rather turbulent presidency.

Mr. President, Nigerian’s are asking; when will our girl’s return home?