I do not usually discuss world events on my blog but I am just urged to do so now. Just over two weeks ago an estimated 234 school girls were kidnapped from their boarding school based in Borno State (Northern Nigeria). Read more here: Nigeria’s missing school girls
Yes we are aware that such events have happened some time or the other around the world – but the issue for us Nigerians is the government’s lack of activity and the conventional disregard for the people.
The recent incident concerning the tragic loss of Boeing MH370 – the Malaysian government held conferences daily, kept their people and the world informed – highlighted major and minor changes – kept all abreast with any new strategies even down to announcing other countries who had joined the search operation in hopes of finding the missing plane. I only use them as an example to demonstrate their dedication to the people and the situation the country faced
Now let us compare to Nigeria:
1) No formal statement from the government re: missing girls (only denials on actual number of girls missing) – even if it is indeed just 85 girls is that not enough reason to be as proactive as ever especially in light of the seriousness of the suspected terrorist group involved
2) No visible activity on part of the government to locate girls
3) Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan thought it wise to enjoy MayDay festivities instead of using event as a platform to address the nation on pressing current issues (GEJ all smiles amidst crises – As reported on Bella Naija) – I am certain the Malaysian President’s schedule was filled with ‘entertaining events’ to attend during the search of the missing plane – but did he dare attend… NO… Why? Respect for the people
This image shocked many Nigerians, check out some of the comments in response to Bella Naija’s report below:
4) The government have not reached out to the distraught mothers of the missing girls – comforted them and given them as citizens of the nation the time of day. Instead our women are made to protest in the streets screaming for their voices to be heard like dissenters – this is terribly disheartening.
5) There is no mention of Nigeria requesting for the assistance of neighbouring states – we are obviously not in the position to handle this alone. The UK press thought it wise to inform their own citizens regarding upcoming visit of Gordon Brown (former UK prime minister ) to Nigeria to discuss military aid Gordon Brown to Visit Nigeria . Is this a secret? The Nigerian government have failed to communicate this to us – I am very sure that many Nigerians are unaware of this crucial meeting due to take place next week. This would indeed ease the mind of many – but again the Nigerian government are not concerned with the common man or woman and prefer for other news agencies around the world to address their nation on their behalf
6) We have no circulating images of these girls – they are confirmed as MISSING and the aim is to find them by any means possible be it through police/army intervention or a member of the public spotting them. Without images (which can be obtained from family of the girls) our girls can be moved across borders without border officials knowing who and what to look out for (Girls kidnapped late at night so I doubt they were in their school uniforms)
7) The Nigerian government are very comfortable allowing outside news agencies control the spin of an issue they should be ahead of. The outside world should feed of the information released by the Nigerian government and not the other way round – this is a very indifferent, nonchalant means of governing a country
6) The facebook page of the president Goodluck Jonathan displays nothing. His last post on 20th April centred around Easter and included a very cryptic message;
The comment above is evasive – Easter day arrived on 20th April and our girls went missing on 14th April so why did he choose to avoid discussing the matter at hand and leave such a blasé message – note that on his page he has discussed the most trivial of matters in detail in the past!
What security service?
Goodluck Jonathan’s Facebook page
7) The Nigerian government may be of the belief that their activities are covert ones- but they need to remember covert operations and keeping a nation sane go hand in hand and either side cannot be neglected. If indeed covert operations are in place – we are not asking for every detail of the plan, just let us know something is in the works – keep our minds at rest…
Actions for the Nigerian government
A) The Nigerian government must maintain an open dialogue with the people – we as a nation deserve it
B) Create a safe haven for the women, gather them together so at least they have each other as comfort and at the same time keep them constantly updated about the present situation and initiatives as they arise
C) Honestly update the nation as to the government’s position – timescales – has contact been made with – what should we expect – actions we should take – helpline number for citizens to call if they notice anything suspicious – images posted of suspected kidnappers (if any) or the kidnapped…
D) The government should create an awareness campaign – informing the nation at large specifically boarding schools and day schools in the affected vicinity and at large on vital steps to ensure their school children are safe – activities to look out for and report – the need for heightened security or even a temporary suspension of boarding facilities for schools in the North of Nigeria till the pressing issue is rectified
E) The Government should remove all manner of pride and openly inform us of their requests (if any) to other nations for help. This in itself may rock the boat of suspected terrorists – the government need to open up to the people – open your borders for necessary military assistance not just business opportunities. Make it known to the world that we as a nation require skilled assistance – we will not be ridiculed by the world for seeking third party intervention
It is common knowledge that the needs of the people of Nigeria – have always been placed on the back-burner to roast till it turns to ashes and is then briskly swept under the carpet – but there has to be a breaking point and I think this is it…listen to us…fight for us…lead a nation who will eventually support their government and not always remain in timeless
Please bring our girls home – we urge the government to be proactive and save our princesses
Check links below:
Bring our Girls Home – Change.com Petition
White House Petition
Huffington Post Coverage
Hashtags for social media: #BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurDaughters #BringOurGirlsBack #NigerianSchoolgirls
(join in the social media fight to force the Nigerian government to simply care and take responsibility for us)