Interrogating The Cruel Silence On Leah Sharibu And The Remaining Chibok And Dapchi Girls.


The kidnap of the daughters of Chibok in the night of the 14-15 of April, 2014 and that of the innocents of Dapchi on February 19, 2018 by the Boko Haram terrorist group remains a dark patch on our national fabric, even worse is the fact that almost six years, and two years after some of the girls remain in the captivity of the Haramists.

Remember that during the 2014/2015 electioneering campaign the kidnap of the Chibok Girls was a major campaign theme; it was the chief theme as the All Progressive Congress APC promised to enhance national security and to ensure that when elected the kidnapped daughters of Chibok would be rescued. And that the Boko Haram insurgency will be defeated.

I have heard, read and seen the many propaganda materials of State Operators who continue to lie to Nigerians that the insurgency in the North East have been curtailed, controlled, combated and defeated. In the thick of this delusive and denuding demagoguery came the kidnap of the innocents of Dapchi. Like some Chibok girls were released, most of the Dapchi girls have been released by their captors, and the government made a show of it. However, almost six years gone, some Chibok Girls remain in captivity, and almost two years after Leah Sharibu and four other Dapchi girls remain in captivity, and sadly we have continued like all is well.

There is a deafening and cruel silence that attends the continued captivity of Leah Sharibu, and the Chibok and Dapchi Girls yet in the custody of the Haramists. And this silence is heartrending and heartbreaking. That some parents ‘celebrated’ the Christmas and the New Year without their daughters, and that the true state of the missing girls is unknown is traumatizing and killing, and more traumatic is the silence of State Operators regarding the missing girls.

Were the girls, daughters, siblings and relations of State Operators I am sure that they would have been released long ago; unfortunately fate has made them the victims of State neglect. Their families are left wistful and prayerful, and the State continues like they don’t matter. Such is the tragic comeuppance on the Nigerian hoi polloi.

Wonder if the rescue of the girls yet in captivity was made a major security cum defense policy like they were a campaign issue; wonder if the Military High Command was given a time based directive to get back the girls; wonder if leadership were to internalize the pain and trauma of the parents of the girls yet missing; wonder if there is empathy and love in this space; and wonder what would have happened had we continued relentlessly to call for the release of the girls and the many other Nigerians yet in the dungeon of the Haramists?

Put yourself in the shoes of the parents of the missing girls and feel their pain, we truly cannot continue to live like it is normal because no sane nation does that. We must organize and demand that government does everything possible to bring back the girls before the first quarter of 2020 expires, and this we must do as a people committed to the good of fatherland.

Something troubles the carapace of my mind as I interrogate the issues regarding national security, indeed the resurgence of insurgency in the North East and the reported fatalities dealt the Nigerian Armed Forces by Boko Haram and ISWAP leave me befuddled and benumbed. There is something that suggests that until a holistic overhaul of the entire structure and architecture of the war on insurgency is carried out, the insurgency in the North East will remain and perhaps spread to other regions. God forbid you will say, but those who owe the nation the duty to protect lives and properties and to defend our territorial integrity must rise to the challenge.

Leadership must not only rise to the fierce urgency of now, but learn a few lessons in empathy, for only when the leader feels the pain of the many victims of the insurgency and the violent crimes that liter the Nigerian space can a proactive and prolific national defense policy be worked. We must stop deceiving ourselves and hasten to overhaul the policy programmatic against insurgency and violent crime.

Finally, having lost my immediate younger Sister to kidnappers four years ago, and knowing what pain and trauma it brings, my heart is with the families of the victims of kidnapping, insurgency and violent crimes any and everywhere in Nigeria. On this note Compatriots, I call on every man and woman of goodwill to rise in demand of a new national defense and security policy that must make the primacy of human lives and properties the primary trust of leadership. And may this new policy begin with the return of Leah Sharibu, and the remaining daughters of Chibok and Dapchi. Amen.

Chukwudumebi Nkemcho Nwaokobia CNN

FKA Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr. CMN JNR.




Lawyer, Writer and Humanist


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