I can’t believe that it has already been 2 years since the Chibok Girls have been kidnapped (weeping face emoji). I remember when I first heard the news of the girls, I was so weak, distraught and depressed. It really hit close to home because I felt that could have been me. I was a ‘boarder’ in secondary school (for all my non-Nigerian readers, a ‘boarder‘ is a student that stays in boarding school). My school’s security was not very tight in fact it was not tight at all and someone could very easily (and I mean very easily) walked in and kidnapped us. Another reason why the story affected me so much (besides the fact that I am a Nigerian girl) is because people were so offended that girls were getting educated and bettering themselves, that they decided to abduct them and make them sex slaves. It is so sickening and disheartening.
As if been taken away from their families and life as they know it is not bad enough, the girls still face other forms of torture. From the accounts given by some of the escapees, they are raped on a daily basis and also trained to become soldiers and potential suicide bombers for Boko Haram. The psychological damage is so great that some of the girls volunteer to be suicide bombers just to end their suffering. I cannot imagine what is it like to be in so much pain and sorrow that you decide to take your own life.The girls are not the only victims in this story; the parents and guardians of the girls are also suffering. About 10 of the parents/guardians of the girls have died from heart attack and high blood pressure.
The most frustrating thing about this story is the attitude of the Nigerian Government to the kidnappings. Both the past and present administrations are guilty of disregarding the #bringbackourgirl protesters and the plight of the girls and their parents. I remember former president Goodluck Johnathan said that the protesters were just trying to make him and his administration look bad (I am paraphrasing). I wanted to scream when I read his statement. No sir, they were not protesting to make you look bad, they were just seeking justice and being the voice of the voiceless. You, sir, did not even acknowledge the kidnappings until foreign media outlets picked up the news. Goodluck Johnathan’s campaign was even more insensitive to the entire situation; they had a billboard ad that wrote: “Bring Back Goodluck Johnathan”. He didn’t want to acknowledge them but he was very fine with using their slogan for his benefit in his campaign. I know my rant is a year too late but I feel I have to let it out my system. By the way, I hope the person responsible for that ad breaks their legs and have to walk home in the rain because they run out of fuel.
This present administration is also guilty of using this issue for their benefit. During the last election campaign, Buhari confidently promised to deal with Boko Haram and bring the girls back. He said that he would use any means necessary to deal with Boko Haram. It has been a year since he made that promise and Nigerians are yet to see anything. This month, the presidency refused to say anything about the issue. This month, the presidency refused to grant the #bringbackourgirls protesters entrance to Aso Rock. You promised to give them back their children yet you do not grant them access to the presidential villa. It is so horrible the way Nigerian Politicians use the citizens; we only exist during the election period, after that, we become invisible until the next election period. I know they are just biding their time hoping for Nigerians to forget the Chibok Girls just like we forget every other atrocity and crime committed against our people so that they do not have to do anything.
I have come to realise that the lives of the poor and powerless have no value in Nigeria. If the victims were the children of ‘important people’ (rolling my eyes) then the 7 gates of hell would have been unleashed and Boko Haram would have become a distant memory in the minds of Nigerians.
I will not forget the Chibok Girls because their lives matter to me.