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Chibouk Girls: Still a differed hope

The criminal, heartless and wicked abduction of young impressionable teenage girls from Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Chibouk, Borno State, on April 14, 2014, by the Boko Haram insurgents has remained a pain and anguish to the families of the victims and a global embarrassment to the Nigerian government.
Concerned millions of people across the globe joined their Nigerian counterparts to mark the one year of the sadistic development recently with demands on Boko Haram to free the girls unconditionally and for the global community to come to the help of Nigeria in her quest to free the girls wherever they may be held captive.
The story of the abduction of the schools girls came like a moonlight tale on April 15, when it was confirmed that some insurgents disguised as security guards had abducted no fewer than 276 girls from GGSS Chibouk and had taken them hostage to an unknown location.  When about 57 of the girls escaped, it was learnt that they were held in the Sambisa Forest, near Gwoza, in Borno State.
Thereafter, nothing was heard of the girls, although the Federal Government and the military authorities consistently reassured the families of the girls and Nigerians that every effort was being made to see that they are freed.
Federal Government had also gone into joint military cooperation with neighboring countries in the sub-region including Chad, Niger and Cameroon aimed at securing the release of the girls.
It is believed today that the Nigerian military are combing the Sambisa Forest, where the insurgents are believed to be holding the girls.  Military authorities   hold the view that the Forest would be liberated before May 29, 2015 handing over by President Goodluck Jonathan to the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Even then, the fitful search to free the girls has become a sore, a pain and anguish to the parents of the girls and all those affected by the sadistic abduction. Ordinarily, it would have appeared strange, that the Boko Haram insurgents, whose main ambition is to enthrone an Islamic Sultanate in the North East region of the country, are kidnapping school girls.
But this argument fades away immediately it is realized that Boko Haram, which also means Western education is evil, is against Western education for the Muslim faithful.  Indeed, the abduction of the school girls, who were writing their terminal WAEC examination, was to poignantly drive home the sect’s resentment against Western education.
In spite of recent reports that about 200 young girls and another 93 women have been liberated from their Boko Haram captors, there is no certainty that any of the liberated are among the abducted Chibouk girls.
The sect had, before the April 14 abduction, destroyed several schools and places of worship particularly Christian churches, killed numerous students and their teachers at all levels of education.
At one particular instance, no fewer than 40 boys were killed in a school in Yobe State while at another instance in Adamawa State, no fewer than 20 undergraduates were killed in their hostel.
Today, it has become strange what the sect hopes to achieve apart from the death, destruction, pain and anguish they leave behind each time they strike.  It must be noted that notable Muslims and Muslim groups have stridently denied the sect, describing their actions as un-Islamic.
Available statistics showed that the Boko Haram insurgents had, since 2009, when its activities became vicious and penetrating, kidnapped over 2,000 girls and women, killed over 5,000 persons and rendered over 800,000 persons homeless as well as destroyed property worth over $2billion.  Even the Nigerian government had committed a princely loan of $1billion on the terror war.
What the above means is that human capital and material resources that should be used in growing the economy and enhancing the welfare of the people are being wasted on a needless war against fellow citizens- some of whom do not know the issues in contention.
There is no reason, argument or persuasion that justifies the position of Boko Haram.
The group should unconditionally release the girls and also renounce their evil ways and embrace peace to enable the Federal Government commence a material rebuilding of the North East region, especially Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States where the impact of the murderous sect is most visible and devastating.
When the abduction was 100 days in July 23 and 24, 2014, global attention was drawn to the fact that the girls were yet to be released.  Vigils were held in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Portugal.  It was at this point that the governments of the UK, US, France, China, Canada, Israel and the European Union felt sufficiently challenged to offer support Nigeria in the rescue efforts.
One year down the line, however, not much has changed in spite of the claimed rescue or about 300 girls and women. In fact, many concerned persons including Pakistani Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, are of the opinion that Nigerian and world leaders have not done enough to ensure the release of the girls.
These concerned persons believe that collaborative efforts of the US and the European nations would have made the required difference in the search and release of the girls.
Indeed, what could have gone wrong with the assurances given to the Nigerian government by the US government and the EU countries that they would assist in rescuing the girls?
This is the time to walk the talk.  The blame game must stop. The pain has been deep and lingering and must be immediately healed with the release of the girls.

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