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Published On: Sun, May 18th, 2014

Bring back our girls, yes but what about country

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Chibok girls stillBy Emmanuel Onwubiko

The campaign to get back our girls is worth the trouble. Boko Haram’s abduction of our schoolgirl and its threat to sell them into slavery has galvanized broad- based support global effort at rescuing them. The campaign has become a unifying force in a country eternally fragmented into ethnic and religious camps made possible and sustained by the political elites. This patriotic zeal must be sustained long after these abducted girls are found.

How can we sustain the campaign and transform it into the catch phrase of ‘Bring- Back -our -Country’ soon after we have successfully rescued these girls abducted by the violent insurgents?Going forward, we have to do the following. First, Nigerians overseas who are truly desirous of seeing that Nigeria develops and become truly a democracy should work out transparent measures and strategies of supporting the pro-democracy and pro-development activities and mandates of credible organized civil society community in Nigeria so these organizations can effectively mobilize Nigerians to take charge of governance and become active participants in the running of their affairs.

Good governance has taken flight in Nigeria and if democracy must take a pride of place in Nigeria and serve the collective interest of all Nigerians, then the Nigerian based local Non-Governmental organizations with identifiable offices in towns, cities and rural communities in Nigeria must be supported by way of donating funding support for these groups to engage in the process of enlightenment of Nigerians to stand up to be counted as good Nigerians.

The current laissez-faire attitude’ of most ordinary Nigerians who see government business as not their immediate concern must be changed progressively through massive mobilization and sensitization using the media as effective sources of campaign and these events take a lot of financial and human resources which most of these civil society and non-governmental groups operating with lean resources cannot afford.

Besides, most donor organizations from Europe and America have consistently offered funding assistance to only few local groups set up by friends of these foreign embassy officials in Abuja and Lagos and this clique has made it impossible and impracticable for funding assistance to trickle down to other credible groups that have no friends in these foreign embassies based in Nigeria.

Nigerians abroad who are doing well and wish Nigeria well should also support through donations in cash and kind the activities of community based organizations to carry out the education, information, training and sensitization of the rural dwellers on the need to safeguard transparent and good governance even at that micro level. It is a fact that less than 15% of Nigerians are fully aware of their human rights constitutionally guaranteed and what the supreme body of Nigerian law say should constitute the fundamental principles and objectives of government policies. These are the steps we need to take at the local level to begin the process of bringing back our country.

The next national campaign we must undertake is to vigorously wage war against impunity and corruption at all levels. There is corruption in all segments of our society, but the most painful is what is happening in the judiciary. Recently, a Federal High Court freed some Lebanese arrested by security agencies for arms smuggling and the discovery of large arms cache in their Kano residence was shocking but yet the court set them free. Impunity and corruption must be stamped out by all means from the body politics of Nigeria if we must bring back and/or rather take back our country. The Nigerian Borders must be secured so as to Bring Back Our Country and save Nigerians from infiltrators who are bombing Nigeria from all fronts with sophisticated weapons and firearms.

Emmanuel Onwubiko is on Twitter :@emmanuelonwubiko

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