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Published On: Thu, Jun 12th, 2014

When your country breaks your heart

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By AdejohIdoko Momoh

There are many things capable of breaking a man’s heart and your country should not be one of them. Yes, there are those events like seeing a traditional ruler attacked or theft that sadden you and make you wish you could fight crime all by yourself, but beyond all that, there are more complex acts of terrorism perpetuated by certain sects with unbelievable simplicity that just leave you hopeless.

The Boko Haram, for example. It is all just horror: the group purportedly sprang up in the face of widespread injustice and corruption in Nigeria; unemployment, poverty and the ostentatious lifestyles of the top 1%. As things currently are, it is difficult to understand what the group fights for as it has embarked on the bombing of public places more associated with the bottom 99%.

Its campaign of violence has since escalated: a few gunmen go to a male dominated school in Adamawa state, slaughter every student and burn down the school on their way out. An operation of this scale might last for anywhere from a modest two to three hours, yet no security operatives come to the defense of these students.

Or the even worse scenario where a couple of trucks ride into a school, round up about 300 girls, load them onto the truck and hold them as bargain chip in a bid to secure the release of their members. According to international sources, the kidnap operation itself lasted 4 hours. As they made their way out and rode through the bushes, they stopped at markets to steal food, have lunch breaks where the kidnapped girls cook meals. Vehicles did breakdown and they simply loaded themselves and the girls onto another and set the defective vehicle on fire. The kidnapping and transportation must have lasted anything from 20-25 hours.

The unbelievable thing about both tragedies is that they took place in a state under military rule. That says something about the might of our military; the fact that terrorists and abducted girls can ride in convoys sometimes 10 cars long through a state that should be under military lock down for about 25 hours undetected.

To those people who think the Chibok abduction is some hoax to score cheap political points, if you wouldn’t listen to your government which has come out on more than one occasion to say that the kidnaps did happen, perhaps you’d listen to America with all its intelligence that believed the story so much so that they came to offer military assistance, France did as well, so did Britain and Australia. Is it your claim that you are smarter than all these governments put together and can detect a hoax when they are foolish enough to fall for it?

There are some of us who only believe in traditional authority. After all to a community, your traditional ruler should be GOD. If you fall in this category, consider that the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi himself a first class chief and constituted authority recently held up poster asking the government to equip the military and give it strict orders to ‘Bring Back Our Girls’. Or for people who believe that celebrities are a new breed and a higher power of some sort, perhaps you’d believe Iyanya and 2 Face, Stella Damascus and Tonto Dike or Wizkid who amongst numerous others have upheld similar posters. Or feminists, perhaps you’d believe Michelle Obama and Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie or Genevieve Nnaji.

I had long decided not to try to prove to anyone who didn’t believe these abductions happened, to my mind, this is not the time to explain or prove truth to anyone. When you or a loved one has a heart attack, is your immediate aim finding the cause of the heart attack or relieving it? How far have we lost our humanity that girls are kidnapped and we sit by wanting to know if there is truth to the story?

For me, I simply want the girls back. Questions are important and a time will come to ask them and demand answers but this clearly is not the time. For now, our core focus should be to see to the rescue of these girls. Join movements that seek their rescue. Join the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. These people are our daughters, sisters, cousins and friends, not lending your voices to this cause would amount to failing them, and ultimately yourselves.

AdejohIdoko Momoh via momoh.adejoh@gmail.com

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