The sweetest words fail to describe the relief, the elation, the joy, the return of 82 girls from an intolerable captivity of more than 3 years and 3 weeks, and the reunion with their agonizing parents and family members. What is there not to be overjoyed about? It is not the jackpot, but how can this be anything but good news?
Heck, it was official via the Presidential twitter handle around midnight, on SUNDAY, the 7th of May. As if to validate the magnitude of the “miracle”, the heavens let loose. It poured profusely, perhaps in resonance with the tears of joy flowing at Askira and other parts of Chibok, heralding the welcome of girls last seen in the innocent pursuit of knowledge and advancement of their society.
It should not even be a matter of debate that all that matters at the moment is that these girls have safely been extricated from the company of some heinous individuals. There is time for everything, for picturing the politics and picking apart the politricks. “Like last year, they have been freed close to May 29” Yes, we know. “This has only been done to paper over the cracks of the President’s inability to continue his duties”. Yes, we can relate. But, if we can all agree that, to the mothers of these 82, these children will always come first above politics and 2019, the reasonable thing to do – at least for this day and coming week – is be bothered about how we can quietly contribute to their reintegration to society, without sensationalization and paparazzi coverage.
Let us take a moment to appreciate, as was indicated in the statement from the State House, the Governments and other organizations who have played prominent roles in the negotiations.
— ICRC Africa (@ICRC_Africa) May 7, 2017
It is refreshing to see that our Government has sought and accepted the aid of willing organisations to bring about this happy development. We hope they haven’t shaken hands yet on a nice-doing-business-with-you note; with 113 girls yet to be returned, it’s not quite done yet.
The demands for the remaining girls to be released will persist, so too some questions will need be clarified. But rather than about politics, the issue of the fortification of security should come to the front burner again. While our society has become more reinvigorated by 82 girls, the enemy has gained one more commander, with some cash to possibly get more ammunition and train more recruits. How will they be checked, ensuring the exchange results to no net positive change in their favour?
One battle has been won, the war continues. But let us enjoy this, “Let us Bless the Lord…”
Can we just suspend politics for a few moments and embrace our collective humanity? Can we thank God for the return of the #ChibokGirls?
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) May 7, 2017
“…Thanks be to God”
Feature image: TheCable.ng (From the release of 21 girls in 2016)