The abductors of the 110 Dapchi Girls had so much latitude and freedom on their way back to the town that they had a punctured tyre, stopped, repaired it, and cruised in to return the girls at the school gate from where they had taken them.
Before they left, they gave a “sermon”. The main point was that the parents should never return their children to school again because it was a creation of Western Education, i.e. a creation of the Christian civilization. And as if to prove their point, all the abducted girls who were still alive were returned…
…except Leah Sharibu.
From what WE .@BBOG_Nigeria are gathering on #LiyaSharibu who was WITHELD and LEFT BEHIND when FG took 104 #DapchiGirls from their captors, @AsoRock of .@NGRPresident @MBuhari OWES THE NATION EVEN MORE CLARIFICATION on this abduction TRAGEDY. #BringHomeLiyaSharibuNOW! #NoDelays.
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) March 22, 2018
Ms Sharibu is a Christian, the only one among the 110 who were taken by Abu Musab al-Barnawi’s faction of Boko Haram on the 19th of February 2018. She survived the congestion and stampede that killed five of her fellow students in the truck in which they were carried away that day. She would not renounce her faith as a condition for regaining her freedom with 104 others, which must have offended her captors as the definite sign that she will want to return to her books immediately she is released.
It is unfortunate that some parents whose children have returned are now overcome by the ominous exultation of the terrorists; they say their children are never going back to school. May we hope they meant that the Federal and State Governments have to provide adequate security in schools before they can send their wards back to gain a much needed education that will liberate them and this nation from our present state of underdevelopment. Otherwise, it would be the ultimate set back to all campaigns for girl child education and human capital development.
The Buhari Government must bring back Leah Sharibu. It is absolutely non-negotiable and morally necessary for its legitimacy or continuity. The description by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that Boko Haram’s kidnap in Dapchi was a “moral breach” on the terrorists’ part deserves, as suggested by Prof Pius Adesanmi, a rational evaluation of the public servant’s state of mind. But without dwelling on that as to become distracted by the exigency of the issue at hand, the Government must perform its ultimate moral duty by ensuring the rescue – or return – of Ms Sharibu.
The present circumstance of Leah Sharibu gnaws at our national conscience. Govt should pls ensure that she gets home safely!
While we congratulate the families of those already released, we wish to send our condolences to the families of the unfortunate five.
— Dr Olusegun Mimiko (@Segunmimiko) March 22, 2018
When Bill Gates mentioned, in his address to the President, that human capital was more important, or was a foundation for, physical capital, it should have struck a chord; that 2018 as the year of gigantic infrastructural projects will be without honor if the weakest of Nigerians are in hostage and excluded from using them. Education is the foundation for any progress as a nation, and by evidence of history, it just happens that this education is same one Boko Haram seems to be against. Living Leah in their company is giving them legitimacy and professing our rejection of development. The fact that she is only a child should ordinarily be enough to pull out all the stops so she doesn’t spend one more day alone with her captors.
But if we needed another reason, here it is: the Senate yesterday confirmed Mrs Aishah Ahmad to be a deputy governor of the Central Bank. If Leah Sharibu and the 100 other Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity cannot be free to aspire to such dreams, then what’s the point of Nigeria? What is a Nigerian Dream?
And who says any other girl schooling in any part of the country won’t be the next captive?
By Alexander O. Onukwue | Follow @inquizimedia on Facebook and Twitter