#BringBackOurGirls: Why The Nigerian Government Must Swap The Chibok Girls – Lanre Shadiya

It has been over a month that young and aspiring girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok were defencelessly abducted as they sleep in the dark silence of their unlit dormitory. After initially threatening to sell off the girls in the slave market, the Abductor-In-Chief, Mr Shekau finally announce last week of his intention to trade them for some of his imprisoned campaigners. Unfortunately, there are words going round that the Nigerian government is not favorably disposed to this swap proposal. I believe, as I am sure a lot of Nigerians do too, that there should be no hesitation about the acceptance of the “favorable news” that Mr. Shekau has offered after the initial threat of the sale of the young ladies in the slave market.

I will implore the Nigerian government to cautiously set aside any advice by the international world not to negotiate with the terrorists because this may not be in the interest of the girls returning to us alive. Most governments do not negotiate with terrorists, but we all know that these are governments that are principled, efficient and have developed the capability and competence to deal with such terror. It will be completely irresponsible of us or anyone to assume or pretend that the Nigerian government of today falls into that class of government. The government demonstrated no semblance of concern on the abduction until 14 days after, when social media activists clogged the system with the news and the story was aired by CNN.

 Except the government decided to keep mum about it, it is my belief that there has been no established communication between the Nigerian government and the terrorist over a month after the abduction. With this in mind, the thought of the government locating the gangs’ hideout is gradually looking like a white elephant project. We were told that 2 Army battalions which i.e. 33% of Nigeria’s Army Battalions were sent out to search for the notorious group and till date, several weeks after, we are yet to hear a feedback on their progress. Even countries in the middle of hard fought wars hardly send as many soldiers at one go. I have thus concluded that the Army battalions are not currently succeeding in tracking down these perpetrators of inhumane chaos. This, very unfortunately, leaves all the Aces in the hands of Shekau and his Boko Haram cohorts.

Another reason why I believe Shekau’s offer should be taken is the total lack of alternative that will guarantee the safety of the school girls. In the last video recording sent out by the notorious sect, about 100 girls out of over 200 abducted were filmed reciting the Quran. Without knowing the whereabouts of the remaining 100 or so girls, any tactical operation on the sect may have agonising consequences on the safety of the remaining girls. This is not a time for the Nigerian government to assume the position of a hero that it was not, is not, and may never be.

Also, release of members of Boko Haram group is not new to this government. Doyin Okupe, a Media Assistant to the Nigerian President had said sometimes ago when asked if the government has ever arrested and tried any member of Boko haram on Twitter replied that the government did release captured members of the sect who have remote linkage to the group “when the prisons became too full”. If any member of the Nigerian government still believes that majority of Nigerians, and indeed citizens of the world has any form of trust and confidence in the administration, I will personally request that such a person should wake up from such foolhardyslumber. It is shocking that most officials are still of the opinion that the current happenings are being fabricated by the political enemies of the PDP and or Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. How I wish they were right! For the records, notable personnel such David Cameron of United Kingdom, Rev Jesse Jackson, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousef have all leaned their support for the hashtag campaign of #BringBackOurGirls while McCain, Hillary Clinton and others have verbally but factually lynched the reputation of this government with respect to corruption and irresponsibility. With such dented image locally and international, the ONLY thing that will save the face of this government for the remaining part of its shelf life is to #BringBackOurGirls SAFELY.

@lanreshadiya on Twitter.

The views expressed above are solely that of the author and not of Omojuwa.com or its associates.

About the author


Lanre Olagunju is an hydrologist turned freelance journalist. He has a degree in hydrology from the University of Agriculture Abeokuta and a professional diploma in journalism from the American College of Journalism. Lanre advocates on several international platforms for the prosperity and absolute well-being of the African continent. He's @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter