7th May, 2014
By Joe Igbokwe
Did anybody watch Dame Patience Jonathan’s outburst on Chibok girls in a meeting with women in Abuja the other day? Did you see the drama? Did you see the body language? Did she believe that the girls are missing? What did it suggest to you as the wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Can we trust this woman?
Last week Mrs Kema Chikwe the National Women Leader of PDP shocked Nigerians with these questions: how did it happen? Who saw it happen? Who did not see it happen? Who is behind this? Kema Chikwe of PDP was reacting to the abduction of the over 200 Chibok girls which had been trending for weeks now.
Now, look at this. A day after the bombing at Nyanya where nearly 100 people died, President Jonathan jetted to Kano to dance Azonto music and to continue his campaign for 2015. Many saw this as an outrageous display of leadership failure, lack of concern, lack of empathy, lack of tact and disparaging the rules of engagement. But ask yourself; does the President believe that the girls were abducted in the first place? Does he believe that even with the worldwide uprising against the kidnap, that some Nigerian girls were kidnapped?
If Dame Patience Jonathan does not believe the girls were abducted, and a Kema Chikwe the Woman Leader of PDP earlier questioned that kidnap, where does that leave us? What does it tell you about the ruling party and its leaders? Dame Patience Jonathan sleeps with the President of Nigeria and if she says that no girl is missing, you can then understand the mindset of the President and the wife. Until the list of the Chibok girls were published, I do not think the Presidency believed the story about the Chibok girls. The supporters of the Jonathan Presidency and the PDP members are still doubting Nigerian girls were kidnapped. They scrounge every space to put a lie to the stories of the kidnap and everything that seems to question the credulity of the kidnap story. If they do not believe that any kidnap took place, how and where will they start rescuing the kidnapped kids as the whole world is demanding now?
On Monday the bubble burst after the leader of Boko Haram issued a statement in a video that the girls are with him and even threatened to sell them to punish Nigeria further. The doubting Thomases now know that the abduction is real and not a circus show. The whole nation has been challenged, the whole 150 million Nigerians have been challenged, the whole security agencies have been challenged and the whole real men in Nigeria have been challenged and we must do something. Watching and following the international media shows that the kidnap case is one of the hottest news items in the world today but the presidency and his party seem not to believe and that is why many are scared.
A few years back a little American girl was trapped in a well and the whole America remained awake, all day, all night until the young girl was rescued. In Nigeria our more than 200 girls, our would-be mothers, were abducted for weeks now and the President goes about dancing and campaigning for 2015 elections. Like I said, the President, his wife, Kema Chikwe and many PDP chieftains do not believe our girls were abducted. Others have been lying about it just to earn a living. Our security agencies have been telling a thousand lies to cover their inadequacies, weaknesses and mediocrity. Have we forgotten the egregious lie from the military that it had rescued the girls few days after their kidnap only for it to be proved a ruse some days later? Maybe we do not know the enormity and how grave this matter is in the eyes of the world. In another serious clime the whole country would have been put on hold until the girls are rescued. All the security agencies would have been mobilized and deployed to the letter. But this is Nigeria where impunity, selfishness and political irresponsibility take the centre stage in matters of national significance. My submission is that Nigeria deserves something better than this at a time like this.
If President Jonathan is still in doubt of the true situation of things, I think he should wake up. There is war in the land and the buck stops at the president’s table. Now it is becoming clear that the seat of power in Abuja is no longer safe. No city or state in Nigeria is now safe. And if reality is to prevail the President must act as the commander-in-chief, being presidential and taking responsibility.
This is not the time to continue to listen to bootlickers. The President must use his power to arrest the situation and restore his dignity and the dignity of Nigeria. It is going to be a collective responsibility with the President leading all Nigerians to rescue the girls. Elders are known for standing up when the need is greatest. Let the Northern leaders work with Southern leaders to retrieve the soul of Nigeria from lost soulless scoundrels and lost generation.
Consequently, the world must help Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram because Boko Haram is a threat to world peace. If a group rises up anywhere in the world to claim that education is evil the world must feel challenged and therefore respond accordingly to crush that group. We cannot go back to the Stone Age. Shekau and his Boko Haram must be stopped now!
•Igbokwe wrote from Lagos.