Tag Archives: Abducted Girls

The Dapchi Cataclysm – Where Henceforth Nigeria

Whereas as a despondent citizen, whose level of trepidation can never in any imaginable dimension approximate the utter despair experienced by the parents of the abducted Dapchi girls and the overwhelming hopelessness thrust upon the parents of the girls still missing, I still verily lament the evolution of the repugnance that has ensnared the nation, steals our daughters[i] and kills our sons[ii] with callous impunity;

And whereas, I refuse to cower powerlessly in the domain of lassitude, the uncertainty amid the swirling disparate official news accounts conjoined with these loathsome incidents confounds reason;

And whereas, I am extremely thankful that many of the Dapchi girls have been reunited with their families and communities, it is nonetheless extremely perturbing that six of the girls have not been released;

And whereas, those six captured Dapchi girls were classified in an official press statement as “yet unaccounted for[iii]”, reports otherwise infer, that five of the girls are apparently deceased[iv], as mournfully bewailed by a father of an innocent girl, whose young life, was reported as tragically truncated prior to the commencement of her prime[v];

And whereas, there are reverberating news accounts that another young innocent girl, Miss Leah Sharibu[vi] remains pugnaciously and illegitimately detained, allegedly because she expressed her inalienable right of religious freedom and refused to renounce her Christian faith[vii] [viii], which acts constitute unambiguous religious persecution and moreover which religious affiliation in the purported secular and democratic society of the nation is guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended (1999 Constitution);

And whereas, an iota of incontrovertible truth that exits in the midst of, the dense fog of imprecision, attending this national misfortune and further barricades the obstructed view of verifiable facts, is that, the name Leah Sharibu, is not imprinted on the official list of Dapchi girls released[ix];

And whereas, the 1999 Constitution, guarantees all Nigerian citizens irrespective of their faith, the assurance of religious freedom, supposedly Miss Sharibu’s liberty, under the tyrannical boot of oppression, in brazen contravention of the said 1999 Constitution, appears illegitimately predicated on the proposed specious extraction of a coerced renunciation of her religion;

And whereas, the incongruous accounts in governmental proclamations regarding the status of Ms. Sharibu’s release have bewildered confusion and amplified the terrifying foreboding in segments of the nation[x] [xi],

And whereas, irrespective of the religious persuasion of any citizen captured and held in continued unconscionable detention by any group, solely because the civilian vehemently refuses to repudiate their faith, the nation’s condemnation should always be swift and compelling in the quest for justice for any Nigerian;

And whereas, to the consternation of a nonplussed nation, the insurrectionists erroneously appear to establish governmental policy by supposedly prohibiting the Dapchi girls who were returned from resuming their education, as fearfully conveyed by a released girl[xii];

And whereas the unresolved Chibok debacle[xiii] subsists in the nation’s collective consciousness, the recurrence of such malevolence mystified the fatigued populace and transcended the peaceful aspirations of the country;

And whereas, some of the Chibok girls were traded like chattel and married against their will[xiv] and remain forcefully estranged from their families, with no persuasive governmental argument that such abomination shall not reappear, a drained nation quivers in persistent fear;

And whereas, when in unbridled defiance, our virtuous treasure is apprehended and ignominiously traded, back and forth, on the gangway of shackled liberty, the country still paradoxically presumes that our liberty is assured as it nonetheless totters in the figment of freedom;

And whereas, the Nigerian government is obligated to faithfully protect the nation’s citizens, anticipate risk and danger, prevent treacherous harm from taking permanent abode within the country’s geographic territory and decisively obliterate such evil, and when it is unable to conclusively discharge these responsibilities, should in utmost good faith engage national and international assistance to categorically terminate a national scourge;

And whereas, the Nigerian democracy, established on the immutable principle of the accountability of an elected government to its sovereign, the Nigerian people, who fortified by the promise of the 1999 Constitution and for the sake of the nation, make bold to adamantly inquire the following:

  • Which news accounts, the official press statements or other reports, should the nation believe and rely upon during turbulent times like these?
  • What are the answers to accusations that the nation after the Chibok predicament, failed to take necessary precautions and categorical measures to avert this abominable occurrence[xv]? What are the responses to further allegations that no help was immediately forthcoming despite the pleas relayed to authorities on the fateful day of the Dapchi kidnapping[xvi]?
  • What has the government done since the Dapchi calamity to address the horrendous underpinnings of the kidnappings or prevent another incident? What has been done to protect all schools in the nation, particularly the high-risk schools?
  • Is it true that as reported, the release of more of the Dapchi girls was because unlike the Chibok girls, most the Dapchi girls were Muslim[xvii]? What has the Nigerian government done to address this sordid development and assuage the fear of the citizens? What does this development portend for other religious groups in Nigeria?
  • Where is Leah Sharibu, the reported sole retained captive of the Dapchi abduction? When will she be released? How did the negotiations pertaining to her extrication fail? What did the government do when it determined that, one Dapchi girl, a Christian, would be retained in abhorrent internment because of her religion while others were released? Has the government demanded and received assurances that she will not be dehumanized in captivity as a result of her faith?
  • Is the 1999 Constitution guaranteeing religious freedom to all citizens still the supreme law of the land or does it now assume a fragmented scaffolding that has been surreptitiously supplanted? If it is still the supreme law, how can the unconstitutional detention of any Nigerian remain unchallenged?
  • Where are the five other Dapchi girls classified as unaccounted for? Are they alive or not? If they are dead, should the nation not collectively mourn our shared loss?
  • Where amidst these calamities is the unrelenting quest for justice for Nigeria or is it absolutely vanquished alongside the fatalities of this declared war?

Yet, although the flurried news accounts attendant with the abductions are somewhat divergent, the irrefutable fact is that, an evident undercurrent of the nefarious conspiracy, scheming to undermine the national structure and fragile cohesion stands wholly unmasked in the public square of our beleaguered democracy tolling a discordant bell of disarray. What has been done to eliminate this unabashed national threat?

The profound skepticism, of the citizenry regarding the government, ensuing from the cascading confusion of the official accounts pertaining to incidents of such national upheaval, is indicated. In addition, the inexorable dread, attached to the maelstrom of killings and kidnappings, gradually permeating the fabric of the nation, is warranted. These murders and abductions constitute ammunition in the arsenal of calculated tactical bombardments on the country wherein girls are targeted, enslaved, transacted for defilement and money and become causalities, dead or alive, in the continuing unfathomable quagmire besieging the nation. The sons of the nation abhorrently have not been spared from the wrath of the ignoble agenda as many have been killed[xviii] in the fury of the sinister vortex. A nation steadily losing its youth, with no explicit course for rectification, manifestly embraces a consuming identity crisis and verges perfidiously towards annihilation. Where lies our lasting refuge?

The discomfiting inference from the Leah Sharibu case, also equally alarming, is that eventually citizens of certain religious persuasions in Nigeria may endure the brunt of this open and propagating warfare.  Furthermore, this existential threat to the country, somewhat cohabiting within the national territory, is blatantly maneuvering the nation towards a foreseeable cataclysmic conclusion. The obvious aggregate of these dastardly machinations is an internal conflagration of deadly and divisive ramifications. The repercussions are far too daunting to excuse staring in idle contemplation or abet ignorance of the incoming fusillades of destruction because the vociferous admonition of history shall also judge and condemn the community of silent detachment.

Thus, even amid a tenuous framework of democratic accountability, it is insufficient for citizens to simply lie impotent, capsized and wrought with grief during an ominous tide or sit immobile in desperate apathy, with weary hands, clasped overhead and thereafter, wailing in desolation simply rend the tattered national fabric bloodstained with lifeless bodies and the corpses of stagnant hope. To the contrary, fueled by moral courage and civic obligation, let it be audaciously proclaimed in our national chronicles, that for the greater purpose of principled humanity, some did defend the nation’s democracy and raised their spirits and voices to confront the escalating subversion and awaken the consciousness of the elected, who are sworn to serve and protect, towards decisive action.

A nation’s hope and an authentic democracy, cannot in isolation achieve the sheer magnitude of their essence. Rather, they require the resolute commitment and tenacious participation of the citizenry, lest both fade into oblivion beyond a disintegrating illusion of the mirage and are irretrievably lost forever. Therefore, to assure an enduring just republic, reverse the despicable currents of the treacherous conflict and ensure that the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain; the populace galvanized by the words of the national anthem, as one nation, hopefully bound in freedom, and as true compatriots, Nigeria’s call must ardently obey, in the quest for peace and liberty, which now both, appearing precariously distorted, still yet, stridently sound the clarion call of distress.

Reflect Nigeria.

Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, Esq.

Dated this 4th day of April, 2018.

References:

[i] https://ctc.usma.edu/the-terrorist-calculus-in-kidnapping-girls-in-nigeria-cases-from-chibok-and-dapchi/

[ii] https://aa.com.tr/en/africa/activists-remember-boko-haram-killing-of-nigerian-boys/759310

[iii] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/dapchi-girls-freed-lai-mohammed/

[iv] http://dailypost.ng/2018/03/21/breaking-boko-haram-returns-dapchi-schoolgirls-5-dead/

[v] https://www.onlinenigeria.com/news/generals/23295-dead-dapchi-girls-parents-government-betrayed-us.html

[vi] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/schoolgirls-seized-by-boko-haram-tell-of-christian-friend-escape-bid

[vii] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/boko-haram-kept-one-dapchi-nigeria-girl-who-refused-to-deny-her-christianity

[viii] https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/27/africa/nigerian-parents-schoolgirl-release/index.html

[ix] https://www.channelstv.com/2018/02/27/breaking-fg-releases-names-missing-dapchi-schoolgirls-see-full-list/

[x] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/961941/

[xi] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/ibrahim-idris-confrims-leah-sharibus-expected-release/

[xii] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/freed-dapchi-girl-boko-haram-told-us-dont-go-back-to-school/ar-BBKJ4ff

[xiii] http://bulwarkintelligence.com/reports/terrorism/analysis-dapchi-school-girls-abduction-debacle/

[xiv] https://ctc.usma.edu/the-terrorist-calculus-in-kidnapping-girls-in-nigeria-cases-from-chibok-and-dapchi/

[xv] https://www.concisenews.global/news/military-aware-of-dapchi-abduction-before-incident-amnesty-international/

[xvi] https://www.concisenews.global/news/military-aware-of-dapchi-abduction-before-incident-amnesty-international/

[xvii] https://ctc.usma.edu/the-terrorist-calculus-in-kidnapping-girls-in-nigeria-cases-from-chibok-and-dapchi/

[xviii] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/03/freed-nigerian-women-tell-of-how-boko-haram-killed-men-and-boys

 

 

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Chibok Tragedy – The Evisceration of Hope (1)

Amid the darkness of the gloom

Nothing but despair abounds

In the wilderness of the arid

Drought of feigned existence,

Where no hope subsists,

Do the Chibok girls find

The extreme disillusionment

Of persistent hopelessness,

That one year and counting

All hope, has but evaporated into

The disintegrating dust of time,

To where existence is meaningless,

And has the ironical value of the unrelenting

Real and abiding grief of total bondage and servitude.

 

YemilBenjoy ©

 

 

 

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Reflect Nigeria – Tragic Fiction (3)

Although this is a fictional narrative, sadly it is to convey what an abducted girl in captivity may write:

Mr. President,

I return to writing under the threat of bodily harm but I must continue because I do not want you or the world to forget us in the dreadful alleys of time. Have you forgotten us? Or do you hope that with time we will simply fade deep into the recesses of the mind, conveniently never to be remembered. I will continue to write so that you never forget that we were abducted from our school in Chibok and now Dapchi, Nigeria.

The news we heard today was of calamitous proportions. A  12 year-old girl is pregnant. My heart stopped when I heard the news. It was a confounding situation, not for lack of understanding the process that led to this perplexing state of affairs, but completely destabilizing because of the protracted cruelty of evil. How could this be? I prayed that it would not be true. I prayed for myself and prayed for my sister that this would not be our fate. The thought was unbearable. How could childhood be violently interrupted with forced motherhood? How could innocence be violated with no consequences? All because we pursued the dream of advancement through education and our government failed to protect us from foreseeable acts of the malevolent. Alas, it failed to protect the hallowed ground of every child, our school.

Now the shores of hope remain distant, even the mirage of a gallant rescue that we used to cling to has dissipated into nothingness like the barren forest we are held captive in, barren of love, barren of parents, barren of childhood, barren of dreams and barren of life. What a tragedy. Frightening minutes have turned into awful days and into forsaken weeks. Have you even thought about us recently? Do you weep for us? If I were your daughter, would I still be here? Again, I ask have you spoken to our parents. We heard that a security risk may have prevented you from going to Chibok and now Dapchi. What an irony. Yet, we have been condemned by the government’s failure to rescue us to lives in tatters where there is no promise or protection.

Will my life be a continuum of threats, assaults, degradation and fear? Or will it be plagued constantly with the screaming of another captive beaten to death because she had the audacity to fight for her life. There is no refuge in this place. The days are filled with despair and the nights with dread and the silent weeping under the yoke of tyranny. Do we cry in vain? Hear our cries and save us.

I hate to but I must stop again.

Fictional story to be continued.

YemilBenjoy ©

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Reflect Nigeria – Tragic Fiction (2) Chibok And Now Dapchi Girls

Although this is a fictional narrative, sadly it is to convey what an abducted girl in captivity may write:

Mr. President,

I had to abruptly stop writing the other day because I heard one of the captors coming and if they had found me writing they would have beaten me mercilessly to the point of death like my best friend. I miss her, my sister and everyone I love. I try to remember their faces so that I never forget them. I can only write this letter because I had a notebook and pen with me when we were abducted. We take turn hiding the items so that they are not found.

This letter gives us a dim flicker of hope that you will send troops to rescue us from this quagmire. It seems that we will never be rescued. The captors laugh at us. They laugh at our nakedness, tell us we are worthless and will be sold as sex slaves. It is just so awful to hear and contemplate. They tell us that our government does not care about us and will not rescue us, and that even if the government tried, they will not be able to rescue us. Is this true? For if it is, that is nothing but damnation for us. For we are damned by the acts of the foreseeable abduction, that was not prevented, and the failure to rescue us, to a  wretched existence of shame, torture, ridicule, bondage and repeated violation. If you will not or cannot rescue us, have you asked other countries that can rescue us to save us from this cursed forest.

Words cannot adequately describe the depth of my despair nor convey the feeling of helplessness at being violently uprooted from the foundation of my life. It is a state of complete desperation. I am deathly afraid. I have not seen my mother’s smile nor heard my father’s voice in weeks, let alone the streets of my community or the sunset over my home. Why? I know that my grandmother wears her black garment of lamentation to mourn for me. Yet I am not dead. Alas, the pathetic irony is that I may be alive, yet I am not living. How could this happen to me, all because I am girl who went to school in Chibok. I miss my life.

It is another forsaken day in captivity. It is raining again and there is minimal shelter. We sit huddled together and dare not express our real feelings or we will feel the cold ends of the guns against our heads. We wait silently for the sun to come out to dry our skin and our clothes. I no longer like the sound of rain. I tried to cry but no tears came. I tried to console another girl who does not speak any more but no words came forth, so I hold her hand and it is very cold. When will this suffering end? Will it ever end?

I wonder, is it right that some men because they have power over vulnerable school girls, can change the course of our lives, sending us to premature deaths and selling us into slavery. Why are we the scapegoats and sacrificial lambs at the altar of anarchy and depravity? They boast. They say that they are more powerful than ever. They plan more bombings and kidnappings.

I must stop again. Save us please.

Fictional story to be continued – Chibox and now Dapchi Girls

 

YemilBenjoy ©

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Reflect Nigeria Round Up – Things Not To Do When Girls Are Abducted

Tragically, as one month painfully bleeds into more without the return of the abducted school girls, a few candid thoughts on what not to do during a national crises include:

No crocodile tears and:

1. Do not ignore the news of the abduction assuming a posture of feigned ignorance (posterity is judging).

2. Do not fail to take immediate action after the abduction to rescue the girls.

3. Do not spread propaganda after the abduction suggesting that the girls had been rescued when they were still languishing in the clutches of captivity (aka – a blatant misrepresentation).

4. Do not show callous indifference by failing to act in for weeks after the abduction (compounding the atrocity).

5. Do not as President fail to go the city and State where the girls were abducted to speak directly to their traumatized and brokenhearted families and communities (no excuses suffice).

6. Do not refuse to immediately ask other nations for assistance with directing the rescue mission when thus far you have been unable to rescue the girls and thereby allowed precious time after the abduction to dissipate (simply unconscionable).

7. Do not as government officials say you are tired of answering the same question when asked about the fate of the abducted girls and the plan of the government to rescue the girls (beyond contemplation).

8. Do not assume that the world is not making a record of your response to the abduction and will not castigate it in the strongest terms as a dereliction of duty.

9. Do not make an international spectacle of the country by making ill-advised speeches and statements that end up on social media making a mockery of and thrusting the nation into a state of sustained ridicule.

10. Do not forget that the girls are Nigerians that relied on the government for their security, safety and welfare.

11. Do not forget that the continued plight of the innocent girls every day they are in captivity is a ghoulish nightmare (and a blight on the nation’s history).

12. And above all, do not forget that the abducted girls are equally as important as your children and grandchildren (ponder this but for a moment).

 
YemilBenjoy ©

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Reflect Nigeria – Forget Them Not

Please world, kindly do NOT forget…

That the girls abducted from their beds

In their school dormitories while they slept

At night in Nigeria, taken from their dreams and hopes

Cast into a jungle of despair

 

BringOurGirlsBack

Have not yet been returned to their families.

Please do not  forget them.

Thank you for caring.

YemilBenjoy ©

 

 

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Reflect Nigeria – The Abducted Girl’s Vigil

I am a girl.
I am a human being.
I am a citizen of the world.
I have a mother who weeps for me.
I have a father who searches for me.
I have a brother and sister who do not know where I am.
I have a family bewildered by my disappearance.
For someone stole my life from me.
Took me violently from everything I knew and loved
And from all those who loved me, and brutally
Forced me into a state of no existence
Because my gender is female, and like
An object with no spirit and no name
Cast me aside for the use of others
In complete disregard for my humanity
Without a care about my dreams and hopes
And against my will and without my consent.
Am I invisible…
Can nobody hear my crying in the night.
Is the world deaf to my screaming when I am raped.
Is the world oblivious to the bleeding from my wounds.
Is the world laughing when my body is exposed and
My essence is viciously taken from me repeatedly and by many
What did I do to deserve this.
Why does humanity allow this to happen.
Is nobody listening to my wailing.
Does nobody care.
Does anybody care.
Or do you choose not to care.
Will somebody please help me.
Please.

YemilBenjoy ©

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