Tag Archives: Abducted

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 – Find Our Treasure

Praying for the safe return of Nigeria’s 234.

 

Let us now in desperate and grim realization attempt to

Focus on the magnitude of the horrendous that continues

To escalate and engulf the existence in the country called Nigeria.

How can the essence of the nation survive this unrelenting onslaught…

 

Alas, which of the detestable will cause the collective again to demand relief.

Will it be the death trap that stretches its clutches across the expressway

Once ironically designed to provide safe passage from Ibadan to Lagos.

Or the bombings of sanctuaries of worship where many perish in services, or

Death by diseases otherwise successfully managed elsewhere around the globe.

Or the degradation of educational standards from the lack of vision to the

Continued loss of the eager youth, and profound detriment of the nation.

Or the lack of running portable water amid of the absence of electricity

The latter, resulting in high tone deafness from constant noise pollution

Generated by the fixtures of survival attempting to illuminate darkness.

Or the refuse dumps that litter the landscape like monuments to garbage,

The welcome refuge, for vermin of all description and cultures of pestilence.

Or the bombings shattering lives of the citizens embarking on life’s daily toil.

Or the unimaginable slaughter of the innocent boys seeking knowledge

Amid the school halls and classrooms where youthful vigor should flourish.

 

Nay, all that suffices not for a nation to suffer, for the siege on hope

Determined, took ghastly form beyond the contemplation of despair itself

And laid before us adversity intent to ravage the invaluable treasure

Of the nation, our youth, our future and promise of tomorrow…

No, the calamities unremitting continued whilst the authorities slept.

Thus the number 234, the loathsome figure now synonymous with DREAD

In a foreseeable act of abominable monstrosity, swept through a school

And inflicted more violence on the sanctity of the classrooms, where

Youthful laughter should intersect with intellectual curiosity for the

Advancement of self and to the enduring benefit of the nation.

The atrocity, sending shockwaves through the tattered and bloody fabric

Of the society, in repugnant manner, hence haunts the daily existence of a nation.

 

Yet, after the horror…

Where were the officials in appropriate sackcloth for lamentation.

Where was the immediate declaration of a state of mourning.

Where was the decisive proclamation deploying all measure of troops to

Embark on the mission, to rescue our future from the captors, to assure

The aghast nation, that the welfare of the people was of paramount concern.

Rather, the aftermath was laced with misrepresentation and vacillation

To the further disillusionment of the parents and disbelief of the nation.

As mothers wept and fathers gnashed their teeth, some inept officials

Charged with the responsibility of stewardship of the nation, floundered

And some could still celebrate, board jets and drink, and dared to sleep

In the comfort of homes fortified by legions that should be searching

For our girls, who in that cursed forest, no freedom nor solace can embrace.

 

Why should the Nigerian flag still fly.

Why are lights in state houses not dimmed.

Where are the resignations in the wake of this enormity.

Or has it escaped reason that a mammoth disaster has befallen the nation

That this, in all form of description is an unspeakable  national tragedy.

Or does their callous indifference know no bounds.

Where was the swift response to the assault on innocence.

Or do they in vain, believe the plight of the girls is nothing short of

Dehumanization, extreme hardship and unimaginable cruelty.

Do some in governance still seek to ignore the glaring obvious

Or are they so inoculated with apathy that the stark evades them.

 

When other nations unwavering, search for their missing and presumed dead,

Let all forcefully make bold declaration in one accord on this matter.

That the failure to prevent the dreadful and the ineptitude in its vortex

Constitute a reprehensible blot of incalculable proportions, on one nation,

Warranting scathing and persistent international condemnation, as such

Rightfully castigating the nation, found so terribly wanting and wantonly unprepared,

In its manifested lack of fortitude to search for its living, and its future,

So violently abducted from within the heart of its own territorial boundaries.

 

Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya ©

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