CHIBOK GIRLS’ DELAYED RESCUE: Nigerian government prototype of the average Nigerian — Pastor Ruth Essien

on   /   in Feminista, Woman 8:14 pm   /   Comments

*Says next set of Nigerian leaders already messed up
*Corruption, root of nation’s disaster
*How parents have failed

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

What do you think of the recent twist to the insurgent in North-East Nigeria; that’s the kidnap of schoolgirls?

I’m going to give answers to that question as a woman, mother and as a pastor. As a woman, first and foremost, we know clearly that these girls are going to be beaten and raped; and most of them are virgins. Definitely, that’s going to affect them because if we want to have better women, we must make sure the girl child is well-trained, emotionally balanced, healthy and educated. So, these people are going to release to us horrible women in future. As a mother, this is not something that any mother should even imagine. My biological daughters are not among them but I must tell you that for weeks, I’ve been very sad. When I close my eyes, it’s like I’m seeing them screaming while being raped. I’m praying to God seriously about it because it is very disturbing.

What if one of those girls is the only child or daughter of the parents? We’re not even sure all of them are alive! As a pastor, I want to tell everyone that this is the opportunity for God to uncover these people because I’m sure even their founding sponsors are no longer in support of their actions. They now have other means of getting money and have become bosses of their own, and not of those who actually introduced them for political purpose. If truly their god says these girls should not go to school, did that god also say they should forcefully marry them?

The Federal Government is presently being castigated for failing to intervene timely though it claims to have been working round the clock. Do you think government has actually intervened in a shrewd and timely manner?

In as much as I do not have any dealings or business directly with government, I’m somebody that calls a spade a spade. We’re all saying government did not do this and that but do we agree that there are many things that happen individually in our different homes that we handle wrongly?

That’s just a small family; not to talk about a whole country. I’m not taking side with government. Yes, we say they could have acted timely but how do they act timely if they do not have adequate information and equipment? These people work with information and that’s why they have been able to successfully carryout series of bombing! Let us just pray for God’s wisdom. Again, talking about government; most of their children are outside this country. It has to affect somebody directly for that person to stand up radically. How many of their daughters are amongst these children?

But they do have an obligation to protect the lives of every citizen of this country…
A typical African man has the obligation to take care of his wife and children but how many of them do so? If the wife just manages to secure a small job, that’s the end of feeding allowance! They’ll say “Are you not working?” It’s this same set of people that are shouting in the press that government is not doing anything. The problem with us as Nigerians is that we fail to see that we are all government and are supposed to work together on this matter. Initially, when Boko Haram came up, people kept quiet because it was political and was meeting their desires and needs. Now, everyone is panicking because it has touched us all. Some are even using it to become very popular, writing petitions here and there and shouting “Release our girls, release our girls” even when they do not mean it. Why is it that it’s the abduction of the girls that we’re crying about? What about the bombings that have killed so many Christians? Did we make any noise? Or didn’t we have innocent girls as well as pregnant women that died in those bomb blasts? I am not seeing this development as a separate entity but as one with the killings of the past. Again, how can government help? We know that the government is corrupt and that there are informants, right inside government, who always work the success of the administration.

Now, what are you saying the solutions are?
We must go back to the subject of corruption- corruption of the mind, emotions, spirit and whatever you can think of. I can bet you that if a party takes over from this party, they’re not going to do any better because it is still going to be run by human beings from this same country. I do not know which party will tell me they’re coming as a party that isn’t corrupt. The fact is that corruption is the root of Nigerian government’s inability to rescue those abducted girls till date. I say this because there are many who have information about where these girls are but are willing to keep quiet for one reason or the other. One step however will be to carryout investigations on companies selling those sophisticated ammunitions and armored cars, and trace the buyers and shipments. That way, a lot of culprits will be revealed.

But are you excusing the Federal Government?
If anyone wants to condemn government, let him first go on the internet and read on terrorism. It’s a terrible thing because you don’t know who is financing them and they themselves might not even know their real sponsors.

Besides, can you honestly tell me how the average Nigerian on the street behaves? As we’re condemning government, do you know how many Nigerian women are being violated domestically? How many girls are being sexually abused by their fathers everyday? It is not just to make noise about government. We’re all Nigerians and are not going to buy leaders from Cotonou or Ghana. Our leaders come right from this same society and the society has always been corrupt. The market woman takes advantage of increase in food prices and adds money to goods she bought ever before the increase. She will tell you “they’ve added money”. We didn’t buy leaders from anywhere; these were leaders produced from our individual homes and who sucked the breasts of Nigerian mothers who watched their children misbehaved until they grew up and became leaders? Who are Boko Harams? Are they not children born by women from this same society? We say they’re from Chad but we’re just deceiving ourselves. This country needs help and as a women advocate, I urge every woman to go back home and begin to train the next set of leaders; these ones have disappointed us and we have agreed, but who are we going to replace them with? Meanwhile, our next sets of leaders are already in our houses, messed up. Nigeria was celebrating its centenary and alcohol companies were telling us how they make billions in Nigeria. Every nook and cranny of our country has beer parlours with long cars parked by young men on a regular basis. These are the people that will rule us tomorrow. So, let all those men and women complaining about government go back home and do their work because we’re already grooming our next set of leaders and already, they’re drunkards, drug addicts, gays, wife beaters, criminals and many more. The church is also guilty because it has complicated issues with prosperity messages that lack balance.

The United States government is coming in along aside some other world leaders; what do you expect?

Their success will still need the cooperation of Nigerians. Anyway, didn’t the US go to Iraq? We’ve seen all the success they had; haven’t we? They’ve been in Afghanistan for how many years now and we’ve seen their success indeed. Is terrorism something you wish for? As you are moving, they are expanding! Talking about training the next leaders, Boko Haram is training the next set of people that will go and detonate bombs.

Back to government, you sound like it has lived up to expectations…
Nigerian government has always been failing its people and this administration too, I must say, has failed in the areas of water and infrastructure. But when it comes to terrorism, I can excuse President Jonathan. On electricity, everybody knows that there are certain people in this country that do not want electricity to be stagnant because they have to keep selling their generator and fuel. This is in spite of whatever effort or fault of President Jonathan, directly or indirectly. Who will buy generator if there’s electricity? And do you remember people own these businesses? Some us of are just trying to politicize all these issues even when we know the truth. Are you telling me that opposition parties fighting to come into power are also not being sponsored by fuel lifters and generator producers and sellers? Will they now make light work and allow their sponsors loose money? And you know the cost of vying for election in this country which always puts political leaders at the mercy of business moguls. As far as I’m concerned anyway, this government has tried and you can quote me any day.

Why do you say so?
The previous government did not do better. As a person, I’ve gained from this government. How? For eight years, I went to Ilorin to preach in a particular church and I went by road. Last December, for the first time, I went to Ilorin by air. We know how airports have been down for 30 years without changes. The Ilorin airport was inside thick bush, covered with bushes, until this administration revived it through Stella Oduah. That’s why we need more women in government. That saved me a lot of hours and fatigue and it was done in two years. What about the local and international airports in Lagos? I’m a pilot’s wife, so, I’ve been around airports for decades. It took this administration to revive these airports. Even the light we’re complaining about, it is a bit better than previous administrations.

Now, let’s talk about the sort of challenge our notoriously porous borders will pose to addressing the present unrest in the country…
Who told you our security agents do not know those that come into Nigeria daily? They know. Have you traveled the borders lately? I went to preach in Port Novo and the Republic of Benin, and it took us five hours to cross five meters. Why? Corruption. The moment the security agents at the Nigerian border saw our personalities, they started demanding all kinds of things.

Meanwhile, all kinds of funny people on foot, okada and vehicles were just passing freely. But by the time we crossed to the other countries, we didn’t spend up to ten minutes at their borders. Seme border that should have been structured long time ago has been left undone to aid this same corruption because computerizing access to the border would have stalled certain corrupt practices. So, what are we saying? You’ll see building materials abandoned around the borders because some people are in the system working seriously against the competition of the borders. Is it Jonathan that is manning those borders or fellow Nigerians like us? I believe we must begin to change as individuals if we must change this country. Is it drivers’ license and the cumbersome process of securing it as a result of corruption?

Have you seen the publicized video in which Shekau vows to kill all Christians?
I have but that’s not possible. This incident is also an awakening for Christians who have left the place of prayer and have turned the altar of God into a place for buying and selling. It is high time we started doing the right thing.

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