THE abduction of 276 school girls by the Nigerian Islamist insurgency group, Boko Haram on April 15 in Chibok, Borno State, appears to have become the turning point in their savage campaigns of murder and destruction. The terrorists overplayed their hands when their leader, “Abubakar Shekau” boasted he would “sell” the girls into slavery, even after media reports had it that some of them have been “married” by the insurgents in their hideout.
Barely a few days later, major world powers, including the USA, UK, China, France and others offered to assist in the effort to rescue the girls and bring the Boko Haram menace to an end. British Prime Minister, David Cameron, while outlining the extent of his country’s involvement, described the abduction of the girls as “pure evil”, saying the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has assumed a global threat. President Barack Obama of the US had earlier pledged to send some troops, technical experts and law enforcement teams skilled in intelligence gathering, information sharing, investigations and victims assistance. China, through Prime Minister Li Keqian, expressed his country’s determination to join the rescue effort and secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
We welcome this show of support for Nigeria by the entire people of the world. We appreciate the offer to assist in the rescue mission and ultimately the elimination of the threats to our nation by the insurgents. It is a great insult and dehumanisation of the mankind family for an outlaw group to brazenly threaten to “sell” schoolgirls into slavery even after forcing them to become sex slaves in the jungle, in this modern era, long after the abolition of slavery. It is a serious affront to our collective sensibilities.
It is a pity that the insurgency, which started as a rag-tag affair in 2009, has been handled so sloppily, with political considerations taking precedence over the duties of government to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians. Our political leaders failed in their duties. They chose to cling to power or seek to take over power by all means rather than taking on threat head-on, thus allowing a minor infection to become a life-threatening affliction.
The world needs to understand that the Islamists see the North East of Nigeria as a fertile ground to plant their dream Sahelistan Caliphate. They are mustering fighters from sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. They have even acquired armoured tanks, with which they sacked Gamboru Ngala within the past week.
We must cooperate with our foreign allies and tap form their wealth of experience and technology, putting aside our differences and leading the way in the deployment of troops to bring this menace to an early end.