By Femi Fani-Kayode
I am happy that the Dapchi girls are all back home but I am deeply troubled by the fact that one of them was left behind and by the assertion that 5 of them died whilst in captivity.
The day the truth comes out about what really happened to the Chibok and Dapchi girls and those that were behind these two scams, Nigerians will be shocked.
Meanwhile I saw the pictures and watched the video of Dapchi residents cheering on and waving at Boko Haram insurgents as they dropped off the “missing” girls. It was clear to me that they regarded the terrorists as heroes and I was compelled to ask myself the following question, “are we really one country?”
So many questions need to be answered. For example how do you explain the Ghana Must Go bags that the girls were carrying on their return? Did they go shopping in Sambisa Forest? Or is it that when they abducted them they gave them time to pack all their clothes and allowed them to bring them back when freed?
Another question that needs to be answered is this: why did the Federal Government lie to the international media that the girls were dropped off in Dapchi at 3.00am in the morning when the footage and pictures of their return prove that the whole thing was done in broad daylight.
Finally why did the government inflate the number of the girls that were abducted when the kidnapping took place six weeks ago. They claimed that 110 girls were missing after which the school and the parents set the record straight and said that 105 girls were kidnapped and not 110.
Finally why are the government telling the whole world more lies by saying that no ransom was paid in return for the girls?
It is common knowledge in intelligence and security circles that vast sums of money was paid to the terrorists.
The point is that the whole thing was planned and agreed on well before the abduction ever took place.
A few days later they were dropped off by their terrorist abductors in Dapchi after all the soldiers and security personnel that had been deployed to the area were withdrawn.
As the terrorists entered the town with the girls they were hailed as heroes and received like freedom fighters by the locals and not as if they were terrorists.
Some reports suggest that the massive crowd that received them were even chanting “holy warriors” in hausa as they marched through the streets.
This reminds me of the words of the massive crowds that welcomed Fidel Castro, Che Guevera and their rebel fighters in Batitsa’s pre-communist Cuba as they and their rebel fighters went from town to town during the days of the revolution.
In those turbulent days and despite Batista’s efforts to crush the revolution with full American support, as the communist rebels went from town to town they were met and encouraged with chants of “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” by ecstatic crowds and the rest is history.
Today in Dapchi and parts of northern Nigeria the crowds chant “holy warriors” as Boko Haram march through their villages and the streets of their towns. The implications of this are obvious and clear to the discerning.
When they arrived in Dapchi the Boko Haram insurgents not only interacted with the crowd openly with smiles on their faces but they also spoke to the parents of the girls, apologised to them about what happened and told them not to allow their children to go to school again.
Apart from the fact that they made vast sums of money in their deal with the FG which they will now use to buy more arms and organise more abductions, it is clear that this whole thing is the greatest public relations stunt for Boko Haram ever since it began its operations 7 years ago and they have won many friends and admirers as a consequence of it.
The narrative that they would not have abducted the girls had they known they were Muslims, though false, seems to have resonated with the local Muslim population in the north and this can only help Boko Haram and swell its ranks.
Someone is giving them very good advice and counsel. Some fifth columnist in government are behind the kidnap
They are working with Boko Haram in the same way that the dreaded Pakistani intelligence agency, known as the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), works covertly and in collaboration and collusion with the jihadist terrorist organisation that is known as the Taliban.
Whichever way you look at it and whatever you believe, there can be little doubt that a terrible precedent has now been set and we can expect many more Boko Haram abductions in the next few months after which money will change hands again and the girls, as long as they are Muslims, will be released and returned.
Meanwhile, due to the massive amount of cash that they are receiving from these exercises, the numbers and strength of Boko Haram itself will increase enormously over the next few months until they become one of the most effective and wealthy terrorist organisations in the world.
The Nigerian people and and indeed the people of the West African sub-region do not know it yet but the truth is that we are in trouble
Add that to the scourge of the Fulani herdsmen that has blighted the country and afflicted our people and you will accept that unless something gives and changes very quickly the future of our country is bleak.
A terrible precedent has been set and we shall rue the day that this was done. The government believes that it will boost its ratings and increase its popularity by these shameless scams, manouverings and subterfuge but as the truth begins to unfold, and be rest assured that it eventually will, the whole exercise will backfire badly. In the end it will lead to more enmity, more division, more bitterness and more violence.
The truth is that the Dapchi incident is the biggest and most dangerous scam and money-making venture in the history of Nigerian politics and those poor little girls are just pawns in a much bigger game and wider picture.
And if you really believe that a President and government that is capable of pulling off the Dapchi scam with Boko Haram will allow a free and fair election next year then you need to have your head examined.
The truth is that there is no law and there is no democracy in Nigeria.
This is a lawless and dangerous country where anything can happen and anything is possible
The Guardian Newspaper reported that,
“Boko Haram shook hands with the parents and apologised for abducting them.They said if they knew they were Muslim girls, they wouldn’t have abducted them”.
Can you imagine the implications of that?
I have been reliably informed that 15 year old Miss Liya Sharibu, the only Christian among the Dapchi girls, has not been released simply because she refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam whilst in
105 girls and one boy were taken and, according to CNN and BBC TV, 104 girls and one boy were returned home. But little Liya was not allowed to come home. They decided to keep her in captivity.
I pray for her and her family. May God console them, give them strength and avenge them. If she is still alive I pray that God touches their hearts and that they release her.
I call on the Christian God, the Lord of the Universe, the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Hosts, the Great Avenger and the God of all Flesh, to avenge us
I pray that the Lord delivers us and wipes away our tears and collective shame.
Permit me to conclude this contribution with the words of Mr. Nata Sharibu, who is Liya’s father. He spoke the following words to Raypower Radio and they were published in the Cable. He said,
“All of them were released. They said some were dead there and my daughter is alive but they cannot release her because she is a Christian. They gave her the option of converting in order to be released but she said she will never become a Muslim. I am very sad but I am also jubilating too because my daughter did not denounce her faith”.
This is a courageous man and a great soldier of Christ. May the Lord return his daughter, gladden his heart and grant him peace and joy. God be with the young and beautiful Liya. God be with us all.