Chibok’s Rescue Process As Litany of Errors By Nasiru Suwaid
It is a timeless as well as perpetual argument, about which came first between an egg and a chicken, a highly frustrating venture debating which of the two predates the other. Within the realm of economics and national financial management, there are also two terms which have presented such a predicament to the economist, the perennial argument about which of the two starts first and the one that serves as an inspiration for the occurrence of the other, which are growth and development. In some instances, they are mutually exclusive, in other situations, they are mutually interchangeable and in all circumstances, they mutually symbiotic of each other but in all probabilities, there cannot be positive economic result, without their galvanizing existence both in fiscal projections and physical reality. In other words, there cannot be economic prosperity without economic growth and development but most especially, such growth and development cannot occur without open, responsive and accountable governance, it is like a chain, one leading unto the other.
It is within this context of thinking which confirms that economic growth and development does not necessarily occur in a vacuum or in any ill defined system of governance, rather, such an ideal economic status is the product and it is usually attained in a state of accountable democracy, that mostly results from an open and free society, as one of the benefits of our rebased and recalculated Gross Domestic Product, which has caused the lifting of our economy as the 26th largest in the world..
It is within this inbuilt perception things that the Chibok kidnapping occurred and most specifically, it is within such a raised platform of expectation, I struggled to observe, comprehend and rationalize what the insurgents did to the impressionable school girls, by separating them from their loved ones, while they were writing their secondary school leaving certificate examination. The kidnapping was a mysterious spectacle that no one could understand and the military rescue attempt was an even more confusing scenario to situate, as if there was any according to many a cynical pundit and to many members of the public, what had happened was a deceptive, defeatist and disinformation drama, which ended with an embarrassing retraction, by the spokesperson of the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Chris Olukolade, who had earlier announced the rescuing of the kidnapped, except for a remainder of eight, who are still with the insurgents.
Thus as I put on the television set, at the eve of the Easter’s long holiday or more precisely, as I tuned on the big screen on Thursday the 17th of April, 2014 and pressed the channel for the Cable News Network, the first image that zoomed unto my sight was that of Ayeesha Sissay anchoring the news and there she was interviewing Musa Inuwa Kubo, the Borno state commissioner for education via a telephone call, who informed the viewers he was speaking from Chibok town, in fact some of the rescued girls were before him. Although she was interested in what had happened which led to the kidnap, however, she was even more interested in the number rescued as at that time and the condition they were in and she repetitively asked him, to restate the number of the rescued and the condition health they were in but who can blame her, after the Chris Olukolade misinformation scandal. The commissioner reaffirmed and robustly asserted that he had 30 girls before him as the rescued, the exchange between the duo ended with her vow to cross check the figures from other sources, especially after what have happened to the numbers of the rescued provided by the Nigerian government.
It is worth noting, it was through Cable News Network Lagos correspondent Vladimir Duthiers, the first report of the rescue that was never meant to be was received, thus you could understand Sisay’s disapproving and distrusting posture towards Nigerian government officials, it is just following in that timeless adage which says once beaten, twice shy. By the morning of the Good Friday, which is the 18th of April 2014, almost all the news websites in Nigeria and even the print editions carried the same Inuwa Kubo, proclaiming the number of the rescued as 20, shocked about what I read and its implication on Nigeria’s credibility before such international media giant, I though probably my mind played tricks on me or perhaps, I have not heard Musa Kubo correctly, so I checked the Cable News Network website and there printed on the pages, it counted the rescued as 30 girls, meaning, what I heard was the same as Ayeesha Sisay.
The Chibok’s kidnapping is not something that could be rationalized as normal, at least not in the fact that it is an unacceptable act but within the context and premises of whether it is plausible or even a possible reality devoid of concocted conjunctures programmed to embarrass the Nigerian people and its citizens, the people of Borno state. When the story of the kidnappings started, the number of the unaccounted was placed at 200, by the British Broadcasting Corporation no less, then later reports brought down the figures to 129 students missing, with many of them being day students, not boarding and certainly not sleeping in the dormitories, which inferred they could not have been kidnapped also, as the crime took place in the dead of night and it only affected those domiciled in the dormitories. Indeed, in one of his interviews during the Easter period, the governor had stated that they have opened an authentication book for parents, to register the names of the lost children and as that time only 50 had registered.
However, by Monday the 21st of April 2014, which is many days after the incident had occurred and after many of the kidnapped had effortlessly escaped and wondered into the town, the number of the kidnapped had arisen to 234. Had I not seen the footages and reportage of the kidnapping on global media, I would have sworn it was of those conspiracy theories currently popular in Nigeria’s political discourse.
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