Its Children’s Day But Then All Our Children Are Dead by Kayode Badmus
So today Nigeria celebrates children’s day which according to the United Nations is a day set aside for the “well being and protection of children”, sighs! Of course I expect our brilliant President to come up with that same cock and bull line “these are hard times for our nation and it calls for a sober reflection…bla bla bla”. I also expect Governors from most of the 36 states and the FCT to cancel children’s day celebrations which involve match past by school kids amongst other pageantry.
Most importantly I expect those actors who throng Abuja on daily basis since the girls have been abducted to intensify their crying skills which would make Nkiru Sylvanus and even Julia Roberts envious to upgrade their new found stock in trade by devising a new wailing trick. I also expect orators and other vocal Nigerians to tongue lash the President for failing to #BringBackOurGirls. I expect that Twitter and Facebook would be filled with all binary of texts either against or perhaps in favor of the president on the kidnap matter. I expect the opposition APC to haul insult at Jonathan and the PDP. I even expect the Governor of Borno to organize a protest rally to Abuja with the 53 girls who managed to escape the Boko Rams. I also expect mama Peace to summon wives of service chiefs and demand why their husbands have not been doing enough in bringing back the girls, perhaps she might even threaten to “impeach them as house wives who don’t know their duties”. However at the end of the day, I expect that the girls would still be missing and we would again all go back to our normal businesses, have our favorite meals, drink our favorite wine, watch our favorite television shows etc…what a broadsided nation!
Nigeria is headed towards an abyss of self destruction and everyone is to blame. We have entered a phase when people prefer to put the blame on government for their burnt food rather than chastise themselves for being carried away. How did we arrive at this juncture, is God annoyed with Nigeria, why is the government so reckless, would the girls be brought back alive? All these and even more questions are bound on my mind as I write this piece.
Years ago, Nigeria was celebrated to be the giant of Africa because amongst many things, our Army played the big brother role. Nigeria has quelled insurgency in parts of Africa, we have stabilized nations like Liberia, we were in Sao Tome, Mali Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, etc but now we need foreign aid to surmount an ordinary home grown rebellion. Its been a month and the half since about 250girls have been missing yet we don’t seem to be getting close. Not even the recent invasion sorry acceptance of foreign aid have brought back the girls. So how did we get here.
Wasilah Umah is a 14year old child whose mates where in school when she was married off to a 35years already married man, Umar Sanni. Two weeks after the wedding, the Child bride killed her husband and three of his friends with a mixture of rat poison. Nobody knows what was going on in her mind but this a child who has been defiled of her innocence against her will. She is presently languishing in custody because authorities are confused on what to do with her because she is a minor. Everyday, girls go missing in several parts of the country and they end up being sold into early marriage or even slavery and this seemed fair until Boko Haram blew the whistle by kidnapping more girls than the world could ignore but truth is this has been going on for ages without anyone paying attention. Late last year, the heartless rebels burnt down a college of Agriculture in Yobe killing several students but this didn’t call for international attention. Again this year, the militants killed several students in a boys school in a gory massacre only found in foreign movies yet the United Nations, USA, Britain etc didn’t see any reason to react but why now?
Another drama is what is seen among the #BringBackOurGirls protesters. After the girls were kidnapped, the president set up a committee “towards unraveling the circumstances surrounding the reported abduction”. The committee was supposed to meet with all parties involved in the abduction saga and articulate a framework for the rescue of the girls. One man who was named on that committee was respected legal luminary Barr. Femi Falana (SAN) and to nobody’s surprise, the “activist” rejected to be a member of the committee claiming he was already a lawyer to the parents of the kidnapped girls, how pathetic. Now Nigerians swallowed that only to see our revered legal icon take to the streets in support of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
Isn’t it rather sad that someone who declined to be a part of the solution to solving an issue would rather take to the streets and these people claim to be progressives yet they had rather criticize than render solutions. The most annoying aspect was that Falana was seen on the street alongside self acclaimed anti corruption ambassador and former House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye. Now Melaye wants the federal government to #BringBackOurGirls which is fair enough. However this is coming from an individual who for almost a decade turned his wife into a punching bag beating her to stupor on several occasions and sadly in the presence of their children. Not even her pregnant state deterred him from battering her. This same man have been going about attacking the government for not protecting the Nigerian populace even after he might have helped breed a new set of monstrous kids who believe beating up your wife is a good way of correcting her or a lady who believe she would be beaten up anytime she slights her male colleague.
Truth is beyond Boko Haram, we have all contributed to the killing of children around the country. Parents who abandon their offspring to abusive helps; teachers who fail in their responsibility to deliver knowledge unto their wards, and most incredulously a government of you and I who have failed the coming generations. As Nigeria celebrates Children’s day today, I feel sad knowing what the future holds for these kids is nothing worth celebrating. The child died in him/her who has been made to go through this turbulent entity referred to as Nigeria and whose fault is this? Yours, mine!
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