The news of the release of 21 Chibok Girls who were abducted by the Boko Haram Sect at Government Secondary School, Chibok on April 14, 2014, is worthy of celebration; and we expect everybody irrespective of party affiliations, religion and tribe to put politics aside and commend the Federal Government, Red Cross International, Swiss government and even the sect for heeding the voice of reason and maintaining some level of trust.
Truth be told, our experience as a country in the last few years has not been a good one: politically, we have suffered in terms of leadership; economically, we being an import nation our currency is on its knees to virtually all foreign currencies and socially, to say the least, there is wanton waste of resources by politicians on frivolities – they acquire very expensive cars yet we have the worst of roads. Nigerians are hospitable people but regrettably the alarming poverty rate and unemployment have compelled many youths to go into various crimes.
Our hope, however, is renewed by this first batch release of our young stars – and like Oliver Twist- we are earnestly waiting to have the remaining girls back. Life is not a commodity you can purchase on the neatly arranged shelves of malls anywhere in the world. It is sacred and should be treated as such. The issue of swapping or not does not arise here. Only God gives life, sadly we have lost over 30, 000 lives and properties worth billions of naira since the insurgency began in the north-east. This must not be allowed to continue.
It is important we recognize that it not yet uhuru. More importantly, beyond ensuring we have our girls back, government must address the root cause of insurgency in the country. It is the youths that are involved in the dastardly act and the only way to appease them and stall further regrouping is to engage them meaningfully. We are not saying government should provide them with all the jobs; we are only saying that government should make the environment business friendly by providing the necessary infrastructure: roads, electricity, housing, etc. Who says those manufacturing bombs for the sect today cannot produce something of a higher quality for the country tomorrow? Let us not throw away the baby with the bathwater!
While we commend our resolute president for his steadfastness so far and charge him to the release of the remaining girls, we also extol our amiable military, the police, DSS for their sacrifice. We feel your pain but we want you all to take solace in the fact that your sacrifice has not amounted to futility. The release of these girls is like a soothing balm and a great relief to the Congress even as we can’t wait to have others.
The Congress appeals to government at all levels to put in place a rehabilitation process to ensure proper medical care and trauma management so they can recover fast and be able to pursue their dreams and aspirations. Long live, Nigeria!
Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama
Comrade (Barr.) Simeso Amachree
Ag. Secretary general, TUC