Everywhere I turn today, I’m faced with this abduction story. And I’m pissed about it. I can’t really explain it but I’m going to try.
We’ve so gotten used to bad news in this country but never in the magnitude of the occurrence of Monday, April 14. There was a bombing in the busiest park in the slum town of Nyanya on the outskirts of the capital city. Body counts have been inconclusive. Not that I’m surprised. It ranged between 70 and 100 in the papers.
Citizens have rejected that figure based on their calculations. More than a dozen buses have been filled ready for departure to various parts of the country. That accounts for over 200 persons who never escaped the explosion. Not to mention the hawkers, the touts, the beggars and other sorts of fixtures in Parks nationwide. Residents estimate that over 600 persons were victims of the bombing. But we live in a country that always go for the least possible figure.
Like that wasn’t enough already, the next morning dawned on the news of the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls. Once more, figures have danced between 234, 276 and 300.
It’s been exactly 3 weeks today. Politicians have had a field day with this, hauling mud back and forth between parties. It’s just a political issue to them, nothing more.
The government spokesperson initially denied the abduction stating it was just a ploy by the opposition to smear the name of the ruling party. The first lady was one of the supporters of this statement. Despite this, the Department of defense embarked on a rescue mission after which they claimed 4 girls escaped on their own and that they were able to rescue all the other girls except 8 of them who weren’t found. Then the next day when the parents didn’t see their children return home, the Defense department recanted it’s previous claim.
Then began the protest and online awareness campaign by some Well meaning Nigerians and some protesters were arrested. The first lady even made an appearance and urged (using the word loosely) them to go home.
This issue would have been a forgotten by now if not for the release of the hour long video by the unconfirmed leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Shekau. Now the media is flooded with this story. The US has offered assistance but I doubt the president will accept for obvious reasons.
Now why am I pissed? This abduction didn’t affect me on a personal level but it easily could have been so. What really pisses me off is that most of the citizens don’t even care. Some are even of the opinion that this is a ploy of the government to distract attention from the issues of the election and national conference. I guess all those parents are also extras in a Nollywood movie.
Now everybody is writing about Nigeria and the abduction. Some are even making bad jokes about it in the name of sarcasm and satire. Oh, please! You don’t care. The truth is nobody cares. Their children return home to them everyday. If we who are affected don’t care, how would we expect others to care.
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