Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nigeria: Governments Offering Help in Finding 300 School Girls Abducted Three Weeks Ago May Be Too Late, Redundant, Self-Serving

According to the BBC, the dire plight of an estimated 300 Nigerian school girls between the ages of sixteen and eighteen taken hostage three weeks ago by Boko Haram, has catapulted the mass hostage-taking onto the front pages of global news media.

Unfortunately, the impotency of the Nigerian government to exhaust all efforts to rescue the girls has been described as absurd.

Despite sharp criticism of the lack of Nigeria's military to find the abducted schoolgirls after more than three weeks has passed.

The girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in north-east Borno state.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan, also appealed for action. He criticized both the Nigerian government and other African nations for not reacting sooner to the kidnapping, and called on them to use whatever was at their disposal to help free the girls. 

COMMENT:  By now, by announcing that foreign help is en-route, it would have been far more strategic for the US, UK and France to conceal their plans to help out so as to keep Boko Haram flat-footed.

The fact that the Nigerian government failed to act promptly should underline the need for Jonathan to be impeached, although accountability is hard to come by in today's world where everyone has an excuse.

Reportedly, the US, UK and French governments have dispatched teams of experts to Nigeria to help recover the girls, yet it seems very unclear as to whether the three governments are working in concert with each other.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was quick to point out that help was on the way, but failed to articulate when help was actually arriving or whether the three nations that were responding had the intention of working together or would spend precious time stepping on each others' toes and accomplishing very little.

The sad notion in all of this is that Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan should have asked for international help at the very moment that the girls were kidnapped.

By dragging his feet for so many weeks, Jonathan contributed to the continued brutal treatment of the girls, as many of them may already have been  sold as wives to Boko Haram insurgents.

The US Department of State also has blood on its hands after dragging its feet for years in designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. Had such a decision been made early in 2012, the group, best known by its Hausa name, with the objective of  saving the lives of upwards of 10,000 Nigerians killed in 2012 and 2013.

The goal of the group is to establish sharia law throughout Nigeria.
 
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to "sell" the students, saying they should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should have been married.  

Nigeria's police on Wednesday (May 7) offered a $300,000 (£180,000) reward to anyone who can help locate and rescue the schoolgirls, but so many Nigerians are asking why it took so long to tender such a lucrative offer.