21 days after: Abducted Dapchi girls’ parents still cry for their children
Twenty-one days after the abduction of 110 school girls at Dapchi, Yobe State, their parents and other stakeholders are still worried over their safety. BODUNRIN KAYODE spoke with a few parents who shared their agonies, expectations and frustrations with the government.
Rev Fr Emmanuel Apagu, Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Yobe State.
The government is either lying to us or they don’t know the true picture of things as regards the abduction. Our democracy is where politicians are the richest in our society, because they enjoy the wealth of the nation, while the military has made themselves rich by whatever means. That’s my opinion.”
Ben Gudaku, Kuka Centre, Maiduguri
What has happened points to the corrupt and inept security apparatus of the country. What happened to intelligence gathering? As if this is not sad and disappointing enough, blame game between the police and military has come up strongly as if that is the solution. I think some people have turned the lingering insecurity into money-making venture. No nation that values her citizens’ lives and cooperate existence toys with her security. However, the reverse is the case in Nigeria. This logically explains where we are heading to as a nation. Nowhere in the world is insurgency fought and won without stepping up intelligence gathering. The local communities need to be trained to enable them participate in the process. Thus far, this is not happening. Lack of strong voice marshalling counter-narrative is also contributing to recruitment. We need disciplined security to fight insurgency, not the guys we have now.
Martins, Businessman, Maiduguri
What happened in Dapchi shows that we are not proactive at all in this country. We are always doing things in fire brigade manner. We need to fix things permanently or perish. Any boarding school in the North East without massive security now is on suicide mission. As far as this crisis is concerned, the schools’ management must to work together as a team to help themselves with this obvious military failures. However, the lack of personnel spread across the nation must be addressed. There are many young people out there, for instance, itching to join the uniformed services, yet they are not recruiting them. How can we have an entire uniformed services that is less than one million personnel in a country of almost 200 million people? Yet, a Senator takes home millions that could have been used to take care of the over-stretched military. Think of how many soldiers the salaries and allowances of one Senator can pay. As far as I am concerned, the politicians are just being selfish about this matter. They know that the soldiers are not enough, yet they are playing politics with it. Even our political leaders seem to lack the capacity to solve this problem.
Baba Aisha Mohammed
How would you feel if you are a parent? You will surely feel bad. It’s a sign that the government is not serious. At least with the experience of Chibok and Buni Yadi behind us, the military should have been able to get their act right now, so that these kinds of mistakes are not repeated. Both the government and the army needs to be very proactive to avoid these kinds of tragedies in the future. What happened to the safe school programme, for instance? Does it still exist? If the safe school programme still exists, why did this happen? Whatever way you look at it, it’s clear there was carelessness in the management of this incident by the military.
President Muhammadu Buhari should get my daughter for me.
I sent my daughter to the Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, to acquire western education for her own good. I was at home when Boko Haram insurgents visited our village on Monday evening, not knowing that my daughter had already become number 44 in the latest list that came out Friday evening.
My daughter is a prized daughter to me. That was why I could not sleep until early morning when I heard that some of them had returned to the school as confirmed by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam.
I went and sat in the school hoping that Aisha would return to me, but I did not get any response from Principal Adama Abdulkarim. This is why I want you to tell the president to please get me my daughter in any way he can.
“Even though my daughter was not captured, she sustained slight injury when she was thrown over the fence by the teacher, who helped them escape. She told me that they were all scared and crying while they helped themselves when it was obvious they were being attacked by Boko Haram.
Alhaji Bashir Manzo
I am leading my people to get our daughters back home safely, though I expect President Mohammadu Buhari to act fast. My daughter, Fatima Bashir, was number one on the list, while some parents have up to three kids in the list of those abducted. I will rather wait for any strategy the governor, who is the chief security officer of the state, would adopt in conjunction with the Federal Government to get back their girls.