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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Nigeria's Army Chief Promises To Rescue Chibok Girls

Lt Gen T Buratai

Last month, president Buhari held a meeting with the parents of the Chibok girls, and reportedly stormed out in anger after telling his grieving audience that he had no clue about the whereabouts of their daughters. He then, earlier this month, said he would keep his campaign promise of bringing the girls back home to their parents. For a president who believes that praying for his country is a sure fire way to solving its many and urgent problems, speaking from both sides of his mouth surely does not come as a surprise.

His new found optimism in the army's ability to rescue the Chibok girls is now being echoed by Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff who has stated that Boko Haram has been finally defeated. Although he admitted to the fact that there will continue, for now, to be sporadic skirmishes by the insurgents, he said that the defeat of the terrorist group was the first of three missions. The second, which has already started, is a "mop up phase" which will "facilitate the release of those held captive by the insurgents, including the Chibok girls". Here is the army chief toeing the line of his master in making promises he knows (yes, he does know) he cannot keep.

If these men know something that we do not know, it will be in order to tell us, after all, people across the globe were outraged by the abduction of these young girls whose only crime was that they dared to get an education in a Nigerian state held hostage by a terrorist group that believes that education is forbidden (the literal translation of 'Boko Haram'). Former president Jonathan was conned into paying undisclosed amounts in dollars (running into hundreds of thousands, and some say, millions) to shady characters including members of his government. The monies were meant to facilitate communication between his government and the insurgents so that an agreement could be reached and the girls released. All those efforts, of course, failed, leading Jonathan to embarrassingly admit that there were Boko Haram sympathizers in his cabinet.

President Buhari, and now, his army chief, are again telling us that they can find these girls. They are lying and they know it. They have no clue where those girls are; and if these callous lies are just propaganda for their fight against Boko Haram, then whatever grim fate befalls each and every one of these girls is on them.