Chibok, Dapchi: Shame Of A Nation

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The world is in absolute disbelief! As I write, the confirmation of the abduction of more than a hundred school girls of the Government GirlsTechnical College, Dapchi in Yobe state, has come from both the state and Federal governments. In a deliberate expression of disbelief, most people had refused to believe that barely less than two months to the fourth anniversary of the abduction of more than two hundred school girls from Chibok, another set of school girls have been abducted from their school almost in the same fashion that the tragic incident of 2014 was done.

The parents of the girls are distraught as lies and half-truths trail their heartbreak in a country where politicians are never accountable to citizens. The politicians always get away with blue murder literarily. As I write, there are no figures of the exact number of the students that have been abducted. There are very annoying buck passing by people who should be held accountable.

Again, parents are gnashing their teeth in a country that continually fails its most vulnerable – girls and women. The women at the various IDP camps across a nation that is not in a declared war have become victims of sexual, economic and physical abuses by those who are paid to secure them. Tales of penury and death are daily in the news but in the usual negligent manner, life goes on in our political space especially with the 2019 election.

It is amazing that most political advocates are laying emphasis of the acquisition of the PVC as a panacea for a resolution of the country’s leadership problems come 2019 in a country where a region hosts a population with less than twenty percent literacy rate and even less for the women population.

Today, there are discordant tunes about the number of missing school girls but the governor of Kano state, Alhaji Ganduje has boasted that his state would give the President five million votes in 2019. This is a state that the same governor cannot give the statistics of the number of children in or out of school, graduates, the unemployed and unemployed, those that have disabilities and all such statistics that aid development.

Neither the governor of Yobe state nor the federal government can come up, as I write, with the accurate number of the abducted girls who were in school to acquire education. The primary role of governments is to protect lives and property of citizens but sadly, the Chibok and Dapchi girls and many others cannot boast of any such protections.

Ironically, as the politics of the number of victims are going on, our politicians are moving on as usual and treating the case with levity because in the next few days, another calamity might just take over the limelight and life goes on.

The question is, with the burden of Chibok, how did vulnerable girls in a region with an abysmal girl child education ration not have done enough to protect its young children? How does this devastating lightning strike twice? 

Sadly though, politicians from the North would move on as usual, the girl child is never really considered valuable except as probably child brides and voters and seemingly to keep the same people in power. So in a sense, the illiteracy and poverty of the girl child benefits the politicians in the region. In poverty and illiteracy, they are more politically valuable and subject to being used as puns on the political chessboards.

The larger implication of the disenfranchisement of girl child development is that the chain of ignorance and illiteracy goes on and the whole country suffers the effects. These people never ask why it is so easy for insurgents to recruit endlessly. Why are there willing tools to be brainwashed?

In the past, there had been the Nomadic education project, the Almajiri education project, so how come all the babaringa-wearing politicians have not bought into those and if they feel they were dysfunctional, what alternatives have they proffered?

It is really telling that the politicians both in the north and south do not see the urgency in trying to address the issues affecting women especially in the Northern region. The abysmal level of literacy is a guarantee for continuous failure of the country because the world cannot stop a race to the future to give us time to catch up.

It is amazing that politicians feel that there can be development without educating and empowering the girl child. The mantra that he who educates a woman educates a nation has deeper developmental implications.

It is even amazing that since the insurgency in the North East, not much action has come from the politicians in the region to stem the tide of illiteracy. It seemingly feels like there are those who would rather the status quo remains as far as they are the ones profiting.

With the latest abductions, the region might be on its way deeper into the abyss because in the journey of survival, parents would rather have illiterate children than lose their children in school. There might be massive abandonment of school enrolment because with the Chibok and Dapchi tragedies, nothing seems to have changed.

It is acutely hypocritical though that those politicians only get interested in numbers when it is for election results. How hundreds of students can be abducted and there are no accurate recodes is a shame the world cannot comprehend.

Sadly, the politicians neglecting the girl child in an age of ideas and IT are all almost at the twilight of their lives. What legacies are they leaving for their generations seared those they keep down with child marriages and illiteracy?  The tales of the Chibok and Dapchi students sums up what is wrong with the men playing politics with the lives and future of the country. The girls are mere metaphor; there are millions of girls and women missing out of the global clamor for education, care and empowerment of the girl child. The world cannot understand the psyche of our politicians.

The post Chibok, Dapchi: Shame Of A Nation appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.


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