Do you know? Do you remember?
By: Yusuf Uthman
It has been three years. 1098 days since terror struck Chibok; 26,280 hours since scores of young girls seeking the freedom education guaranteed were taken captive.
There was confusion and everyone had run helter-skelter to no other fruition than eventually dying in pieces. While many had been killed by the evil-hearted people laying claim to being on the side of light, they had gone on to deprive some little damsels of their freedom. The parents of these little damsels had been and are still imprisoned in unending sadness. It is greatly disheartening as it seems these stolen flowers will never be saved. Even worse is that no one seems to remember them anymore, not to talk of finding a way to get them released.
I know you know; and I guess you know I know you know what I have been talking about (or don’t you?). Yes! You should know or should have had at least an iota of understanding of my reference. Of course, that room is Chibok and the house is Borno State in Nigeria (the big compound) within which some other buildings (other states) are situated. I guess, by now, I have been able to successfully save your brain of the tedious racking it could have experienced.
Now, these helpless little flowers have earned a name, “Chibok Girls” and everyone now refer to them as such; as if that were their birth name, well, how else could they have been addressed? They have been separated from friends, families and their heart-broken parents. Sadness and wistfulness have taken toll in these mothers’ and fathers’ hearts since the day their just-ripening fruits had been plucked and taken away far into the tummy of nowhere: a place where no one can precisely pin-point, save the Sambisa Forest which was only a short-lived hideout of the dreadful terrorists. The case of the Chibok girls has become a piercing stick of poisonous thorns in the hearts of the bereaved parents; such that it forever remains a reason for them to be sad, for even when one tries to pull out the sticks, the thorns tear the heart into pieces. Yet, no one; not a single person seems to remember these weeping flowers.
Is it not usually said, especially in Yoruba land, that when a mother hears the wailing of her baby, she immediately springs up on her feet to see to and assuage the teary eyes? Perhaps, that is the philosophy of the primitive elders. What holds in Nigeria, today, is the reverse. What am I getting at? There nearly is no Nigeri an who does not know that these so called Chibok girls were abducted three years ago, precisely on 14th April, 2014. But, let us be true to ourselves: have they been freed yet? How many of them have got released? We only hear, on few occasions that certain ridiculous-to-the-hearing number of them have been released, as if to mock the people and poke the already festered wound the parents nurse. I mean, why has the government folded its arms and gone as cold as a corpse, about this case? (Oh! Many Boko Haram stations have been seized—bravo!) But, what about the girls? Do they not need being freed?
More so, to balance the scale and not get it broken as a result of one side being way heavier than the other, one must gift a share of the blame to the populace who have become dummies whose brains are full of nothing. It is not only heartbreaking but also heart-bombing and heart-shattering that very few of the teeming population even care about the girls at all. All we do all day and all night is to argue about trifle, celebrating inane matters. We, especially the youth, are active fanatics of non-educational television programmes such as the Big Brother Naija Show but we become the utterly sluggish and lazy tortoise when it comes to issues relating to the state of the country; OUR COUNTRY! Okay. Who cares about the abducted Chibok girls again? Or is it that their case has gone stale? Yes. In the beginning, when the case was still fresh, the campaign was smile-provoking as the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls pervaded every nook and cranny; but now, silence has veiled the good course. Mouths have gone mute and pens have gone dry. The only mouths and pens we have now are only those that blow political whistles and get their pockets blossoming: whereas the Chibok flowers have been forgotten and are wilting.
It saddens my heart as I reiterate the last line of the third paragraph of this discourse, “yet no one; not a single person seems to remember these weeping flowers”. I hope it sends cold shivers down the spine and into the heart of everyone. I hope it will make everyone take the mantle of consciousness and do all necessary and possible, to get these girls back. I hope we will remember to always remember these girls and never forget to remember them. Now, the government and all are charged to stay abreast of the slumber room and get themselves awake. The Chibok girls are still there! They must be saved