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22.09.2014 Feature Article

Give Us Money, And We Shall Bring Back The Girls

Give Us Money, And We Shall Bring Back The Girls
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I have written before about the abduction of the Chibok girls. However, I felt compelled to comment again on this issue despite the fact that the level of importance given to it has since diminished, overtaken as it were, by the perhaps more urgent issue of the Ebola virus outbreak and more recently, by the USD9.3million Oritsejafor arms deal. Suddenly, the voices of the abducted girls have become a distant echo and the government can finally heave a sigh of relief as attention has moved to other issues.

I saw this coming a long time ago as all the government was doing was to 'mark time' and hope for other issues to consign the abduction to the dustbins of our usual 'political distractions'. That is the way of life here. Our government does not solve problems, it only whiles away time until something else comes up, takes over the news and diverts attention. It is a standard practice that has worked for several administrations. For the Goodluck Jonathan administration, it is the only practice.

But there has been an exception; the Ebola Virus Disease issue. The type of attention given to it shows that when the problem can easily affect the high and mighty, we suddenly spring into the type of action that amazes even ourselves. So menacing is EVD that nobody ever heard about it being a political ploy. No. The APC and PDP difference was suddenly forgotten. The high and mighty cannot bear to be denied the little pleasures of having girls brought in from all over the world to satisfy their sexual needs as the girls could be potential risks. But when it involves only the poor and lowly, copious amount of time is spent 'deliberating' on it, several committees are formed, in fact, generally, time is wasted until another issue comes up to obscure the one that was at hand.

There is another thing that also motivates our government and its security agencies to produce results: Money. I believe that money is really the biggest motivation to action in this country. It is not a secret that in this country, people seek for elective offices to fill their pockets. In fact, saying 'to fill their pockets' is a gross understatement of facts. They run for office to load their barns and that of their children's children with more than enough. That being the case then, one can authoritatively say that if one wants results from our leaders, there has to be something in it for them. So the question is, how does the rescue of the girls enrich our leaders? Obviously, it does not in any way. At least not yet.


Then I started thinking about something. What if the abduction of the girls affected the high and mighty? Or probably there was an offer of a huge cash prize for their safe return? Well, we have to accept that the abduction does not affect our leaders in any way seeing as in the face of it, they are still campaigning for re-election. Neither can it be said that any of their relative was abducted with the other girls. It is best then that we consider the money option. I mean seriously, money motivates us a lot in this country. Even our government works faster if the people in power are certain of making some money from carrying out any action or implementing any policy. So if you want action, just flash the money.

I saw recently, one of those internet memes where it was depicted that President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria was carrying a placard bearing #BringBackOurGirls. Funny as that was, it got me really thinking; who are the placards addressed to? Certainly not the Nigerian government, I would say. Because the Nigerian government is not in any way interested in bringing back the girls(the only thing/person they are interested in bringing back is Goodluck Jonathan). The placards (and the movement) seem to be addressed to some big brother bodies whose duty it is to really help us bring back the girls. So naturally, those big brother agencies should have donor bodies aligned to them who should have made available funds for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. So then, here is the easiest way to bring back the girls:

Donor agencies should have made available a certain amount of money(say for instance USD200million)as prize money to ensure that the girls are brought back. If this was done, Nigerian security agencies would have roared into full action and within a week, the girls would have been back. It is really that simple. Offer them money, and the government will do everything possible to produce results. This may sound so fantastic, but one begins to understand how realistic this is, when one asks the simple question; 'why do Nigerian politicians seek power'? Truthfully, 90% of them do so, in order to enrich themselves. So for them to work hard on any issue, there has to be something in it for them.

So quite simply, if we really need the girls back, some foreign agency or government(since they are the only ones who would genuinely and selflessly want the girls back) would have to make sure that there is something in it for our government. If that is done, the girls will be back in a week. I understand that possibly, some people still feel that the girls were not really abducted. Well, if that is the case, still offer the money and if the girls were really not abducted, our security agencies will manufacture those girls and provide them within a week. Really, it is that simple!

What is happening in this country is sickening. Many people never believed that after over 150days, the Chibok girls would still be in captivity. But that is the reality today and in my anguish, I have wondered how best to get this senile government to spring into action. This essay is just my way of saying that we should perhaps look for a way to pay them to do their jobs.

Nnaemeka Oruh
Nnaemeka Oruh, © 2014

The author has 22 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: NnaemekaOruh

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