Dapchi, like Chibok, a systemic conspiracy?
With the abduction of 110 girls from Government Girls Technical College Dapchi, Yobe state on February 19, 2018 by Boko Haram terrorists, Our Associate Editor, Jacob EDI, takes a look at the unfortunate development and wonders if like the Chibok saga, it is a systemic conspiracy?
Just last week the federal government scored itself a high mark for swiftness in response to the February 19, 2018 terror attack on female students of the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state where the lives of 110 girls are yet to be accounted for.
According to a government statement, “The federal government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over 3 years.’’
Penultimate week, President Muhammadu Buhari, while on a condolence visit to Taraba state, or so it was designed to appear to Nigerians, made a show of the number of victims of terror attacks between Taraba and Benue.
On both occasions it does appear that the president missed the mark.
In the first instance, it is still unclear whether the president has embarked on a subtle campaign or he is on a condolence visit. More worrisome is the fact the president and his handlers waited for what became a national outcry to embark on the so-called condolence visit to all the states where the terrorists have visited mayhem on innocent and vulnerable people including women and children.
A careful analysis of the Yobe outing of President Buhari will leave no one in doubt as to his motive. But one wonders what the worth of the touted swiftness amounts to if the 110 girls are still missing. Or what became of the tough talk before and after the election that brought him in as President of the Federal Republic and for how long will the blame game continue?
The mindless killing of Nigerians in the last six years plus has become too coordinated and organized for any government to reduce its genocidal potency to any form of comparison, either in terms of number of casualties, as was the case between Benue and Taraba or how swift government reacted to news of the terror attack as in the case of Jonathan-led PDP government or the current APC government led by President Buhari.
It will not be enough for government to embark on eulogizing itself and insist it has shown capacity or determination in tackling terrorism. Such chest-beating would have been sweeter if the testimony of the citizenry is in sync with government’s bogus claim. Suffice it to say Nigerians have a different and painful story to tell. It is indeed sad, shameful, embarrassing and worrisome that in the last one week, these genocidal lunatics have found it easy to strike shortly before or after the President and C-in-C of the Nigerian Armed Forces visits a particular location: Taraba, Nassarawa, Plateau, Benue and Yobe. One wonders how the same government will have the courage to insist that it has “degraded the power and dominance of the criminal elements…”
Some pundits have argued that it will not be far wrong to give the present government some kind of pass mark in the area of combatting terrorism since assumption of office. Of course this conclusion is very debatable in the face of wanton killings that appears to have defied any solution and have assumed a nation-wide carnage. But truth be told a lot more is still desired.
It is necessary to create a nexus between the Chibok and avoidable Dapchi tragedies.
Operationally, and this includes planning and execution, the tactics used by the insurgents appear similar. This means in four years, the terrorists have not changed their style.
So will it be safe to conclude that between 2014 and 2018, our security forces have not learnt anything? What then is the value of all the intelligence reports and huge amount of money being spent to combat terrorism? Who are the beneficiaries of this evil business? Who are those making this blood money? Like in Chibok, how did the insurgents get free and unhindered access into the Dapchi School? What are they not telling Mr. President?
Naturally in a situation such as we have in Nigeria, it will be hard not to put the blame on the president’s table. The buck, they say, stops on his table. Mr. President can only take a decision on the basis of the information at his disposal.
But let’s assume that some persons with deep knowledge of the business of power and who probably are benefiting from the business of insurgency, have been making sure security information is not reaching the right place? It is worthy of note that any venture with so many interests, with huge investments and almost inexhaustible profit, can last forever, even war, where lives are lost. After all as people die so are others born!
It is about time that we call a spade by its name. The nation’s security arrangement needs complete overhauling. Like it was in the days of Jonathan, so it is in the days of Buhari. Nothing seem to have changed. Government should take a deeper look into the nation’s security community with a view to ensuring that loyalty is 101 otherwise hopes both by the government and the populace that an end to terrorism, insurgency and therefore genocide will only be a pipe dream.
The ultimate desire of the parents of both Chibok and Dapchi girls, is their release and not whether one government dealt with the matter swiftly or sluggishly. And for us, ordinary Nigerians, our greatest desire to see the end of terrorism or insurgency and not which state has the highest number of casualties… and then we shall all clap for our president.