Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Here is a bulleted remark on NPR Tell Me More Michel Martin’s interview of Dr Doyin Okupe on May 29, 2014.
1. Military Morale. Nigerian Armed Forces are capable and committed to securing the nation and releasing my abducted girls.
2. Seeming Delay To Accept International Help. Nigerians are a contented nation who solve problems ourselves and only invite foreign assistance when needed.
3. Escaped Girls. There were interviews of girls who jumped down from the vehicle when one of the insurgents’ vehicles developed a fault.
Of course, I have since ceased following the interviews because of sensationalism on the part of adults, so I am unable to confirm whether girls escaped after or before abduction.
It is plausible that some school girls fled into surrounding bushes to avoid being abducted and were never in custody of insurgents.
However, it is evident from interviews that some girls did escape after they were taken captive.
4. Release Of Information On Knowledge Of Location Of Girls. This is likely the result of unfair pressure from some Nigerians and foreigners.
I hope it does not increase the risks for my girls and our soldiers.
5. Chad, Niger, Cameroon. I am still unsure of reasons for difficult relations with our neighbours.
At present, relations have improved. However, that could have been achieved without calling on France.
6. No Presidential Visit To Chibok. I doubt security concerns is the issue.
The President has been derided for not visiting the town. My analysis is he does not act to appease critics.
We shall have to wait until such a visit is in his to-do list.
7. President’s Security. It was unfair for Michel to question the capability of our armed forces to protect the President.
Government representatives have been to the town as have military chiefs. None has been assassinated by Boko Haram.
8. Escalation Or De-escalation. On one hand, the operations of Boko Haram are confined primarily to Borno State.
On the other hand, they are attempting to assert relevance by attacking the cities of Abuja, Kano, and Jos. The situation is also worsening in Borno.
The security threats are real and present and the resolution involves the active participation of all citizens of Nigeria.
9. Places Of Worship. Attacks against Churches and Masajid (Mosques) have reduced.
Nevertheless, the insurgency has taken indiscriminatory bombings to a greater level with the targeting of busy points of civilian activities – bus terminals and markets.
10. No Expertise. That our intelligence services and security teams do not pitch one community against another in a botched attempt to track perpetrators of bombings is a plus for their dexterity and is a veritable sign of cognitive and emotional intelligence.
I commend them.
11. Corrupt Practices. I await proof of this in the military.
To end this analysis, I present thoughts on a report on events of the night of April 14th in Chibok.
According to local authorities, they received warnings of movements of Boko Haram towards the town some three hours before the abduction.
Local leaders claim to have alerted security agents.
One question is yet to be resolved:
In times of insecurity, do people leave their children in schools?
Any Nigerian will respond in the negative.
However, what is the Northern perspective, should anyone argue Northerners respond differently to threats towards their children?
My personal experiences affirm that once there is notice of insecurity within the society in Sokoto, students vacate schools and colleges within an hour.
They prefer to be with family at such times. Students whose family reside in other states choose to stay with friends until they are able to reunite with family.
Perhaps, someone will debate that the dynamics of the North-East is drastically dissimilar to the North-West.
Again, local authorities have to answer why students were still in school despite the real and imminent threat of attack against Chibok town.
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