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Friday, June 27, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls: Accountability by Social Media

3 weeks ago, my people were plunged into darkness. Hoodlums stormed a school and took my sisters away. To the perpetrators of this crime, it’s not right that girl children should get an education. My President did nothing. He went dancing at a campaign rally. His advisers did nothing. They went after imaginary enemies and rebased the economy. They boasted of being “the biggest economy in Africa”. [1]

My sisters are yet to come home. Our parents are crying. They have been paralyzed by fear and insecurity. The state having not shown itself creditable doesn’t help. Now, our President can talk. The international community have taken a stand where he hasn’t. We have screamed at the top of our voices. We have cried to the high heavens and called the attention of the world. Those who have the power to instigate positive action and choose not to are the worst criminals for they have betrayed their hearts. They have allowed themselves to be accessories to stagnancy. 

As soon as the international community got on the President’s back, he started talking. His wife cried on camera when not initiating petty fights. Our leaders have failed us. We have failed ourselves and a generation unborn, by putting ourselves in this situation. May they forgive us. May they overcome.

My sisters are yet to come home. I sit up waiting for their return so I can give them hugs and tell them how I knew we would always overcome. My heart trembles with fright. Their kidnappers have threatened to sell them. The thoughts of my sisters not returning is killing me.

This is what happens when House of Cards meets the real world. President Goodluck Jonathan was able to become President of Nigeria without directly earning a vote. As Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state, he found himself promoted to Governor when his boss was prosecuted for money laundering. How did he return that favour? He recently tried to grant him presidential pardon. In what world do people get pardons for being corrupt? As Vice President, he was able to ascend the Presidency when his superior, President Yar’ Adua passed away. His presidency has been an unmitigated failure: Corruption has flourished as was encapsulated when the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi was persecuted for suggesting that $20 billion of the country’s oil revenue had disappeared into thin air. [2]That was compounded by one of his spokesmen attempted to spread a letter linking Sanusi to the Boko Haram terrorist group. One of them is still employed and that person isn’t Sanusi. It is also under his Presidency that Nigeria has become synonymous with Terrorism.

That hasn’t fazed a group of young Nigerians who have clocked that the Nigerian state works best when eyes are on it. With that, we have entered the age of accountability via social media. #BringBackOurGirls 

[1] Nigeria becomes Africa’s biggest economy, BBC News,   6th April 2014  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26913497
[2] Remi Adekoya, This banker turned whistleblower has a revolutionary message for Nigeria,  The Guardian, 2nd March 2014 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/02/lamido-sanusi-revolutionary-message-nigeria


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