The Nigerian Army announced some hours ago that a second Chibok Girl has been rescued in Sambisa. This comes as the first rescued Amina Ali, met with President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha Buhari and received a cheque .
While thanking the first lady for the cheque she gave Amina, I say that is not enough, but should just be a starting point for what we as a country should do for these girls, chief of which is to ensure that they and any children resulting from their captivity are given the best possible education Abroad.
And the responsibility for ensuring this lies with President Buhari, The First Lady, Bring Back Our Girls, and Nigerians in general.
By ‘Nigerians In General’, I mean corporate organizations (remember how you’ve helped Olajmoke Orisahuna), NGOs, wealthy Nigerians and even people who have just a little amount of money – we should all pitch in to gather money for the foreign education of these girls.
I am not pitching for ‘foreign education’ out of inferiority complex but with good reasons. Let me give you 6 good reasons why I say we should help them be educated abroad:
- The Girls Won’t Be Able To Concentrate In Chibok High School Were They Were Kidnapped: The rescued Chibok Girls should retake SSCE, but we and the Federal Government should remember that these girls were kidnapped while taking their final examinations at Chibok High School when they were kidnapped. The trauma of the kidnap would not allow them concentrate in that school, which might even be the only school in their locality.
If the girls go back and resume in the school where they were kidnapped, it would be a constant reminder of the horrors of that fateful day when they lost their freedom and possibly their innocence , and I fear that even while writing any examinations, they wouldn’t be concentrating fully, but would be scared, probably feeling jumpy at slightest loud noise they hear. How do they concentrate in such circumstances?
2. Anywhere They Are Educated In Nigeria, People May Not Allow Them To Relax: Curious crowds of emergency tourists would gather, watching their every move, and depriving them of much-needed publicity.
Imagine a Chibok girl coming out of a lecture hall in University X, somewhere in Nigeria, and instead of her fellow students going about their normal business, they are all looking at her silently, pointing surreptitiously and talking in hushed tones. As if that isn’t enough, the crowds would have been joined by people who’ve travelled far and wide to come glimpse a ‘live Chibok Girl’. That’ll be a little bit distracting, wouldn’t you say?
3. They Could Face Pressure From Bloggers And Journalists: Even bloggers and journalists would join the fray, visiting them with the hope of getting juicy scoops that would give them newspaper sales and blog traffic. Before you know it, an overzealous blogger may go and say what a Chibok Girl; didn’t tell him, causing her much anguish as she trends on social media when she should be keeping a low profile.
4. Pressure On The Children Born Out Of Their Captivity: We should not forget the children born to these girls, which is probably as a result of forced sexual unions with their captors. The lives of these children would be dogged by unnecessary publicity from the get go, as people they don’t even know would come to tell them about ‘how they were born’.
The innocent children don’t need the pain. They should be protected from any pain till they are more equipped to handle the realities of the situation. They should not primarily be defined with how they came into this world.
5. Give The Girls The Key To Achieve Their Dreams: These girls wanted to get an education and that is why they were studying in the first place when they were kidnapped. It is only fair that they be given the opportunity to fulfill their dreams in a convenient environment, given the peculiar circumstances of their situation.
6. To Clear The Conscience Of A Nation: Even though I am not in the Government nor a member of its security forces, when I looked at the photo of the first rescued Chibok Girl Amina Ali, I felt a tinge of guilt for ‘allowing this to happen to her’, and I found myself saying a silent sorry to her image in the photograph.
I am sure millions of Nigerians looking at her picture may have felt the same way. One way to relieve that guilt would be for us as a nation to make sure they get the best, not the worst out of a bad situation.
Not doing anything to make sure they complete their education abroad will mean that we have abandoned them to their fates. We shouldn’t let that happen. I call on Bring Back Our Girls To keep pricking the conscience of this nation until this foreign education I have suggested becomes a reality.
6. To Give A Good Ending To A Bad Story: Don’t you love happy endings? Nelson Mandela said that it is not how low a (wo)man falls but how high (s)he bounces that matters.
Since we couldn’t stop these girls from being kidnapped, let us help them get the best education in the best universities abroad.
The Children Born By These Girls As A Result Of Their Kidnap Should Also Be Given Scholarships Abroad: These children had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with how they came into this world and should be treated with compassion by Nigerians and their families. That is where the Federal Government must especially take the lead.
I like the step taken by President Buhari and First Lady Aisha Buhari in being photographed carrying Amina Ali’s child. They have indirectly influenced Nigerians to look at these children with love and not hatred.
The Role Of BBOG Should Begin To Evolve: When our girls are fully rescued, BBOG should not just pack up and fold up. Rather, its role should evolve to include making sure these girls receive the best education abroad, and that whatever children they have are well taken care of and lack nothing.
For Nigerians, helping these girls is optional but very welcome, but for the Federal Government, it is compulsory. It is BBOGs responsibility to continue advocacy on behalf of these girls and bring the Federal Government to refocus on the issue of these girls if it becomes so distracted that it forgets its responsibilities to them.
All in all, let us wipe the tears off the eyes of the Chibok Girls as their rescue continues. And let us help them love and support the children that may have come from their captivity.
It shall be well with Nigeria.