Nigeria, where I was born, is in crisis. In the space of a few weeks, 200+ secondary (high) girls have been kidnapped and abducted from a school in the northeast of the country (by men dressed as soldiers) and this unprecedented horror has been sandwiched by two bombs in Abuja the capital, which have killed almost 100 people between them. Untold others have been injured. The nation is under seige, the government appears not to know how to respond, and people are grieving, frightened, and angry.
The radical Muslim fundamentalist group, Boko Haram – who also were behind the bombs – has just come forward to claim responsibility for girls’ abduction. Some of the girls managed to escape in the days following which is how we know of how this terrible event unfolded. Read more here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/04/nigerias-stolen-girls.html
And check out the names of those still missing here: https://www.facebook.com/fjgriffin/posts/10203696377830243. They are not merely a horrible statistic. They are our daughters and sisters and aunties. Rumors abound that they have been sold into marriage over the northern border into Chad and/or Niger but the truth of the matter is, no one really knows exactly where they are or most importantly how to get them back. (Or if this still even remains possible.)
The response from President Goodluck Jonathan to all of these events has been pathetic and embarrassing, as the leader of most populous country in Africa: mostly silence, meanwhile carrying on with trips for his presidential campaign for elections slated to happen next year – where’s he been seen dancing while the rest of the nation is in shock. The irony of course is if he would just step up and truly lead this nation during this time of crisis and mobilize a response – a coordinated effort in which both the military and ordinary citizens can participate – he would have no problem convincing Nigerians that he’s worthy of their votes.
Check out this plea from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria’s best known female writer: http://www.thescoopng.com/exclusive-chimamanda-adichie-president-want/
This is the President 160 million Nigerians desperately need. And we need it NOW.