The abduction of 110 students of Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State by terrorists on February 19, 2018, proves how little we care about girl child education in the 21st century.
The abduction is a sad commentary on how much security we provide to vulnerable persons in our society and how much value we place on human life.
Yobe is a heavily militarized zone; an unfortunate status it shares with Borno, Adamawa and a few other States in the north of Nigeria. We knew that schools in the north are Boko Haram targets for obvious reasons.
We knew that after Chibok drew worldwide attention to them and earned them some hard currency from prisoner-swap deals, the terrorists were going to do everything for a repeat.
We knew that Boko Haram would love nothing more than the publicity another mass abduction would hand them. We knew that for Boko Haram, more abduction means more money for their depraved souls and bellies.
We knew that the very least we could do was police schools a lot more, secure our girls and boys who are only looking for an education in the midst of bombs and guns.
Chibok all over again
But like Chibok, the girls of Dapchi were left to their fates—left as easy pickings for Boko Haram. The terrorists still had to drive their creaky trucks through town after abducting the girls. In a State milling with soldiers and police officers; in a State where a state of emergency was once the norm; Boko Haram was able to abduct over a hundred schoolgirls, load them in trucks and drive them away—unchallenged.
That a "thoroughly degraded" or "technically defeated" Boko Haram is still able to pull off a mass abduction of this nature tells you all you need to know.
Four years after we failed the Chibok schoolgirls, we have managed to fail another batch of schoolgirls whose only offence was seeking an education in a society that doesn’t care about or for them.
Now we have to find them when we could have prevented it from happening in the first instance. It’s how we run this country, after all. We allow the small problems become big and unmanageable and then we leave our hands firmly on the panic button. And then after a while, we move on with our lives. Inertia and inaction follows.
It’s been ten days since the Dapchi girls unwillingly left their families and friends for some Boko Haram infested forest. We were first told they had been rescued. That turned out a big fat lie; very much like the first few days of the Chibok saga. It shows we never really learn a thing in this country.
Like the Chibok girls, we failed the Dapchi girls and that should leave us all bowing our heads in utter shame.