#BringBackOurGirls: Nigerians Speak on Gov’t Action, International Help

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Written by Paul Adepoju

He added that other countries can play important roles in resolving the situation and secure the safe release of the girls.

“The European Union and USA can come in the area of anti-terrorism [and] sophisticated gadgets, but more importantly we need the strong cooperation of the Chadian, Cameroonian and Nigerien governments to finish this insurgency. In the rescue mission of the young girls, a joint multinational force including the UN forces is very important.”

Ehigie called for the declaration of a total state of emergency.

“I want the military to be empowered so that they can take full responsibility of the security in those areas,” she said. “We need an intelligence team that’s the only way out so we can map out strategic steps to tackle terrorism.”

While the president is putting much emphasis on the U.S. government, Tosin said the crisis in Nigeria has not yet threatened America’s interests in Nigeria.

“American interest has not been badly jeopardized yet, I believe. Moreover, the current [U.S.] administration is being economical with military assistance. I don’t see the U.S. sending in troops anytime soon,” Tosin said.

Instead of waiting for foreign governments to help Nigeria out, Tosin said that Nigeria is a sovereign with a military that is capable of dealing with the situation.

“When the anti-gay law was passed, we wanted to be sovereign. To be really sovereign, act sovereign. I believe Nigeria has military might to handle the issue. Political and religious interests appear to be big stumbling blocks,” he said.

“Damn the consequences and launch an all-out military attack. Take Shekau down, take Boko Haram down. I believe the President knows this, but with so many vested interests, hence the delay, the I-don’t-care attitude. It’s easier said than done.”

Fate of the Girls

On the fate of the girls, Tosin said he doesn’t think Boko Haram plans to kill them.

“Some of them escaped. Anyway, Shekau said he’s selling them outside the country I guess. Best case scenario, they are all recovered needing immediate medical and psychological attention. Worst case scenario, they’re sold outside the country and are difficult to recover…and this goes on for a long while. I don’t think Boko Haram will kill them,” Tosin said.

“This case is dragging because we know they were abducted, not killed. Boko Haram has killed school children in the North before; that was the end of it. If Boko Haram wanted to kill them, they would have, probably from the onset. Plus Shekau specifically said he’s selling them. Seems the abduction is embarrassing the government more than killing would have.”

Oshowo had an entirely different opinion:

“with the record of the Boko Haram sect molesting women and turning them into sex slaves, I am afraid the fate of these innocent girls will not be far from it.”

President Jonathan’s Chances at the Polls

Even though she said she has little hope that the girls would soon be found — due to lack of coherent and proactive strategy by both government and the military — Ehigie said she could still vote for the president next year. He effort would be for the sake of continuity of major projects such as the ongoing transformation of Nigeria’s power sector, which the president said is still in its early phase.

Tosin said his decision to vote for the president or not would be made when he sees who the opposition party would be presenting:

“Depends on who else is running. The considerable ones don’t become president in Nigeria. I will have to make a pick from the contestants.”