"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

The kidnapping in CHIBOK: Fact or Fiction

My son’s friend in London once asked him; where are you from originally? My son answered Nigeria. He further asked; do you understand and speak Nigerian? My son replied that he understands and speaks IGBO. The boy was taken aback; you said you are from Nigeria; you don’t speak Nigerian but IGBO, so what does that make you?

The young man may be confused but he is not alone. A lot of Nigerians are equally confused about who they are. You are the language that you speak. For instance, you are English because you speak English language; Spanish; if you speak Spanish language, etc. And so, my son is IGBO rather than Nigerian since he speaks IGBO language.

Nigeria is not a nation but a geographical expression that houses numerous nations. These nations were joined together without their consent by the British Empire whose sole aim was pecuniary. After so many struggles for freedom, spearheaded by the nations from southern Nigeria, the colonial masters gave independence to Nigeria in 1960.

The ego of the British was bruised. In retaliation and in continuation with their indirect rule, they relinquished power to the Muslim HAUSA/FULANI ethnic group. The Fulani were the docile partners in the fight for Nigeria independence. From that moment, the Fulani began to see Nigeria as their ‘estate’ and ‘birth-right’.

They have ruled Nigeria for over 40 years since independence. Their dominance of the political space is shown on Nigeria currency, which has Muslim Arabic inscription. They designed the presidential villa (ASO ROCK) after Islamic structures. They chose Islamic colour, green and white as the colour of Nigerian flag. It is their belief that no other ethnicity should govern Nigeria but them. They even pride themselves as born to rule.

Now, an ‘outsider’, President Jonathan has emerged to infringe on their ‘birth-right’. A President that will not be subjected to the control of the SOKOTO caliphate (an Islamic spiritual community) headed by the Sultan. A Christian President residing in a Presidential palace built for only a Muslim President must vacate the estate. And thus: BOKO HARAM, little known Islamic bigots was reinvigorated.

Boko Haram has been unleashing terror in Nigeria since 2011. But none of the Muslim northern elites has condemned the sect. Is their silence as a result of support for or fear of the terrorists? The latest act of terror; the kidnapping of over ‘300’ school girls from CHIBOK has attracted condemnation from the international community. The Americans, Europeans, Chinese etc., are offering their special forces to help rescue the schoolgirls.

But before the rescue action is started, assuming some girls were in fact kidnapped, we must first establish the actual number missing. We also need to know their identities including photographs and the particulars of their parents. These details will help the search team in their efforts, at least to identify who they are searching for. But let us critically analyse this tragedy of CHIBOK to ascertain if it is a fact or a fiction:

First, the inability of the school Principal to give an accurate number of the schoolgirls missing makes the whole debacle ludicrous. Does it mean that the school hasn't got an accurate record of their students? How about WAEC, the examining body, shouldn't they have the number of registered schoolgirls that were to sit for the examination? Or is somebody playing with figures here? Are we dealing with fact or fiction?

Besides, the school told the world that about 50 school girls escaped from their captors on their way into the SAMBISA forest. One of the escapees even recounted that the terrorists came with 10 buses/trucks. Does it sound plausible that a girl who ought to be trembling when terror struck in the middle of the night, was busy counting the number of vehicles that the kidnappers came with?

How did they escape without the notice of their captors since they were loaded into 10 vehicles? They must have sustained significant injuries if they have jumped from the vehicle. And so, which hospital treated them? Could it be a fact that the supposed 50 girls that escaped are the real students of that school? Or are we in search of a fictitious 270 schoolgirls that will take all on a wild goose chase?

In northern Nigeria children are begged to go to school unlike in the south where children beg to go to school. Moreover, girls’ education is very minimal in the northern region. Suddenly we have over 300 schoolgirls registered to sit for their final secondary school year examination. If we follow this trend, it means that the school has a population of about 1,800 schoolgirls from secondary year-1 to year-6. And this is a region where children are begged to go to school. Are the figures fact or fiction?

Nigerians from the North like fiddling with numbers. They always claim that Muslims are more than Christians. That northern Nigeria is more populated than any other part of the country. Kano state has more population than Lagos. They brandish manipulated census figures bequeathed to them by the British to support their claim.

They peddle fiction than fact. This is why it is reasonable to question the figure that the government of Bornu state of Nigeria is quoting regarding the abducted schoolgirls. The figure is beyond belief but whether it is a fact or fiction; your guess is as good as mine.

It is obvious that the Fulani are playing a dangerous political game. They even threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if Pres. Jonathan was elected in 2011. And since then the President has never known peace because Boko Haram has grown to become formidable. Another presidential election is due in 2015 and they want to use violence and intimidation to force Pres. Jonathan to drop his 2nd term ambition.

Finally, the northerners must ensure that there are missing schoolgirls in Chibok because the Super-Powers are coming to Nigeria to help #BringBackOurGirls. I don't know if the schoolgirls will ever return but one thing for sure; Boko Haram will never be the same again.