How a Country Should Not Treat Her Citizen

May 18, 2018

Leah Sharibu, the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl being detained by Boko Haram for refusing to deny Christ

The duty of any government, among others, is to protect her citizenry. In civilised climes, this is perhaps, the most important. For this reason, some governments have gone to war in defence of their citizens. When a citizen dies, the entire nation in such a civilised clime, mourns and identifies with the deceased and the family. This attitude tends to bind, to connect, the government and the governed. Thus the citizens of such countries are proud of their countries and can go to any length to serve their fatherland, knowing that whatever happens, their efforts will not be in vain.
In Nigeria the reverse has been the case. Many Nigerians are being killed all over the world, without any whimper from the government. From Dubai to Malaysia and South Africa, many have been killed brazenly without the Government of Nigeria doing much to at least avoid a reoccurrence. This inaction has served to embolden those attacking Nigerians.
Perhaps, it will be asking too much to expect the Nigerian Government to do anything in those cases when right here, under their noses, people are also being killed without the government doing anything tangible to stop that.
From the religious and political killings to Boko Haram terrorism and now herdsmen's killings, the Nigerian Government has appeared powerless, even reluctant (as in the case of the herdsmen's killings), to do anything. Indeed, human life is of no value.
It is very clear that the present government of Muhammadu Buhari is either powerless to stop the spate of bloodletting in the country or is somehow tacitly approving it, going by its continued ominous inaction against the activities of the Killer Herdsmen.
From January this year to the end of April this year, about 908 people have been killed by the herdsmen across the country. The killers are yet to be prosecuted!
But the most touching one is the case of the 15-year old Christian schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who was among the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped from Government Girls' Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram terrorists.
Eventually, through negotiations with the Federal Government, 101 of the abductees were released but Leah Sharibu was not among them. It was later learnt that she was held back because she failed to renounce her Christian faith.
Since then, the world has been crying out for her release, while urging the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to delve into the very sensitive matter, given the religious connotation it has acquired. But after initial half-hearted assurances by the Federal Government, the matter seems to have died a natural death.
Now, the father of the girl, Nathaniel, has been crying to media houses with a view to seeing if the heart of Buhari will be touched to also negotiate the release of Leah. So far, his voice has been like a lone voice in the wilderness.
Is it possible to now believe that the Federal Government's silence is fuelled by the girl's religion? Even though there are still other girls yet to be released, the matter of Leah has assumed humongous significance because of the religious coloration.
A sensible and more responsive government would surely have done more than the Nigerian Government has done to ensure the release of not just Sharibu, but the other girls.
Indications are that all the pleas from across the world for the release of Leah have fallen on deaf ears. This, indeed, is a sad commentary on our national life and reflects the aloofness of the government to those it is supposed to be leading.
The only hope now is that as the general elections draw near, the Buhari Government may, out of political expediency, effect the release of Sharibu and other girls.
As political as it may be, it will still be a welcome development in a country blighted by government's insensitivity to the well being of its citizenry, especially when they come from certain areas or are of a particular religion. 



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