by Usman Alabi
This is perhaps the intention of Robert Smith, the black American billionaire who volunteered to sponsor the education of 24 Chibok girls, including the 21 recently rescued.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu.
He said beneficiaries of the scheme included the first set of escapees from Boko Haram insurgents. He said the girls will be admitted through negotiation at the American University of Nigeria, Yola.
“Smith has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.
“The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,” he said
The question is are we actually doing enough for the Chibok girls? how prepared are we for the return of the remaining girls, what happens to the Chibok community and their parents?
It is important that we answer these questions critically and make sure that we are not subjecting the welfare of the girls to unnecessary publicity or PR.
It is a good development having the American billionaire coming to sponsor their education, but whatever plans we have for these girls and those that are waiting to be released must be concrete and immediate. It is high time we stopped the whole public relation and hype and begin to put into implementation whatever we have for them if we must exorcise from their memory the traumatic experience they went through in the den of the terrorists.
If we are have it in our plans to return them to school, then they must go to school now, if we must have an endowment fund for them to secure their future, it must be started now, it is important that we shower them with the love we deprived them, a result of our inability to provide them the basics of security, thus preventing them from being taken by the terrorists.
Kudos to the present administration, but it is important that the administration realize that the whole world is watching, earnestly waiting for what we would do with the Chibok girls. Not that there is nothing that the outside world can do, but they are waiting for us to take initiative. They are also ready to take the opportunity if we fail in our responsibility to the Chibok girls.
The Chibok girls means a lot to us, they remind us of our failure as a nation, our inability to provide our people the basics of security and welfare no matter how remote their location is within the Nigerian Federation. But also the girls also remind us of our collective resolve to fight a common enemy, they remind us of our penitence and ability to correct the mistake of the past and do whatever is necessary to gain back our lost glory, they epitomize everything in the present day Nigeria and something of the Nigeria of tomorrow.
Because the Chibok girls happened, somehow we are never the same and would never remain the same, Hence it is important that we tread carefully with them and begin with whatever plans we have for them now.