By Frank Oshanugor
The humanity in me gets warped in an inexplicable trance that seizes me each time I read about the abduction of about 22 students of Greenfield University in Kaduna by kidnappers and the subsequent resort to wasting their lives as ransom is not forthcoming in line with the expectation of the abductors.
That the kidnappers made good their threat by killing three of the students less than a week after abduction and another two students a few days later, was bone chilling and sadistic.
A few days later, it was reported that N55million had been contributed by parents of the students and given to the kidnappers, yet the leader of the group was reported as saying that the N55million had been spent and they were expecting more or else the remaining 17 students would be killed.
As audacious as the kidnappers have become with Sheikh Gumi saying recently that the kidnappers of the Greenfield University students are not bandits but Boko Haram elements, it becomes more bizarre and nauseating the road Nigeria has travelled so far as a country. What do I mean?
How do we explain it that with all the resources appropriated towards fighting insecurity either by way of security vote to presidency, state governors, DSS, police, military and other security agencies of the federation, criminal elements in the form of kidnappers, terrorists and bandits etc are now in charge in the country.
It beats my imagination how innocent students and other Nigerians could just be taken as prey by rampaging crude armed men and be held hostage for weeks and months in a country that parade galaxy of army generals, top ranking police and DSS officers with intimidating credentials obtained in the world’s best security related academies. Where are the so called security experts? What has their expertise become? Is government the obstacle? Oh my God!
If Sheikh Ahmad Gumi could identify the captors of the Greenfield University students as Boko Haram fighters, who does the DSS say they are? Why is the federal government giving in, so easily when it has all it takes to protect every Nigerian?
The threat by the kidnappers to kill the remaining 17 Greenfield students should be taken seriously. Why is it that Nigerian government leaders both at Federal and state levels do not bother much in the rescue effort of citizens who are not direct members of their families or close relations? If Governor Nasir El Rufai’s daughter or President Muhammadu Buhari’s son was one of the Greenfield University students abducted and kept in captivity with threat of death, would Nigerian security forces not have been under pressure to rescue the victim alive even within 24 hours?
The case of unrescued Chibok school girls, Leah Sharibu and other abducted students still in captivity clearly tells us that the poor would continue to be the cannon fodders in our mismanaged social environment. Have we ever heard that the son, daughter of a governor, senator, president, house of representatives member, minister or top official of government is kidnapped and kept in captivity for more than a day or two?
As the kidnappers warm up to kill the remaining 17 Greenfield University students, may the Almighty God intervene and save their lives as they are not the cause of our mis-governance in our country. It is not their fault that they are Nigerians who have chosen to seek knowledge in their own environment, not running away like children of those who have mismanaged and are still mismanaging the country.
President Buhari should rise up to the occasion and lead from the front as he promised during his campaign in 2015. This is not the time to trade blames or see Nigerians with vocal voice as suspected treasonable felons pushing for the disintegration of the country. Many people are just speaking out of patriotism because our country has never been this bad.