Why the missing girls matter to Africa


ON the night of April 14 2014 nearly 300 female students were kidnapped by Boko Haram from a secondary school in the town of Chibok located in Borno State, north-east of Nigeria.
This dark deed has triggered shock and moral outrage not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa as a whole!
Since then, the kidnapping has become an issue of concern to the rest of the world, more so with offers of help to the Nigerian government coming from the USA, Israel, Canada, Britain, France, Iran, China etc.
Nigeria’s neighbours, Chad and Cameroon, have also promised to help by contributing troops to patrol borders likely to be used by Islamic fighters of Boko Haram.
The latter is alleged to be bitterly opposed to the Westernisation of Nigeria.
While the rest of the world has every reason to feel concerned about the fate of these female students, it is Africa which remains in the dock for as long as these students are not rescued!
And there are several reasons why Africa should be particularly concerned. Some of these are:
a) From a purely humanitarian standpoint the kidnapping is an unforgivable act of brutality and injustice inflicted upon innocent souls for reasons which will always remain unjustifiable and with irreversible and far reaching consequences in the lives of these victims.
It is a heart-rending situation, more so to the parents whose dreams for their children and those of the children themselves have been shattered beyond belief!
It should not have happened and it should not happen again but there is more to it than that!
b) Nigeria is not an ordinary African country to be commiserated with and forgotten just like that.
Hosting over 170 million people, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa population-wise and what happens to all these people in both negative and positive senses is bound to affect Africa as a whole!
Most Zimbabweans recall how Nigeria was always there supporting them in their struggle for liberation.
Because Nigeria was considered by the British as one of their biggest markets in Africa and a strategic one too because of its abundant crude oil, there was always a limit to which Nigerian views on the liberation of Zimbabwe could be ignored by the British in favour of their kith and kin in the then Rhodesia! Nigeria is one of those African countries which played a crucial role in forcing Margaret Thatcher to convene the Lancaster House Conference which subsequently played the role of mid-wife in the birth of Zimbabwe.
This example is just one of the many areas where Nigeria’s abundant natural resources, its large population which is too big to ignore as a market and its vibrant politics have always been a source of leverage whenever the West is formulating its policies towards Africa.
Accordingly, peace and prosperity in Nigeria are of obvious advantage to Africa as a whole, more so since the continent is still struggling to define its place in the so-called global village.
The hope is that the current problems posed by Boko Haram are simply a symptom of some of the things which need to be fixed urgently in Nigeria and nothing more!
In fact the Nigerian state remains strong enough to withstand and fend off all the pressures being exerted on it by Boko Haram; that is, with or without outside help!
The logic is: if the same state could withstand and survive the civil war of the late 60s why not the threat posed by Boko Haram this time around?
Otherwise the implosion of Nigeria as a nation would have consequences in Africa which are too ghastly to contemplate!
This scenario would dramatically weaken Africa’s position in the many areas of its interaction with an increasingly predatory Western world desperately looking for natural resources whereever it can find them!
c) While the rush by several countries to assist Nigeria on the missing girls is welcome, it is imperative to assess the motives of some of those good Samaritans who are blowing their trumpets and flaunting their technological prowess all over the place!
One recalls that 150 American special forces were rushed into Uganda in 2012 ostensibly to track down Joseph Kony and his murderous Lord’s Resistance Army!
Up to now there has been no success at all to talk about.
The latest is that more special forces and more aircraft are being sent to hunt Kony, and hopefully, not to look for more oil and gas which Uganda is now known to have in great abundance!
The same applies to the Malaysian plane which vanished into thin air with 239 people!
Special American equipment was commandeered to assist in the search, but alas not much has come out of this so far!
The lesson here is: Nigerians know much more about their country and culture and should not be sidelined by anyone from anywhere on the pretext that they possess more advanced technology to search for the missing girls!
d) Here is what an American congressional leader, John MacCain, said about the need to rescue the female students from Nigeria:
“I would not be involved in the niceties of getting the Nigerian government to agree that we rescue those girls…I would send US troops to rescue them, without permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan.”
With arrogant friends like these, Nigeria does not need any enemies at all!
This thinly veiled contempt for Africans should oblige us to question why Americans are crying louder than the parents of the missing girls when we know that in the USA itself they treat black people like dogs, shoot them even and ask questions later!
e) It is not a secret that the USA has been frantically looking for countries in Africa willing to host the military heard-quarters of AFRICOM.
The latter is an American army specifically earmarked for military interventions in African countries and is currently based in the same Germany which hosted the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884 which sanctioned the colonisation of Africa.
The objective of this army is straightforward: to control the whole African continent militarily and shape its politics according to American national interests so as to continue looting its natural resources while at the same time fending off the Chinese with whom the majority of Africans prefer to do business at the moment.
Therefore the missing girls offer a golden opportunity for the USA and its allies to convince Nigeria to accept its military help and to establish long term ties in the military field.
Once Nigeria accepts this, other countries in Africa will also rush to embrace AFRICOM which we all know is designed to re-colonise Africa on behalf of the West.
We saw the same army being used under the auspices of NATO to bomb Libya back to the Stone Age in 2011 and today Libya has regressed into being a colony of the West again!
In brief, any misfortune which occurs in any part of Africa is now taken as an opportunity by the West to step in and re-colonise that part of the continent!


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