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Fellow Nigerians, Keep Rising – Let’s not allow grief kill Our hope (Part II)

“Our girls” are still missing. Two-hundred-and-something of them. The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Johnathan (GEJ) is still yet to give the families of the girls hope, probably except for informing Nigerians that the United States has decided to help. President GEJ granted a media chat on May 4th, 2014. During and after the interview, a lot of Nigerians took their disgust and disappointment at the President to twitter. Many were probably expecting that GEJ’s media chat would bring hope to Nigerians, especially with regard to the case of the missing Chibok girls. However, when the President was asked about the action that he would take to solve the mystery behind the kidnap of the girls and bring them home, he said: The parents need to help us. We are asking that they bring the photo IDs of their children, but they are not co-operating. The most surprising and annoying part of President Johnathan’s answer to that question was when he stated that a high majority of the kidnapped girls are Christians. According to the President, the Muslim parents seemed to be against the idea of giving out the ID of their children because of the rules of their religion, but he did imply that the ‘good news’ is that majority of the kidnapped girls are Christian (who probably do not have that kind of ‘restriction’). Yes, I watched the interview, I thought: So this is my President? The goal is to be one. The goal is to teach Nigerians to love each other irrespective of their differences and beliefs. The goal is not to make biased statements that could lead to dispute among Nigerians. The goal is that the President, who should be the most powerful person in the country would encourage unity and peace among the public which he governs. Why would GEJ be interested in obtaining data on the religion of the kidnapped girls when everyone knows that the Boko Haram group consists of Muslim extremists. Why would the President put some, or most (according to him) of the girls who are already at risk, at greater risk by announcing such to the public. I felt weak and sad after watching President Johnathan’s media chat on May 4th. The relatives of the missing girls must have felt worse. They must feel so let down by someone who should be their hero. Someone who should be Nigerians’ defender. Now, it is confirmed that all we have and need is joint community action (both local and foreign). Nigerians, keep rising. Some weeks ago, I read a report which stated that Nigeria has become the largest economy in Africa. I was overjoyed, till I read that 70% of my people, Nigerians, are living in poverty despite this ‘growth’. The news then became bitter-sweet. A report on this milestone for Nigeria stated that the nation is expected to have a future total GDP of $510 billion based on calculations from 2013. The contributing industries to the expected progression include the film, mobile telephone and music industries of Nigeria. I was born and raised in Nigeria. The people of Nigeria are a hard working people. However, it is time to stop, like the late great Fela Anikulapo Kuti put it, “suffering and smiling”. While we should continue to persuade the federal government to improve Our society and provide more fair opportunities for Nigerians, it is time we worked on our individual talents as well. It is time that you depend on you. Build your own film market; direct movies; construct mobile phones; build your own fashion industry; build your own school. In other words, my fellow Nigerians, keep rising. I, myself, have risen with you.  

My Questions For You

– How are you planning to help the Nigerian people in this time of grief?

– What is it that you do to improve your own community?  

My dear readers, please keep using the hashtags, #BringBackOurGirls & #StopTheBombings. Keep sharing the story of the missing Chibok girls. Also, for those who can, please keep praying for the swift and safe return of “Our girls”.

Love & Peace,

Chiamaka.

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