17/09/2014

President’s campaign slogan “Bring Back Jonathan” taunts the girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, says Wole Soyinka

Arena / By ZAM Reporter

Even if President Jonathan has disowned the slogan, "the damage has been done," Soyinka writes, with "the rot in a nation's collective soul bared to the world."

The vast majority of the 'Chibok' girls, -so named after the northern Nigerian village they were abducted from- are still held captive in Boko Haram camps. They are not the only youngsters who have been kidnapped by the violent insurgents, who have been sowing death and destruction in the region for years. The Nigerian government has, so far, failed miserably to fight the group, restore peace, let alone address underlying economic misery and corruption that fuels the militancy.

Soyinka specifically attacks the lack of government action against some state officials who are suspected of being Boko Haram sponsors themselves. One of these sponsors is said to be working for the Central Bank of Nigeria, and another was among a welcoming committee for President Jonathan when he visited Chad recently. The Nobel laureate author, adding that Jonathan has also brought back some criminally charged people to state jobs, concludes that the President simply doesn't care who he 'brings back'. "If Ebola were to be eradicated tomorrow, would this government attempt to bring it back?"