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Recent abduction shows there's no future for young people in Nigeria

On February 19, 2018, 110 school girls were kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants who attacked their school in the town of Dapchi, Yobe State. President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the incident “a national disaster”

The problem is it became a disaster in his eyes, long after it had become a disaster for the schoolgirls.
Hours after the kidnap, news began to ring out of the North-East state that the deadly Islamist group had staged a massive attack.
With time, it was discovered that the insurgents had attacked the Government Science and Technical College in the town of Dapchi and kidnapped girls from the school.
110 Dapchi girls kidnap confirms Boko Haram is still a problem in Nigeria play Sandals and school shoes were strewn across the sandy compound (TIME.com)

Initially, no one knew how many girls were kidnapped but photos from the scene indicated that something had happened.
Sandals and school shoes were strewn across the sandy compound with footsteps showing signs that some of the girls had attempted, if for a brief second, to run.
The next day, Wednesday, the government claimed that it had rescued some of the girls, throwing family and the nation into a cocoon of false hope that was quickly dashed.
Eventually, the mothers of Dapchi put together their own list of missing children. After careful consideration, it was discovered that 110 of the girls were missing.
The relatives of the kidnapped Dapchi girls play Mothers of the kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls lament the abduction of their daughters. (Quartz Africa/Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Still, the government refused to admit anything had happened.
At least, not until local and international media began a campaign for the girl’s whereabouts did the President decide it was a disaster and order jets and soldiers to begin a search for the girls.

It's Chibok, all over again

If this whole thing sounds familiar, it’s because it has happened before.
It brings back the memory of 2014 where 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok.
The incident drew international attention very quickly, inspiring the hashtag “Bring Back Our Girls”.
It took weeks and massive international pressure before the Federal Government admitted what is still the largest abduction on record.
The Dapchi incident is the largest abduction since 2014.
The first incident may have come of as a mistake, a grave error even, but there’s no explaining the events of February 19 and how the case has been handled since.
In the aftermath of the Chibok incident, the government of the day and the opposition were vocal on the issue; trading claims about who was responsible and how it was a political move.
Hassana Mohammed, 13, seen outside her Dapchi home, scaled a fence to escape an alleged Boko Haram attack on her technical college which left more than 100 girls reported missing play Hassana Mohammed, 13, seen outside her Dapchi home, scaled a fence to escape the abduction of schoolgirls in Dapchi. (AFP)
The issue was so prominent that it became the deciding factor in the 2015 elections which put President Muhammadu Buhari, ever so bullish on how he would flush out Boko Haram and recover the girls, in Aso-Rock.

Yet, barely four years after Chibok, the exact same thing has happened, perpetrated by the same terrorist group, in the same region of the country, in the same manner with the same results

Leaders of tomorrow or Pawns of today?

It only goes to prove one thing: that there is no place for young people in Nigeria.
It is easy to say that Nigeria is in a rough patch, that things are not going as they should. But more attention should be paid to the fact that when things go wrong, it is young people that suffer the implications of a reality that have played no part in creating.
It is young people who are suffering the failure of the country’s infrastructure and institutions more than any. Millions roam the streets with no source of livelihood chasing meagre jobs in industries that have been crippled by the elite’s decade-old culture of corruption.
Dapchi residents attack Yobe Governor, Gaidam, for lying about missing schoolgirls' rescue play Angry Dapchi residents pelted cars in the convoy of the Yobe State governor during a recent visit. (TheCable)

The insecurity in the North-East and the Boko Haram insurgency have left thousands dead.
On that front, many young people have lost all that they can call 'home' and been rendered orphans, their parents lost to incessant militant attacks.
Now the empty promises of the government have been met with grevious consequences, it is 110 schoolgirls who have fallen in the line of fire.

From the North-East to the South-West, it is becoming increasingly difficult, now more than ever, to convince any young person that there is a place for them here.
It is why many hang on to the hope that they can leave the country and start life in a place that sees some value in them.
Boko Haram may have kidnapped those young girls in Dapchi, but it was Nigeria who put them in the group's hands.
Nigeria is plunging somewhere dark and it's cannibalising its youth on its way there.
Recent abduction shows there's no future for young people in Nigeria Recent abduction shows there's no future for young people in Nigeria Reviewed by OPEYEMI M.A on 5:45:00 am Rating: 5

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