Just last week, the news of recovery of one of the Chibok School girls, Ruth Pogu, who was among the several school girls abducted in 2017 circulated everywhere. The information was further authenticated when the girl, who is now a mother of two, was shown on national television, seated side by side with the state governor, Babagana Zulum, who however confirmed the identify of Ruth as one of those truly abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014. The return of Ruth from the den of mindless Boko Haram terrorists after seven years calls for celebration but that was not the case, because Ruth who left as a secondary school student now came back as a mother of two children, fathered by a total stranger and also an enemy of the state. The authority said, the yet to be identified Boko Haram husband surrendered to the Nigerian military and however abandoned Ruth and her children.
The return of Ruth indicates that other Chibok girls still at large may one day reappear, but the truth is that their lives and future have been seriously altered and may require the assistance of the state for them to live a normal life owing to the trauma and psychological challenge they were subjected to, all these years by their abductors. The unfortunate thing is that, since the Chibok abduction took place, the Nigerian state, shamefully has not found any solutions on how to protect the citizenry, especially students who have suddenly become the victims mostly of Boko Haram and banditry attacks, particularly in the North West. In fact, the state has lost count of official numbers of students in captivity, and not to talk of those whose cases were not reported at all. For example, the fate of over one hundred pupils abducted from a Muslim school in Kaduna state is still hanging in the balance, and so also in other places, and the story continues.
One intriguing thing about this whole madness is that, the Boko Haram terrorists and the bandits are still waging war against the Nigerian Military, and government, unfortunately is still extending the olive branch but descending heavily on those who carry flags and placards while asking for freedom, like what we have seen in the South East and South West. This amounts to double standards on the part of government and should not be the case in a federation, called Nigeria. People should be treated equally and where there is a case of genuine repentance which we have not seen in the case of Boko Haram and bandits, government should not be seen pampering one zone against the other. The return of Ruth Pogu in many ways speaks well of the fight against terror, but we enjoin the government to take adequate care of her and also intensify the search for others that are still in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists. On the other hand, the identities of the purportedly repentant Boko Haram terrorists who surrendered should be made public like the one of Ruth’s husband for Nigerians to understand better what the government is doing with these kind of people under the present circumstance.