Chibok girls of Nigeria: Whose girls are they?

Nkechi Ogbodo | 2/12/2015, 9:18 a.m.
It seems like only yesterday that Kechie’s Project organized a rally, forum, vigil, concert and media reception in solidarity with ...

Nigeria is a nation that remains deeply divided on every issue. We lack the maturity and civility to stand up with one voice to demand what we want from our leaders. Every Nigerian is clamoring for change, but change does not constitute recycling of old ideas. We want the world to stand with us, fight our battles for us while we blame everything on Jonathan. We want the world to help when we have not shown the world that we are a united voice.

Yes, Chibok happened on Jonathan’s watch, but the truth is, we must rally around our president while he is president, regardless of our differences to help him defeat Boko Haram and bring our girls home. The Chibok girls are still in captivity because we refuse to rise above our ethnic and religious differences for a common cause that is Nigeria. We have betrayed our girls by allowing our personal and sectional interests to come before our collective strength as one nation.

For me, as a Nigerian from the southeastern part of Nigeria whose ethnic group of 2 million people, half of them being children, were massacred and starved to death during the Nigerian Civil War, I say Nigeria can no longer afford to have a leader who will not carry the rest of the country along. Buhari is not the change we need. He has not demonstrated that he is that change we need. Nigerians need a progressive and unbiased visionary who will instill trust so that all Nigerians will see themselves as Nigerians with one common voice.

Yes, there are many reasons not to vote for Jonathan, but Buhari is not the answer for my freedom of speech and for my respect as a woman. Buhari is not the answer for the empowerment of women, both politically and socially. He is definitely not the answer for all our girls and our daughters, including those in the northern part of Nigeria who are being married off as children, or for all my fellow Nigerians.

PDP and APC are both the same. APC is an old wine in a new bottle. Both parties have offered ordinary Nigerians nothing but misery. Our focus should be on how to work together as one nation, with one voice toward finding a visionary leader who will embrace our rich diversity and enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians.

Nkechi Ogbodo is president and founder of Kechie’s Project. For more information, contact info@kechiesproject.org or visit www.kechiesproject.org.