Oby Ezekwezili, Her Barber,the Chibok Girls & The Tales By Moonlight – Edgar
Suddenly the music has stopped. Immediately we achieved a peaceful transition from the last administration our heroine has suddenly gone quiet or is it me, have we found the girls or am I missing something?
I once met madam at the Eko Hotel during the tenth year anniversary of Terra Kulture. I admired her low cut hairstyle and her no no-nonsense approach to life. She sat beside me, straight backed like a quarter master general in the colonial army, legs crossed with the conspicuous thatcherite bag on her laps, with fear I greeted her and she responded very gruffly. I did not understand the aggression and only felt better after the show when I realized that she was miffed at her seating position. Apparently as a VIP, she did not like the fact that she was seated amongst mere mortals after all she was one of the super Ministers in the Obasanjo regime and OBJ had just finished hugging and kissing her cheeks in the full glare of the world so she had no business sitting down beside us from Shomolu. So she sat down there face looking like ‘Scar’ the rogue Lion in the epic movie Lion King who ended up killing his brother and attempting to kill his nephew Simba.
Well, after my initial fear I attempted a question. With a squeak, I asked her if she thought we would ever find the girls. This opened the flood gates and you would think I was Shekau’s son. She screamed at me, spittle flying everywhere that ‘we must find the girls’ we owe it to ourselves as a responsible nation to find the girls, otherwise we would have failed ourselves and future generations’.
She went on with her position, telling me how responsible Governments behave under such situations, how she thinks this Government that is the Jonathan Government was treating the whole issue with kid gloves while also lacking the will to engage these marauders in a fight that should see them thoroughly humiliated. She wanted a clear and concise government action that would not only liberate the girls but ensure that all girls and Infact Nigerians where comprehensively protected from such ‘bastards’ as the ones we are dealing with.
I came out of that encounter impressed. I wished she was my mother. Such clarity, such devotion to a cause, such determination. I began to follow the campaign, I watched her on TV, on international fora and in protest matches as she campaigned for the girls. God will bless this woman I prayed every morning. This campaign was keeping the issue on the national front burner and will keep the pressure on the government who will now have no other choice than to look for ways even if it meant for the President to adorn his native hunters gear and enter the Sambisa Forest in search of our missing girls personally.
When the hashtag campaign hit, I was on top of myself. All sort of international figures from the U.S. president to his wife down to international looneys like Kim Kardashian all joined the campaign and this was Oby’s finest hour. I could almost imagine her on her favourite barbers chair getting her world famous low cut in shape and smiling to herself with pride that she has led a movement that has not only gained international attention but has also kept her in the spotlight and positioned her for recognition and maybe a Nobel Peace price.
But alas, with the swearing in of the Buhari administration, she has gone quiet. The fire has been extinguished and madam has gone back to the barber shop with really no plans to continue the fight. She has gone quiet and this has led me to ask various bitter questions. Was this an elaborate scam on her part to gain relevance, to use as a platform to push for recognition at the expense of the poor girls who have continued to suffer untold hardships and torture at the hands of these sons of satan?
Is it because some of the them have escaped that madam feels that she can suspend her campaign or was she part of an elaborate scam to discredit the Jonathan administration using the saga of the chibok girls to continue to paint it as an ineffective government and as such had no business being in power or how are we going to explain this sudden loss of interest and her team of virginal campaigners.
Much as I try not to abhor negative thoughts about madam, her barber and her intentions, I cannot help but think that she and her ilk may have jumped on this matter for nothing but very selfish and primordial interest at the expense of these innocent children. Infact, I refuse to hold myself further, let me state very clearly that I think that madam in ‘suspending’ this campaign has shown her true colour which is that of a self serving, attention seeking, low cut wearing bigot who have not only played us for fools but succeeded in further jeorpadising the lives of the girls by all that self serving and shallow postulations.
To me, the aim of that campaign was not just to make noise but aimed at galvanizing social capital that would inadvertently lead to the securing of the freedom of not just the chibok girls but also all and any Nigerian in captivity and as long as these victims remain in the caves the pressure must continue to be applied. We cannot voluntarily retire from the struggle for whatever reasons, we cannot just say we have tried and pack our bags and go home to rest when the ultimate aim of the campaign in the first place has not been achieved.
Oby and her fellow travelers have only succeeded in dancing Unclad at the village square, a sight I’d rather not watch. She has showed us her true colours, that the chibok girls were not really her interest, she has shown us that she truly needed the platform to come back to national relevance after her unceremonious removal from office and this, my people is the shame of not only her brethren and her barber but also the shame of a nation. Our collective shame that we could not see through this shenanigans, our shame that we allowed her drag us by the nose believing that this action was of pure intent while we were all being used for, on hindsight very narrow interests.
Let me ask, what has changed about the situation since the present administration came in? Have the girls been found and if not are they being kept under better conditions? Why have we forgotten them, why have other issues pushed the issues of the Chibok girls away from the front burner. Where are the campaigners, why the sudden silence?
We can only find answers to these in madam Oby’s Barbers shop and I really do not have any intentions of going there.
Article written Joseph Edgar for for RipplesNG.