It is almost one and a half month since the abduction of more than 200 teenage girls from a Girl’s school in remote northeast of the country. It took almost a month for the world’s conscience to be wrenched and still there is no news about the girls or an inkling of where they are held.
The ease with which the chief of Boko Haram has been delivering threats first to sell the girls makes one thing very clear – A total administrative collapse of the Nigerian government and a lack of effective control over large swathes of the countryside.
Nigerian leader President Goodluck Jonathan says that over 20000 troops are scouring the countryside searching for the abducted girls along with security experts from British, US and Israel who are helping the beleaguered regime.
The emergence of Boko Haram and its and the repugnant tactics its members has shifted attention of the world community from the Pan Islamic terror spawned by Al Qaeda to something more sinister and dangerous. The very fact that Boko Haram is devoid of any lofty ideals like the Al Qaeda or other terror groups in Middle East makes it even more unpredictable and thus dangerous. However the hostage crisis is something whose blame rests solely on the doorsteps of the Nigerian Government who had turned a blind eye to the warnings given by security agencies.
Things have not changed much and still the Nigerian government is remaining in its stupor, vacillating between formulating a tough policy against Boko Haram and sending feelers that it is ready to negotiate.
On Saturday, when African heads of state were meeting in Paris to thrash out a common response, Boko Haram took yet more hostages – Chinese road workers across the border in Cameroon. The Nigerian government is in an unenviable position and its dealing with the terror group is now in the full glare of the international community.