Saturday 30 August 2014

Female Suicide Bombers may Be Chibok Girls

A growing apprehension has gripped key campaigners of the #BringBackOurGirls coalition over the increasing use of teenage girls as suicide bombers by the Boko Haram insurgent group.

On Monday alone two female suicide bombers struck in different parts of Kano, killing and injuring many on a day Muslim faithful thronged the prayer grounds to observe the Eid-el-Fitri.

Members of the #BringBackOurGirls group, including one of its coordinators, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, raised the alarm that the continued incarceration of the abducted girls in Boko Haram’s custody could spell doom.

The former education minister stated that the Federal Government must not “move on,” as the Chibok girls may well be indoctrinated or coerced into being used as suicide bombers.

“It feels like eternity since April 14 when our girls lost their freedom. How can we move on like that? This new trend and serial pattern of female suicide bombers surely should particularly worry us.

“Female suicide bombers are again and again becoming the trend and our Chibok girls are still in the enemy’s den. It worries me stiff. Are we thinking? Our Chibok girlsreally need to be rescued from the clutches of evil.

“We must all not stop praying and demanding that the FG acts for results. We have no apology for being agitated. We have nothing to defend for crying out for their rescue,” she wrote on her Twitter page.

Another key member of the coalition, Bukky Shonibare, stated that the number of days the abducted girls had spent in Boko Haram’s custody was enough for them to have been indoctrinated.

According to Shonibare, it is now increasingly dangerous for the Federal Government that boasted of knowing the location of the girls to leave them with their captors.

“Seems abducted women that were undergoing indoctrination and brainwashing while in hostage for years are now being sent out as suicide bombers. However, 100 days is long enough for anyone’s ideologies or principles to be distorted, especially teenagers whose values are still being shaped.

“To know the possible impact of 100+ days on one’s ideologies, psychologists say it takes only 30 days! It is now increasingly dangerous to leave those girls there. Whatever is it they are doing may be counterproductive.

“They (Chibok girls) can be indoctrinated, brainwashed, or put under duress to do this. In the face of death, no sensible human will be a ‘willing participant.’ There’ll definitely be an element of coercion,” Shonibare tweeted.

Political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, said the resort by the Boko Haram to the use of teenage female suicide bombers might be a technical way by the insurgents to save their men for combat.

He lamented that it was unthinkable that the terrorist group would make use of innocent girls as couriers of death.

Echoing the sentiments of the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners, he added, “You don’t need 105 days to indoctrinate an innocent girl. Some of those Chibok girls may never be ‘innocent’ again. Chibok girls or not, these insurgents are destroying young girls. Again, the girl child suffers for what she knows not about.”

On Facebook, an online commentator based in Abuja, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, expressed concern over the use of young girls in the age group of the Chibok girls as bombers.

He urged the Federal Government to subject the dead female suicide bombers to a DNA test and cross match it with those of the parents of the Chibok schoolgirls.

“How come they (Boko Haram) now have a steady supply of female bombers that are the same age grade as the Chibok girls? It could be that those girls have now been brainwashed to become bombers too.

“Lord Jesus Christ, is this country not finished already? What would a 15-year-old girl be doing with a bomb? Let all the Chibok parents undergo DNA test and compare with the female bomber,” Osuagwu wrote in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters has said that the crash of a Nigerian Air Force Mi-35 Helicopter in Borno State, on July 21, would not affect the ongoing land and air operations against the insurgents.

In a message on its official Twitter page, the DHQ urged the citizenry to show a committed solidarity to the members of the Armed Forces and other security agencies, adding that the insurgents would henceforth be engaged in what it described as fire power.

“We salute late Flight Lieutenant Nwakile, pilot of the Crashed NAF Mi-35 helicopter. He was a gallant officer. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Jonathan) has accordingly ordered the immediate replacement of the crashed Mi-35 helicopter and more platforms for fire power.

“Fire power is the military capability to direct force at the enemy. It involves the whole range of potential weapons. The Nigerian Air Force will sustain current synergy with the Nigerian Army in the campaign against terror,” the DHQ stated.

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