Their lives matter too: Free Six Lagos Boys

How long is enough? How long will our children be in servitude? And how long will parents wait to be reunited with their sons? It is 52 days today since families were met with an unsolicited prominence of some sorts; a kind of prominence and limelight recognition that most of us wish not to be associated with. A kind of recognition that can be likened to gravel in the mouth or more like being left in the cold with no blanket or fire tools to keep warm.

Frankly, words cannot bring to realism the trauma and psychological breakdown that the parents and guardians of the six kidnapped students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla will be going through right now. It is just nerve wrecking to think about it, how much more when we are the ones in the situation. Really spine-chilling to boot.

Writing this article brings to mind a real life event my mother told me not so long ago. As a new born baby, after my dedication in church, it seem as if I was everyone’s favorite; I would be passed around from hand to hand until the end of service.

But it happened that on this fateful day, I was nowhere to be found. The pastor first made the announcement for the member carrying me to take me to my mother. Nothing happened. When it was getting to the end of service and there was no trace of me… what seemed to be a joke had turned into panic.

Well, to cut the story short, a member carried me to see off a friend she invited to church. That was how I was safely returned to my mother.

Now for some other mothers in the church, naturally they will show their concern and sympathy, but not the way my own mother would feel it. Obviously, the whole incident must have sent shock waves to my mother. At that moment, so many thoughts will come to mind and even envelope her.

That is to show how real and mind buggling events can turn us to be maniacs especially when we are the persons directly involved.

Has anything happened to any of your siblings, friends, colleagues or relatives that made you to briefly lose contact with them? Well, while you try to recall, just bear in mind that some families are going through some unspeakable trauma every day when they wake up from sleep with the reality of their abducted children staring them in the face and their safe return looking very bleak and uncertain.

The day we start failing and dying as a nation and as individuals is the day we start weighing and analyzing lives that are more important or top priority than others. When that happens, it simply implies that the founding fathers of this great nation made a grave mistake by trying to instill the tenets of equality, equity, justice, freedom and security for all the citizens of this great nation.

Yes we have seen cases where the abducted relatives of the rich and famous in the country were released within twenty hours of their abduction. And yes we have seen the culprits brought to book and the abductors face the fool wrath of the law.

This simply means that a whole lot can be done in the case of the abducted school children. This is not a time for the blame game session amongst security agencies, showing nonchalant attitude or using the media as a tool to raise false hope.

Truly, this is not a time to stack it up with the rest of other piled up missing cases but a time to show pragmatic approach and explore different angles and options.

The families of the kidnapped deserve to see their children and have them returned safe and sound. They deserve the right to be kept abreast with vital information on the turn of event, and they deserve the hope of going to bed each night knowing that the security agencies are really exploring all options in the release of their children.

We may not know these families directly neither do we know what the abductors school children will turn out to be. But one thing remains certain: if we keep looking the other way when events like this happen, how much time will it take before one of your own is abductors and everyone gets to act like nothing happened too.

As a nation, we can do better because every life matters. #FREE6LagosBoys

Ogbogu is a Fellow at Civic Hub, Lagos. Connect with him by email locate@civichub.com.ng or ogbogurobert@gmail.com Twitter: @OgboguRob

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