The days of violent Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and his band of thugs may be numbered as world attention, military cognizance, guns and intelligence turn their focus on destroying their power base. It follows international outrage after Shekau in a video and dressed in his trademark military fatigues, threatened to sell off more than 270 innocent girls he accepted responsibility for kidnapping from their Chinok school on April 14 2014.
Though the Nigerian government has the resources, manpower and intelligence to finish off Boko Haram that has killed thousands of people in the last three years, President Good luck Jonathan bowed to pressure and called for international help to defeat the Islamic terrorists.
In an unusual move today May 10 2014, US first lady Michelle Obama used the presidential weekly address on radio and he internet to condemn the kidnapping of the girls.
“In these girls, Barrack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling now” Mrs Obama said. President and Mrs Obama have two young daughters, Malia 15 and Sasha, 12. Mrs Obama earlier released a photographer holding the now famous hashtag “#bringbackourgirls”
“What happened in Nigeria is not an isolated incident” but is a story “we see every day as girls around the world risks their lives to pursue their ambition”, Mr Obama added.
Social media has played a significant role in internationalize the abductions since Abuja lawyer Ibrahim Abdullani on April 23 2014 first tweeted using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls
More than 1.7 million people have retweeted the hashtag while politicians and celebrities from Michelle Obama to Ziggy Marley have posted pictures online carrying the now famous hashtag.
The US, UK, France, China and a couple of other countries are now helping the Nigerian army to locate, rescue and possibly, finish off Boko Haram to prevent the Islamic terrorists who want to introduce sharia law across Africa’s most populous country from killing and maiming innocent Nigerians.
The friendly powers helping to locate the girls will not be putting boots on the ground but will mainly be providing intelligence and air fire power to smoke out the terrorists from their hiding places. There are unconfirmed reports a number of Boko Haram militants have already been arrested as the world races against time to stop the Islamic fundamentalist from harming the girls. There are indications the girls might have been separated but most are still being held in the inaccessible Sambisa forest reserve located in Borno State in Northern Nigeria
An offer of $300.000 for information leading to the location of the girls by the Nigerian police has still not helped in rescuing the abducted girls. Boko Haram will need more than support from their “Allah” to fight off the pressure that is now focused on locating and destroying their power and support base once and for all.