I do not know how parents in Nigeria are able to get to sleep peacefully in spite of the failure of the state to rescue six pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, abducted from their school close to two months ago.
It is not just that every parent should imagine that what happened to these innocent children could have happened to their own children, the safety and protection of all children should be a natural concern to every person who has a child or is willing to have a child.
The great Nelson Mandela once said that there is no “keener revelation of the soul of a society than the way it treats its children,” with the way in which we treat our children, parents in Nigeria give this country away as one without a soul.
Of course, it is normal for parents to treat their blood children well, to provide, nurture and protect them with all their might but the true test of what the human being is, occurs when he is left in a position to react to the plight of other people or things that do not directly belong to him.
Here is where the personality of the average Nigerian pops up. The average Nigerian cannot be bothered about the plight of other people in as much as it does not affect him. There seems to be no more nobility in the hearts of adult Nigerians and this, even though we refuse to acknowledge, is at the root of most of the challenges that the country has faced since it became independent. Self-centredness.
Concerning the chikdrwn of Igbonla Model College, we have mostly abandoned their parents to fight the battle for the return of their children all on their own. I am wondering how a country should get to that state of apathy, especially on the fate of children, who are supposed to be the future of the country. No wonder our country seems perpetually tied down by underdevelopment. If we consider the attitude of many countries that have made recognisable socio-economic advancement to their children, we would find a nexus.
Consider for instance, the outrage of parents world over to the abduction of over 200 girls from Chibok in Bornu State in 2014 and you will see what I mean.
Leaders of countries and celebrities from Europe and America joined in the campaign for the release of the girls even though they had never had any contact with any of them or at risk of having any of their own children or ward being kidnapped by Boko Haram as it happened to the Chibok girls.
Meanwhile, at no time did I hear of any concerted effort by Nigerian parents to show outrage at the unfortunate incident even now that more than one hundred of the girls are still in captivity.
So what about Nigerian parents coming together and organising to put pressure on the government to work for the release of these children and the protection of all children in this country? What actually ever happened to the National Association of Parent Teacher Associations (NAPTA)?
And concerning government and the law enforcement agencies, it will be impossible to understand why we have not rescued these children to date.
Events over the years have shown that there is hardly any rescue from abductors without the payment of some ransom, so why cant we just indulge the kidnappers one more time. I do not think there is any price that is too much to pay for the rescue of any Nigerian not to speak about innocent children whose parents sent to school.
Recently, some sort of negotiation brought about the release of 82 of the Chibok girls, why are we waiting this long to negotiate the release of the Igbonla students, especially as there are rumours that some ransom has already been paid. We should do everything possible to see that the children are released without further delay. And Nigerian parents should come together to insist that government should spare no effort at bringing the children back home to their parents. It is a responsibility that parents and government owe to the future.