Weeks have turned to months and I do not think we are getting our girls back, do you? I mean, the frenzy to bring them home has died down like a raging fire fizzling out for lack of fuel and air. Of course embers from that fire glow and a few unnoticed bursts of fire spring to life and die a quick death in the face of many wet coals doused by our waning interest. We have started to forget them like we forget many other things. We are a people under siege, constantly faced with fresh battles, each worse than the last. We grow weary struggling to keep up with the challenges so we fight new battles without evaluating the last.
Our girls are gone from our minds, the battle for them was battles ago even before the Emab Plaza battle. They slowly evolve into history and become stories that we tell and retell when we gather round in the evenings to recount past events in a bid to forget new ones. Only a few of us remember them, people like Oby. When we discuss, we wonder if Oby has an agenda separate from our own, we wonder why she is always dressed up in red, consistently screaming about girls we have all obviously started to forget. She, like her fellow lone voices, sounds like an echo from the past, a nagging, pesky voice consistently reminding us of fading history, she irritates us!
The hue and cry to bring back our girls has died down, our media have forgotten. In fairness to them, their attention did last long considering the many events they have to bring to the fore. These events unfold like scenes from a drama in our daily lives and focus on the girls dim a little more with each new scene that unfolds. All that remains of our girls in the play is a tiny print at the top of every new script reminding us of the number of days they have been gone and inadvertently asking us to give up.
Our celebrities have forgotten too. It is no more “cool” to tweet hashtags and take beautiful pictures requesting politely and creatively for our girls. The virtual register set up for hashtags and cute pictures has been closed. In the thunderous days of #bringbackourgirls, celebrities world over campaigned with us, a known model even went completely naked to request for the girls.
The politicians, they never really remembered the girls, they only thought of them because the fire to bring them back raged and ignited them. They burned along with the rest of us because we burned, they even burned brighter; when we cooled, they cooled even faster and moved on to other things.
I don’t think the girls are coming home, we have lost the passion to bring them back. Indeed we cannot honestly relate with the horror of their situation, the modern slavery that has become their lives, we do not imagine the bone cutting scars that they will suffer beyond captivity if they come home, the despair they must feel at our fickleness, we do not think of them.
Our girls are lost to us, they are lost were it matters most – our hearts. It is now time to do for them what we do for history, what we do in remembrance of the long lost and the dead. It is time to do what we do when we cannot be bothered to genuinely remember everyday, it is time to raise a marble to our girls, a monument of our failure as a nation, a sign of the inhumanity of millions of people who do not fight for their own.
Am thinking a location close to the unity fountain will be just right. We could have sculptures of two hundred and something girls on a raised marble platform with the words “we will never forget”, the words on the sculpture will fall off scant years from its unveiling and will not be replaced, screaming testimonies to the fact that we have truly forgotten!