A month ago, 300 schoolgirls were abducted by Islamic terrorists in Northern Nigeria. Their school was destroyed
The Nigerian government made almost no effort to find and release them.
For three weeks there was little reaction from world leaders, few comments in traditional or social media. A deafening silence from feminist groups and all those crusaders for “equal rights” who attack opponents of politically correct causes – same-sex marriage, for example, with such fervour.
More girls were abducted, some escaped and returned home. More attacks from Bakar Haram.
Videos of the girls, now in Islamic dress, were recorded with demands for captured terrorists to be freed in exchange for the girls release.
Angry and frustrated at the lack of response by the Nigerian government, families of the captured girls start protesting and demanding action.
Information released by external organisations suggests that the Nigerian government had been warned of an imminent attack on the school.
It is alleged that the warning was taken so seriously by some teachers that their own children were removed from the school.
Almost a month after the abduction, the outside world woke up and took action.
What did it do? Several nations sent token forces of “advisors” to help the Nigerian forces. Surveillance planes have been offered.
A new secret weapon was announced by the First Lady of the USA.
Now we see the leaders of the former super powers and other countries, agonising over the fate of the schoolgirls.
What a pathetic spectacle.
I have great sympathy for the abducted girls and their families, but hashtag bearing First Ladies, tweets, placards and pontificating presidents are not going to get the girls back.
Only resolute action can do that.
That means capable, determined men on the ground with the skill and will to hunt the terrorists down and shoot them.
But there is no one to do it.
The Nigerian government has proved itself incapable of stopping Bakar Haram.
Western governments have no stomach for armed conflict in Africa.
Neighbouring African states have neither the ability nor interest to take on Bakar Haram.
The seeds of this abduction and much of the misery affecting the ordinary people in Africa were sown many decades ago. Not when Africa was colonised as liberals are so ready to suggest.
Africa was a violent and brutal continent centuries before the first Europeans arrived.
The real problems started after a few decades of explosive population growth thanks to the introduction of Western systems of hygiene, medical care, education and food production.
After introducing these systems, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, by the late 1950s and 1960s, the former colonial powers were abandoning their former colonies with indecent haste.
Leaving millions of people at the mercy of inept, corrupt and brutal dictators like Mobutu in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and a succession of military officers installed in armed coups in Nigeria. Similar examples, ranging from madmen like Idi Amin of Uganda to inept social meddlers like Nyerere of Tanzania had equally devastating effects on most of the continent.
The only two countries to buck the trend, maintain law and order, grow their economies and increase living standards substantially, were South Africa and Rhodesia.
Why the difference? Because these were the only two countries on the continent to resist one-man-one-vote, retain efficient, relatively incorruptible governments. Effective administrative systems kept the economy expanding despite, sanctions, terrorist wars and for South Africa, floods of illegal immigrants escaping the harsh reality of life in independent Africa.
There was however a huge problem.
The government of the only two successful countries on the continent were exclusively white.
That was unacceptable to those who had already ruined their own countries and to weak Western leaders more interested in appeasing murderous dictators than the well-being of millions of people of all races on the southern tip of the continent.
Rhodesia and the old efficient, viable, South Africa are gone, sacrificed on the altar of appeasement. Replaced by the corrupt and economic basket case of Zimbabwe and an ANC controlled South Africa heading down the same slope.
In the most recent version of violent transfer of power on the continent, it is Bakar Haram, and other terrorist groups, Islamic or not, taking advantage of ineffective governments to seize control of vast areas of Africa with their campaigns of terror.
Until the unfortunate residents of countries like Nigeria have governments that can govern effectively, the problem is not going away.
Now is the time for the West to get tough with those governments, cut off all aid, funding, assistance until the governments show some responsibility. Exercise the same rabid tenacity to stop African rulers squandering revenues or stashing funds in tax havens as the authorities do to law-abiding Western citizens taking advantage of legal loopholes.
Only then should material assistance to fight terrorism be given. Weapons and equipment sent now will almost certainly find their way into Bakar Haram’s arsenals to be used to capture more schoolgirls and kill thousands more innocent people.
That will be infinitely more effective than hashtags.