The African National Congress are firing out press releases at a rate a machine gunnery post would envy. The ANC women are putting all the pressure they can on world leaders. The ANC men are howling like an injured stray dog haunted by the sunlight. The South African government is telling everyone who will listen of those poor wretched, hapless school girls, those girls who were snatched from their classrooms like chickens grabbed by a most African Hyena or a jackal in collaboration with a fox. One could be mistaken for believing that the girls to be brought back were South African, or that South Africa had such sympathy and so deep an eternal empathy with Nigeria that they felt as strongly as though love for neighbour were the underlying truth at work in hearts and minds of political figures.
Alas, the tears might well be those of a weeping crocodilian. Analysts say that the Bring Back Our Girls campaign is most definitely empty, as empty as the campaign to bring Kony to justice. Despite American kill squads being deployed, Kony leaked through half hearted Western grasps for him and is not only alive but very well. Nigeria is in the predicament known as a low scale civil war. Large swathes of territory are now entirely within the heartland of Books Forbidden, a once peaceful group. South Africa has a lot to gain from highlighting Nigerian Plight, even as Nigeria has very little advantage from the hustle and bustle across sofas, couches, and keyboards and mice.
The girls have likely been separated, and are certainly being kept in a Nigerian forest the size of a small country, which territory is entirely within the merciless stranglehold of Books Forbidden, a terrible and most formidable Islamist terror tactics outfit. Books Forbidden emerged from a Nigerian government policy forbidding state jobs from Muslims in Jos. Highly skilled, unquestionably educated Muslim students began a protest movement. Their education could win them nothing in Nigeria's centre and South. Books Forbidden, Boko Haram was born. The government of Nigeria sent the shock troops forth, and massacred many of these highly educated students. Boko Haram, Books Forbidden: became powerful and learnt how to forsake peace. Much of Nigeria backed them fully, and the hearts of many a Nigerian at every level of society burnt with a fire of admiration and love. Books Forbidden killed, kidnapped, bombed, and hearts fluttered in hope, and others in fear.
It is a recent development, that the Nigerian government has begun a massive campaign against Books Forbidden. Books Forbidden massacred whole villages, and the government massacred Boko Haram, and allegedly fired upon civilians all too joyously. Hundreds or dozens dying in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hardly got an inch or a centimetre of attention.
Books Forbidden saw an opportunity on the outskirts of their zone of military supremacy. A group of girls were attending school. The popular Islamists grasped unto little girls, and herded them off as though submissive animals. The announcement that the girls had been taken by Books Forbidden began to circulate. Before others I caught onto something in foreign language media: Books Forbidden were going to sell the girls, or have them in forced marriages and as slaves. It was such a clear move of calculation. The story spread as wildfire, and Books Forbidden had the recruitment campaign and global spotlight upon Nigeria that they so clearly sought.
How could the girls be regained? There are two ways: negotiation and force.
The first will only strengthen Books Forbidden. The second will devastate Nigeria entirely.
The international attention has seen massive pressure placed on Nigeria's president, the sort of Pressure that saw Syria turn into a failed state in its own fight against Islamists.
Experts and troops, more ceremonially than for any real goal have been deployed to find and free the girls from across the global territory. Like the Spartan army facing the Persians, these are less than half of what would be needed to cause real change. The girls are in a dark heart. A forest surrounds at all sides. This forest the size of a country is Indian Territory to use an American phrase: Boko Haram has a content hold of death upon this forbidden forest. Their support in Nigeria remains, despite it all, and their men are all the more armed and powerful. A real solution by force would be for Nigeria to invade their Forbidden Forest: Sambisa, a failed national park stretching 60,000 square kilometres. That move could only lead to outright war.
Amidst this quagmire, Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa's largest economy. Granted, the size of its massive population is the reason for this. Much of its economy is in oil. None the less, Nigeria is one of the three major Subsaharan Africa powerhouses: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa. Kenya and Nigeria are caught up in wars with Islamists. South Africa is experiencing social unrest.
Perhaps it is cynical to point out that no amount of light will scare out the darkness gripping Nigeria by the neck. If anything the light is forced upon those forces for order, and benefit the monsters which lustfully prowl the night. Perhaps it is terrible to say that South Africa and Nigeria are geo-political foes, fighting for the soul of Africa. South Africa is releasing press releases like a squawking parrot: and all of these words, surely draw attention to the predicaments facing its rivals, and keep the world from looking too hard at its own labrinth forward into a darkened future. A few murders and protests spotting the country like chicken pocks are hardly as worthy of notice as a couple hundred kidnapped Nigerian school girls.