Who will liberate Nigerians in Somali Captivity?

By Emmanuel Ajibulu

Since August 5, 2008 the families of yet to be freed Nigerians who were held hostage by the Somali pirates are still endlessly praying the relevant authorities in Nigeria to expedite action over the release of their loved ones. The captives (ten) are identified as Graham Egbegi (Captain), David Akpoguma, Namo Musa, Usman Ocoche Agida, Lucky Edoja, John Nkanu, Effiong Joseph, Emma Okon Timothy, Okuns Kalikio and Bassey Etim.

The pirates were said to have demanded a ransom in the sum of $1 million while the crew members were making their maiden journey back to Nigeria through the Indian Ocean after purchasing a new vessel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for their boss George Onokpite.

It is quite unfortunate to know that not even the Nigerian government or the ship owners, identified as ESL Integrated Services Limited, have made any concerted effort to engineer the release of these captives.

I understand that countries like France, Spain, Ukraine, the US and China's citizens sometime were at the mercy of the same Somali pirates, but their government swopped into action and ensured that their nationals got freedom as quickly as possible. In situation like this, I ask myself what our government is doing about the protection of Nigerians who are in the diaspora and those within the shores of the land. Is there anything called citizens' right anymore? Must Nigeria or Nigerians be seen as object of ridicule every time? It is a shame to see Nigerians being treated unfairly around the world and our government will fold it hands. We've seen Nigerians around the world being amputated, jailed, molested, intimated worst still killed and its representatives in the current democratic dispensation will not see anything wrong in that.

These are Nigerians who are going about their legitimate business and some criminal and unscrupulous elements way-laid them and nothing has been done since to remedy the situation since last year August; nobody cares about their welfare, we are not even aware if they are still living. As a matter of fact if government has deployed the same number of troops we presently have in the Niger Delta today to the Somali creek, I believe the whole country would have eulogised them for a job well done in securing the safety of its citizenry from jeopardy.

This is the time when all stakeholders who are in the capacity to facilitate the freedom of these Nigerians to come out and take part in this much expected rescue mission. The presidency, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ministry of the Interior, Nigeria Ambassador to Somalia, National Security Adviser, Inspector General of Police, Attorney-General of the federation, relevant military chiefs, relevant committees in the Senate, and House of Reps, etc.

The slogan Nigeria good people great Nation is a huge signature and a sign of reassurance for all, that Nigeria government is responsive and responsible. I pray in the name of the Lord that these esteemed Nigerians would not spend another Xmas and New Year in captivity (amen).

God bless Nigeria!
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