|Picture by The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria|
I continue to have deep concerns over the manner in which the Nigerian government is handling the kidnapping of 234 Chibok Government Secondary School girls (note: there are conflicting reports on the number of girls abducted). The rescue efforts have yet to start; the girls have been in captivity for 2 weeks. The latest step the government has taken is to form a committee (http://leadership.ng/news/369278/jonathan-sets-committee-abducted-schoolgirls) to determine how to rescue the girls. This is absolutely ridiculous. Why are they forming a committee? The government should be working with multiple law enforcement entities to coordinate a rescue effort. The rescue effort should be active and tactile. If the government doesn’t feel they have the proper personnel to complete the rescue, they need to reach out to other entities for assistance.
The government seems to be missing a huge opportunity to interview the girls that have escaped. By interviewing the girls they will be able to determine the location in which they are being held, the conditions they are being held under, the number of and types of weapons, the number of hostiles, etc. This information can serve as a critical base of information for the rescue efforts. Another source of information that needs to be disseminated is the identity of the girls that are being held in captivity. Law enforcement needs to coordinate with the school and the parents to deduce the identities of the girls.
This situation should force the government to assess their current practices and to make significant improvements. It is critical that the Nigerian government makes changes to their governmental response. The government needs to seek training and develop ongoing crisis response plans.