Like Chibok, Like Zariya: The Self-fulfilling Prophecy
By Sameer El-Hajj
I never in my life subscribe to the idea of feminism, though I am a staunch Marxist by orientation, yet we have tons of unresolved issues with subscribers of the ‘Marxist Feminism’. In many instances, we fought the feminist, especially the ‘Radical feminist’ with facts to the extent that, if ideas can kill, they should for long rest in peace. Despite our diverse view with the feminist, I remain objective in order to conform to the ethics of the Royal Science (Sociology). There are a lot of truths and reality in FEMINIST ideas, especially when using it as a yardstick of understanding a society like Nigeria.
Feminism is the system of ideas and political practices based on the principle that women are human beings equal to men. As a system of ideas, feminism includes several alternative discourses – liberal, cultural, materialist or socialist, radical, psychoanalytic, womanist, and postmodernist – of which liberal and materialist have been most important to sociology. Liberal feminism argues that women are equal to men and works to obtain equal rights through political and economic action while basically accepting the capitalist organization of society.
Chibok controversy is one of the hottest hits that not only make it to local news headlines but gain momentum in the international arena within a very short period. The assumption was that over 200 secondary school girls were whisked away by gunmen in a remote village located at the outskirt of Borno state.
After the Chibok girls secondary school kidnapping saga, we have seen the emergence of feminist groups that stood firmly with the families of the kidnapped girls. Individual feminists issued radical statements regarding the Chibok dilemma, national and international human activists also participated. But the most effective and efficient of the groups is the ‘Bring Back our Girls’ campaign.
Since the beginning, there were diverse views on the authenticity of the Chibok kidnapping. The stand of the Islamic movement in Nigeria is that, the kidnapping was planned and executed by men of the Nigeria army, with the consent of the Nigerian government. For the Islamic movement in Nigeria, Chibok tragedy is nothing but a scam.
While on the side of the accused Nigeria army, they continue to camouflage as patriots in search of the missing girls. In similar vein, the ghostlike Boko Haram fighters are busy releasing videos of the abducted girls, to make it look real.
The Islamic movement in Nigeria was heavily criticized in the past for its stand. But of recent, things are becoming more precise and unambiguous, especially after the 12 to 14 December 2015 Zaria massacre. Before correlating Chibok and Zaria, there is a need to clarify the concept of ‘SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY’.
The self-fulfilling prophecy is the process by which one’s expectations of other people lead those people to behave in ways that confirm those expectations. The term ‘‘self-fulfilling prophecy’’ was coined in 1948 by Robert K. Merton, who drew upon W. I. Thomas’s well-known dictum: ‘‘if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences’’. The Thomas theorem suggests that the meanings of human actions are not inherent merely in their actions. Rather people attribute meanings to those actions, and the meanings have consequences for future actions.
For example, the army intends to kidnap females of the Islamic movement in Nigeria for quite a long period. As their plan became exposed, they postponed it to when they got the chance to execute. That was during the Zaria massacre. The prediction — although originally unsuccessful — has now become true.
The expectation of the Islamic movement in Nigeria was that Chibok girls were abducted by the army, and if care is not taking, same army will continue to kidnap women. Unfailingly, after the massacre in Zaria, the army went ahead to kidnap not less than 50 females of the Islamic movement. They took and kept them in an unknown location for the past 8 months.
If truly, the feminists groups and fellows that stood with the secondary school Chibok girls did it for humanity sake; this could be the right time they join us in pressuring the army to provide explanations of why they abduct over 50 females undergraduates in Zaria? The only differences between Chibok and Zaria, is that, the Chibok girls are secondary school children, while sisters of the Islamic movement are students of higher institutions. But, they are both under the custody of the Nigeria army. If Chibok was disguised under the false claim of unknown gunmen, Zaria abduction exposed the real culprits, for it occurred in the day light, not at night. *An ji kunya… Asiri ya tono!*
Comrade Sameer El-hajj