Each time I see the words ‘Boko Haram’, I think ‘Bono Procol Harum’ for some reason. I can’t help it. ‘Boko Haram’ seems such a stupid name. ‘Procol Harum’ didn’t sound so great, either – famous for their hit, A Whiter Shade of Pale – the band’s name was Latin for ‘beyond these things’. ‘Boko Haram’, on the other hand, translates to ‘Western education is sin’ … but I think the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, clearly needs some education, any education. He is quite clearly a complete and utter nutter. The US have put a $7m bounty on his head, and branded his group a terror organisation. On Tuesday, the United Nations human rights chief also blasted Boko Haram, saying the group’s claim of slavery and sexual slavery of girls are ‘crimes against humanity’. Of course they are. A video obtained by Agence-France Presse shows a man claiming to be Shekau announcing he would sell the 200 Nigerian girls who have been abducted since April 14th.
What I don’t understand is … this …
Who is going to buy 200 Nigerian girls?
I keep wondering if I am about to receive another email from the sub-director of a Nigerian bank. But rather than offering to transfer me $6m following the death of his half-sister’s cousin’s nephew in a plane crash, asking whether I could do with 200 Nigerian girls instead.
Boko Haram are on another planet – way, way, way “beyond these things”. Do they not realise that in Western, Eastern, Northern or Southern educated (and non-educated) households around the world, that we don’t actually sit around playing after-dinner games with the words, ‘I went to the market and I bought an apple, a banana, a car, a donkey, an egg-cup, a football, and, er … 200 Nigerian girls’?
One thing is wiping out Abubakar Shekau and his bunch of nutcase Boko Harammers … the sellers … but a lot more needs to change in the world to stop girls (some as young as nine years old) being bought for slavery, or forced into marriages, or required to convert. If there were no buyers, there would be no sellers.