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Posts tagged "boko haram"

Great Concern As Parents of Missing #Chibok Schoolgirls Tragically Pass Away.

This headline is so shocking and heartbreaking it’s almost unbelievable. 11 parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls have died or have been killed in the three months since their abduction.

According to a report by AP, seven of the girls’ fathers were among over 50 bodies that were brought to a hospital in the area after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month. Four more parents are said to have died from heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses many blame on the trauma sustained from this incident.

Speaking out on this issue, community leader Pogo Bitrus has said, “one father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been heavily criticized for his slow response and the ineffective manner in which he has been handling both this situation and the greater Boko Haram threat, met with some of the victim’s parents and their classmates on Tuesday where he promised to continue efforts to bring back the girls alive.

Meanwhile, the town of Chibok seems to be in more and more danger as Boko Haram continue to gain ground in the surrounding area. Over the weekend, the terrorist group launched several raids in northeastern Nigerian towns and villages where they also attacked an army base in the strategic town of Damboa. This particular attack saw as many as 15, 000 civilians fleeing the area as a result.

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Wole Soyinka declares that Nigeria is at a defining moment in the country’s history.

With the notable amount of traction and attention the Nigerian-spearheaded #BringBackOurGirls campaign has received, there is renewed interest in Nigerian politics - as seen through the eyes and actions of its citizens.

As Nigerian writer, activist and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka sits down to talk to the BBC’s HARDtalk about the rise in mass civilian protests that have been taking place in recent years (both in the country and echoed throughout the diaspora), he boldly states that although belated, “Nigeria has finally reached that moment of critical mass”.

As the host notes, Soyinka (who is related to the late Fela Kuti) comes from a highly activist background and has been highly critical of the Nigerian government throughout his life. Nigerian society, however, has not always possessed a sense of national unity through a singular cause as seen with protests such as the oil subsidy protests of 2012 and now, the campaigns against Boko Haram set off by the kidnapping of the Chibok girls. Where we are used to seeing pockets of community protests or individuals standing out from the masses to lash out against injustices, the renewed fervor assumed by Nigerian citizens is both encouraging and incredibly necessary for the progression of Nigeria’s democracy.

More critically speaking, Soyinka notes that Nigerians have a confusing sense of tolerance in relation to their government and environment where much more is said than done, that is until push comes to shove. However, despite declarations that Nigeria is a ‘failed state’, Soyinka is firm in his belief that it is a country that is not beyond redemption.

Watch the full interview.

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All Africa, All the time.

Four more girls escape Boko Haram captors in Nigeria.

According to Musa Inuwa, the education commissioner for Nigeria’s Borno state, four more girls kidnapped from Chibok have managed to escape their Boko Haram captors. Out of the 276 girls that were abducted, 53 managed to escape. Currently, 219 girls are still missing.

The Nigerian government have reported that they know the location of the kidnapped girls. However, this information is being kept secret and the Nigerian military have declined to rescue these girls using force. Nigeria’s chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh on Monday said:

“The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you,” Badeh was quoted as saying. “But where they are held, can we go there with force? We can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.”

(via atane)


I have seen a lot being posted on social media and in the press about Boko Haram, and some of it is really astounding. I’ll list it what I’ve seen numerically, along with some thoughts.

1. Part of the narrative being shaped around Boko Haram in the western press is that they’re like the Taliban and that they exist because they don’t want girls to go to school. People need to stop using Malala Yousafzai to make their talking points on Boko Haram and to draw parallels to the Taliban. First of all, Boko Haram is not a political party like the Taliban. Second of all, if these people even bothered to research, they would know that earlier this year, Boko Haram murdered 59 school boys in Yobe ranging in age from 11 to 18. It wasn’t the first time they’ve murdered male students, so Boko Haram hasn’t just targeted girls. Also in Yobe last September, they killed 40 students. They don’t discriminate who they victimize. Boy, girl, man, woman - they are equal opportunity killers.

2. Republicans are having a field day with this story. They have somehow managed to inject the US liberal and conservative binary with Boko Haram. Just the other day, Rush Limbaugh said the leader of Boko Haram (Abubakar Shekau) is good looking and that since Boko Haram are black guys, liberals don’t want to call them terrorists. Huh? Every article I have seen refers to them as “islamists”, “jihadists” or terrorists, so this is a lie. Now I know Limbaugh is a clown, but he’s a clown with a lot of pull, and his supporters are spreading his nonsense. It’s really disgusting to warp the public’s reaction to Boko Haram into an American liberal and conservative binary just to push forward your agenda of hating “the left”. Unfortunately, salacious garbage like this spreads.

3. The “false flag” conspiracy Alex Jones watching people are sinking their teeth into this story. Boko Haram has been in existence for a while. This is not new. It is very real. I know people who have fled Abuja because of Boko Haram. Just because this is the first time you’ve heard about Boko Haram doesn’t mean they came out of no where. Thankfully, these false flag people can be easily dismissed because of their grade school analysis, which isn’t grounded in facts or reality will only make sense to fools. One guy actually messaged me and said (direct quote) “If this was real, how come no one ever heard about Boko Haram before these school girls were allegedly kidnapped?” I didn’t respond. Ok buddy, Boko Haram didn’t exist until last month according to your “research”. You’re really on top of things.

4. The white guy who spent some time in an African country who is now an “African expert”. They genuinely think a summer in the early 90s in a village building a well makes them an expert on all things African. They think because they went to an African country and maybe dated an African woman or two that they are now authorities on all subjects Africa. Salon published an article written by a guy who spent a little time in Togo with the peace corps over 20 years ago. I’m making a wider point here beyond Boko Haram articles and posts. My point is that many outlets give these know nothing white folks access to write. It’s amazing what you can do when you’re white. Could you imagine an African writing authoritatively on Europe because they went hiking across the Swiss Alps in the early 90s. It’s absurd, yet this is the reality with many white people and their “expertise”. We have to hear them constantly. Anne Hathaway is going around saying only 5% of Nigerian girls have access to an education.

5. I’ve noticed a sentiment that Nigerians are ungrateful on social media. It’s not that big, but it is there. Enough for me to see the commentary. Some Americans are upset that some Nigerians have vocalized their concerns about western intervention because they don’t feel the west is altruistic. This is a legitimate feeling for Nigerians to have, completely backed by reality and history. Nevertheless, it has angered some Americans. Now I expect white folks to be angry or to not really get it, but I was disappointed that some black and brown folks were angry too. Their tone towards Nigerians was hostile, paternalistic and implied that Nigerians should be grateful that the US and the west are helping and that the US is ‘damned if they do, and damned if they don’t’ and that Nigerians were begging for help. They think this way because they weren’t listening to all Nigerians. The Nigerians who vocalized their concerns were drowned out by the deluge of misinformation pumped out daily, people saying no one cares and no one is reporting this story and those that called for western intervention. They weren’t listening to concerned Nigerian voices.

6. It’s not that these Nigerians don’t want genuine help (of course they do), you just need to realize that there is history and baggage with foreign intervention, and it’s not something Nigerians (or any clear thinking individual) can afford to ignore. We know western “help” doesn’t typically come with no strings attached. This has been the western model of help, from the World Bank and IMF, to everything else. You will owe them. What you can’t pay back financially with interest, you will pay back by giving them unfettered access to your mineral wealth. If you’ve read any of the actual briefings the US has written about Boko Haram, the thing they mention repeatedly is oil and protecting it at all costs so it doesn’t get sabotaged by militants. Niger Delta militants don’t have the firepower, numbers or funding like Boko Haram, not to mention that they don’t kill thousands of innocent people, so they’re not as a big concern. Boko Haram is a real threat.

7. I want to ask these people who are upset at concerned Nigerians if they know the history of western intervention in black and brown nations that started out supposedly altruistically (usually to restore order, promote democracy, rescue and/or “liberate” women etc). If you’re lashing out at people who are concerned about the future of their country when they have previously dealt with “altruistic” western forces who end up exploiting and/or murdering their people, then you’re not looking to dialogue or even listen to them. As black and brown people, the reason why our diasporas are far and wide is because of marauding Europeans disrupting our lives, often coming under the guise of help. The reason why many of us emigrate from our homelands to the west is because we need to survive by either getting an education or looking for employment. Why do you think Nigerians in the diaspora are highly educated when compared to everyone else? Do you think if everything was great that they wouldn’t be back home? They’re not back home because home has been destabilized by corrupt leadership who are puppets for imperialist nations who were usually their former colonizers. It’s ripe for exploitation. We have been perpetually abused. Imperialism and puppet governments replaced colonialism post independence. So try to be empathetic and understand where the Nigerians who aren’t terribly excited about “help” are coming from before lashing out. Finding Nigerians who don’t agree with them doesn’t negate their opinions. After all, your own histories in the diaspora are not dissimilar. Not everyone within your ranks saw eye to eye on everything in the midst of your suffering. How would you feel if people dismissed your fears and concerns, and implied that you were ungrateful when the hand reaching out to ease your suffering is the same hand that used you as a punching bag for generations?

As an aside, I do find it interesting that some of the people who regularly decry the ‘military industrial complex’ have become their biggest cheerleaders. One wonders if they realize it.

8. People using Boko Haram for talking points, agendas, comparisons, jokes etc are awful human beings. Some issues should be no go areas. I don’t need you to explain what satire is or what jokes are. What I need you to do is grow the fuck up. It used to be that fools would compare things to nazis. If a woman was a feminist, ignorant people would say she’s a “feminazi”. If someone was a stickler for grammar, then they were “grammar nazis”. For a while, people did similar with the taliban. Now, they are doing it with Boko Haram. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson basically said that people calling someone out for racism are like Boko Haram. All this stuff is exhausting.

(via owning-my-truth)

Putting things into perspective: Al Jazeera’s ‘Inside Story’ investigates the probable motives and backstory behind the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram that has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on Nigerian civilians since 2009.

Related documentary: Inside Story - Boko Haram and the battle for Nigeria’s north

(tw: violence)

Dozens of students are reported to have died after armed men stormed a college dormitory in Nigeria’s northeast, shooting at them as they slept, according to the military.

Sunday’s attack, believed to be carried out by the armed group Boko Haram, targeted the College of Agriculture in the town of Gujba in Yobe state, Lazarus Eli, the area military spokesman, said.

"There was an attack at the College of Agriculture in Gujba this morning by Boko Haram terrorists who went into the school and opened fire on students," while they were asleep, Eli said.

Boko Haram is a Nigerian armed group that claims to be fighting Western influence and wants to form an Islamic state.

The literal translation of Boko Haram is “Western education is forbidden”.

Molima Idi Mato of the College of Agriculture told AP news agency that classrooms were torched in the attack, which occurred at about 1am local time.

The college is about 40km from the scene of similar school attacks around Damaturu town.

Security forces were at the scene but details on the number injured in the attack were not yet available, Eli said.

Gujba is roughly 30km from the state capital of Damaturu.

A police source, who requested anonymity, told AFP news agency that initial reports indicated the death toll could be high but he was not prepared to discuss figures.

Other news source reports:

Boko Haram (and Al Majiris who are liable to go on killing and maiming sprees after elections) are best seen as a problem for all Nigerians not a malaise of a religious community, region or ethnic group. Their main victims remain “their people” who live near them.

 Are We All Boko Haram Now? – Abimbola Agboluaje

This though, I wonder why so many people seem to be ignorant of the fact that most of the victims of “Islamist” terrorism are actually Muslim. But I guess it doesn’t matter when Muslims terrorise Muslims or something.

(via thefemaletyrant)

Inside Story - How should Nigeria tackle Boko Haram?

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has fired his defence minister and national security advisor, saying the government needed new tactics to fight the armed group, Boko Haram.

The group has intensified its attacks recently. What kind of new tactics will end the violence and is dialogue still an option? Guests: Chinedu Nwagu, Darren Kew, Musa Aliyu.

Inside Story - Will Nigeria violence spiral out of control?

The latest wave of violence in Nigeria started after three churches were bombed on Sunday in Kaduna, a city which lies on the border between the Muslim north and the mostly Christian south.

Boko Haram, the armed group that is opposed to Western ideology and which wants to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide attacks.

Although the group says it is trying to wipe out Western influence in the country, the attacks have a distinctly sectarian hue. Just how much of a threat is the Boko Haram to Nigeria? Guests: William Okoye, Alhaji Garba Sani, Buba Misawa

Jimeh Saleh from BBC Hausa returns to his home town of Maiduguri in the far north-east of Nigeria for the first time in almost a year - to find the city is a mere shell of its once lively self, following a spate of deadly attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group.

As dusk falls in Maiduguri, and the bright afternoon sun gradually turns orange and slowly dips in the evening sky, a muezzin leads the call to pray.

His spirited voice echoes from a pair of loud speakers on a minaret atop one of the oldest mosques in town.

The faithful observe the evening Maghreb prayer - and then have to go straight on to the Isha, the late evening prayer, because Maiduguri has to live under a strict 19:00-06:00 curfew.

Today’s quiet nights - the uncertainty and the insecurity - are a far cry from the Maiduguri I grew up in.

Firmly padlocked houses

My home town, in the far north-east of Nigeria, is also the stronghold the country’s radical Islamist group, Boko Haram.

And in the past few months, the group has carried out a number of violent and devastating attacks in many parts of Nigeria - including drive-by shootings and bombings in Maiduguri, even the central mosque in December.

Back from London in Maiduguri for the first time in almost a year, the town is as dusty as I left it - but it appears poorer - and so do its industrious and boisterous people.

No more do buses, taxis, beggars, vendors and shop keepers hustle for business late into the night.

Families are no longer able to afford three meals a day.

Property speculators are complaining that business is down, and some are suffering losses.

"Closing shops at 7pm is just like working half-day," said an economist with the University of Maiduguri who, like most people I spoke to, asked to remain anonymous.

"The economy here is driven by the informal sector which has no closing hours," he added.

(cont. reading)

Extremist Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has ended talks with the Nigerian government, refusing to pursue any possibility of negotiations with what they call a government of ‘unbelievers’.

(read more)