The world was rightly outraged at the unjustified murder of journalists, police personnel and innocent people in Paris last week. But, in the same week, more than 2,000 Nigerians were slaughtered by another extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram.
The President of Nigeria condemned the Paris attack but remained silent on the Baga massacre.
But the President of the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, has said that the West is ignoring the threat of the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram. Last week they attacked Baga, a town in north-eastern Nigeria, and surrounding villages. As is too often the case, most of the estimated 2,000 dead were children and women.
The Archbishop contrasted the stark difference between the West’s reaction to the murder of 17 people in Paris and what it does when similar acts of barbarism occur in Nigeria.
Archbishop Kaigama believes that Boko Haram will soon begin to operate outside Nigeria. This is evidenced by recent Boko Haram attacks in neighbouring Cameroon. There, the Army repulsed them, demonstrating a commitment to deal with them in a way not shown by the Nigerian government and its military.
Read article on Nigeria’s ignored massacre.
This lack of an effective response by the Nigerian government is surely going to play a very large part in the forthcoming Presidential election where President Goodluck Jonathan [who has been ineffective in his response to the crisis] faces, among others, a former military leader, General [retd] Muhammadu Buhari.
Read about why some Nigerian commentators believe that Buhari is needed to deal effectively with Boko Haram. At the same time there are others, especially Christians throughout the country, who fear that a President Buhari would move the country further into an Islamic embrace.