BORNO STATE, NIGERIA – Some nations seem to suffer from more terrorism than others: Nigeria is an unfortunate example.
You would be hard pressed to find a nation on Earth in more trouble these days than Nigeria. I know this is saying a lot: after all there are a tonne of countries not doing well (Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria…the list is unfortunately a long one). But Nigeria is beset by a lot of ills.
The Economist (if you don’t read this UK publication you really are the poorer for it!) recently put out a piece on Nigeria’s challenges.
Here is a partial set:
- Jihadists are carving out a caliphate in the north-east
- Gangs of kidnappers are terrorising the north-west
- Biafran secessionism has been rekindled in the oil-rich south-east
- In the first nine months of 2021 almost 8,000 people were directly killed in various conflicts. Hundreds of thousands more have perished because of hunger and disease caused by fighting. More than 2m have fled their homes
I think you get the picture. Compounding this is a government that seems incapable of stopping any of this violence, despite annual predictions by President Buhari that terrorism has been ‘defeated’. To cite merely one example of the low level of resources, Niger state in the northwest has just 4,000 officers to protect 24m people.
Terrorism in Nigeria tends to be of the Islamist variety. The older group, Boko Haram (Hausa for ‘Western education is forbidden – what a dumb name!), has been around since the late 2000s. Islamic State (ISIS) has an affiliate, Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) that is a rival. All in all lots of jihadis to kill and maim.
On this day in 2018
Boko Haram jihadists killed at least 16 farmers and left dozens missing in the latest attacks in restive northeast Nigeria’s Borno state. The terrorists opened fire on farmers at work, shooting them as they fled.
We buried 15 of them yesterday before I left Monguno.Monguno resident
The violence is showing no signs of ebbing. Nigeria remains a very dangerous place. I wish I could say otherwise.
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