They are the many unsung, unseen forces in the Nigerian military. Women– mothers, daughters, respected leaders in Nigerian society– have given their safety and comfort to fight the evil that is the Boko Haram insurgency. Though almost unheard of when speaking about the military, women make up a good amount of the country’s militia and are an active part of the fight against terrorism. Yet, in an attitude of apprehension and even slight panic, Nigeria has decided to remove more than 200 of its women soldiers from the frontlines of Maiduguri city to the country’s capitol, Abuja. Continue reading
They lied. It was four o’clock in the morning in Baga, Nigeria, and, drowsy from sleep, the men in each household were told to get up and follow Boko Haram members outside so that they “could explain everything.” As 14 shaking men followed the terrorists into the brush, they were told to lie on the ground. What they had hoped for– “an explanation,” anything to acknowledge that they were human beings, too– was all for nought. Continue reading
As of today, January 21st, 18 days have passed since the town of Baga, Nigeria was razed, where 2,000 of it’s innocent men, women, and children were mercilessly massacred. As Boko Haram’s bloodiest raid to date, most of its victims were women, children, and the elderly who could not escape the terrorists’ rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. As people ran, swam, and hid for their lives, thousands upon thousands drowned in nearby Lake Chad, where the body count was so high that soldiers stopped counting.
Amidst the heartbreaking news that so often floods headlines when speaking about Nigeria, news has come that sheds light on Nigeria’s potential in fighting corruption, war, and crime. In August, it was reported that Nigeria had contained Ebola, and was working hard to prevent future cases. The effectiveness of their strategy has shown the world what Nigeria is capable of in regards to healing their nation.
This news is welcomed, as it is an encouragement to those observing the happenings in Nigeria. Nigeria’s potential has also been showcased in their successful attempts at taking back cities from the nation’s notorious terror group, Boko Haram. This fall, several cities were taken back from the terrorists, including the cities of Mubi and Damboa.
Yet, despite all their success, Nigeria still suffers from kidnappings, raids, and the mass killings of “infidels” by Boko Haram– which have reached increasingly evil levels of barbaric violence. Corruption has also spread to the Nigerian military; low morale has seeped into military ranks, with privates and corporals staging mutinies against their commanders. The military has claimed to be ill-equipped for facing the terrorists, causing many to refuse to fight. Why then, when a country has such potential and seemingly “functional institutions” (Source), is Nigeria still struggling with the disease of corruption within it’s nation, as well as terror from groups like the Boko Haram? Continue reading