A crisis is going on in Nigeria.
Recent news stories have included little, if any, information about the events taking place in Nigeria. Topics in news come in waves, and it seems as though we are saturated with information about some topics, yet others barely get any attention. I think we can easily adopt the mindset that if it’s not on my newsfeed, it’s not my problem. Just because it isn’t being covered frequently or flashed before us regularly doesn’t it’s not going on.
Who are the Boko Haram?
The Boko Haram are an extremist group operating in Nigeria. Boko Haram literally means “western education is forbidden.” This group was formed in 2002 by a man named Mohammed Yusuf, who ironically recieved a western education. This movement was formed with the intent of resisting official corruption and pushing toward the formation of an Islamic state. He began recruiting young, unemployed individuals to join this movement. It wasn’t until 2009 that Boko Haram became a violent, military group after the arrest and execution of Yusuf. After this, Boko Haram became increasingly radical in their violent attacks against the people of Nigeria. There are currently between 7,000-10,000 active members of the Boko Haram.
What do they do?
While they state their mission is to restore righteousness and justice into the nation, they have been behind a significant number of extreme, violent attacks in Nigeria. They have been responsible for the first suicide bombing in Nigeria, numerous shootings, destructive bombings, kidnappings, and other tragic attacks against the people living in Nigeria. The violence and atrocities committed by Boko Haram are horrendous; enlisting child soldiers and using young girls as suicide bombers. They have implemented a version of Sharia law so radically extreme, that has never been seen before. Boko Haram has now expanded their attacks to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.
Map of Boko Haram attacks.
Who is impacted?
Civilians of Nigeria and anyone who opposes the mission of Boko Haram is at risk for brutal treatment and violence. The presence of the Boko Haram in Nigeria has lead to thousands of people losing their lives, numerous individuals being displaced (especially in the Northern part of Nigeria), and the persistence of chronic poverty in Nigeria.
Keep learning. Keep listening. Be proactive. Stay engaged. The headlines aren’t the only stories out there. As a member of the global community, we have an obligation to at least be aware of the things going on around the world.
More Information about the Boko Haram and the crisis in Nigeria: