Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Silence is deadly

I'm not surprised at all that the massacre perhaps thousands of people in Northern Nigeria isn't getting nearly as much attention as the massacre of just over a dozen in Paris. I'm also not surprised that we still have little idea of just how many people were killed in the African massacre, whether the number was in the hundreds or was as high as two thousand. The world pays little attention to Africa and for many people massacres on that continent are viewed as business as usual, even though that is far from true.

What does surprise me has been the reaction of Nigerian authorities, or lack thereof. It is hard for me to imagine any country suffering a massacre like that, even if only 150 died as the Nigerian military is claiming, without the people in charge taking up the issue. How could President Goodluck Jonathan stay so silent about the attack in his own country while condemning the "dastardly terrorist attack" in Paris? The relative silence of Nigerian politicians about the incident is even more astounding when you consider that Nigeria is currently in the midst of a presidential election campaign. How could something like that happen in their country and not become a major issue?

The only answer that makes any sense to me is if the authorities have no idea how to deal with Boko Haram. If they don't have a clue what to do, they have nothing good to say about the problem which means they have no reason to bring it up, especially at a time when the President is trying to get reelected.