Like many current affairs observers I was disappointed with the coverage by some Western media outlets of the recent atrocities in Baga, north east Nigeria. Compared to the coverage of the murders committed in Paris that same week by those 4 fools the coverage was paper thin.
But why should we rely on the likes of CNN, BBC, France 24 or CBS for us to be aware of what is happening in Baga? The information is at our finger tips thanks the numerous news media sites in Nigeria, Africa etc. The coverage in the West of the events in Nigeria has now gathered some momentum.
The initial reaction to the events by some in the Nigerian military was to challenge the death toll. Nigerian officials stated it was around 150 people that were killed by Boko Haram and not the 2000+ figure being quoted by the likes of Amensty International. Even so “150” murders is a massacre.
Whatever the death toll is the reaction by the Nigerian political leaders has been shambolic. Why should the Western media be there on mass if those leaders in Nigeria have not taken the murders seriously? Were there any national days of mourning? Did the President -Goodluck Jonathan- head to north east Nigeria in its immedate aftermath? Did he speak to the nation? Is the leadership uniting the nation in grief?
The French lost 17 people last week. The much discredited President Franciois Hollande was immediately on the ground at the crime scene of the Charles Hebdo offices. He spoke to the nation and took to the streets uniting with the people whatever their politics. In such dark moments a nation needs it elected leaders to show up and take charge both politically and emotionally. Or being seem to do so.
Where was the leadership of the President Goodluck Jonathan when those over 200 school girl were kidnapped in 2014? You can recall when some Nigerians started to protest about the kidnapping they were threatened with arrests.
According some sources, in Nigeria since 2009 over 13000 people have been murdered by members of Boko Haram. In other societies where the value of a life is so precious, those elected to protect their people would have been kicked out for not defeating the likes of Boko Haram. Or resigned in disgrace.
Jonathan has finally headed to Maiduguri capital of Borno State north east Nigeria. He never went in 2014 despite the endless atrocities in that region. Some say better late than never. Then again he has a Presidential election to contest against 13 other candidates on February 14.
We do not need to sit back comfortably and wait for our national media messengers to give the viewer/reader/listener 5 minutes on issues that requires more of our attention and our awareness. We can find out ourselves, come to our conclusion and not rely on just one source. Not even yours truly.