Fri | Aug 18, 2017

The Forgotten Nigerians

Published:Monday | January 26, 2015 | 1:00 AM
File In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.

THE EDITOR, Sir:
Over two weeks ago, there was a thunderous outcry and condemnation of the cold-blooded murder of 17 people in Paris, France, by Islamist terrorists. About a million people, including 40 world leaders, marched side by side in the streets of Paris in a show of solidarity against this act of terrorism.

This overt display was indeed commendable. Yet, the heartless slaughter of about 2,000 Nigerians by the terrorist group, Boko Haram in the town of Baga was almost totally ignored by the Western press and world leaders. What makes this tragic act so disturbing is the fact that this savagery occurred around the same time period as the killings in Paris.

There has been no worldwide condemnation of this murderous act in Nigeria. There has been no march of solidarity by world leaders against this vicious terrorist attack. There has been no huge march in the streets around the world. It is as if this tragic Nigerian event did not take place.

It is quite evident that the fight against terrorism in Nigeria and other African states is not a priority for the United Nations and NATO. The war against Islamist terrorism is focused like a laser on the Middle East. This focus demonstrates very forcefully that the lives of people in the Middle East are more important than the lives of black Africans. It is as if Blacks do not belong to the human race. Therefore, they are dispensable.

Where are the nations and people who claim to be champions of human rights and dignity? Is there a concerted effort to find the hundreds of Nigerian school-age girls abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram? The answer is no. Are there any sustained air strikes against this terrorist group? The answer is a resounding no.

It is really shameful that when it comes to Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular, deep concerns by Western democracies have been virtually non-existent. But it is even more shameful that the Nigerian government and other African states have been dormant.

It is quite evident that Nigeria is a failed state in that it cannot or will not protect its own people. It would appear that the Nigerian government is either complicit in these frequent kidnappings of school-age girls, or it lacks the will to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Nothing significant seems to have changed in Africa over the years. The plight of the masses is of little concern to those foreign nations that have sought to exploit the continent's natural resources. It is sad to say that many of the continent's black leaders seem to be complicit in this exploitation also.

It is time for black leaders in Africa and around the world to wake up to the fact that since they cannot rely on world leaders in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East to march in protest against the abuse of human rights, and economic plight, they themselves should unite in an overt show of solidarity against all forms of injustices.

RUPERT JOHNSON

r.b.johnson@sympatico.ca

Toronto, Ontario, Canada