Why Terror Attack In Baga Town, Nigeria That Left 2,000 People Dead Received Less International Media Coverage
The better part of international media attention on terror attacks that happened last week were focusing on the Paris attack that left 17 people dead. Leaders from around the world joined France in mourning, and an estimated 3.7 million marched the streets to show their solidarity with the victims and to condemn the terror attack.
During the same week, Nigeria was mourning the death of an estimated 2,000 people killed by the Boko Haram. The insurgent struck Baga town located in the north-eastern state of Borno. Amnesty International has described the attack as Boko Haram’s “deadliest massacre” to date. There are reports saying that local defense forces on the ground in Nigeria had given up in counting the bodies; they were left just lying there, in the streets.
Human life is precious, regardless of which continent we are talking about. International media coverage of both of these terror attacks leaves a lot of questions to be asked. But perhaps, this could have been attributed to the fact that media coverage in northern Nigeria proves to be quite a challenge. The Boko Haram often targets journalists, people living in that region are somewhat isolated, and access to the internet and other communications medium is another challenge of its own. Unlike Paris, where even the civilians can post pictures, videos and spread the news via social media, people in Baga town are more isolated from the rest of the world.
Many people felt that the terror attack received less media attention.
Very moving watching events in Paris – wish the world media felt equally outraged by this recent news too http://t.co/as4PI8iZXw
— nitin sawhney (@thenitinsawhney) January 11, 2015
Nigeria’s politicians were also faulted for being too silent on the massacre happening right in their own back yard, while giving support to the massacre happening in France. Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan sent his condolences to France, while keeping mum about the terror attack happening in his own country. But given the fact he is seeking re-election come February 14th, we can understand why the President Goodluck would not want to remind Nigerians, that the Boko Haram insurgents has been most active during his regime. Other criticized him for celebrating his niece Ine’s weeding that happened on the next weekend following the massacre of 2,000 Nigerians.
— BellaNaija.com (@bellanaija) January 11, 2015
Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, a member of the ruling People’s Democratic party, seemed to downplay the casualties of the Boko Haram attack in Baga town. From his Twitter account, he said:
The military says the figures flying around are false. We know it’s a political period so some of this things are expected.
— Ahmadu Adamu Muazu (@Muazuaa) January 10, 2015
The Guardian has explored exhaustively all the possible reasons as to why international media did not give that much focus on Baga town during its moments of terror. You can read more on this by following this link.