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Terror in Nigeria
Nigeria's Problems Don't End with the Kidnapped Girls

Two horrific explosions in Jos, a city in central Nigeria, have left at least 118 people dead. “A journalist on the scene of the first explosion called it ‘massive’,” CNN reports. “People were screaming and running, some covered in blood.” Photos of the scene show billowing smoke, and later, charred cars and houses.

The blasts are a painful reminder that Nigeria’s problems don’t end with the kidnapped girls, many of whom are still missing. Indeed, violence has become depressingly common in Nigeria. “Many of [Jos’] residents are accustomed to religious strife,” the WSJ notes. “Interfaith violence rages constantly across the hills outside the city.”

The news coverage devoted to the kidnapped schoolgirls, the flood of commentary, and the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls has brought Nigeria some well-deserved attention. The country has been subjected to a campaign of violence by one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups, while its government has repeatedly failed to protect its people. But this armchair activism is rather selective. There was no Twitter campaign after 71 people died last month in a huge bomb blast in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. There was little international outrage when 59 young boys were shot and burned to death by Boko Haram in February. Where was the media attention when 40 young students were massacred in their beds in the middle of the night last September? Where were the Twitterati when it was revealed that Nigerian officials had stolen $20 billion from the state coffers instead of protecting civilians and properly equipping the army to fight Boko Haram?

The Western media is right to draw attention to the plight of the kidnapped girls. But they ought to remember that Nigeria’s problems run far deeper than that.

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