Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 12:13 PM

Boko Haram (a la Chibok Girls) Strikes Again. So Where’s the Outrage?!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Terror group Boko Haram incited international outrage four years ago when it kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. In fact, no less a person than First Lady Michelle Obama led the viral protest #BringBackOurGirls.

Yet, just two years later, you would have been forgiven for having no clue this infamous kidnapping ever occurred or, more to the point, that those schoolgirls remained in captivity. This incited my outrage, which I vented in “#BringBackOurGirls Lost in Dustbin of Public Consciousness,” April 18, 2016.


This kidnapping incited universal outrage. Never mind that this outrage manifested in little more than people – most notably celebrities like Rihanna, Madonna, and Michelle Obama – posting #BringBackOurGirls on their social media pages.

Yet you’d be hard-pressed to find any mention of these girls on those pages since then. Which is why it’s hardly surprising that this tragic anniversary passed for so many as if ‘the Chibok girls’ never entered public consciousness.

Mind you, Boko Haram kidnapped many more schoolchildren (i.e. girls and boys) with nary a mention in mainstream or social media. In fact, having killed 20,000 and displaced 2.8 million across five regional countries, its unrelenting reign of terror is now preventing over 1 million Nigerian children from going to school. …

That this anniversary garnered so little media coverage reflects not only the fecklessness of this fight, but also the disinterest in the schoolgirls’ plight.


Given that, it is noteworthy that some mainstream-media organizations are reporting on Boko Haram’s latest kidnapping, much as so many reported on its Chibok kidnapping four years ago.

Police said on Wednesday that 111 girls from the state-run boarding school in Dapchi, in Yobe state, were unaccounted for following an attack by the armed group on Monday night.

(Al Jazeera, February 22, 2018)

Alas, just as it was four years ago, the Nigerian government is giving all kinds of misleading, self-serving reports about rescuing these Dapchi girls. But also, just as it was four years ago, the parents of the missing are still grieving inconsolably, betraying the fact that those government reports are untrue.

Frankly, the record suggests that these girls will return home in only one of four ways:

  1. The government negotiates a prisoner exchange;
  2. The government pays a handsome ransom (to save face);
  3. The parents pay a handsome ransom; or
  4. The girls manage a daring escape.

In the meantime, it is equally noteworthy that reporting on this Dapchi kidnapping has incited nary a peep from the usual gaggle of hashtag protesters. Perhaps they’re too busy tweeting fashionable and equally fleeting outrage about the latest mass shooting of schoolchildren in “Gun Crazy USA.”

Related commentaries:
lost public consciousness
Gun crazy USA

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