While the world shows revolts over the 2000 bodies rippling across the roads of Baga, we Africans displayed our revolt to their delay in reaction on social media.
“The West doesn’t care about Africans!” , “first world countries only love us for our minerals!” tweets, updates and memes circulate around our cyber atmosphere. What is interesting is that we are quick to blame countries outside Africa for their lack of response of our very own home-bred issues. Granted terrorism is a global issue, however when we expect the first world to react to terrorism, why do we forget our own African leaders.
From the era of our decolonization, we have tried to create a unified voice in the name of continental development; through creating unions such as the Southern African Development community (SADC), the Economic Countries of West African States (ECOWAS) and may we not forget the African Union. These organisations were not limited to economic upliftment as a mandate, but to strengthen relations in socio-economic aspects in their respective regions.
With our strengthened ties and active unions, one would think our response levels to such atrocities would boast of efficiency, or at least effectiveness, but the only looms of efficiency is our developed culture of a silent voice on these constant acts of violence. Looking at the African Unions footprint in relation to the events that occurred in Nigeria – from the 2000 killed in Baga 3 days into the new year to the little girl who died painfully through bombs strapped to her frail body on Saturday, The AU proved their response through an unofficial statement made in 140 characters on Twitter. Although, the convened a few days before to discuss peace and security issues with AU Panel of the Wise.
But what have our OWN leaders done to help? We are all beneficiaries of Nigeria’s resources and minerals. Our countries have directly or indirectly tasted the fruits of their crude oil, we have feasted on their agricultural crops, we have used their land, their infrastructural muscle to host recreational activities like the AFCON. We have all eaten from Nigeria’s plate yet we expect only the west to become part of their solution to peace.
Instead of engaging in anti-fandom (a term learnt by our guest writer Tigele Nlebesi in her post) we must resort to utilizing our thumb power to pressurizing our own leaders to respond. Boko Haram is not a Nigerian problem. It is a terrorist group that affects their country and ripples into all of ours. We are neither weak nor weak-minded, our thumb power on social media, pressure on government and existing NGO frameworks have necessary capacity to seek a solution perhaps through peace talks and military intervention; although aid from the west helps, we must look into our continent to end terrorism – for it is Africa that birthed and raised these men.