Despite the growing number of missing persons in Nigeria, global media outlets have failed to cover the development of the highly active Islamic terrorist organization responsible—Boko Haram.
The western region of Africa is no stranger to the jihadist terrorist organization, which has threatened Nigeria for the past decade. The Nigerian military, with the aid of surrounding countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon, has made efforts to push the Islamic Cell out of Nigeria with little success. Over time, aid from the surrounding countries dwindled and Boko Haram’s terror continued to spread.
After a decade of devastating war with Boko Haram extremists, they are now better armed than ever and have more sophisticated drones than the demoralized Nigerian military. https://t.co/fCbJGVlFB3
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) September 13, 2019
This year alone, Boko Haram has been connected to more than a dozen killings. The number of missing people in Nigeria has risen to at least 22,000.
News outlets have also reported very little on the displacement of people across Nigeria’s four neighboring countries. Throughout Nigeria, families have been ripped apart at the hands of Boko Haram as children are forced to be a part of the militia.
In 2019, The New York Times mentioned Boko Haram in three stories, whereas in 2015, the publication wrote more than a dozen stories on Boko Haram, specifically the 276 schoolgirls who were abducted in 2014 from a secondary school in the town of Chibok.
The event received global media coverage and started the social medial movement, #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG). A month after their removal, the movement gained the attention of Former First Lady Michelle Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and humanitarian Malala Yousafzai. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been successful in negotiating the release of 103 girls from Boko Haram. Currently, 112 girls are still in the possession of the Islamic cell.
14 April 2019
It is now 5 years since the abduction of 276 #ChibokGirls from school.
This tragedy is the #ShameOfANation.
— #BringBackOurGirls (@BBOG_Nigeria) April 14, 2019
Masses of people continue to be taken by Boko Haram today but the media coverage does not match the scale of the crisis.
With 2019 marking the fifth-year anniversary of the kidnappings, Boko Haram has not only become more active in Nigeria but in the neighboring countries as well. Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all become victims of the terrorist group with more than 541,000 internally displaced persons. In March, the U.N. reported more than 88 deaths in Niger at the hands of Boko Haram. As the group has continued its path of violence within the region, more than 2 million people have been displaced in Nigeria alone.