Today, separate but no less unfortunate terrorists events (as at the time of writing, the London incident was being treated as a terror attack) happened in two different parts of the world.
One, which happened earlier in the day, was in Maiduguri, the capital of the north-eastern state of Borno in Nigeria where a bomb blast killed four people and left eighteen others gravely injured. The attack was said to have taken place at at the Internally Displaced (IDP) camps for people who had escaped the Islamist militants, Boko Haram.
According to the Borno Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, three bomb explosions went off at three different locations near Muna Garage, Maiduguri.
The other attack happened at a less-likely place – near Parliament in central London, England. A car ran over several pedestrians on Westminster bridge, before it crashed into railings. A Police officer was stabbed in the Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was shot by police. At the time of writing, reports put the number of casualties at two dead and at least 10 injured.
As expected for a terror event that happened in that part of the world, major international media outlets have swooped on the London attack with in-dept reports and analysis. As can be seen from the different videos floating around social media, helicopters are currently hovering the area keen to bring life footage to billions of people around the globe. On Social Media, the attack and things related to it are the number one trend. #PrayForLondon, Parliament, House of Commons, Scotland Yard, Metropolitan Police, Terrorist Incident are all the top trends globally on Twitter. On its part, Facebook activated ‘Safety Check’ for users in London to show that they are safe.
All that frenzied activity did not reach Maiduguri however. Apart from local news media and the odd social media posts, not much interest has been shown in the attack. Even Nigerians have simply moved on like it never happened. Many simply didn’t even know it did.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the coverage of the incident in London, but it leaves much to be desired and many to wonder why Nigerians (and a lot of other people in the world) find it hard to empathize when terror events happen in the country. Currently, British persons and pretty much a huge chunk of the world are sharing solidarity messages with the family and friends of those involved in the Westminster attack on social media. Of Maiduguri, there’s been an almost conspiratorial silence.
Putting the reactions to the attacks in Maiduguri and London’s together leaves one with several questions: How is the world reacting to each? Why aren’t Nigerians disturbed when terrorists attacks happen in their backyard? Why are the victims of such attacks forgotten? Why are people in Maiduguri not having the chance to mark themselves safe when an attack or a bombing occurs? Why isn’t there an option on Facebook for changing your profile picture to Nigeria’s flag during an attack? Why is nobody sending solidarity messages to the families and friends of all those involved in the Maiduguri attacks?
For humanity’s sake we need to make Maiduguri trend too.
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