Boko Haram and the migration crisis in Nigeria | The Guardian Nigeria News
On April 15, 2014, I sat in my living room in Lagos State, Nigeria at around 10 p.m. and watched with great attention the latest news regarding the kidnapping of schoolgirls (aged 16 to 18 years old) in a boarding school in Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram sect. While surprised by the news, I took to Twitter to see people’s opinions on the kidnapping, and to my surprise, Twitter was literally on fire. It was said that prior to the kidnapping, the school had been closed for four weeks due to deteriorating security conditions in the state, but students had to return to school to take their final exam of physical.
This opinion is a wake-up call for the Nigerian government: to ensure the safety of its citizens, in particular schoolgirls, against attacks, to reintegrate the displaced people into their communities of origin and to offer them good living conditions. As a Nigerian mother with my own children, the safety of the Nigerian schoolgirl worries me.
In present-day northern Nigeria, the schoolgirl appears to run the risk of being afraid of school or of being kidnapped and used as bait for ransom every time she goes to school. It must stop! I believe in the saying that “when you educate a girl, you educate a nation”.
Before answering questions surrounding the news, I would like to explain Boko Haram as a movement. Boko Haram means “Western education is prohibited”. It is a terrorist group based in northeastern Nigeria, Chad, the Republic of Niger and northern Cameroon. In February 2018, a part of Boko Haram called the Islamic State, West African Province (ISWAP) kidnapped more than 100 students in Dapchi, Yobe state – Leah Sharibu is the only girl left behind held hostage for refusing to renounce his religion, Christianity. .
Recently, in February 2021, 279 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Jangebe, Zamfara state. Schools have been easy targets for this sect. It appears that the leaders of the Boko Haram sect are standing by their movement to perpetuate acts of violence against schoolchildren, thus dissuading young children from accessing a good education. The question that comes to my mind as a Nigerian is, what steps has the government taken to avoid them? This clearly shows the incompetence of the government. A government (not linked to the ruling government but to the Nigerian government as an institution) that cannot avoid such an event certainly cannot be taken seriously.
According to the United Nations relief agency, the Boko Haram insurgency has killed 324,000 children and displaced an estimated 2.1 million people. With these numbers it is evident that migration – caused by the quest for a safe school, fear of being kidnapped, hunger, unemployment and the search for a better life – thrives well in crisis-prone areas. . Affected families have had to flee their homes to the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps that have been set up by the government.
The crisis has also led to international migration, as families have sought asylum in other countries. Most of the interventions that residents of northeastern Nigeria have received so far have come from international NGOs. International organizations like UNDP and UNHCR- https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2019 have been proactive in providing solutions for the resettlement of these internally displaced people, but the Nigerian government has not done as much in the implementation of these plans and policies.
There are questions for the Nigerian government: How long will these internally displaced people continue to stay in camps with little or no hope for their future? When will they be fully integrated into the society to which they originally belong? Will the Nigerian government continue to put all its responsibilities on international organizations?
In my opinion, I think there are two sides to this. It seems that the fight against Boko Haram is overwhelming the government or that the government is being nonchalant in exercising its responsibilities to citizens.
Eduviere is a doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa.