Those monitoring the African affairs cannot deny the detrimental effects of cancerous radicals located in northern Nigeria and parts of neighboring Chad known as the Boko Haram. Nigerian Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, looks to impose the Sharia law in northern Nigerian states through violence, weapon-based force and unremorseful endangerment of the people.
When translated into English, Boko Haram means “Books are Evil” or “Western/Non-Islamic education is a sin.” One who believes that this terrorist group is a threat to only northern Nigeria has little knowledge of the potential hazard that an extreme group of radicals such as Boko Haram can cause.
Boko Haram should be a concern to both Africa and the entire world. Recent murders, assaults and endangerment of Nigerian citizens have brought much attention to the latest acts of Boko Haram. The media is now shining light on a group that has, for so long, been in the dark.
Concern about the general rise of terrorism in Africa is creeping across continental borders. According to Africanspotlight.com, President Barack Obama has “expressed worry over the rising rate of terrorism in Africa.” In reference to a solution toward these clashes of police enforcement and these radical groups, Obama was recorded saying that “We are partners in resolving conflicts peacefully and have worked effectively with ECOWAS and the African Union to resolve crises in the region. We appreciate very much the assistance that we’ve received in battling terrorism that currently is trying to gain a foothold inside of Africa.”
Whether one wants to believe that President Obama’s concerns root from selfish worry about the United States’ own interests in Africa and the potential danger of U.S. investments, his concerns are shared by a growing population of people who are now being forced to pay attention to the murder and terror this group is inflicting upon Nigeria.
The issue is not a Nigerian issue but one that Africa as a continent must tackle and devour – if genuine efforts are being made to protect our governments, our people, institutions and the establishments that we pride ourselves in.
Beulah Osueke is a psychology major at Ouachita Baptist University. She believes the world's general view of Africa has been tainted and looks to address the inaccurate perceptions thriving in the media that result from an unjust past and unwarranted generalizations. She hopes to shine light on the efforts being made to generate a new respectable view of Africa, one that attest to Africa's rich culture, pure strength, and tenacious perseverance.