In an ugly turn of events, it has been reported that the terrorist Islamic sect Boko Haram has struck again.
Though details are still sketchy, reports say 60 girls and women and 31 boys were abducted in recent days in the Damboa district of Borno state in northeast Nigeria.
According to Nigerian national broadcaster NTA, sources claim 30 people were brutally massacred during the attacks in Kummabza village and surrounding areas.
Still, Nigerian federal government officials have yet to confirm the reports of these latest attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants.
Nonetheless, if confirmed, this will come as a huge blow to the government. President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling to regain credibility ever since Boko Haram’s audacious kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok two months ago.
“More appalling is the government’s handling of the whole issue, even with technical assistance from the US, UK, France, China, Israel and neighboring countries.”
“Jonathan’s government is concerned more about re-election. It does not have any comprehensive framework to end this insurgency,” he adds.
“Even if it has, it does not have the political will to implement it. It sees the insurgency not as a security issue but a political issue.”
“Until Jonathan’s government realizes that it has a constitutional duty to protect all Nigerians and that Boko Haram is not a political challenge but a security one, it will not be able to resolve this issue.”
Still, when the missing girls story came to the forefront (fueled by the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter hashtag) there was a mass social media uproar, with global leaders and celebrities joining the campaign.
In recent weeks, however, international attention has waned.
“Unfortunately, many online social justice campaigns tend to be cyclical and short-lived,” said Jamie Triplin, a Washington, D.C.-based digital communications consultant.
“It is easy for the online community to forget about hashtag campaigns when it is no longer listed as a trending topic by social media channels such as Twitter. Organizations and individuals should not lose sight of offline activities that can have greater long-term effects.”
Abdullahi acknowledges that the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag is no longer trending across the social networking sites. But he says the search for the missing girls is still an ongoing crisis in Nigeria, with mainstream media giving the story prominence alongside daily demonstrations across the country.
“There is a 3 hours protest sit-in the capital Abuja every day in respect of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and the same happens in the neighboring city of Keffi in Nassarawa State,” he says. “There is a weekly sit-in protest in Lagos and other cities as well.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government still claims to know where the missing schoolgirls are located but continues to hold off on a military-style rescue attempt over fears this would result in the deaths of many of the hostages.
Boko Haram has demanded the release of prisoners in exchange for the hostages. Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has ruled out negotiating with terrorists.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter @Kunbiti.