WHY PLAYING POLITICS WITH BOKO HARAM ISSUES
Is there any lesson to be learnt in the war on terror where the proponents vowed never to dialogue or negotiate with terrorists, only to now realize, after the demise of thousands and loss of billions of dollars, that dialogue is the only option left for a lasting peace in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do we see such favour and sensationalism by the press on these botched attempts as we witness when the culprits happen to be Muslims? What would have happened if those Christians had succeeded in carrying out the blast? In a nation where the press in mainly in the hands of people of a particular faith, it is hard to be neutral in their reportage of these kinds of events; especially if it reinforces a stereotype and serves a hot selling item of news. John Akpava was caught with weapons at a Ministerial Press Briefing held at Radio House, Abuja. What would the press have done with this story if John Akpava were a Muslim? A ‘suicide’ bomber was allowed into the premises of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Jos, by a fellow member of the church, who detonated explosives that led to the death of 8 persons; 38 others were seriously injured. The Sun Newspaper of Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 reported that the said Boko Haram suicide bomber was identified by The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), as Mr. Adams Joseph Ashaba, ‘who allegedly masterminded the bombing of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Jos, the Plateau State capital on February 26, disclosing, that he was actually a member of the Church.’ In another report on Daily Trust of Monday, February 27th, 2012, 8 members of the same (COCIN) were arrested this time in Bauchi with explosive devices desiring to set ablaze the church. Their arrest was almost thwarted by some Christians, but for the timely intervention of the Police. The above examples and that of the arrest of Augustine Effiong of Akwa Ibon origin who was reported by Thisday of May 21st, 2012, to have confessed his...
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