On July 24, 2014 an estimated 82 people were killed in a northern Nigerian city due to the blast of two bombs. The source of the bombs leads to the Islamist terrorist group in the area, Boko Haram.
Nigerian forces are currently at war with the terrorist group, and there is heavy speculation that the suicide bombs were a ploy to distract their attention from the war zone to a heavily populated area a few hundred miles away.
Both events seem to be targeting influential political figures in Nigeria. The first target was “Muslim cleric, Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, who has repeatedly condemned terrorism as un-Islamic,” according to the Wall Street Journal. He coincidentally missed the attack by minutes, leaving civilians as the only victims of the first bomb.
The second target was “Mohammadu Buhari, the ex-military dictator who remains the country’s top opposition leader.” With both attacks at the intended targets turning into failures, the only victims were helpless civilians who got caught in the crossfire.
This is not Boko Haram’s first attempt to create havoc in Nigerian cities, as they have bombed myriad other areas while trying to gain control of certain war-torn areas.
Nigeria’s financial stability is questionable at best, but the attacks have forced the President into pouring money the country may not have into military efforts in order to protect and police the country. It’s reported that over $1 billion have gone into the military fund as a result of these attacks.
Nigeria is acknowledging the public: “We call on Nigerian authorities to fully investigate these attacks,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. “We urge all Nigerians to avoid reprisals and continue to practice the interfaith cooperation that violent extremists seek to undermine.”
It’s hugely important to acknowledge that the terrorist group behind these bombings are the same people that have kidnapped over 200 young girls, drawing international attention to the Nigerian political stage. The ruthlessness of their actions demonstrates the fact that little will stop them before they reach their goals of control of the nation.
Attacks on civilians are another of the many actions Boko Haram has taken to make its point clear, their brutality is unmatched in the area and the terrorists have little trouble demonstrating it at any given time.
The instability facing Nigeria is nearing its peak and it is beginning to look like there is a high chance that these attacks will manifest into a full out war within the nation, with unknown risks on the line. Nigeria has few resources to aid them, causing the strength of the country to waver in the eyes of civilians.
– Elena Lopez