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By Tessa Doghor
I am not terrified” I have to repeat it to myself at least 15 times to even believe it. It sounds good as it rolls off my tongue. The only reason why I am not truly yet terrified is because I live in Lagos Nigeria. Can I honestly say ‘I am not terrified’ if I lived in Maiduguri, Yobe or one of the northern states? Nope, I’d be living in fear everyday wondering when the next bomb would go off and wondering why the media wasn’t reporting the bombings in the northern states even though the bombings hadn’t ceased. Or why religious and political leaders seemed impotent in combating the situation. What do I think about the terrorism going on in the North? I think it’s barbaric and inhumane! But when I stop and think, I realise that my thought is not enough. It would be enough if I was European or American; it would be okay to think like that. I am Nigerian and as much as I’d like to disconnect myself from the random acts of terrorism getting more common in my environment, I cannot. Even though we have been desensitized by the constant violence going on – we don’t bat an eyelid when another one happens – I still see that there are humans dying every day in the north. I think we ought to do something, even if we just talk about it more till the government is pressured to do something to these terrorists groups other than talking to them. Walk with me, let’s take an example: In January, Nigerians went on the streets for peaceful protests and these anti-subsidy protesters could have been met with an initiative to dialogue but they were met with tear gas. Why are the Boko haram exempt from tear gas, or machine gun treatment? I don’t think a dialogue will cause the BOKO HARAM to stop their attacks. Boko Haram is a sect that is against education and civilization so much so they don’t mind being suicide bombers. They are unlikely to listen or want to dialogue with the government. What kind of crazy person carries a bomb on his/her person? To be that psychotic enough to commit suicide so you’d hurt and kill others is not the action of a sane man. I doubt a psychiatrist would be able to get through to such people, talk less of members of a committee specially created for them. It is a wonder that our government thinks they can succeed at dialoguing with a bunch of crazies where their emirs and sultans have failed to pacify them. What is my opinion of the Boko Haram? I don’t have any but I’d like to examine the opinion of our political and religious leaders. I have the impression that they are at a loss of what to do. Either they would rather be politically correct than solve the matter or the issue doesn’t quite touch them where it hurts enough to put a stop. We don’t have to wait until they bomb somewhere in Lagos, Anambra or Delta before we take action. Lagos is ready for anything they may spring out of their hats, but knowing strategies of war, you don’t wait for your enemy to come fight you in your territory before you respond. History shows a time when this same degree of indifference was practiced by a people, they waited until Hitler had taken the whole of Europe before the British responded by crying for help. Lots of lives were lost and a lot of inhumanity was committed against fellow humans before the world rose to fight against a common evil. We don’t have to wait for the North to be decimated by the greed of men before we speak up. Let’s do a history of terrorism. The closest I can recall is the Americans vs. Osama, I recall hearing an American say ‘you never negotiate with terrorists’ it won’t solve the problem from the roots. It just creates a solution where you will always have to come back and solve the issue time and again because a terrorist never gets satisfied. They have an agenda they would gladly die for. I am glad I have contributed my N100 to the equation not because I think the government will take my advice but I am giving it anyway. The federal government has The Army, Navy, Air force, Police and Secret service. Why not employ all of them and declare war on terrorism; come on hard with anyone that falls out of line. Fish the Boko Haram members out of their hiding place. Deal with them quickly and decisively, strike fear into their hearts. I don’t feel insecure but I can’t but notice that in churches, hotels and major businesses, all sorts of kits have been purchases to ‘smoke out’ bombs. Our lives have definitely been affected and so we have to do something to stem the crisis in the north before it gets to the south. I guess that’s my quota, everyone pitch in and help stop the spread of Boko Haram…the future of Nigeria, a united one depends on us nipping this ‘epidemic’ in the bud.    
About the Author  Tessa Doghor is the editor of SPICE magazine, she lives in Lagos and runs an online blog called and can be reached at

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This article was first published on 17th April 2012 and updated on July 1st, 2012 at 7:12 am

Comments (1)

One thought on “I Am Not Terrified.”

  • Omo

    Boko Haram have got to be stopped!

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