The Senseless Death of one Person is no more Important then that of Another

Just musing today…

One senseless death is one too many. This post is a reminder of another truth: the senseless death of one person is no more important then that of another person.

What occurred in Paris is terrible, a tragedy, and required it be reported as such….but what occurred this week in Nigeria is just as much a horrific tragedy: the difference being, we saw little real reporting on this story, in comparison, which claimed the lives of up to (and possibly more then) 2000 men, women, and children. Every nightly news program has led with the Paris tragedy, and devoted a goodly portion of their broadcasts to the story. But the story in Nigeria was barely mentioned on the broadcast I watched last evening. If I had to guess I’d say the entire segment was 30 seconds long. Barely a mention.

Only today’s mankind sees the senseless death of one person more important then another—it’s the world we live in. We watched this happen in 1994 with what is now known as the Rwandan Genocide. The media/world ignored it and close to a million people were slaughtered in a three month period.


Boko Haram militants opened fire on northern Nigerian villages, leaving bodies scattered everywhere and as many as 2,000 people feared dead, officials said.

“The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

Islamist militants sprayed bullets as they stormed in last weekend in trucks and armored vehicles, local authorities said Friday. When they arrived, they unloaded motorcycles and pursued residents who fled into the bush, firing indiscriminately, said Baba Abba Hassan, a local district head.

Local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people.

Dead bodies litter the bushes in the area and it is still no‎t safe to go and pick them (up) for burial,” said Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located.

“Some people who hid in their homes were burned alive.”

Raid lasted for days

During the raid that started January 3, hundreds of gunmen seized the town of Baga and neighboring villages, as well as a multinational military base. Attacks started at dawn and continued throughout last weekend, according to residents.

Though local officials gave conflicting death tolls, they agreed on the massive number of fatalities.

More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks on 16 villages, Bukar said.

Tens of thousands displaced

At least 30,000 people were displaced, authorities said. About 20,000 of the displaced camped in Maiduguri city, the capital of Borno state.

Authorities are making arrangements to transport the 10,000 others from Monguno town, 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Baga. Some residents fled into neighboring Cameroon and Chad.

“If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as 2,000 civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” Amnesty International’s Daniel Eyre said.

Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings. It has also kidnapped students, including more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted in April and remain missing.

The Islamist group has said its aim is to impose a stricter form of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.



5 comments on “The Senseless Death of one Person is no more Important then that of Another

  1. I read that report with a heavy heart and was also distressed to read of a 10 year old Nigerian girl who was used as a human bomb in the a northern market. I can’t help wondering if she is one of the kidnapped schoolgirls and that she may have had no idea that she was strapped to a bomb. We pray regularly for that situation, and have many Nigerian Christians in our city who despair at the failure of their government to deal effectively the situation.

    Contrast that scenario with this one. About 20 years ago a Nigerian doctor had a dream of a country and flag he didn’t recognise. He also heard the Lord say to him that he needed to honour his grandparents. Not knowing what this meant he spoke with the leadership of his Nigerian church. They understood it and explained that the country he saw was Scotland and the flag the Scottish saltire. They also understood that the grandparents were spiritual, not natural, and that the Lord was sending him to Scotland to honour the work of the missionaries who went from my homeland to Nigeria. I live in Aberdeen and met him soon after his arrival here. When he shared this vision in our church one of my colleagues took him about 500 metres from our building and showed him the birthplace of Mary Slessor, Aberdeen’s missionary to Calabar. Our brother was dumbstruck. Since that time he has been instrumental in the growth of 53 Nigerian congregations in Scotland, about 10 of them in my city.

    On Tuesday Aberdeen will have a public recognition of the Mary Slessor, marking the 100th anniversary of her death, This will take place in one of our parks where there is a memorial to her. It will be led by one of the Nigerian pastors who now minister in our city.

    Who can fathom the ways of the Lord?

    I pray it will mark a new beginning in the restoration of the Christian faith in our nation.

    • Gordon, thank you so much for sharing about the Nigerian Doctor! It’s very true, God works in mysterious ways. I too pray along with you and others this marks a new beginning of the Christian faith. Praise God.

      By the way, i also wondered about the young girl used as a human bomb. It would not be surprising to find you are correct. Either way, what a tragedy.

      God bless you

  2. Having spent a fair amount of time in Nigeria, including up in Kano and Kaduna, it makes perfectly good sense to me a ten year old girl would do that. The life despair among both Muslims and Christians in these places is so great, she was probably offered a deal she concluded was so much better than the despair and hopelessness she was enduring! Most likely the lie was a better life for her family if she would do this deed? Be expecting more of this as Boko Haram exploits the media humdrum over it as well as the glories they will use to entice more young hopeless girls to do likewise.

    • Be expecting more of this as Boko Haram exploits the media humdrum over it as well as the glories they will use to entice more young hopeless girls to do likewise.

      I pray not Michael. What i don’t understand is our lack of any involvement. Why the US is not helping at all.

  3. PJ,

    if you have never been to Nigeria you won’t be able to comprehend why. This nation is so desperate government employees, police and military at most levels as well as at the higher ones are all so blatantly corrupt they don’t care from where you are from, you will be extorted and molested; graft and public corruption is just a part of ordinary life in Nigeria. I cannot think of one time ever going through their international or national regional airports where I was not requested money for one thing or another. One time I got in late so I had to use public transportation, a taxi, to get to a high level first class hotel. The taxi was stopped in route, the driver and the police spoke only in their dialect which I didn’t know and my personal luggage was gone through. Got into the hotel very late, around 2 a.m. and was told the room rate was one price checking in. When I came to check out I was charged double! You never want to get the police involved in an dispute there in that country.

    On a lighter note, once in Washington D.C. I was just behind a Nigerian man who had just arrived to the United States. He was getting gas at a gas station was dumbfounded that the gas station attendant gave him back change! There is a rule in Nigeria, do not under any circumstances give more money to anyone than what is agreed upon ahead of time when buying ANYTHING. If you are buying something in a store give only the exact change. If you expect to receive money back like we would ordinarily expect at any store in the United States or even other countries I’ve been to, if in Nigeria, you expect to, you are sorely mistaken.

    This is the only country I’ve gone to in Africa where I had anxiety attacks just buying the tickets to go there when in the safety of my office! The only other country like that one where I pause before deciding to go, is Mexico. The oppression in Nigeria and the spiritual harassment is thick and is not for the light hearted.

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