Thursday 15 May 2014

The Blame Game

Well, well, well (as Nick Robinson would say). Another day, another verbal assault on the Nigerian government on Today [at 2:36:59].

Justin Webb talked to Sharon Ikeazor of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) about the abducted girls, and she severely criticised the Nigerian government for its handling of the affair. 

That's understandable. That's what opposition politicians do (for good or for ill). 

He Justin turned to Kashim Shettima, governor of Nigeria's Borno state, and I expected to hear the other side of the argument - the government's side but - but, instead, Governor Shettima also very strongly criticised the government of President Goodluck Jonathan's handling of the affair too, agreeing with Sharon Ikeazor. 

It was like a two-pronged attack.

Checking Google, it turns out that Governor Shettima has been involved in a major blame-game with the government already, with each side blaming the other (and the president's wife, Patience, holding him responsible for the security failings in the state.) Plus his old party has now joined the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), so he's of the same political group as Sharon Ikeazor.

Justin pursued the line that the government might have been neglectful out of a lack of concern for the region (i.e. a Christian-led southern government neglecting the Muslim north, though he didn't put it that way explicitly).

Strange, eh?

Even stranger, exactly 4 minutes and 52 seconds went by from the start of the segment until we heard the name 'Boko Haram' or the words 'Islamist group'. 

No one, not even Justin Webb, had mentioned them up till that point. 

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