To downplay the threat

The BBC reports that Nigeria estimates the body count in Baga as 150, not 2000 or “hundreds” as it reported over the weekend.

150 of course is still a large number of people, and then of course Nigeria has a motive to undercount…

The defence ministry said this figure included “many of the terrorists” who had attacked the town in Borno state and faced resistance by troops.

Local officials earlier estimated the number of deaths at as many as 2,000.

Nigeria has often been accused of underestimating casualty figures to downplay the threat of Boko Haram.

And, one would assume, to minimize Nigeria’s own culpability in totally failing to protect its own citizens.

The ministry dismissed higher estimates for deaths at Baga, in north-east Nigeria, as “speculation and conjecture” and “exaggerated”.

It said the army was taking “necessary actions” to restore law and order there, but gave few details about the operation to recapture the town from the Islamist insurgents.

Nice of it to take “necessary actions” after the town has been demolished.

Earlier, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, in central Nigeria, accused the West of ignoring the threat posed by Boko Haram.

Ignatius Kaigama said the world had to show more determination to halt the group’s advance in Nigeria.

His warning came after at least 23 people were killed at the weekend by three female suicide bombers, one reported to be 10 years old.

Religion of peace.


  1. Kevin Kehres says

    I just do not get the monumental incompetence of the Nigerian government. Their own people are being killed indiscriminately, and they appear not to care one whit.

    I am not among those who would call for US intervention — we are NOT the world’s police, after all. But surely something can be done besides hand-wringing and carrying body bags?

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Kevin Kehres @ # 1: … surely something can be done …?

    After the hundreds of schoolgirls were kidnapped, the US sent a well-armed, droned-up crew of special ops “advisers” into northern Nigeria to help free them. (Last I heard, the only schoolgirls to have been rescued are those who rescued themselves and each other.)

    Whatever The Troops™ did/are doing over the last ~8 months has really helped, hasn’t it?

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