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An association of Nigeria Peace Corps alumni and other friends of Nigeria who support the interests of the Nigerian people.

Jim Culbertson's take on Mubi Bombing

  • May 11, 2018 3:37 AM
    Message # 6148734
    Gregory D (& Barbara) Jones (Administrator)

    A double bombing occurred in Mubi on May 1st.  Here are a number of links to reports on the bombing:





    Here is what Jim Culbertson (26, 66-69) had to say to other TISEP volunteers:

    Dear TISEP Tutor friends, 

    Unfortunately, this is not the only sad news from Nigeria. I sent that particular news story  along to illustrate a few things beyond the story itself.

    1)  News from of Africa, whether good or bad, is rarely, if ever, reported in the US press. For example, unless you read the April edition of 'The Atlantic,' you would probably not know that Nigeria is experiencing a severe outbreak of Lassa Fever, the deadly viral hemorrhagic fever that first appeared in 1969. This disease is akin to the much more widely reported Ebola virus which is also plaguing Africa. In the first two months of 2018, at least 317 people have been infected with Lassa Fever in Nigeria, of which about 72 have died. 

    2)  Even the news from Africa that we do get is often not reliable. We need to interpret it as critically as we learned to do when we lived there during the Biafra crises. This is illustrated by the fact that other reports of the Mubi bombing by the BBC, Reuters, and CNN only recounted the "official information" given soon after the incident. The story published in Paris' Le Monde, however, included eye witnesses accounts that challenged the official number of deaths. An article in Nigeria's Daily Post reported the dead to be the same as in  Le Mond--more than 60. In all, I have found that Le Monde's coverage of events in Nigeria have more breadth and depth than most other news agencies. (Incidently,
    Rukmini Callimachi's reporting in The New York Times on ISIS in Mali, including the ambush of the four US soldiers in Niger, was Pulitzer Prize worthy.) 

    3)  To me, the most disappointing stories out of Nigeria are that 

    • There are increasing murderous conflicts between nomadic herders and settled farmers 
    • There are continuing deadly terrorist attacks, particularly in the north 
    • The area around Lake Chad--Camaroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria--is under the control of an ISIS offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa
    • Lake Chad is about half the size of what it was when it saw it in 1968. (This illustrates the continuing tragic desertification of the Sahle) 
    • The Nigerian Army continues its thuggish ways (e.g., summary executions of suspected miscreants after an interrogation rather than a trial) 
    • Corruption in business, government, and the military continues to be pervasive.

    In spite my dismal view of the world, I am sending you my happiest regards. 


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