Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo.

"Seventeen people died in France last week, world leaders have marched and stood together in unity. Over 2000 people died in Nigeria, this past week ALONE. No world leader has even paid a visit, let alone march. I can understand that, what I can never understand is why Nigerians are screaming about Charlie Hebdo, but saying absolutely nothing about the massacre going on in northern Nigeria. ‪#‎JeSuisBaga‬ ‪#‎NigeriaDecides‬"

The above was my Facebook status some days ago. Except you live under the rock and you never come out to breathe, then you can be excused if you did not hear about the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks. In summary, the newspaper was a target of a terrorist attack last week. This attack was presumed to be in response to a number of controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. In support of the newspaper, and in solidarity for freedom of press and speech, a hashtag ensued, #JeSuisCharlieHebdo which literally means I am Charlie Hebdo. Days later, world leaders marched in unity and in support of Charlie Hebdo. I am sure you must therefore be wondering if I am insane, considering that the title of this post means I am not Charlie Hebdo. I am not a Muslim. I am not a terrorist.  I will never be in support of terrorism. I know its a global war against terrorism, so I am happy about the stand for unity, progress and freedom. That being said, I still am not Charlie Hebdo.

I am not Charlie Hebdo because I am too busy being Baga. I am Chibok. I am Borno. I am Jos. I am Nigerian.
In the past week, there was an attack in Baga, a town in northeastern Nigerian state of Borno. Now, there are discrepancies on the amount of dead people. Some say 2,000, some others, 200. But the fact still remains that people died. The Nigerian leadership has expressed it's condolences to the French people, but has not made a statement on the attack on Baga. Isn't that insanity? How has this become the reality in Nigeria? How have Nigerians become so insensitive to the killings of our fellow countrymen? So much that when I see a news about another Boko Haram attack on my Twitter feed, I just scroll past it like it's one of those things. We are now so used to it that it does not bother us anymore. We are numb to the devastating crisis. Waking up to bombs and machetes has become the realities of some innocent children in the north, while the rest of us sip on fancy champagnes and take fancy airplane rides. Some of us had the best holidays we could think of. For some of us, the kinds of problems we deal with is whether to get a pair of shoes in red or pink.

But you see that's not really my headache. The real headache is how young Nigerians (on my social media) have so much empathy for Black Americans, but cannot squeeze out some of that empathy for the unfortunate children in the north. If I had a dollar for every time someone on my timeline tweeted about injustice and racism in America, I'd have  bought myself a Ferrari right about now. Yes, there's racism in America. Black Americans are being wrongly profiled yada yada. You know what's also true? Black Americans have enough people fighting and protesting these injustice on  a daily basis. Black Americans have the whole world protesting injustice on their behalf. You know who has nobody creating awareness for them? Those innocent people in northern Nigeria. The last straw that broke the camel's back was #JeSuisCharlieHebdo.

Therefore, before you are Charlie Hedbo, remember to be Baga. Remember to be Jos, Nassarawa, Maiduguri...remember to be Nigerian.


P.S: This post (or a variant of it) was first published at Bellanaija.


  1. Awesome article Ma'am. Stumbled upon it on BN, followed the bread crumbs here and perused some of your older posts - you sure do love to write dontcha...nice going leaving us hanging with the Greys Anatomy story, I'm curious, whatever happened to the anesthesiologist..she get blown to bits? (Never made it past the first 3 episodes of S1 Greys Anatomy). Sorry, I tend to get off topic sometimes...anyways, great, well thought out post...may seem a tad offensive to the french...but with the help of a handy translator they could see things from where your perspective. I'd hate to come off as "that Guy" (caught that expression from Tv's Community) but I also own a blog (don't we all), and ran your post on it..gave proper credit I promise. Even to BN..just incase you wanna scream plagiarism. Again, great article. Great posts....and Keep up the good fight.

    1. Haha. Thank you for stopping by! I am sorry for leaving you in that suspense, but doesn't that come with the territory (writing)? Lol. The anesthesiologist left and so was safe, the young paramedic later escaped too. She was too scared to be brave.
      Unfortunately, some of my article may have been misunderstood. As I am on the side of Charlie Hebdo; we all are against terrorism. So I hope it doesn't seem offensive to them or to Nigerians too.
      See, I would give you a hug, but then you never made it past the first season of Grey's Anatomy?! Why? Lol.
      Thank you very much for stopping by, and even more commenting! :-)

  2. If an edited version of this masterpiece appears on BellaNaija, it means you got paid, right? I know this is coming at such a late time, but WOW!!!

    1. Hahaha, thank you for your kind words. However, I did not get paid to post this on Bellanaija. Thank you for stopping by :-)