Alex Perry

The Hunt For Boko Haram

After 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in April, the call to #bringbackourgirls was briefly taken up across the world. French president, François Hollande, America's first lady, Michelle Obama, film star and activist, Angelina Jolie, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, were among those who spoke out. While the limelight fell on the girls themselves, Boko Haram's wider aim is even more sinister: to ban western education and return their country to a “purer”, Luddite age. Their leaders are willing to commit acts of horrific violence and terror to achieve that aim. Meanwhile, the bomb attacks continue on a weekly basis, and the brutality under which Nigerians live their daily lives worsens. Some say the country will soon be torn apart the by corruption, greed and indifference of a government that exists more to serve the interests of foreign multinationals than to provide justice and services for its own citizens. Award-winning journalist Alex Perry writes extensively on African politics and has covered conflicts across the continent. In this book he reveals the context to the Chibok kidnappings, showing how they fit into a wider pattern of brutality specifically intended to bring Nigeria to its knees. To know how to respond, and save the implosion of Africa's wealthiest and fast-growing country, other nations must understand the history and legacy of corruption that has brought a 100-year-old nation to the point of an anarchic self-destruction. In this bleak landscape of callous neglect and cynicism, Perry hunts out some rays of hope. The results when, under brave and inspired leadership, cities like Kano and Lagos invest in their infrastructure and their people are remarkable. This is not a nation incapable of reform. It is a country in need of a new generation of leaders. If Boko Haram’s activists, hellbent on destruction, have their way, Nigeria will get neither.
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