National Geographic : 2013 Nov
The War for Nigeria 93 Igbo word for a white man. It was as though their identities had been taken. One such man sat on his bed staring at the wall in an effort to withstand the pain, while nurses wrapped him in gauze. He turned and looked at me with an expression of such kind- ness that I smiled. I asked—the stupidity of my question apparent immediately—“Are you OK?” “No,” he said calmly, and returned to staring. When the car exploded, the same two words occurred to him, and to the ticket taker, and to every other person who saw or heard the blast, which could be heard on the other side of Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city: Boko Haram. That neither they, nor practically anyone else in Ni- geria, knew what Boko Haram was exactly or why it would want to bomb a bus station was beside the point. Officially, according to the Nigerian govern- ment, Boko Haram is a terrorist group. It began life as a separatist movement led by a northern Nigerian Muslim preacher, Mohammed Yusuf, who decried the country’s misrule. “Boko Ha- ram” is a combination of the Hausa language and Arabic, understood to mean that Western, Soldiers force men to the ground at a checkpoint in the city of Sokoto. As feared as Boko Haram in the north, security forces harass and detain people on scant evidence and likely have killed as many Nigerians as the rebel group has. James Verini wrote about Gaza’s tunnels in December 2012. Longtime contributor Ed Kashi has spent years documenting Nigeria’s oil industry.