-By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
The Nigerian government has hired Washington D.C-based public relations firm Levick to help salvage the country’s and current administration’s images on the international community as it tries to deal with the terrorist crisis that has recently gripped the country.
In the past three months, terrorist acts have increased in the country. In April, more than 200 students were kidnapped at night from their school dormitory by armed gunmen from the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram. Since then, several street and city attacks have taken place in the Northern region of the nation, including two attacks in the nation’s capital, Abuja. Ninety-one people were recently kidnapped this week, including women and girls, and the latest car bombing attack at a shopping mall near the seat of power killed 21 and injured more.
Even though Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for the latest attack at the shopping mall, it is assumed that the group is responsible since it has claimed responsibility for other similar attacks.
Although the government has tried to manage the PR crises on its own, it has been criticized for stonewalling and slow response to the media and the international community, who are all still seeking answers to the status of the schoolgirls that were kidnapped in April. Many fear that the longer the rescue efforts, the less likely it is to find and bring home those kidnapped schoolgirls.
Efforts to coordinate security with neighboring country Cameroon have failed, leaving many investors and international businesses to worry and ask questions about what the government is doing to stymie the terrorist acts.
Nigeria has the fastest growing and highest economy on the continent but the recent waves of terrorist attacks on innocent citizens, and the government’s lack of forthcoming answers and quick responses to the crisis situation has put a negative spotlight on the country. Many analysts have said that if the terrorism is not dealt with immediately, it could have an adverse result on the country’s economy.
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