But Nigerian newspapers differ from the almost exclusively human interest reporting of their global counterparts in the lengths they will go to make links between attacks in the remote northeast and national politics – all against the background of looming elections. “We thought it (the Boko Haram insurgency) was a flash in the pan … But it has become a very bad ulcer,” said Oloja. “This insurgency is political. It is tied to the 2015 presidential election. People are imputing motives. This wasn’t like that a year ago,” he added. Once the revolt was largely a matter for the authorities of the northeast. But the fighters have stepped up the violence in recent months, launching attacks in the central city of Jos and in Abuja, the capital. The government’s decision to declare states of emergency and launch a military offensive in May last year has meant national agencies face harsh scrutiny – particularly after their failure to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April. The police’s decision to ban public protests over the girls in the capital last week, and then apparently reverse that decision, generated a three-column editorial asking if the police chief should “be allowed to function in a democracy”.
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