Nigeria’s abduction epidemic and the silence of the West

Every day, more and more children are going missing in Nigeria. At least 140 schoolchildren were kidnapped in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna city yesterday. A day earlier, another eight people – including two nurses and an infant – were abducted in Zaria, around 50 miles north of Kaduna. This marked the fourth attack on a Kaduna state school and the third on a Zaria hospital in the past five months. Over 1,000 schoolchildren have now been kidnapped in Nigeria since December; around 200 of them are still missing. Yet the international condemnation has been muted. It all marks a stark contrast to the ‘Bring back our girls’ backlash that greeted the kidnapping by Boko Haram of 276 Chibok schoolgirls

Is there anything left worth joking about?

Here are a couple of books that seek to tackle the difficult issue of comedy on the front line. One deals with an increasingly toxic global cultural war; the other plunges into the battle to take on jihadists by laughing at them. In their different ways both ask the same questions: what’s funny and what’s not? And both examine the consequences of challenging those who police what is and what is not considered acceptable. Find yourself on the wrong side of cancel culture and you lose your career. Take on the jihadists and you lose your head. Andrew Hankinson, a journalist and writer from Newcastle, is the author of the