This article was originally published on Common Edge. For the past decade, Nigeria has lived under the crushing specter of attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram. From Maiduguri to Abuja, bombs have exploded intermittently, killing hundreds, destroying thousands of homes, and crippling public infrastructure. In recent years, the Nigerian military has liberated several captive communities and begun reconstruction work in a number of them. Sadly, the aftereffects of these violent convulsions have profoundly reshaped our cities. The attacks utterly upended lives: shattering basic civic amenities, disrupting livelihoods, and forcing residents to rebuild from scratch while still grieving for family and friends. At the height of the insurgency, the city of Yola in Nigeria’s northeast offered refuge to fleeing residents of the troubled surrounding towns of Madagali, Michika, Mubi, Hong, and others. At one point, Yola had as many refugees as its original population, further stressing the city. And even Yola wasn’t entirely safe: suicide bombers carried out a few attacks in the city, setting off explosives in motor parks and at its central mosque. The devastation caused by attacks crippled the local economy, denying local workers the opportunity to earn a decent living.
View moreView full description