First Wednesday: The Hunt for Nigeria’s Missing Schoolgirls

Talk Wednesday 4 June 2014, 7:00 PM

The recent abduction by militant Islamist group Boko Haram of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls sparked global outrage, leading to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and military assistance from Britain, the US, France and China.

With attacks in northern Nigeria on the increase we will be bringing together a panel of experts to examine the emergence of Boko Haram and what is being done to combat them. We will be examining the origins of the group, its affiliations and influence in the region.

Nigerian authorities have been heavily criticised for their slow response to the crisis. We will be asking whether they are losing the battle against Boko Haram and what can be done to support efforts to combat them.

Chaired by Jonathan Miller, foreign affairs correspondent at Channel 4 News.

The panel:

Fatima Akilu, is director of behavioural analysis in the National Security Advisors office responsible for drafting Nigeria’s a soft approach to counter terrorism, focusing on de-radicalisation, counter radicalisation and strategic communication. Previously she was head of communications for the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria.

Andrew Walker is a writer and journalist who has been working on Nigeria since 2006. He is currently writing a book about northern Nigeria to be published next year.

Bala Liman is a doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where his research is examining the nexus between conflict and identity in Nigeria, with particular emphasis on the emerging culture of conflict in Northern Nigeria. His research also focuses on understanding the Boko Haram insurgency and its effect on the region.

Kayode Ogundamisi is a commentator on Nigerian affairs, he writes independent op-ed articles for major Nigerian media outlets as well as publishing on his blog The Canary. He travels between his base in the UK and his country of birth Nigeria, where he runs a programme on self-empowerment.