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Archive for March, 2007


Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Afrobarometer is an independent nonpartisan research center that measures the social, political and economic atmosphere in African countries. Their main page is here.

From the essays most relevant to you are:

Performance & Legitimacy in Nigeria’s New Democracy

Identity, Institutions & Democracy in Nigeria
Both essays provide concrete statistical analysis gleaned from questionairres such as this one

The candidates to be Nigeria’s leader

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

As political parties in Nigeria pick their presidential candidates for the April 2007 elections, the BBC News website’s Senan Murray profiles the strongest of them.  Read On

Worse Than Iraq?

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

With an ethnically and religiously combustible population of 130 million, Nigeria is lurching toward disaster, and the stakes are high—for both Nigeria and the United States. An OPEC member since 1971, Nigeria has 35.9 billion barrels of proven petroleum reserves—the largest of any African country and the eighth largest on earth. It exports some 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, and the government plans to nearly double that amount by 2010. Nigeria is the fifth-largest supplier of oil to the United States; U.S. energy officials predict that within ten years it and the Gulf of Guinea region will provide a quarter of America‘s crude.

It is hardly surprising, then, that since 9/11 the Bush administration has courted Nigeria as an alternative to volatile petro-states in the Middle East and Latin America. In 2002, the White House declared the oil of Africa (five other countries on the continent are also key producers) a “strategic national interest”—meaning that the United States would use military force, if necessary, to protect it. In short, Nigeria‘s troubles could become America‘s and, like those of the Persian Gulf, cost us dearly in blood and money.

Read more from Jeffrey Tayler here


AP Central

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Paul J. Kaiser of University of Pennsylvania published this briefing paper on Nigeria for AP Central.

read the briefing paper here

Corruption in Nigeria

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Nigeria is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Daily, low-level corruption is visible on the street; policeman extorting money from motorists to supplement their meagre wages. But it is in the world of politics and government, where corruption has been most damaging. For decades the government has accrued huge oil revenues, yet the country suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure, and tens of millions live in poverty. At the same time, some politicians and their business associates have amassed personal fortunes.Although accusations of graft have long been a feature of Nigerian politics, as elections approach early next year, the politics of corruption have taken on a new powerful role.

BBC News on the Politics of Nigerian Corruption

The Democratic Transition in Nigeria

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

The election of Olusegun Obasanjo to the presidency of Nigeria in 1999 effectively brought an end to 16 years of military rule. Obasanjo became only the third head of government to be elected by the people (not counting the election of 1993, won by Chief Moshood Abiola but later annulled). Nigerians greeted the transition from military to civilian rule with widespread jubilation as they looked forward to a new era of stability, peace, and prosperity.

Read Iren Omo-Bare’s assessment as published on AP Central

Who will be Nigeria’s president?

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

The contest to succeed Olusegun Obasanjo as the presidential candidate of ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) has reached a critical juncture. Prospective candidates must submit their applications by November 28th, 2006, prior to an internal party screening process in early December and a vote at the PDP’s congress later that month.

Read this short Economist piece

Nigeria’s oil violence

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

The Niger Delta holds some of the world’s richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, violence is rampant, and the land and water are foul. What went wrong?

read a Q & A here

for more depth and understanding read National Geographic’s Tom O’Neil on “The Curse of Black Gold: Hope and Betrayal in the Niger Delta”

Sebastain Junger’s February, 2007 contribution to Vanity Fair magazine is also very much worth reading. Read it Here

Not to be overlooked is this piece by Ken Wiwa (the son of the martyr) “Death rules the delta in battle to control oil”

Obasanjo’s legacy to Nigeria

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

When President Olusegun Obasanjo leaves office at the end of May, Nigeria would have achieved its first democratic transfer of power from one civilian administration to another – in spite of the reluctance of the outgoing administration.

Read about Obasanjo’s legacy to Nigeria

Timeline: Nigeria

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Chronolgy helps. Here’s a breif timeline of Nigerian history