Nigeria’s politics is sliding dangerously towards violence before, during and after the February 2015 elections. With only three months to the polls, mitigating bloodshed requires urgent improvements in security and electoral arrangements, as well as in political mind-sets.
05 January 2015
Boko Haram (BH) insurgency continued in north: attacks and suicide bombings left over 300 dead, 190 kidnapped in Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Plateau states. Unidentified armed men 7 Dec freed around 270 inm ...
Nigeria’s April elections may have broken somewhat its cycle of deeply flawed polls, but the country still must meet many and daunting challenges to ensure a stable and democratic future.
Despite some encouraging preparations, huge challenges remain in the short weeks before the April general elections at which Nigeria’s international reputation and faith in its own democracy are at stake.
Nigeria’s far north is not the hot bed of Islamic extremists some in the West fear, but it needs reinforced community-level peacebuilding, a more subtle security response, and improved management of public resources lest lingering tensions lead to new violence.
The report of the government-constituted Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, submitted to Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on 1 December 2008, offers an opportunity to reduce violent conflict significantly and begin longer-term regional development in the oil-rich region.
The Nigerian government’s 4 June 2008 decision to replace the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as operator of oil concessions in Ogoni areas offers an opportunity for ending one of the longest-running conflicts between a multinational oil company and a local community in the Niger Delta.
The Niger Delta is again at risk of sliding into chaos. The 29 May 2007 inauguration of new federal and state governments offered an opportunity to resolve longstanding conflicts afflicting the oil-rich, deeply impoverished region.
Nigeria’s democracy is in crisis. The April 2007 elections were supposed to move the country to a higher rung on the democratisation ladder, create a more conducive environment to resolve its many internal conflicts and strengthen its credentials as a leading peacemaker, but instead generated serious new problems that may be pushing it further towards the status of a failed state.
International Crisis Group © 2015 |