Nigeria – a Country Full of Contradictions Part II
The new candidate was the vice president, the Christian Jonathan Goodluck . Problems start when he wanted to stand for election in 2011. Several Muslim leaders saw this as a breach of the agreement in the PDP on the distribution of power, and the party was strongly divided. Goodluck eventually became the party’s candidate and won the election in 2011. The question now is what will happen until the next election in 2015. Will Jonathan Goodluck once again run as the party’s candidate, or will he be forced to withdraw in favor of a candidate? from the Muslim north? What will be the outcome of the power struggle in the PDP is highly uncertain at the time of writing.
5: Effects also in other countries
Political instability in Nigeria will have effects both outside and within the country’s borders. If the political leadership in Nigeria is paralyzed by power struggles in the PDP ahead of the 2015 election, it could have dramatic consequences for the stability of the entire country. This is especially true if the situation in the Niger Delta and the Boko Haram uprising in the north of the country really get out of control. Such an internal conflict will have major consequences for the West African region according to thereligionfaqs.com. The regional economic co-operation under the auspices of the Economic Society of West African States ( ECOWAS ) may suffer if certain internal political disputes mean that Nigeria can no longer play a leading role. The same applies to ECOWAS ‘many peacekeeping missions and efforts.
The situation in the Niger Delta is calmer than in many years, but it is a fragile peace . It is not many years since militia groups paralyzed parts of the oil extraction and the war with the Nigerian army. The civilian casualties and losses were great. The starting point for this conflict was the large oil resources in this area. Large amounts of oil and gas are extracted both in the river delta of the Niger River and in the sea area outside.
Parts of this production have caused great environmental damage ; several international oil companies have little reason to be proud of what they have been involved in here. The living conditions of ordinary people have been severely degraded by pollution – the opportunities to live on agriculture and fishing have deteriorated. In addition, most people have paid little attention to oil revenues. Inadequate distribution was the starting point for the uprising in the Niger Delta. Additional dimensions came in when the militias in the area took hostages to raise money and stole oil, which they resold at a large profit.
The situation was chaotic until an amnesty program led most people to lay down their arms. The program ended campaigns, but none of the underlying causes have been resolved, and the amnesty program will soon be over. Without a political leadership that can stake out a way forward and address the underlying causes – such as the environmental devastation and the local population’s lack of participation in the oil economy – the situation in the Niger Delta could once again be marked by conflict and major civilian suffering. The oil then again becomes more a curse than a blessing.
In the south of the country, in the Niger Delta , the problem is a danger of new conflict as a result of political paralysis of action. The situation in the north of the country is even more serious. The radical Islamist movement Boko Haram operates there . In the local language (hausa) the name means that «western education is forbidden». This may seem meaningless from Norway’s point of view, but like everything else, Boko Haram is also part of a longer history.
In 1960, the outgoing British colonial administration described the northern parts as a “sleeping giant with enormous potential”. The premise was that roads, bridges and factories were built and that the young people received an education. Unfortunately, these shortcomings still characterize this area. Nigeria is a country with wealth, but also with great inequality. And the inequality is most visible in the north . Well, there are many poor people also in the south of the country, but there is also a big difference between north and south. In the north, the rich elite is even smaller, and the infant mortality rate is much higher than in the south.
6: Boko Haram
There is a long tradition of Islamic radicalism in the north. Traditionally, this has been spiritual and introverted . Young people – mainly men – have then lived in isolation from the rest of society to live in line with their interpretation of the Qur’an and its version of Islam. This changed in the 1980s. Then movements emerged that also wanted to change the society of which they were a part.
We have several such groups; the best organized is Boko Haram . The name is not a random choice. Western education is forbidden, “haram”, because it is seen as delivering something that does not mean anything to people who live here. Boko Haram sees Western education and people with such education only as local aides to a state that exploits the Muslim masses in the north.