Ebenezer Obadare

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A supporter of Niger’s coup holding a sign reading “knock down France” in Niamey, Niger, August 2023. Mahamadou Hamidou / Reuters

After a group of senior military officers overthrew Niger’s democratically elected president in July, the embattled (but then still alive) Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin likened the coup to a second independence for the West African country. “What happened in Niger is nothing other than the struggle of the people of Niger with their colonizers”, he said in a voice message posted to Telegram. “With colonizers who are trying to foist their rules of life on [Nigeriens] and their conditions and keep them in the state that Africa was in hundreds of years ago”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Prigozhin’s take on the putsch contrasted sharply with that of most African leaders, North American and European governments, the European Union, and the Economic Community of West African States, all of which harshly condemned the military takeover.…  Seguir leyendo »

Opposition supporters protest the election result in Abuja, Nigeria, March 2023. Abraham Achirga / Reuters

Nigeria’s February 2023 general election should have been a triumph of democracy. For the first time since the country transitioned from military to civilian rule in 1999, no former army generals appeared on the presidential ballot. Nigeria had already achieved the all-important milestone of a peaceful transfer of power between political parties in 2015, when Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress defeated the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party. And this year, Buhari adhered to the country’s term limits and passed the baton to another member of his party, Bola Tinubu, who would prevail in what was essentially a tight three-way race.…  Seguir leyendo »