Nigeria’s 84 million voters were set to vote in presidential and federal legislative elections on 16 February. But at 2.40 am that day, just over five hours before polling stations were to open, the nation’s election management agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), postponed the balloting. INEC’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, announced a one-week delay to 23 February. He also said gubernatorial and state legislative votes would be rescheduled from 2 to 9 March.
Was there any forewarning of the delay?
The postponement came as a surprise. INEC had repeatedly told both Nigerians and international observers that it was fully prepared to bring off the elections according to schedule.… Seguir leyendo »
50 years after Nigeria’s then Eastern Region declared itself the Republic of Biafra, sparking a brutal and costly three-year civil war, the country again faces a separatist challenge. Across the Igbo south east, there is resurgent agitation for an independent Biafra state.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s forceful response to the agitation has been counter-productive, inflaming passions and boosting separatist sentiments. The government needs to change course and prioritise dialogue over coercion.
The starting point of any response is to understand the agitation’s roots. They include political and economic grievances, a deep sense of collective victimisation among the Igbo, and the failure of south east politicians to provide good governance and development.… Seguir leyendo »
One of the world’s worst humanitarian crises is unfolding in West Africa’s Lake Chad region, where 11 million people are in urgent need of emergency aid.
Nigeria, its neighbours, and the world are struggling to find an adequate response. Failure to do so will condemn millions to more suffering, and raise the region’s vulnerability to violent extremism.
Donors meeting at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region on Friday must seize the opportunity to act more effectively.
Up to 100,000 people may have died in the seven-year Boko Haram insurgency, according to Governor Kassim Shettima of Borno State in Nigeria’s northeast, the epicentre of the fighting.… Seguir leyendo »
Children are dying in Bama, a town in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, suffering from lack of food, clean water and medical care. They are the most tragic manifestation of the humanitarian fallout of the Boko Haram insurgency and the state response to it, a crisis that now impacts the lives of millions. The insurgency itself, the aggressive military response to it, and the lack of effective assistance, both national and international, to those caught up in the conflict threaten to create an endless cycle of violence and depredation. Unless efforts to contain and roll back the current crisis are quickly scaled-up, peace is likely to remain a distant prospect in this region of Nigeria.… Seguir leyendo »
Al asumir la presidencia de Nigeria el 29 de mayo, Muhammadu Buhari toma las riendas de un país en emergencia. La inseguridad supone un problema gravísimo, la economía se encuentra en situación desesperada y la corrupción y la impunidad están extendidas. Buhari, que ganó las elecciones del 29 de marzo con la promesa del cambio, debe cumplir ahora su palabra, empezando por reunir a los nigerianos alrededor de lo que han perdido: una visión común para el futuro.
Los asesinatos de Boko Haram se han reducido tras la reciente ofensiva de las fuerzas armadas de Nigeria y sus vecinos, pero todavía no se ha puesto fin a la insurgencia.… Seguir leyendo »