In a recent op-ed article for the New York Times, Anglo-Nigerian writer Adewale Maja-Pearce based in Lagos, discusses the political unrest in Nigeria, as he predicts more problems in the coming election season.
He states Nigeria is virtually a single party state and cannot unite because of ethnic and religious differences. He also strongly criticizes President Goodluck Jonathan‘s administration, alleging he takes care of his region over others in Nigeria.
His Perception of Goodluck Jonathan’s Indifference for National Tragedies
The incompetence of Mr. Jonathan’s government is most clearly seen in its inability to rescue the 276 schoolgirls, most of them believed to be Christians, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in the largely Islamic north last April.
Even at the time, the president, himself a Christian from the largely Christian south, didn’t seem much concerned about their fate.
It took him almost three weeks to officially acknowledge what had happened, whereupon he belatedly invited their relatives to lunch at the presidential villa in Abuja, an event which one journalist likened to “a wedding reception,” complete with bunting and a band.
Jonathan taking care of his Region at the detriment of Others
Like any savvy politician, he knows that patronage is a two-way street, and he has been careful to keep the money flowing in a region plagued by resentment over oil rights, piracy and periodic unrest.
Thus Mr. Jonathan takes care to ensure that the region is well looked after, and this contributes to his enormous popularity there. Indeed, he is widely seen as crucial to keeping the lid on potential unrest. In the words of Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, a former leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force who is now a key supporter, if Mr. Jonathan is not re-elected next year, there will be “blood in the streets.”
Read the full article on the New York Times.
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