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Nigeria: the politics of Niger Delta

The politics of Niger Delta: the emergence of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

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  • he rhetoric feeds into a growing regional rivalry in Nigeria to succeed President Olusegun Obasanjo after elections next year.

    The vote in 2007 should mark the first time one civilian president hands over to another in Nigeria’s 47 years as an independent nation. But the process of choosing a successor has been stymied by a campaign to amend the constitution to allow Obasanjo to stand for a third term.

    U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte predicted “major turmoil and conflict” if Obasanjo, who has been evasive about his plans, confirms a desire to run again.

    “Such chaos in Nigeria could lead to disruption of oil supply, secessionist moves by regional governments, major refugee flows, and instability elsewhere in West Africa,” he told a Senate briefing in early February.

    These fears are understandable in Nigeria, where at least 14,000 people have been killed in political, ethno-religious and communal violence since the restoration of democracy in 1999.

    Embryonic secessionist movements exist across the south, while Islamic sharia law is being enforced with increasing seriousness in the north.

    Rampant corruption in government has fuelled distrust and rivalry between tribes and regions.

    Former Foreign Minister Bolaji Akinyemi said various apparently unconnected crises, including religious protests against Danish cartoons in northern Nigeria which killed 16 people on Saturday, could combine into something more dangerous.

    “The government should keep in mind there is a danger that a whole bunch of grievances — whether cartoons, Niger Delta or opposition to a third term — could coalesce into a huge uncontrollable grievance,” he told Reuters.

    Na so na sidon look we dey do now so my work na just to feed una with information so that una go dey see developments outside nigeria.GOD BLESS NIGER DELTA abi this one go vex some people too

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