Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodluck, Goodluck

In my ongoing quest not to have any readers, I'll continue my look at elections around the world that actually really matter, but no one in Canada seems to care about. Today, news that incumbent Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has won re-election. This has caused rioting in the rebellious north. Nigeria has been in quasi-civil war for a while now. The Muslim population in the north which is actually the majority has ongoing conflicts with the oil controlling south which is predominantly Christian. Goodluck Jonathan is a southern Christian, which along with allegations of fraud explains the rioting. It's hard to classify the ongoing conflict in Nigeria, like the conflict in Sudan as purely religious or purely about oil or about something else entirely. What is true, is that it is ongoing and resolution does not appear to be close at hand.

However, geopolitically and economically we would do well to pay attention to Nigeria. First and foremost Nigeria is big. 155 million people call Nigeria home and Nigeria is very much at the centre of West African politics and African politics generally. Nigeria is also oil rich and as a member of OPEC provide oil to a large part of the Western world with oil (particularly the US). This oil wealth makes a stable Nigeria essential right now with the ongoing conflict in Libya already giving oil markets fits. The threat to the oil supply is real, as northern rebels often sabotage pipelines and take other steps to undermine the oil trade to make their political points. Goodluck Jonathan came to power after a very strange period of time when the last President was rumored to be dead and no one quite knew where he was. He now has his own mandate and hopefully will be able to bring order and peace to the 155 million people he now must govern.

1 comment:

prasad said...

This is very bad Muslims and Christians and other religion people will have to work together then any country will develop and will be in a good position.

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