Nigeria

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Nigerian Soccer Players
Nigerian Soccer Players
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The deep social cleavages in Nigeria make a united nation rare. However, as shown above, Nigerians do come together in support of their soccer team.
Motto: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
Video of AIDS in Africa: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1OtLIjKV4&mode=related&search=

Political History
  • Pre-colonial era (-1860): Kinship-based politics with a surprising degree of democracy. Rulers were expected to act in the best interest of the people, and those that didn't were removed from their positions. Think Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
  • 1861-1960 as a colony of the British Empire: "Nigeria" constructed out of disparate religious and ethnic groups.
    • The British brought rule of law to Nigeria, but had many negative influences. The British pitted tribes against one another, intensifying ethnic divisions, and made themselves the utmost authority. As a result, the chiefs had less accountability to their people.
  • N. Nigeria: British relied on indirect rule (rule in which local leaders are under limited supervision of imperial officials); some regions of Nigeria had regional self-government
  • S. Nigeria: British colonial bureaucrats governed directly and used local “chiefs” to help rule
  • Christian missionaries converted and opened schools: created an elite of Nigerians, literacy allowed a critical press, Southerners had an advantage because they sent the most children to school
  • October 1, 1960: Nigeria gained complete independence and established another constitution.
    • Nigeria only gained complete sovereignty in 1960. Out of all the countries we've studied, Nigeria has had the least time to develop a national identity and stabilize politically. This has led to large social cleavages and has made it difficult to create a unified government.
  • 1963-1966 First Republic: Parliamentary government with House of Representatives and a Senate. Also similar to American presidential system because federal structure was retained, a written constitution was created, and a Supreme Court was created.
    • Balewa (Muslim) was elected first prime minister, ruled until he was assassinated in a military coup and replaced by Ironsi (Christian)
  • 1966-1977 Military Rule I: Ironsi assassinated in a military coup, replaced by Gowon (Christian) who is overthrown in another military coup and replaced by Muhammed (Muslim), who is then assassinated and replaced with Obasanjo (Christian Yoruba - later elected president in the 4th Republic) in 1976 who developed a 19-state federal republic with a new constitution. Believed an increased number of states would make it more difficult for the 3 main ethnic groups to manipulate the federal system. Brings Nigeria to civilian rule and steps down
  • 1978-1983 Second Republic: Shangari (Muslim) elected, but overthrown after a corrupt 1983 election by Buhari (Muslim)
  • 1983-1993 Military Rule II: Buhari rules but is overthrown and replaced by Babangida (Muslim)
  • Summer 1993 “Third Republic”: Abiola wins an election but election nullified by the military; Babangida empowers transitional council but chaos ensues
  • 1991 Nigeria's Capital Moved From Lagos to Abuja: This was done due to overcrowding in Lagos and it was moved to Abuja to make the state more compacted. This more centralized capital symbolically made the state more neutral to nationalities because it is closer to the other parts of Nigeria with different nationalities.
  • 1993-1999 Military Rule III: Sani Abacha rules in a repressive system until his death (heart attack)
  • 1999-present Fourth Republic: General Abubakar presides over the successful election of Obasanjo as president; Obasanjo is elected to a second term in 2003. Senate blocks constitutional amendment seeking a 3rd term for Obasanjo. In 2007 Umaru Yar’Adua was elected from the People’s Democratic Party, and there is a peaceful transition of power from old to new president.--
  • Due to health issues, Yar'Adua disappeared for months, leaving the leadership of the country uncertain. Vice President Goodluck Jonathan stepped in as acting President due to a court ruling that he was now Acting President. It is notable that this was a peaceful transition of power from the Muslim President Yar'Adua to the Christian Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, in a country where religion is a major divide. It is also notable because there is nothing in Nigeria's written constitution having to do with the transfer of power; the legislature decided this on their own peacefully.

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS
  • Federal government is comprised of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches
Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic
  • The judiciary is affected by such federal systems, as some courts are allowed to practice Shar'ia law.

Executive

Acting President: Goodluck Jonathan (PDP). Elected to the Position of Vice-President with the election of Umaru Yar'Adua to the Presidency. Acting President since Yar'Adua went to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment, and even through his return in February of this year as he continues to recover. The Nigerian Senate passed a formal motion on Feb. 9 2010 to give him all the powers of acting President.
--> Previously served as Governor of Bayelsa State from 2005-2007


Elected President- Goodluck Jonathan (PDP): popularly elected head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces; elected for four year terms with a maximum of two terms of service permitted by the constitution.
--> has been the most powerful political force in the country
--> performs the ceremonial duties of leadership, administration of government, leader of the armed forces
--> chooses government ministers (who must be approved by the Senate and chosen from all 36 states) who with the president form the Federal Executive Committee to ensure laws are implemented and assure a coordination of federal and state governments. The appointment of these ministers also grants many different religions and ethnicity to gain representation in government. The president and ministers are not allowed to serve in the National Assembly simultaneously.
Goodluck Jonathan became acting president when his predecessor, Umaru Yar'Adua, became unhealthy and unfit for office due to cardiac problems, and formally assumed presidential powers on Feb. 9 2010 with the passage of a motion by the Nigerian Senate. In April 2011, Jonathan won the presidency in his own right, defeating challenger Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC in an election that was at first praised for its relative cleanliness but which later led to violence in the northern part of the country. This election was especially significant because it broke the precedent of ethnic "zoning" for the presidency; beginning with Obasanjo (a Yoruba Christian) in 1999, there was a tacit agreement for the presidency to rotate among ethnic groups and religions every eight years. Yar'Adua was a northern Muslim, so when he died it was assumed that another northern Muslim would replace him. But Jonathan is a southern Christian, so he was, according to the precedent, four years early. Perhaps this signals new cooperation between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria, or perhaps Jonathan's move will ignite tensions.
-Goodluck Jonathan (PDP) was recently re-elected, when Yar'Adua became deathly ill, which was thought to be a large issue with respect to the religious zoning unstated laws of the past. However, despite some violence, Goodluck Johnathan seems to be legitamatly elected to office and has experienced moderate to minimal violence in reaction to the repeat of sorts in religion of ruler. This may signal many shifts in Nigerian politics, 1 that religious tentions are decreasing which is very unlikly. 2 that Goodluck Johnathan may be becoming too powerful, or 3 that the Nigerian elections may be becoming increasingly more legitimate and accurate as the racy, dare I say saucy, candidate with experience was chosen from the Christian south.

Legislative
National Assembly: bicameral lawmaking body of Nigerian legislators popularly elected to four-year terms; legislation can originate in either house, but a law does not become official until both houses pass it and the president consents
--> Senate: 109 members of three representatives from each of the 36 states and one from Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
--> House of Representatives: 360 members
Members from both legislative bodies serve four-year terms and are popularly elected. The main function of the National Assembly is to pass laws for assent by the president.
*The legislative branch gained legitimacy when it denied Obasanjo a third term.

Judiciary
Judiciary interprets laws in accordance with the constitution, which provides for federal and state courts and election tribunals. At the apex of the federal judiciary is the Supreme Court, which is the highest federal court of the land. There is also a Court of Appeal and a Federal High Court. For the Federal capital territory in Abuja, in other words, Northern Nigeria where there is a dense population of Muslims, there is a High Court, Shari'ah Court of Appeal, and Customary Court of Appeal. State courts are comprised of a High Court, Shari’ah Court of Appeal, and a Customary Court of Appeal.This common belief in the legitimacy for a religious doctrine to dictate thier lives helps builds legitimacy in this country which is filled with corruption.


State Government
States (36) have a popularly elected governor (serves a four year term) and unicameral State House of Assembly (comprised of popularly elected representatives from local government areas). The number of House of Assembly members in each state is comprised of three times the number of seats that it has in the House of Representatives. There are a total of 774 local government areas across Nigeria, comprised of a chairman and elected councilors. Local government councils tend to local administrative matters. Local governments in the North implement Shari'a law in the Muslim states, which undermines the sovereignty and the authority of the national government since Shari'a law there supersedes national law.

Military
-seen as disciplined organization with the capactiy to make decision efficiently and effectively
-military seen as national in character because of the incorporation of all regions, ethnicities, and religions
-it has participated in coups in the past 20 years, each time using the excuse that due to corruption, "they're only stepping in until Nigeria is ready for democracy again"
-custodial theory of military govt. states that military rule is justified because it "prepares" the country for democracy

-less need of democracy, more for order and stability in the country
-Although military rule normally has a negative connotation, it has actually been more effective than a democratic rule at times in Nigeria
- When it comes to military officers assuming political leadership in Nigeria it is corrupt. Many officers often bypass the electoral process and rely on violence and bribes in order to gain political promotion.

Civil/Military Relations In order to assure that the military remains in the barracks during times of political tension, Nigerians need to view civilian governments as the legitimate guarantors of the Nigerian nation, irrespective of political party in power and the ethnic/religious/regional composition of political leaders. Until civilian political legitimacy is established, civil/military relations will remain tenuous at best.

-power trumps all, whether it be military influence, or governmental power, it generally supercedes religious and ethnic cleavages that would normally cross cut society and divide the people.

Bureaucracy
- A large employer dominated by Southern Nigerians, creating stronger north/south tensions, and whose size has grown dramatically with oil revenues
- Large amount of corruption because of the lack of accountability and political instability related to oil revenues; patron-client system.

Political Parties
  • In the past, parties were mostly ethnically based, thus ethnicizing and regionalizing national politics; now there has been an increase in multiethnic parties that are trying to build bridges among ethnic groups.
  • Long-term ethnic divisions continue to prevent a national identity
  • Political parties are outlawed during military rule
  • Parties since 1998 have little in common from 2nd Republic; but increased support across ethnic lines
  • People’s Democratic Party (PDP): currently in power under the presidency of Yar’Abdua, connected with the military, formed by Obasanjo and those opposed to the Abacha government of the 1990s; party of Conservative president Goodluck Jonathan; defined by economic liberalism and social conservatism
  • All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP): formed by politicians close to Sani Abacha
  • Alliance for Democracy Party (AD): Nigeria’s third party, formed by supporters of Abiola and the most democratic, getting around 9% of the vote though it had no presidential candidate
  • Political parties in Nigeria have very little to do with actually promoting a unique policy agenda, but rather exist solely for the purpose of obtaining power.

* Elections
-4 year term limits by all elected officials; there are 36 states, and the 3 senators from each state are directly elected
-politics seen as a zero-sum game (where losing is unpalatable) and so results are often contested by losers
-2003 elections: generally clean election due to the Independent Election Commission
-2007 elections: fraudulent with ballot box stuffing in some places, and empty ballot boxes elsewhere
-the 2007 transition of power from Obasanjo to Yar'Abdua was the first peaceful citizen-to-citizen transfer

Media
Nigerians get their information from radio, many privately owned newspapers and television common in towns and cities. Freedom of the press has improved substantially during the Fourth Republic with proliferation of newspapers, states run radio stations, and television stations. Radio continues to be the main source of information for most Nigerians. All 36 states run their own radio stations, and there are over 100 private and state-owned local and national newspapers. Media has had less influence than European and American observers might expect because so few people in Nigeria are literate.

CITIZENS AND SOCIETY
Social Cleavages
- Nigeria is the most populous African country with more than 140 million people and 400+ ethnic groups
- Many social cleavages originate in the colonial era with the British dividing people into artificial “tribes” who couldn’t unite cohesively in the post-colonial era
- “Ethnicity trumps citizenship, religion trumps ethnicity, power trumps religion.”
- The conflict between Muslims and Christians shows that Nigeria's political system is not intact because "as the population grew and resources shrank, people began to fight over who had the right to the land and its resources..." (God's Country).
- Rampant illiteracy
- Aids crisis has created a large youth population with a dwindling elder population.
- Nationalism, or pride in all of Nigeria, only almost only occurs when an important soccer tournament, like the World Cup, is taking place. Unfortunately, the World Cup only occurs every four years.

North: mostly Muslim (50%), ethnically Hausa-Fulani (29%)
--> the North is poor and lives in poverty.
--> the strong Muslim population has illegally instituted Shari'a (Islamic) law
--> People in the North generally distrust westernization and globalization.
--> military leaders tend to come from the North
--> the North is politically united (for the most part)
South: mostly Christians (40%), ethnically Yoruba (west, 21%) and Igbo (east, 18%)
--> fertile and oil rich, the South dominates the civil service bureaucracy. The Niger River Delta is area with the most oil reserves.
--> 2/3 Nigerians live in rural areas with a feudal-like system of patron-client relationships

- Federal system of government intended to divide regional power; still major problem of legitimacy.

Groupings and Civil Society
-religion and ethnicity are the largest sources of identification
-Many ethnic associations that formed during colonialism evolved into political parties.
-because military coups have interrupted the democratic process, Nigerians have not developed a civil society (voting in elections is an important part), so Nigerians turn to their ethnic or religious backgrounds to find avenues of political expression and participation
-unions: the Nigerian Labor Congress has occasionally organized strikes during First Republic but has lost influence due to anti-unions stances of military regimes.
-businesses: represented by three large associations. As westernized, elite-based organizations, they have strong ties to political and bureaucratic leaders which leads to a strong influence in policy-making
-Other: Student groups have been active in organizaing mass protests against government policies during the first three republics. Farmers are too geographically dispersed to effectively organize thier interests. Women have occassionallly organized themselves into civil society organizations.

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Religion
- SOUTH = CHRISTIAN, NORTH = MUSLIM
- Religion has long been a problem in Nigeria, resulting in much conflict and varying public opinion.
- When comparing Nigeria and Iran, there are clear differences in that Iran is more stable due to a national religion whereas Nigeria is less stable because there are too many religious battles. Ex) fight to incorporate Shari'a Law.
- The more industrialized, modern (comparatively to the north) south is composed primarily of Christians, while the mainly agricultural north is inhabited mostly by Muslims. The south is still VERY agriculturally based. Nigeria will not break up since the North has the military leaders and the south has the oil.
- The north, although characterized as poor, contains a lot of the money however through corrupt officials. Therefore, the Muslim north is also modernizing too, but is very traditional because of Shari'a law and religious beliefs.
- Overall, 50% is Muslim, 40% is Christian, and 10% follow "indigenous" or "traditional" religions.
-However religion in Nigeria also acts to stabilize the leadership. As opposed to a mad dash for power religious zoning allows for an alteration of presidents from either the Christians of the south and the Muslims of the north

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Political Participation
-the Nigerian view of formal participation in government is generally limited to casting votes
-voting: universal suffrage, except in the Muslim north where women can’t vote
- However, there are many forms of informal political participation; the preferred method to formal participation because the government takes notice of protests. When the government proposed cutting oil subsidies, the people took to the streets. In the Niger Delta where tensions run high between the residents and oil companies, groups like MEND have taken violent action, seizing the Niger Delta temporarily and kidnapping foreign workers. It is also important to note that huge scale political protests over a singular issue rarely occur in Nigeria. A MEND type of response has become increasingly more common.
-can also work on behalf of political candidates/parties periods before electoral contests. Can also work with civil society organizations
-opportunities have not been consistent with periods of military rule

-Efficacy: extremely low. Election fraud is so rampant in Nigeria that sometimes district-by-district election results are not even published because they would not be believed. Sometimes the ballots distributed to voting centers are already filled out -- that is, if the ballots are distributed at all. Other times, region-based political parties have suddenly "found" hundreds of people living in their region, in order to give themselves more representation.
--> patron-client relationships: dependence on mutually beneficial hierarchal systems which prevent actual participation by people not in the system. The frequent switching between military rule and attempts at republics prevented the creation of national, cross-ethnic/religious political parties, so the people have little chance to participate.
-women:play a minimal role in politics and female candidates are not looked on favorably, although the 1979 Constitution guaranteed their rights. In pre-colonial Nigeria, women had a much larger position in politics.

POWER
-Sovereignty: power is mostly with the president, who commands the military
--> Nigeria is often considered a failed state (a state that can’t provide basic services, and where law an order cannot sustain itself over continuous periods of time. In Nigeria, the police themselves are corrupt, and as a result, the attempt by the government, both local and national, to maintain law and order, is further impeded.)
-Impact of Supranational groups: member of OPEC, receives assistance from the IMF. Nigeria has also participated heavily in the emergence of ECOWAS, or the Economic Community of West African States. This supranational organization has ambitions similar to the European Union, including but not limited to economic integration and current low scale security operations.
-Impact of Globalization: Nigeria still feels the impact of it’s colonial era in the divisive differences of religion and ethnicity
--> member of OPEC, and provides 1/4 of U.S. oil (see National Economy)

Democratization
-Introduction of democracy had deepened the division in the nation (between the north and the south), lack a strong national identity
-2007 marked the very first peaceful (generally speaking) transfer of power in a presidential election from one civilian to another (as opposed to a civilian to a militant group)

ECONOMY: Oil, Poverty, and the Political Economy
-rentier state: Nigeria depends on it’s oil reserves for it’s economy though the majority of Nigerians are in the agriculture sector
-provides 1/4 of U.S. oil, and is a member of OPEC
-Nigeria is reliant on oil exports for more than 95 percent of its foreign exchange revenues but only 15 percent of GDP.
-gasoline prices are kept low in Nigeria in order to appease the people
--> extreme corruption: 80% of oil revenues go to 1% of the population
--> “bunkering”: the dangerous and illegal sapping of oil pipe lines by citizens that is possibly organized by government officials resulting in a loss of 200,000 barrels of oil a day
--Nigeria's per capita GDP has drastically decreased in the last 25 years, from $1000 to $390. This is a result of a rapid population explosion, and also because of the high rate of citizens under the age of 15 (45%)
Oil --> Oil extraction and refinement is necessary to Nigeria's economic sector, but needs to be done in an environmentally friendly way. The government needs to strengthen environmental laws and its ability to enforce them. Multinational corporations need to partner with the government since they are the main culprits of environmental degradation in the oil-rich Niger delta. From the Biafran civil war to the execution of Saro-Wiwa and his fellow human rights advocates, it is clear the political stability in the delta region can only occur when the people living there have a genuine stake in a vibrant and environment-friendly oil sector.
Nigeria, like many 3rd world countries, fell into the debt trap in the 90's due to the falling price of oil. They borrowed heavily from IMF and were forced to undergo structural adjustment policies, one of which was the cutting of subsidies to the gas companies, prompting widespread domestic opposition and protest.

Debt Crisis
-current external debt: $30 billion dollars; per capita GDP: about $900 per person with 60% of the population below the poverty line
-Nigeria had surpluses in the oil boom years of the 1970s but the collapse of the oil market in the 1980s created huge debts owed to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This occured because Nigeria invested much of the money they earned from the oil into very non profitable investment projects and when the economy collapsed along with oil prices they were in large debt.
-1985: Babangida implements IMF measures
--> privatization of government-held firms, reduction of subsidies (which has created problems with the reduction of gas subsidies), and reduction of government bureaucracies were extremely unpopular
-structural adjustment: policy that Obasanjo and the IMF implemented to bring a more market-orientated development strategy assumed to have a positive effect for the government; in the short run, it’s created a larger rich/poor gap

Poverty
According to records released by the World Bank, Nigeria falls to the 164th place out of the 190 countries in the United Nations as one of the world's poorest countries. Malnutrition is a major concern for its people due to access to the amount of calories required to live a healthy normal life. Due to this issue of poverty, people can expect to live a short life and at most live up to 50 years old. Drinking water is another concern since less than 40% have access to clean water. Increases in population rates have not become a steady linear line, but has become more exponential in doubling its population in a shorter amount of time. More than 60 percent of the people living in Nigeria are living in poverty. This percentage does not include those who are extremely poor but technically living in poverty. About half of the population lives under $1 per day. This can be related to the rampant corruption in which 80% of all oil revenue goes to 1% of the public. Poverty in Nigeria is a result of very poor wealth distribution. There is a huge divide between upper and lower class with a very small middle class structure (thus resulting in this poverty).

FUTURE CHALLENGES
Reforms for Politics and the Economy
-Nigeria needs to crack down on corruption, which saps away a large portion of revenues, and contributes to the continued tension and resulting skirmishes between the goverment and various tribes and regions, and the battles that sometimes occur between the tribes themselves.
-need to nurture a middle class, as well finding ways of fighting the “brain drain” taking place (or else people like Yanda wouldn't come to the US :) )

Environment and Oil
-organizations like MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) tend to use tactics close to terrorism to try to get a stake in what many Nigerians see as foreign companies (like Shell) exploiting the country and ruining the land.
-Multinational corporations need to partner alongside government, since they are the main culprits of environmental degradation in the oil-rich Nigerian delta. These relationships further fuel more intense and deep corruption because of the money involved in the oil industry.

Religious and Ethnic Tensions and Regional Instability
-Boko Haram is a large terrorist organization in the northern region. They typically constrain their violence to local targets, however recently they attacked the United Nations which has made the international community and the Nigerian government unsure of their motives. We know very little about their intentions and their purpose. Every Boko Haram representative who attempts to negotiate or compromise with the Nigerian government has been purged so far. There appears to be a varying degree of extremism in Boko Haram. Only time will tell where their future will take them.

Is Nigeria on the brink after north-south clashes?

Boko Haram sect of muslim in Nigeria is causing violence towards southerners and disagreement among northerners that don't agree with his version of Islam. Many are connecting similarities between this and the 1967 conflict in Nigeria. One of the main things holding the country together is the common economic hardship.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16544410

Northern Muslims imposing Shari’ah law undermine national unity, and law and order are still based and enforced largely on religion and ethnicity.
-Nigeria plays a large role in brokering peace in neighboring countries, and has committed troops to ending regional conflicts

Social Services and Health: HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS has quickly emerged as one of the major public health challenges facing Nigeria specifically and African society more generally. In 2001, there was 5.8% HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate with approximately 170,000 AIDS-related deaths during the same year. Together with malaria and a host of other preventable diseases, the Nigerian government needs to substantially improve the provision of adequate health care, especially to rural areas and poor neighborhoods in urban centers.

Parastatals- parallel industries. (similar to mexico and their import substitution with coca cola.)

NIGERIA VOCABULARY-
Abacha, Sani- was the military leader of the 3rd period of military rule (1993-1998). During his reign, all forms of democracy were abolished. There was no free media and no separation of powers. He was the sole dictator (though he declared himself president) and he used violent measures to stay in power, such as the suppression of unions, and the arrest and execution of the environmental activist Saro-Wiwa, and the arrest of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua. He died of a heart attack while Nigeria's leader, it is believed that the heart attack was caused due to an overdose of drugs while Sani was with two prostitutes.Abiola, Chief Mashood- the winner of the negated 1993 election against Tofa, but the military took over instead and Abiola was arrested by the military dictator Abacha and died in prison in 1998.Babangida, General Ibrahim- "General Vocabulary" himself, the military ruler of Nigeria from August 1985, until his departure from office under heavy popular pressure in 1993, after his annulment of elections held that year which were widely held to have been the freest and fairest in Nigeria's post-independence history. Allowed press freedoms and more human rights. His "custodial theory" of military government implied that preparing for democracy was the only justification for military rule.Chop-chop politics- the Nigerian term for patron-client relationship. This leads to Nigeria being a rentier state as Nigerian politicians try to keep their constituents happy through favors they give their villages- which causes Nigeria to run in a continual budget deficit.
coup d'etat- the sudden take over by the government by another branch of the state, usually the military. Nigeria has had six military coups since 1960, which has decreased the sense of legitimacy. A coup does not start due to a revolution. It is mainly a way for certain military leaders or certain ethnicities to gain power.
ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States): A loose union of states in West Africa based on economic issues with the goal of improving the economic strength of 15 member states as well as promoting economic integration and liberalization across the region. Nigeria is a leader in this organization. Also serves as a peacekeeping organization throughout the region.

Goodluck Jonathan - Christian President originally elected along with Umaru Yar'Adua (President). He is from the People's Democratic Party (PDP). After Yar'Adua left the country for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, Jonathan was allowed by the judicial and legislative branches to take over as Acting President. This was an important transition of power because it would have been easy for the country to fall into chaos without the president. In April 2011 he won the presidency in his own right. He also had some pretty awesome campaign ads.

Igbo (Ibo)- a large ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria, predominantly Christian

MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta)- an independent militant group bent on returning control of the oil in the Nigerian Delta to the people who live there with the added wish of reparations for the pollution that has already been spewed in the area.


Niger Delta- A regional hotspot of activism and rebel movement.

the Nigerian Labor Congress: The coordinating body for labors unions countrywide which has occasionally unified workers to strike to improve their status. Due to the antiunion stance of many of the military regimes that have governed Nigeria, the NLC's political power in recent years has been severely limited.

Obasanjo, Olusegun- a retired Nigerian Army General. Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state. He first came to power as the military ruler who helped create the Second Republic. That was from 1976-1999. His second term was 1999-2007, as an elected president. He implemented structural adjustment
Prebendalism: The sense of entitlement many people have to the revenues of the Nigerian State-leads to corruption and serious money being stolen from government officials. A patron-client hierarchy in government where money (rather than positions like in nomenklatura) is exchanged for political favors. This is the unique feature of the widespread corruption in NIgeria, and is often times based on ethnicity.
Saro-Wiwa, Ken-a member of the Ogoni people, Saro-Wiwa started a non-violent movement known as MOSOP, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. People of this movement targeted the environment damage caused by oil-industries, especially Shell and protested against the pollution caused by such industries. Wiwa was eventually executed in 1995.Structural Adjustment- A term used to describe the policy changes implemented by the International Money Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in developing countries. These policy changes are conditions for getting new loans from the IMF or World Bank, or for obtaining lower interest rates on existing loans. The IMF wanted to curb government spending, increase the privatization of government-held firms, reduce subsidies, and reduce of government bureaucracies. Implemented by Obasanjo, structural adjustment has been unpopular. The social cost to the Nigerian people of meeting the IMF's demands were too high for them to follow.
Umaru Yar’Adua - He is the former President of Nigeria (head of government and head of state). He is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). He won the presidency with 70 percent of the vote although this result is largely contested due to rampant electoral fraud. He is Muslim. While still technically President, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was placed in power as Yar'Adua attempted to recover from his sickness, and eventually died.

Yoruba- are one of the largest ethno-linguistic or ethnic groups in west Africa.[6] The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language
(Yoruba: èdèe Yorùbá; èdè). The Yoruba constitute around 30 million individuals throughout West Africa[7] and are found predominantly in Nigeria with approximately 21 percent of its total population

some fun facts:
the Mortality rate has been decreasing at a fast rate. It makes me wonder, even in the conditions in Nigeria, what they are doing to decrease their child mortality rate.