Skip to main content

View Diary: Occupy Nigeria - 1st African fruits of Qaddafi gone? (8 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Great diary -- minor disagreement (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TarantinoDork, J V Calin, MGross, wu ming, mimi

    I'm so glad someone else has pointed out the horrendous role Gaddafi played in trying to destabilize other African countries in his egomaniacal belief that he was the king of all Africa.  

    I would additionally point out that Gaddafi did indeed destabilize two countries to the point of genocidal wars -- Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The butchers of both countries, Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, were both trained by Gadaffi in how to use random atavistic terror to terrorize a population into submission.  Taylor is on trial for crimes against humanity in the Hague and his defense is (was) based in part on the idea that he could not be tried without Gaddafi as a co-defendant.

    I would just point out that the Niger delta is not an Islamic area.  That is typically considered a Christian/animist Ibo area.  It has a history of wanting to secede -- in fact Nigeria's civil war, the Biafran war was based on the area wanting to become a separate state.  Secessionist tendencies predate Gaddafi and are based on the problem that most of Nigeria's wealth comes from oil extracted from the area while the environmental devastation costs are born by the local residents with little to show in return.

    Also, I wouldn't say that the Muslim North and the Christian/traditionalist south are balanced.  Generally the source of instability in Nigeria has been that the North is demographically preponderant but economically a stagnant backwater, while the south is smaller demographically but the economic engine of the country.  Moreover, because of Islam, northern leaders have been able to persuade northerners to vote as a block.

    This meant that until Nigeria finally devised a usable federal system, the impoverished Muslim north generally elected the central government to serve its purposes while ignoring the needs of the south which actually generated most of the country's economic activity -- not only oil, but business, education and culture.

    Lastly, I don't think that this wave of activism spreading across Nigeria was inspired by either OWS or the Arab spring.  Nigeria has been an incredibly raucous democracy with a vast engaged civil society for a long time!  I would think of it as a "rebranding" in line with global events of what was already there.

    •  I completely agree with your final paragraph (0+ / 0-)

      especially the concept of "Occupy" rebranding the decades-old events in Nigeria.  But sometimes rebranding is what sells best. Time will tell.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site