Friday, June 19, 2015


Highly competitive in the international sport of military coups, Nigeria is at best a quarter-finalist in its World Cup, though working hard to make the semi-finals, and at current rate of unprogress could easily be up there with the best of them before long; they have managed to sustain civilian rule since the new constitution was adopted in 1999, but it's touch and go when the military will feel obliged to take the anarchy into their own hands, especially given the blathering incompetence of its last President, Goodluck Jonathan - mercifully he was booted out, and surprisingly he accepted being booted out, in the elections of 2015.

Or maybe the military has already re-taken power, and fooled the people and the world's press into not noticing it. Because the new President is... also one of the old Presidents, from the days of the military coups! Muhammadu Buhari was a Major General in the Nigerian army, until he "retired", the technical term generally used by military men when they stage a coup d'√©tat, put themselves in as Head of State, with full military backing, and then declare themselves to be a civilian regime.

The above presumes that Nigeria doesn’t follow the Spanish Netherlands and Yugoslavia into total dissolution, an outcome which is just as likely at the moment, given the number of religious and ethnic conflicts taking place concurrently. Al-Qaida and Boko Haram are the most threatening of these, wreaking havoc in the north, with schools the principal target of their hatred, and schoolgirls regularly being abducted to provide the troops with rest and recuperation.

Nigeria found oil in the 1970s, and its economy has depended on it ever since, though the black market in stolen oil is rampant, and siphoning oil directly out of the pipelines is now the third national sport, after coups and soccer. Nigeria currently has a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. It might like to take notice of the fact that the country it replaced there was Syria.

Points for: Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka
Points against: Too many to list

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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