Nigeria. According to
Countryaah official website, the state elections in January and the
parliamentary and presidential elections in February
completed the return to democracy. The People's Democratic
Party (PDP) largely dominated. The PDP won in 20 out of 35
states and gained its own majority in both chambers of
parliament. In the presidential election, the PDP's Olusegun
Obasanjo triumphed over Olu Falae, who represented the
opposition. Foreign observers complained of cheating in the
presidential election, but their and Falee's complaints were
Obasanjo, who was military president from 1976-79, took
over a Nigeria in deep crisis. Oil revenues had almost halved in
two years, and GDP was estimated to decline by at least
1.6%. The foreign exchange reserve fell from $ 6.7 billion
to $ 4 billion in the first quarter, and the budget deficit
of $ 668 million for the same period was almost twice as
projected for the entire year. The economic race was
believed to be mainly due to the outgoing military junta's
looting of the Treasury.
Obasanjo's main promise was to fight corruption. He
canceled all business contracts entered into since June 1
and replaced the management of the state oil company NNPC.
The rules for trade in crude oil were tightened to remove
the middlemen who won contracts by having high-ranking
officers or politicians as "sponsors". This abuse is
believed to have cost NNPC up to $ 1.5 billion a year.
Obasanjo also fired high-ranking officers who held
political missions and appointed a human rights commission
to investigate abuses since N's first military coup in 1966.
At the government's request, Swiss bank accounts
belonging to the estate were blocked by former dictator Sani
Abacha and his co-workers. The accounts were believed to
contain more than two billion dollars stolen from the
Abacha's son Mohammed and other representatives of the
former regime were brought to justice for the 1996
assassination of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the then
incarcerated opposition leader Moshood Abiola.
The ethnic conflicts that plagued Nigeria during the
dictatorship continued after the regime change. In the poor
Niger Delta, the center of oil recovery, young people from
the ijaw people demanded a larger share of the oil income.
The riots culminated in the murders of twelve policemen in
November. The military was deployed and between 65 and 200
people were killed. Over 20,000 civilians fled to the
forest. Old contradictions between the dominant groups Hausa
and Yoruba gained momentum when Hausa considered that the
Christian Yoruba from the southwest benefited after the
change of power. At least 70 people were killed in fighting
in Kano in northern Nigeria in July. In November, clashes in
Lagos demanded about 90 casualties.
The peace talks in Abuja were followed by analysts in the
world's oil markets and by the world's governments, because
if civil war broke out as the rebels threatened, it would
push oil prices well above the US $ 50 a year. barrel it was
already on, thus triggering global recession.
The surplus from oil production in the Niger River delta
goes into the treasury or in the pockets of the foreign oil
companies and the foreign oil workers. Oil extraction has
already ruined the business opportunities for most residents
of the area. Despite some oil companies' programs for
environmental recovery or to raise the standard of living of
the locals, the deep poverty of the population has not
changed in the end. Acc. the government is Asari's men a
gang of oil thieves. Still, human rights organizations
emphasized that the two armed gangs operating in the area
are controlled by the government.
The four-day general strike in the oil sector in October
2004 prompted the suspension of the country's oil exports.
117 people - including the president's wife - died when a
plane from Bellview Airlines crashed in October 2005 shortly
after taking off from Lagos airport. Obasanjo immediately
met with his Minister of Aviation to implement stricter air
traffic guidelines. This was the 4th major plane crash in
Nigeria within 13 years.
From January 2006, militants from the Niger Delta began
attacking oil pipelines, oil installations and abducting
foreign workers in the oil industry. Their demands were
increased control of the area's oil wealth. With record high
oil prices, Nigeria became the first country to pay its
foreign debt to the Paris Club in April.
The political climate prior to the 2007 presidential and
parliamentary elections was characterized by protests and
violence. Acc. the opposition carried out the regime
persecuting its political opponents. Several candidates were
detained during the period leading up to the elections and a
number of demonstrations were attacked by security forces,
which cost over 40 people their lives.
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua of the PDP who was governor of the
northern state of Katsina ended up in April 2007 being
elected president with 70% of the vote. Both the opposition
and EU election observers criticized various forms of
electoral fraud, violence, "ballots that went up in smoke"
and so on.
Nigeria's rapid economic growth continued through 2008
and -09, with the economy growing by 9 and 8.3%
respectively. Growth was borne by the right oil prices.
In January 2010, 300 people were killed during ethnic and
religious riots in the Plateau state of central Nigeria.
10,000 were driven on the run. In March, another 200 were
killed and thousands more fled. During the year, the Boko
Haram terror group became increasingly active in the state
of Borno in northeastern Nigeria. About 30 were killed by
suspected Boko Haram perpetrators during the year, and on
December 24, the group attacked 2 churches in Maiduguri. 6
people were killed. The group spread its activities to the
states of Bauchi and Yobe and in September, the group went
to attack the federal prison Bauchi. 700 inmates were freed,
including 123 members of Boko Haram.