I’ve occasionally noted the sad irony of shifting my professional focus from corruption and failures of the State in the Niger Delta thousands of miles east, and finding myself working in a country suffering from equally bad, if not worse core problems.
I don’t follow the Nigerian media anymore, but this article, published a few days ago in ‘The Daily Trust’ newspaper based in Abuja actually compares the situation in Nigeria to Bangladesh. Nigeria is scheduled for national elections very soon, and the election is already riddled with controversy.
What makes this article interesting though, and rather tragic, is that even in Nigeria, some commentators seem now to be using the word ‘Bangladesh’ as an all-encompassing byword for corruption, mismanagement, and failed state. The author warns against Nigeria being “pushed to the principe [sic] of
Bangladesh”, and criticises the “Bangladesh of Obasanjo [Nigeria’s highly controversial President] and his PDP”.
Obviously the events of the last three months here have greatly tarnished Bangladesh’s international profile, but if the name of the country is entering even Nigerian political language as short hand for disaster, then you know things have gone badly, badly wrong.