Archive for the 'Nigeria' Category

Bangladesh – a byword for Corruption?

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.


Nigeria: Corruption and Misuse Robs Nigerians of Rights

I used to work for the Remember Saro-Wiwa campaign, which focussed on the plight of the people of the Niger Delta region, an area being destroyed by corruption, pollution and greed. It’s struck me as both ironic and tragic that I can shift my focus so far from the West of Africa, but still be surrounded by similar issues.

Yesterday Human Rights Watch published a report on the Niger Delta, focussing on Rivers State, and it makes good reading. You can access it here.

The Niger delta: how to lift the oil curse

I just found out today that an article I wrote in the summer on the crisis in the Niger Delta (which I used to work on), has been published, after a bit of a delay. I wrote it when I was working for Remember Saro-Wiwa. On November 10th it will be the 11th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa’s execution, and we will be launching Sokari Douglas-Camp‘s Living Memorial in London amongst other things. November’s hot ticket.

In a shameless bit of self-promotion, and also a test to see if blogs really can drive traffic, if you like you can read my article here