Nigeria: Blood on the Water

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November 6, 2007: After four years of effort, the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) has been increasingly successful at bringing senior government officials to justice. Many such officials have fled the country, and those imprisoned are expected to use their stolen money to try and buy their way out of jail. Meanwhile, the legislature has not done anything but argue over corruption since it began work last June. The elections that created this legislature were considered suspect, with the ruling party cheating in order to stay in power. However, corrupt politicians generally act alone, so they are easier to take down. But if the corrupt officials get organized, there could be more violence.

November 5, 2007: Tribal rebel group MEND has threatened to destroy some of the Niger River Delta oil fields if the government does not meet rebel demands for greater political power. MEND has made threats before, and proved unable, or unwilling, to follow through. MEND does, however, have some degree of control over several hundred gunmen in the oil producing region.

October 31, 2007: A navy patrol boat rebuffed a rebel attempt to attack fishing boats. One sailor and seven rebels were killed, and many more were wounded. Several speedboats full of rebels were involved.

October 30, 2007: After a month of debate and and arm-twisting, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and her deputy, resigned. They were charged with corruption (stealing several million dollars in a scam involving inflated contracts.) Such scams are all too common with Nigerian politicians, and it was considered quite bold to go after the speaker of the House. Meanwhile, police arrested five people who were plotting the murder of a senior officer of the anti-corruption police.

 

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