Nigeria. Nigeria cracked the joints in 2000. Several northern states’ decision to apply Islamic law, sharia, triggered unrest in many places. Around 400 people were killed in Kaduna in February in clashes between Muslims and Christians. Although both governors and traditional leaders assured that Sharia would be applied only to Muslims, there was great concern among Christians. The government said Sharia law was contrary to the country’s constitution, but did not interfere with them, referring Christians who felt disadvantaged to seek justice in the civil courts.
In October, the riots spread to Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos, where more than 100 members of the Muslim population group Hausa were killed and about 20,000 sought shelter at police stations and military shelters. The government banned the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), a sectarian group within the predominantly Christian people group of Yoruba, which was believed to have provoked the unrest.
While the northern states were profiling Islamic, a number of governors in the south decided to review their relations with the government. The southern states indicated that they intend to demand a greater part of the income from oil and other natural resources and own control over the police.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Nigeria. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Despite the fact that Nigeria is the world’s sixth largest oil exporter, there is a large shortage of oil products. due to limited resources at the country’s own refineries. The fuel shortage in the oil area in the south has led to the vandalization of oil pipelines, which caused several serious accidents during the year. Two explosions in oil pipelines in the state of Delta in July killed at least 350 people. Strikes among oil workers in September and November caused disruptions to road and air traffic.
The Human Rights Commission appointed by the government began its interrogations in the autumn. After examining over 10,000 complaints of abuse ever since the country’s first military coup in 1966, the Commission decided to concentrate on the 200 gravest cases, including: the execution of author and ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995 and the imprisonment of presidential candidate Moshood Abiola and his death in custody. Among those called for interrogation was President Olusegun Obasanjo, who led a military government in the 1970s. Obasanjo also appointed a commission to investigate the corruption. Nigeria was stamped by the Transparency International Institute as the world’s most corrupt country.
In November, the dictatorship executed 9 members of the Ogoni People’s Survival Movement. The execution further contributed to the dictatorship’s isolation. Several countries, including the United States, withdrew their ambassadors from Nigeria. In February 96, Amnesty International expressed its concern about several other arrested Ogoni activists.
Based on a registration of political parties by the National Electoral Commission in June, Abacha and his military dictatorship allowed five political parties: the United Nigerian Congress Party, the National Unity Committee, Nigeria’s Central National Party, Nigeria’s Democratic Party, and the Democratic Movement «Grassroots».
Through 97, rising oil prices contributed to the growth of the economy. The government has stated on several occasions that this has helped to improve the country’s difficult social situation. Still, official figures indicated that 80% of the population lived in poverty
In April 98, Abacha canceled the scheduled election in August in favor of a referendum on whether to continue in the presidential post. The dictator’s surprising death on June 8 sparked cheer and hope for political change. However, Abacha’s disappearance was quickly followed by Abiola’s equally surprising death. The military junta appointed General Abdulsalam Abubakar as Abacha’s successor. He promised to respect the transition to democracy, but without putting a date on the holding of presidential elections.
The local elections in February 1999 were won by the People’s Democratic Party led by General Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as the Alliance for Democracy. The alliance that predominantly represented the Yoruba people in the southwestern part of the country won by a large margin the former capital of Lagos, while All Party of Nations led by ex-dictator Sani Abacha’s supporters won only in the state of Jigawa. The government subsequently postponed presidential and parliamentary elections for the following month.
The presidential capture was won by Obasanjo. Initially, the opposition decided to appeal to the electoral court over the counting result, but eventually decided to abandon the appeal. The new president promised to investigate investment policy and to improve the inefficient and corrupt public sector. At his inauguration in May, Obasanjo urged the Nigerian people to follow him for three days of fasting to evoke a divine blessing on his presidential rule. One of his first actions was to clear out the military, removing 30 officers. At the same time, he confiscated millions of dollars that he claimed had been stolen from the public coffers by the previous governments.
The 4-day ethnic clash in Lagos in December between ijaws and ilajes cost 12 people their lives. However, clashes continued and when Obasanjo visited the area in March 2000, several hundred died. He set up a peace committee made up of leaders from both ethnic groups. The committee had – at least temporarily – brought the clashes under control.
The poor condition of the oil pipelines has resulted in serious accidents. The condition is due to a lack of maintenance and that parts of the population are hollowing out to get themselves fuel. In June 2000, an oil pipeline exploded in the village of Jesse, killing over 700 people. Two weeks later, at a conference in Stavanger, Norway, Obasanjo asked for international assistance to combat the “enormous” threat of environmental destruction posed by the oil industry.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Nigeria in 2000 was 122,283,739, ranking number 10 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.530% yearly, and the population density was 134.2643 people per km2.