RealNews

Violence, Crime Threaten Nigerian Gov't

Five years after the end of junta rule in Africa’s most populous and oil-rich nation, President Olusegun Obasanjo is struggling to engineer an even more difficult transition — turning a military state that was a byword for brutality into a peaceful and prosperous democracy. But there are few signs of celebration as Nigeria marks the fifth anniversary of civilian rule Saturday amid a recent surge in ethnic, religious and political violence. In muted commemoration, Obasanjo has asked the nation’s 126 million people to fast for three days and “pray for peace.” “There’s chaos and anarchy everywhere. Our leaders act like dictators,” Matthew Kwen, a 37-year-old real estate manager, said on a teeming street in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. He qualified his displeasure: “The worst civilian government is still better than the best military regime.” Full Story

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