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Vol 54 No 25

Published 13th December 2013


Nigeria

Presidential letter bombs

Private letters to President Jonathan from General Obasanjo and Bank Governor Sanusi warn of deepening financial and political threats

The leaking this week of two damning letters to President Goodluck Jonathan was surely no coincidence and fires a powerful broadside against his government and his plans to run for a second term. The letters point to allegations of the diversion of some US$48 billion of oil revenue over the past two years – grand corruption even in Nigerian terms – and to a political strategy and ethnic exclusion that are tearing the fabric of the country apart. The security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency in the north-east and the world’s most serious maritime piracy along the shoreline of the Niger Delta (see Feature), as well as trying to hold the ring in the worsening communal violence in Middle Belt states such as Plateau and Taraba. The authors of both letters, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi, are genuinely annoyed by the leaking of they what they insist was private correspondence to the President. In a public statement on 12 December, the CBN formally diassociated itself from the leaking of the letter and any subsequent debate about what it insitsted was private correspondence.

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