The coming elections are about the survival of Nigeria's federation
as much as President Obasanjo's career
Two years before the next national elections, decision-making comes a poor second to political manoeuvring - and that threatens the few recent successes in reforming the mismanaged and corrupt economy. Worse, electioneering may jeopardise the sensitive negotiations over Nigeria's federation of states. In the south, the clamour is growing for a national conference about devolving power to the regions and states; in the north, there are fears the region would lose out economically if the federation were weaker. President Olusegun Obasanjo
is cautious about all this. He was known to oppose a national constitutional conference, preferring to give the job to the wayward National Assembly. His allies now say he is willing to consider a conference, both to help the ruling People's Democratic Party's electoral position and to slow down the centrifugal forces pushing for radical constitutional change, if not for breaking up the federation. The limits of the federation are being tested even without a national conference.
The ruling People's Democratic Party, with 209 of the 348 seats in the National Assembly and 59 of the 103 seats in the Senate, enters the electoral race with a commanding lead and...
Military men are portrayed as clowns, thieves and psychopaths
in a human rights tribunal
Mountains of facts, many of them highly inconvenient to present and past governments, are emerging from Nigeria's Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, the home-grown c...