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Published 27th July 2001

Vol 42 No 15


2003 starts here

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.

Politics dead or alive

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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...

Murder, pillage, scandal

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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...

Hunting lobby

A new generation breaks through in Paris but the money no longer flows freely

The last relics of colonialism are at last being swept out of Paris. For decades, French-speaking Africa was regarded as the chasse gardée, the private hunting-ground; now t...

Post-summit blues

Everything is going wrong for President Chiluba's renewed bid for a third term

President Frederick Chiluba must be disappointed that the relatively successful Organisation of African Unity summit in Lusaka has not immediately helped his subterranean campaign ...



Kenya's role as Chair of the principle Sudan peace forum is under threat after claims that it was negotiating to import oil from Sudan. Oil is at the heart of Khartoum's war agains...

Transition to where?

Though recognised by the Organisation of African Unity, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and United Nations, the Transitional National Government (TNG, AC Vol 42 No 10) ...


Nerves are jangling in Asmara after the resignation of the Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland. Hebret Berhe boldly criticised the resistance to reform and democracy of the ru...