December 19, 2019Nigeria
On December 12, the Sultan of Sokoto publicly said that disobedience to court orders is “a recipe for lawlessness and chaos.” He said, “We must regularly obey and respect the laws of our land. We should never disregard the laws to avoid the consequences. If a court makes a judicial pronouncement on a particular matter, it should be obeyed to the letter.” Though he never mentioned Sowore by name, the Sultan’s audience understood that the context was the State Security Service (SSS) invasion of a court room and the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore contrary to court order.
November 21, 2019Nigeria
The 1999 transition of Nigeria from military to civilian, democratic government, is a defining moment in Nigerian history, representing the beginning of the longest, uninterrupted government since independence in 1960. But what exactly transpired during the period of transition, which began in earnest with the death of military dictator Sani Abacha in1998, is not entirely clear. Max Siollun, in a fascinating study of the period, Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune, has done us a service by illuminating some of the behind-the-scenes machinations of that period, and putting to bed some of the rumors that passed for history.
October 4, 2019Nigeria
Commentators, especially outside Nigeria, saw the elections of 2015 as an important milestone for the country’s democratic development breaking the pattern of rigged elections. However, could it be that it was the elections of 2011 that really broke the pattern, and the elections of 2015 merely restored it? Were in fact the elections of 2015 much better than those before and after? Did the political classes determine that Jonathan had to go, in part because of the deteriorating economy and security situation, but also understanding that the 1998–9 bargain struck between the south and the north be restored? Will the bargain survive in 2023?
August 7, 2019Nigeria
There has been a string of arrests of media personalities and suspensions of media outlets in Nigeria. Recently, some of the arrests have been related to support for a protest tagged “Days of Rage” and #RevolutionNow, against what supporters consider a failure of governance, but the harassment of media in Nigeria is nothing new.
August 1, 2019Nigeria
From far away it is difficult to know what daily life is really like in an area controlled by a Boko Haram faction. Chitra Nagarajan, a journalist and author who has written for the Guardian (UK), among other publications, recently spent time in Yobe State doing research on gender.
May 24, 2019Islamic State
The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks.
April 17, 2019Nigeria
The Shekau and al-Barnawi factions of Boko Haram continue to evolve and even grow. Changes in leadership and tactics raise questions about the extent of their affiliation with IS and overall stability, but they also indicate that the movement is far from defeated.
April 16, 2019Republic of Congo
Globa1 Witness, a non-profit corruption watchdog, is reporting that the daughter of Denis Sassou-Nguesso, president of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), purchased an apartment for $7 million i…
March 12, 2019Nigeria
In September 2018, there were reports that Nur was murdered by his own faction because he was too “soft”, that he misappropriated ransom money, and even that he might have been open to a dialogue with the Nigerian government. In late February 2018, ISWA reportedly replaced al-Barnawi with Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi.