John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Corruption"

Corruption and “Sharing Nigeria’s Cake”

by John Campbell
People stand outside Wuse Market in Abuja December 9, 2014. Nigeria is suffering from a plummeting currency, steep budget cuts, corruption scandals and diving oil prices; yet all this is unlikely to decide a tight race for the presidency. When the central bank devalued the naira last month to save foreign reserves, the impact was felt instantly on the streets. Nigeria imports 80 percent of what it consumes. Picture taken December 9, 2014. Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) People stand outside Wuse Market in Abuja December 9, 2014. Nigeria is suffering from a plummeting currency, steep budget cuts, corruption scandals and diving oil prices; yet all this is unlikely to decide a tight race for the presidency. When the central bank devalued the naira last month to save foreign reserves, the impact was felt instantly on the streets. Nigeria imports 80 percent of what it consumes. Picture taken December 9, 2014. Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

In the BBC News Letter from Africa series, Nigerian writer and novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani analyzes a nexus between politics, culture, and corruption. She shows that political office confers “a knife with which to cut the national cake.” But, an office holder in Nigeria is under obligation to share his good fortune with his kith and kin—“preferably through contracts, appointments, and jobs.” Read more »

Barbarism Begets Barbarism in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Nigerian soldiers, handcuffed in pairs, leave the court premises after the opening of the General court-martial in Abuja, October 2, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Nigerian soldiers, handcuffed in pairs, leave the court premises after the opening of the General court-martial in Abuja, October 2, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Boko Haram is rightly notorious for its barbarism: whole-sale murder of adolescent boys in schools, the kidnapping of hundreds of girls, beheadings, throat-slittings, and stonings all captured on video for propaganda purposes. There is evidence that Boko Haram is imposing amputations and other cruel and unusual punishments allegedly mandated by Islamic law in the territories it controls. It is revolting that Boko Haram claims that through such methods it is establishing God’s kingdom on earth through justice of the poor by means of the strict application of Islamic law. Read more »

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan Runs for Re-Election

by John Campbell
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok and the success of the World Economic Forum in Abuja May 9, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok and the success of the World Economic Forum in Abuja May 9, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Rhino Passing

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A Southern White Rhino named Bella walks with her one-day-old baby at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola, north of Uganda's capital Kampala, April 3, 2014. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters) A Southern White Rhino named Bella walks with her one-day-old baby at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola, north of Uganda's capital Kampala, April 3, 2014. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

On October 17, Suni, a northern white rhino, was found dead in his enclosure at Old Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Suni who died of natural causes was one of only two breeding males left of his subspecies. He was born in the Czech Republic, and at thirty-four he was the youngest male northern white rhino. Read more »

International Finance: “Somalia is Different”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Customers walk out of a Dahabshiil money transfer office in "Kilometer Five" street of Soobe village, southern Mogadishu, May 8, 2013. (Feisal Omar/Courtesy Reuters) Customers walk out of a Dahabshiil money transfer office in "Kilometer Five" street of Soobe village, southern Mogadishu, May 8, 2013. (Feisal Omar/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Sarah Madden, volunteer intern for the Council on Foreign Relations, Department of Studies. Sarah is currently a student at Santa Clara University studying business economics and entrepreneurship. Her interests are in Africa, economic development, and emerging markets. Read more »

Two African Obituaries: Dikko and Gordimer

by John Campbell
Novelist Nadine Gordimer was among about 300 white liberals who visited
Alexandra, the black township near Johannesburg on May 18, 1986 to lay
wreaths at the grave of victims of political unrest. (Reuters photographer/Courtesy Reuters) Novelist Nadine Gordimer was among about 300 white liberals who visited Alexandra, the black township near Johannesburg on May 18, 1986 to lay wreaths at the grave of victims of political unrest. (Reuters photographer/Courtesy Reuters)

On July 14, the New York Times carried the obituary of Umaru Dikko, a former Nigerian minister accused of corruption who was once the subject of a kidnap attempt. On July 15, it carried an obituary of Nadine Gordimer, the South African author who became a major anti-apartheid icon. Read more »

Nigeria’s Oil Industry

by John Campbell
Men suspected to be involved in oil theft are paraded to the media at a military base in Yenagoa, March 28, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Men suspected to be involved in oil theft are paraded to the media at a military base in Yenagoa, March 28, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

The Nigerian Daily Independent recently published remarks by Mutiu Sunmonu, the managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). The remarks provide insights into Nigeria’s oil industry. Read more »

Central African Republic: “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Seleka fighters take a break as they sit on a pick-up truck in the town of Goya, June 11, 2014. 
(Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters) Seleka fighters take a break as they sit on a pick-up truck in the town of Goya, June 11, 2014. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

The devastating yet disorganized fury and violence over the past eighteen months in the Central African Republic (CAR) has caused the collapse of the state and defied traditional conflict labels and international quick-fixes. Read more »

Nigeria’s Churning Is About More Than Elite Politics

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Commanding officers salute during a parade for the Nigeria Army's 150th anniversary celebration in Abuja, July 6, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Commanding officers salute during a parade for the Nigeria Army's 150th anniversary celebration in Abuja, July 6, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This post was co-authored by John Campbell and  Jim Sanders. Jim was a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are their personal views.

The weekend news from Nigeria has been dominated by former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi’s elevation to emir of Kano. Kano is usually considered the second or third in the hierarchy of Nigeria’s traditional Muslim leaders. The emirate system in Nigeria does not operate according to primogeniture, so Sanusi, as a member of the family that provides the emir of Kano, was eligible for the position. Read more »

Are Nigerian Military Officers in Court Martial for Helping Boko Haram?

by John Campbell
Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade addresses the media as they parade the suspected bombers responsible for the Nyanya bus park bomb in Abuja, May 12, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy reuters) Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade addresses the media as they parade the suspected bombers responsible for the Nyanya bus park bomb in Abuja, May 12, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy reuters)

Boko Haram operatives often wear Nigerian military uniforms, use weapons from Nigerian armories, and have attacked military facilities where gates were mysteriously left unlocked. The Nigerian military is as fractured along ethnic and religious lines as other parts of Nigerian society. Hence, many Nigerians think that Boko Haram has penetrated successfully the Nigerian military. Read more »