John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Niger Delta"

Nigeria’s Cupboard is Bare

by John Campbell
Villagers stand near jerrycans containing crude oil collected at the shore of the Atlantic ocean near Orobiri village, days after Royal Dutch Shell's Bonga off-shore oil spill, in Nigeria's delta state December 31, 2011. Amnesty International called into question Royal Dutch Shell's accounting in Nigeria for oil spill amounts and causes, saying the oil major was seeking to avoid compensation payments and damage to its reputation. Picture taken December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye) Villagers stand near jerrycans containing crude oil collected at the shore of the Atlantic ocean near Orobiri village, days after Royal Dutch Shell's Bonga off-shore oil spill, in Nigeria's delta state December 31, 2011. Amnesty International called into question Royal Dutch Shell's accounting in Nigeria for oil spill amounts and causes, saying the oil major was seeking to avoid compensation payments and damage to its reputation. Picture taken December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

According to the media, President Muhammadu Buhari said on June 23 that Nigeria’s treasury is “virtually empty.” In order to document this he has promised to release a report on the size of Nigeria’s revenue and debt in about four weeks. He also says that he will recover billions of dollars that have been stolen under previous administrations, and that the United States and other countries will assist Nigeria in the recovery of the stolen money. Read more »

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inauguration Address

by John Campbell
Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed swears in Muhammadu Buhari (C) as Nigeria's president while Buhari's wife Aisha looks on at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria May 29, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters) Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed swears in Muhammadu Buhari (C) as Nigeria's president while Buhari's wife Aisha looks on at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria May 29, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

In Nigeria’s current circumstances, it is hard to imagine a better inaugural address than the one President Buhari delivered on May 29. It strikes all the right notes. He accepted his new role as an international leader and thanked former president Goodluck Jonathan for his “statesmanship” in the transition, everyone involved in the electoral process, and Cameroon, Chad, and Niger for their part in the fight against Boko Haram. The speech was plain and devoid of national or personal self-congratulation and baroque rhetorical flourishes. It was also very short—only 1,909 words—but packed with substance. Read more »

Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Victory in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), speaks during the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja, February 9, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), speaks during the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja, February 9, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

In a country where elections have routinely been rigged in favor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential incumbent or his designee, opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress have won an astonishing victory. Buhari’s support was nationwide, and his vote total was the largest in four of Nigeria’s six geo-political zones. Unlike 2011, the electorate did not starkly bifurcate along north/south, Muslim/Christian lines. Read more »

The Nigerian Elections–Before the Results

by John Campbell
Women from communities in Rivers state protest against irregularities in voting in the weekend's election, in Port Harcourt, March 30, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Women from communities in Rivers state protest against irregularities in voting in the weekend's election, in Port Harcourt, March 30, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

The Nigerian presidential polling, initially scheduled for Saturday, March 28, was extended in some areas to Sunday, March 29, because of technical glitches. Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), is saying that the complete results will be announced on Tuesday, March 31. 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 »

Nigeria’s Weekly Incidents April 19-25

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A soldier from Lagos, part of an expected one thousand reinforcements sent to Adamawa state to fight Boko Haram Islamists, operates a weapon on top of a truck as he arrives with the 23rd Armoured Brigade in Yola, May 20, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) A soldier from Lagos, part of an expected one thousand reinforcements sent to Adamawa state to fight Boko Haram Islamists, operates a weapon on top of a truck as he arrives with the 23rd Armoured Brigade in Yola, May 20, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

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

This week’s “Weekly Incidents” infographic illustrates violence in Nigeria in three separate time frames. Each emphasizes that violence in the country is varied both in terms of the actors who perpetrate it and the geographical spread. Read more »

Nigerian Archbishop Kidnapped, Freed

by John Campbell
Nigerian policemen await the arrival of Inspector-General of Police Mike Okiro in Port Harcourt, July 6, 2007 (Austin Ekeinde/Courtesy) Nigerian policemen await the arrival of Inspector-General of Police Mike Okiro in Port Harcourt, July 6, 2007 (Austin Ekeinde/Courtesy)

Peter Akinola, retired primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and his driver were kidnapped the day before Christmas as he drove away from his office in Abeokeuta, Ogun state (in Yorubaland). Some reports–but not others–say his daughter was also kidnapped. There are other contradictions and inconsistencies in the details of the episode in the press reports. Read more »

Boko Haram Terror on Northern Nigeria’s Highways

by John Campbell
A woman crosses a deserted road in Bulumkutu, after the military declared a 24-hour curfew over large parts of Maiduguri in Borno State May 19, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A woman crosses a deserted road in Bulumkutu, after the military declared a 24-hour curfew over large parts of Maiduguri in Borno State May 19, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Drew Hinshaw in the Wall Street Journal reports Boko Haram terror on the four hundred-mile long highway between Kano (northern Nigeria’s largest city) and Maiduguri (the Northeast’s largest city). He reports incidences of chain-saw beheadings of truck drivers at the hands of Boko Haram members, perhaps an indication of the high propaganda value of such brutal murders. Read more »

Amnesty International on Student and Teacher Killings in Northern Nigeria

by John Campbell
Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

The horror of student and teacher killings in Nigeria is amplified by Amnesty International’s almost clinical recounting and enumerating of their deaths at the hands of radical jihadists. Its report, “Keep Away from Schools or We’ll Kill You: Education Under Attack in Nigeria” is a grim must-read. Read more »

Boko Haram’s Shekau: He’s Back!

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters) A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jacob Zenn, an analyst of African Affairs for the Washington D.C.-based think tank, The Jamestown Foundation, and a contributor to the West Point CTC Sentinel.

At least four times since 2009, Nigerian security officials have claimed they have killed brutal Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who says he “slaughters infidels like rams.” On August 19, the army spokesman and Nigerian analysts suggested Shekau died in Cameroon after gunshot wounds sustained in a battle in Borno State on June 19. Other officials claimed Cameroonian border guards killed Shekau. Read more »