The “Babangida Must Go” Protests: A Missed Opportunity for Revolution

The best chance of a revolution Nigeria had was initially led by young obscure student leaders at the University of Benin campus in May 1989; they staged a protest that became famously known as the “Anti-SAP Riots” spilt into Benin-City and rapidly to other cities in Nigeria including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. The masses were firmly behind the student protesters and bought their persuasive message of obscene leadership corruption, thoroughgoing military repression and the rejection of neoliberalism that was mercilessly immiserating their way of life. The guns of the repressive military regime no longer frightened the masses, they had left nothing to lose. Continue reading

Are Buhari’s Fears a Signal of the End of Nigeria?

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In December 1984 my late father made a remark that I could not understand at the time, he said, “the leaders of Nigeria will know no fear till the [oil] money runs out”. It was not until July 2000 that my father told me that the idea was proposed by his friend, the late Claude Ake. Since the oil boom of the early 1970s, no Nigerian head of state has been “afraid” of his watch or patch despite the coup d’états and the instances of serious political instability encountered. Now that the abundance of petrodollars earned from oil has suddenly become seriously scarce President Muhammadu Buhari has become in a pioneering approach, frank, open and expansive about his “fears” in power as presented in a recent missive. Continue reading

Nigerian 2015 Elections: Has the Government Run Out of Rents to Offer?

The postponement of the 2015 Elections and the security problems that plague the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan are emerging as indirect evidence of the serious instability and fragility of the Nigerian state. The failure to provide acceptable voter cards (PVCs) and Boko Haram violence are certainly problems. However, the trump card is in the game is the sudden ostensible appearance of the manipulations of special interest groups in Nigerian politics. This is a reasonable sign the rents offered by the government rentier state to special interests has run out. Continue reading

Nigerian 2015 Elections: Jega and the Futility of Other Rents

One more rent expended by Jonathan’s administration and one wonders how many are left to keep it in power? Professor Attahiru Jega is now [technically] gone. He will not be conducting the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. A ‘rent’ has been ostensibly ‘traded’ on the position of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with incalculable implications on the instability and fragility of Nigeria. Will there be any rent offerings to counter possibility of a military coup, eradicate Boko Haram terror and other election or post-election related violence? Continue reading

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