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Yearbook 2010

Nigeria. President Umaru Yar'Adua passed away in May. He was admitted to a hospital in Saudi Arabia in November 2009 for heart problems and his long absence created a power vacuum that during the winter began to be troublesome. The rules for when, and under what circumstances, a sick president had to be replaced were unclear and it was until mid-February before Parliament gave Vice President Goodluck Jonathan the power to step in as interim head of state.

Nigeria Population

Jonathan quickly put his own stamp on politics through an extensive government reform, leaving only a handful of Yar'Adua's ministers left. He also dismissed the head of the state oil company NNPC and reinstated the man that Yar'Adua had dismissed in 2009.

According to COUNTRYAAH, Nigeria has a population of 195.9 million (2018). Umaru Yar'Adua returned two weeks after Jonathan's takeover, but was too ill to be able to resume his work. Just over two months later he passed away. Jonathan appointed Namadi Sambo as Vice President on the principle that power should be shared between Christians from southern Nigeria and Muslims from the north.

In principle, campaigns began immediately before the general elections in 2011. Jonathan announced his intention to run in the presidential elections in September, and in the same vein, the Nobel laureate in literature, Wole Soyinka, announced that he had formed a new party, the Democratic Front for a People's Federation. Soyinka said the party wants to strengthen young people's future faith and take the lead in the fight against corruption. However, he is not to be a candidate for any post himself.

A corruption charge forced the ruling party PDP (People's Democratic Party) chairman Vincent Ogbulafor to resign. He was replaced by party secretary Okwesilieze Nwodo.

At the beginning of the year, the area around the city of Jos was shaken by repeated clashes between Christian and Muslim groups, believed to have claimed a total of over 400 casualties. Religion, however, should have played little role in the unrest, which was reported to have been triggered by cattle theft. Rather, the violence was a result of an increasingly common competition between herdsmen and farmers in countries with reduced access to land.

The rebel movement MEND (the Niger Delta Liberation Movement), believed to have more or less put down its weapons, said it had been behind a series of car bomb attacks in the capital Abuja in connection with Nigeria's celebration of 50 years of independence. At least 12 people were killed in the attacks. In October-November, the army conducted raids in the Delta area and arrested hundreds of suspected members of leagues specializing in kidnappings. Dozens of people were exempted, most of the oil workers but also schoolchildren who were robbed.

The extreme Muslim sect of Boko Haram, which appeared to have been crushed by the security forces in 2009, released at least 700 prisoners in September in a raid against a prison in the city of Maiduguri. About 150 sect members were among those who managed to escape. In the following weeks, the sect carried out a series of attacks against police stations in the region.

In April, Nigeria's 36 state governors recommended that sentenced death sentences be enforced to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Officially, no executions have been carried out since 2002 but are believed to be done in secret.

Contemporary History of Nigeria

After its liberation in 1960 and until 1999, Nigeria was characterized by frequent shifts of power, most often through military coups. From 1999, the country has had a continuous period of democracy and peaceful, civilian change of power.

The country is still characterized by violence, carried out by both state and non-state actors. Political violence has been linked to elections. Three conflicts have characterized the period after 1999: Resource conflicts over oil in the Niger Delta, land conflicts in the Middle Belt and the conflict with Boko Haram in the northeast.

Despite strong economic growth between 2000 and the international fall in oil prices in 2014, there is still great poverty and increasing economic inequality. The country's strong oil dependency has made them particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the international oil price.

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