There's an article in the International Herald Tribune on the Nigerian elections today, suggesting that the elections may well go badly, and lead to military rule.
Nkem's article says my mind.
I don't think it makes sense to link people's dissatisfaction with the current state of democracy in Nigeria with the likelihood of a military coup. Yes, coup plotters do use the failures of a preceding government as justification for kicking it out. But this government hasn't been popular with the Nigerian people for a long time now - long enough for a coup plotter to strike if that was his motivation.I think the more worrying scenario is if the elections degenerate into so much widespread violence that the military have to intervene. I suspect this won't happen - I think that there will be a few flashpoints of violence, but in most cases the dominant party in a locality will intimidate everyone else present into 'arriving' at a particular set of 'results', so that the results of the elections will be the candidate that had the best intimidation machinery.
Not sure Jeremy about this one. I am one of those conspiracy theorists, I strongly believe (I might be delusional) that those officers in the helicopter crash where killed. Now as they made up the high ranking officers in the army, how will the coup be organised. You need leaders you know.
@ IO, the first set of coups in Nigerian history were organised by relatively junior ranking officers, so the theory that the Generals were killed to prevent a coup doesn't fly.
If this prophesy were to come true, and Nigeria were to disintegrate then who would benefit? The price of oil would go up, leading to increased profits for the oil companies. When I was in Abuja I had contact with DFID officials who were generally optimistic about Nigerias' future; it's interesting to ask why the US media should be so negative.
I wrote the e-mail to Nkem (seek chxta's link above) and yes indar ph, i am also of the view that the US media seems a lot more pessimistic than the UK. If so, why? Does anybody know why?
...I have to say though - this IHT article is much more thoughtful and nuanced than the offending LA Times article.
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