23 July 2014

Nigeria: Analysis - Goodluck Jonathan and a Billion Dollars of Bad Judgment


Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan wants another $1 billion to funnel into his army, hoping that this will succeed where everything else has failed against Boko Haram. Here's the thing, though - he hasn't actually tried anything else except the military approach. And if we know one thing beyond reasonable doubt, it's that the strong arm tactics don't work.

Goodluck Jonathan cuts a somewhat forlorn figure in public these days. The year 2014 was meant to be a good year for Nigeria, and a good year for its president in the run-up to elections in 2015. This was the year that Nigeria finally overtook South Africa to become Africa's biggest economy, a development that should have kick-started a new investment boom in what is still, despite the impressive stats, an underperforming market.

But Boko Haram had other plans. The Islamist militant group, already known for its brutality, has been more violent than ever this year. It's not just those kidnapped girls - since January, more than 2000 people have died at the hands of Boko Haram members or people acting in the group's name (this distinction is not always clear, but exists).

Nothing that Jonathan has done -...

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