Some Social and Religious Perspectives on the Nigerian Crisis
Chapter 1. Origin of Nigeria’s Problems
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ORIGIN OF NIGERIA’S PROBLEMS
Inquiring into the beginning of Nigeria’s trouble is like asking five blind men to describe an elephant. The reality is the same—one massive animal—but the descriptions will vary, according to the experience of each person. One may consider the elephant to be like a cord, if he feels the tail. Another may describe the animal as a wall, if he touches the stomach. The third may speak of the trunk of a tree, if he grabs the legs.
So it is with the origins of Nigeria’s trials, as different researchers focus on different aspects of the issue. Some researchers believe that the oil wealth, endemic corruption, and competition among the elite members of society are the primary factors that have brought Nigeria to the edge. Such is the view of John Campbell, the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria. While in the country, Campbell undertook a study of Nigeria. Based on what he saw and heard from Nigerians during his two tours—one in Lagos (1988 to 1990 as political counselor) and the other in Abuja (2004 to 2007 as Ambassador)—he published his conclusions in his thorough and incisive study Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink.1
Campbell’s conclusions are shared by other authors, including Peter Cunliffe-Jones, an Englishman. His grandfather, Sir Hugo Marshall, had served as a colonial administrator in Nigeria for almost thirty years.2 Feeling ← 7 | 8 → a close affinity with Nigeria, perhaps...
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