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Archive for the ‘Nigeria’ Category

Adekeye Adebajo: Côte d’Ivoire’s Presidential Stalemate and South Africa’s “Clumsy” Intervention

The Curse of BerlinFive African Union heads of state, which include Jacob Zuma, have been asked to intervene and come up with a solution to Côte d’Ivoire’s current political contest, which has two “presidents” fighting for power over the country. Adekeye Adebajo says that Gbagbo has power without legitimacy, while his contender Quattara has legitimacy without power.

Adebajo is the author of The Curse of Berlin and is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town.

THE cocoa-rich West African state of Côte d’Ivoire currently has two “presidents” contesting for power, while five African Union (AU)-appointed heads of state (including Jacob Zuma ) have been asked to deliver a solution by the end of this month. The seeds of the Ivorian crisis were sown during the autocratic rule of Felix Houphouet-Boigny between 1960 and 1993. Though he adopted an enlightened policy towards the country’s large immigrant population, the economy declined from the 1980s.

Houphouet’s heirs — Henri Konan Bedie, Gen Robert Guei and Laurent Gbagbo — instituted a xenophobic policy of Ivoirite, which discriminated against Ivorians of mixed parentage.

Gulliver's TroublesFrom Global Apartheid to Global Village

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Adekeye Adebajo Ruminates on Nigeria’s Fifty Years of Independence – “A Drama in Six Acts”


The Curse of BerlinNigerian writer Adekeye Adebajo goes through some of Nigeria’s peaks and troughs over the past 50 years. The country has seen its fare share of turbulent leadership; governence fettered by mismanagement, corruption and bloody coups. But despite the political strife, Nigeria has provided much by the way of artists, professionals and sportsmen. Wole Siyonka was the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and it boasts a booming film industry, known as “Nollywood”. Adebajo provides a brief history of the independent country using the metaphor of the four horsemen of the apocalypse:

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with 140-million inhabitants and 250 ethnic groups, turned 50 on October 1.

Our tale here refers to the biblical vision of four apocalyptic horsemen representing conquest, war, famine and death.

Since 1960, Nigeria’s leaders have failed to lift 70% of their compatriots out of poverty, to build and maintain viable infrastructure and to stem profligate corruption that has resulted in more than $380-billion being siphoned into foreign bank accounts. Might the next horseman to ride on to the Nigerian stage represent the end of the country as a viable entity?

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Image Courtesy BusinessWeek

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