I am restarting a feature I began (and wisely discontinued) a few years ago:
Do you think you know lots about Nigeria? Well, here is a chance to show off how much you really know about that country. Take the 10 question quiz below. Answers to the questions will be posted here in due course.
NO CHEATING, no use of Wikipedia or Google (or other web search engines!). ;-)
1) Who coined the name Nigeria?
2) In what year was Nigeria’s current national anthem adopted?
3) Nigeria’s first Prime Minister was Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. What does ‘Tafawa Balewa’ mean in English?
4) What was the last military post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari before he became head of state on December 1, 1984?
5) What was former president General Obasanjo’s career before he joined the army?
6) Abuja succeeded Lagos as Nigeria’s capital city. Which city was the capital before Lagos?
7) Which school counts among its alumni, four different Nigerian heads of state?
8) Who is the longest reigning head of state in Nigeria’s history? (single uninterrupted reign)
9) Who is the only Nigerian to have commanded the air force of two different countries?
10) What was the first political post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari?
My Op-Ed article in the New York Times about how Buhari is likely to govern in his second stint in power.
In order to succeed, he must learn from what happened to him in 1985.
In most countries, a 72-year-old retired general who once led a severe military dictatorship that imprisoned its opponents without trial, publicly executed convicts by firing squad, arrested journalists who criticized it, ran an Orwellian intelligence apparatus that bugged the phones of government ministers — a man whose overthrow three decades ago was welcomed with relief by his countrymen, and who lost three consecutive presidential elections in 12 years — would be considered unelectable.
Click the link below for my article in the UK Guardian about how President Goodluck Jonathan blunder’s cost him the 2015 Nigerian presidential election.
Getting on the wrong side of Obasanjo is the political equivalent of crossing a mafia don. You will pay.
The Nigerian National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt-Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired) was spoke at Chatham House in London last week, in much publicised comments. Although Dasuki usually keeps a low profile he spoke frankly about many issues relating to Nigeria’s upcoming elections next month and the security threat posed by Boko Haram. Highlights from the NSA’s talk and answers to questions from the audience:
- He said that Nigeria will develop a new civil-military relations doctrine; to redefine how the military relates to the public – especially in areas where it conducts counter-insurgency operations. The military needs to move doctrinally from conventional warfare to asymmetric warfare. Nigeria has created a National Counter-Terrorism Center.
- He admitted that there have been “historical deficits” in the military; including the fact that the last significant weapons procurement for the Nigerian military was over two decades ago.
- He said his office will present a counter-insurgency narrative to undermine Boko Haram’s credibility and narrative by presenting “the true face of Islam” – counter to the message being presented by Boko Haram.
- The Nigerian government is open to negotiated solution to the Boko Haram insurgency, should Boko Haram be willing to dialogue.
- On allegations of sabotage in the army: Dasuki said the army has “a few cowards”.
- Boko Haram financing: he said Boko Haram obtains financing from bank and market robberies, kidnapping and ransom, and get fuel by staging fuel heists.
- The Baga attack: Chad and Niger troops withdrew from the military base in Baga, leaving only Nigerian troops there. Dasuki said the way the base was overrun was “not something anyone would be proud of”.
- Chibok girls: Dasuki thinks they have been dispersed, “some of them have been sold out…that is all we know”. United States officers are still conducting surveillance 24 hours a day. Nigeria has aerial surveillance footage, but he is “very hopeful but not very optimistic”.
- On the botched ceasefire announcement with Boko Haram: Chad’s President Idriss Deby received two letters purportedly sent to him by Boko Haram leaders who wanted to negotiate a ceasefire. Chad acted as an intermediary between Nigeria and Boko Haram. Dasuki stated his belief that there are “links” between the Chad government and Boko Haram’s leadership.
- Equipment of Nigerian Soldiers: Dasuki denied allegations that Nigerian soldiers are poorly armed/equipped. He reeled off a list of military equipment that Boko Haram captured from the Nigerian army in Baga, including: 6 armoured personnel carriers (each with at least 4000 rounds of ammunition each), and 4 artillery guns. He said lack of equipment is not the issue, but that there are “a lot cowards” among soldiers and that some of them “do not want to fight”.
- More than 70-80% of Boko Haram members are of Kanuri ethnicity.
Text of the NSA’s speech: Full text and video of Dasuki’s speech at Chatham House in London – DailyPost Nigeria