Tag Archives: britain

#Nigeria’s Nostalgia for the #British Empire

#Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world where people actually think of colonialism as a golden age” – why is this so?

Click here for a podcast discussion that @TheAfricaReport hosted with me, Barnaby Philips, and Funmi Adebayo regarding the legacy of colonialism in Nigeria.

If you prefer other platforms, you can also access the podcast on:

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The British Empire in West Africa (Podcast)

Podcast interview with Dan Snow of on-demand History Channel History Hit regarding a part of the British Empire that rarely gets attention (West Africa/Nigeria). This podcast is a precis of how and why despite originally being called “The White Man’s Grave”, Britain conquered territories in that part of the world.


This Week in #NigerianHistory: #British Massacre in Satiru (Near Sokoto)

This week in #NaijaHistory: in February 1906 British troops of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF) killed 2000 people in the village of Satiru (near Sokoto) in #Nigeria, then destroyed and burned the village. The officer seated in the middle of this photo is Major Burdon, along with some Hausa soldiers of the WAFF.
#NigerianHistory Source: Charles Robinson

The Role of Western Countries in African Corruption

This is an article I wrote in Foreign Policy about the role that Western countries play in African corruption.


The Bandits’ Banker

It’s no secret that corruption is a problem in Africa. Some $50 billion in illicit finance flows out of the continent every year, according to the United Nations. In the first 40 years of independence alone, Nigeria’s leaders stole or
squandered an estimated $400 billion. But as the barbed comments from Buhari imply, these leaders had accomplices in the West. Britain and other developed countries are not the cause of Africa’s corruption, but they are certainly an impediment to its eradication.


African governments are fighting a battle on two fronts. Even when they successfully prosecute corruption at home, they often have to restart litigation in foreign countries to have any hope of accessing the stolen funds. In other words, they must litigate every crime twice: domestically to secure a conviction, and abroad to recover the money. This all but ensures that the stolen funds won’t be repatriated in full, since foreign lawyers typically collect a percentage of the money they recover. For African governments, illicit financial flows are lose-lose. But for Western firms, they’re win-win: There are profits to be made whether or not the money is eventually recovered and returned.



African Churches and British Christianity



A look at the rise of pentecostal African churches in England such as the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Kingsway International Christian Centre.

UK Government Condemns Killing of Foreign Hostages in Nigeria


Is Ansaru a splinter group from Boko Haram, or Boko Haram’s “international wing”?


Queen Elizabeth’s First Visit to Nigeria


Queen Elizabeth II’s first visit to Nigeria in 1956. She is welcomed at the airport by federal dignitaries including the Minister for Labour and Welfare Festus Okotie-Eboh and Governor-General Sir James Robertson.

British and Italian Hostages Killed in Nigeria



A British and Italian hostage have been killed after a botched rescue attempt to free the pair from kidnappers linked to Al Qaeda today.

A British citizen (Chris McManus, aged 28) and Italian citizen (Franco Lamolinara, aged48) have been killed in Sokoto, Sokoto State in northern Nigeria after an attempt by British and Nigerian special forces to free them. McManus and Lamolinara were kidnapped and have been held since May 2011.  Initial press reports (and British Prime Minister David Cameron) say they were killed by their captors during the rescue attempt by British and Nigerian troops. However a senior security source in Nigeria has told the Associated Press that the two men died in the crossfire during the rescue operation, perhaps indicating that they might have been killed accidentally by gunfire from the troops sent to rescue them.

None of the British or Nigerian troops were killed but the captors suffered casualties.

A witnessMahmoud Abubakar, who lives on the street where the operation occured said: The security agencies tried to break into the house but there was resistance. The people inside the house were shooting at them and they returned fire. They exchanged fire for some time. I saw a military truck come out of the compound with two bodies on it. I didn’t see their colour, because they were covered with leaves.”A member of Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) said that the captors were members of the Islamist group called Boko Haram. The SSS official said:The hostage-takers shot the hostages before they even entered the compound. All the terrorists have been killed as well. We arrested some suspects a few days before who led us to them.”
The Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has telephoned Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan and asked for “a detailed reconstruction” of how the hostages died.
Statement by British Prime Minister David Cameron:
Chris McManus, a British citizen, was taken hostage by terrorists in Northern Nigeria in May 2011. He was taken hostage with his colleague, an Italian national, Franco Lamolinara. Since then, we have been working closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to find Chris and Franco, and to secure their release. The terrorists holding the two hostages made very clear threats to take their lives, including in a video that was posted on the internet. After months of not knowing where they were being held, we received credible information about their location. A window of opportunity arose to secure their release. We also had reason to believe that their lives were under imminent and growing danger. Preparations were made to mount an operation to attempt to rescue Chris and Franco. Together with the Nigerian Government, today I authorised it to go ahead, with UK support. It is with great regret that I have to say that both Chris and Franco have lost their lives. We are still awaiting confirmation of the details, but the early indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors, before they could be rescued.

Our immediate thoughts must be with Chris and Franco’s families, and we offer them our sincerest condolences. Both families have endured a terrible ordeal, and this is a devastating moment for all of them.

The Foreign Office have been in regular contact with the McManus family since Chris’s capture. I spoke to them just before Christmas and I have spoken to them again with the news this afternoon.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Nigerian authorities, and President Jonathan personally, for all they have done to help find Chris, and combat terrorism.

I also want to pay tribute to all those, including UK personnel, who worked so hard to try to bring Chris home safely. I am very sorry that this ended so tragically. I ask that the media respect the family’s privacy and allow them time to come to terms with their loss.

Terrorism and appalling crimes such as these are a scourge on our world. No-one should be in any doubt about our determination to fight and to defeat them.”

Nigeria – Africa’s Next Super Power?


On Tuesday 8th June there will be an event at the British Library called “Nigeria – Africa’s Next Super Power?”.

It looks like it might be different from the usual negative vibe reports about Africa/Nigeria.  It will be chaired by Jon Snow, and other panellists will include Neil McGregor (director of the British Museum), Father Matthew Kukah, Dr Abdul Raufu Mustapha (Lecturer in African Politics, University of Oxford) and Chika Unigwa (writer).

  1. British Museum/Guardian Public Forum debate
  2. The British Museum, London WC1 (Access via Great Russell Street entrance)
  3. Date: 8 June 2010
  4. Time: 7:00pm
  5. Duration: 2.5 hours
  6. Price 15 pounds (12 pounds concessions)

Guests will also be invited to a private viewing of the British Library’s Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa exhibition.

The ticket includes entry to the private viewing, the debate and a glass of wine.