Saturday, December 31, 2011

State of Emergency Declared in parts of Nigeria

I am not sure what to feel about the news today of the declaration of state of emergency in parts of four northern states by the Nigerian government. Ordinarily, it should enable the government to mobilize the resources needed to check the rampant terroristic mayhem of the Boko Haram groups; and that would be a good thing. But then, it could also provide the police and military the opportunity for unchecked abuse of law abiding citizens. They have a track record: whenever they are unleashed for security reasons, travel in the affected areas becomes impossible, especially if you do not have enough money and will to offer bribes to the armed official so you can drive past their checkpoints without molestation. I guess I just wished that--OK, I think my idealist alter ego is the one speaking now--Mr. Jonathan had previously declared a state of emergency to deal with runaway corruption inside and outside his government. If he had successfully carried out such campaign, then I would be more sanguine about the prospects of this new state of emergency.

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