Nigeria: Islam Kills Babies


April 11,2008: The violence in the Niger Delta oil region continues to grow. More people with grievances have more guns and less patience. The gangs are targeting their kidnapping victims more carefully, going after businessmen and government officials that appear to have money (and can afford a high ransom). Armed robberies are more ambitious, elaborate and deadly. Fortunately for the government, the many tribe based gangs are not organizing a coalition capable of actually taking control of the region. But the rising crime rate is pretty bad, and increasing military and police activity is doing more for the body count than it does for law and order.

April 7, 2008: Several days of tribal strife in the southwest have left seven dead and dozens wounded. The fighting was largely about which faction would get their guy into a tribal leadership job.

March 31, 2008: Nearly 200 children have died in the north, from measles. This is another aftereffect of an earlier campaign by Islamic conservative clerics up there, to get parents to refuse vaccinations for their children. The clerics believed the anti-polio vaccinations were actually a Western plot to poison Muslim children (and make the girls sterile, or something like that). The government eventually got the clerics to back off on the polio vaccinations, but there was continued reluctance to get vaccinations in general.

March 29, 2008: Anti-corruption investigators are accusing the daughter of former president Olusegun Obasanjo were involved in stealing at least four million dollars from the Health Ministry. Obasanjo was elected on an anti-corruption platform.


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