Nigeria: November 6, 1999


There are growing complaints that the fifteen years of military rule had ruined the national police as well as the army. Rampant favoritism, corruption and bad leadership have left the army and police full of incompetents and criminals. This has led to a growing crime wave.

November 5; Gangs of Ijaws and Yoruba youths battled in Lagos, leaving nineteen dead and over fifty buildings burned down. Increasing violence throughout the Niger Delta has led to the imposition of a curfew, but the police do not appear to be up to the task.

November 4; Yoruba youths, largely Moslem, have proclaimed enthusiasm for the imposition of Sharia (Moslem law) in areas where Yorubas predominate. While the north of Nigeria is largely Moslem, the south is mostly Christian and animist, with pockets of Yorubas and other Moslem peoples. Nigeria contains some 250 different ethnic groups. The Yorubas are largely in the southwest part of the country, but in the last few decades, people from many different groups have come to the Niger Delta (where the oil is) and the capital, Lagos. 

November 3; The government of the largely Moslem northwestern state of Zamfara insists that their imposition of Sharia law was legal and dared the central government to try and stop it. The plan is to impose Sharia in the province on January 27, 2000. 

November 3; Militant Ijaw youths, insisting on a greater share of oil profits being pumped out of the Niger Delta (Ijaw territory) took captive five crew and passengers on a helicopter. The youths do things like occupy oil platforms and sabotage oil company equipment. In most cases, small bribes clear up the problems.


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