In the Niger delta, politically astute oil gangs are aligning themselves with local politicians. This is in anticipation of national elections next April. The oil stealing gangs have not been able to stand up to the military and police crackdown. However, the armed forces and police have not been able to put the gangs out of business either. The gangsters are locals, who know the complicated waterways of the Delta better that the sailors, soldiers and police. The security forces can hurt the gangs, but they cannot kill them off.
September 29, 2006: Nearly every state governor in Nigeria is being investigated for corruption. Some of those investigations are having an effect, with governors being removed. However, there are too many other corrupt politicians ready to take the place of those who have been prosecuted.
September 27, 2006: In a world wide ranking of nations on their economic global competitiveness, Nigeria fell 18 positions to 101st. The main reasons for the slide are corruption, inefficient business practices and government mismanagement. This leads to more poverty and unrest.
September 26, 2006: Corruption and violence have taken root in the universities. Once the pride of Africa, Nigerian universities have been debased by corruption and lower standards. Over the last decade, student gangs, called "cults," have become more of a problem. Local politicians now use them to mobilize, by force if necessary, votes at election time. On campus, the cults generate violence (often in the from of gruesome murders) as well as other crimes (prostitution and gambling being favorites.) Educational standards have fallen so low that degrees from many schools are worthless.
September 24, 2006: The multi-billion dollar UN effort to eradicate polio is being stymied by paranoia and religious prejudice in Nigeria, and the Moslem world in general. Conservative Islamic clerics adopted the idea that the polio vaccination program, since it was medicine from the infidel (non-Moslem) West, must contain something bad for Moslems. The most common accusation is that the vaccine will make Moslem girls sterile. Over the past three years, failure to completely vaccinate everyone in Nigeria, mainly Moslem areas of the north, has allowed the polio virus to survive. Then, each year, Nigerian Moslems infected with the virus travel. This is especially true of those who go on the Hadj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, where they pass the virus on to Moslems from other parts of the whole, who carry it back and re-introduce infection in areas where the virus had been eliminated by the vaccination campaign. The UN World Health Organization must spend an addition several hundred million dollars a year, to keep the vaccination program going, while they continue to try and convince all Nigerian Moslems to allow their children to be vaccinated. There is also the additional cost of again vaccinating other Moslem nations that were free of polio, but were re-infected with polio from Nigeria. This year, there were 800 cases of polio in Nigeria (most of the victims were children), and nearly as many on over twenty countries that were re-infected with strains of polio from Nigeria.