by Joel Brinkley
Just outside President
No actual health-care facility nationwide had as many, and in fact a few still have none at all. But as soon as a Nigerian newspaper took a photo of the ambulances and published a story about them, they suddenly disappeared -- probably to an underground garage.
Jonathan is president of Nigeria, which should be among the world's most prosperous nations. After all, it produces an estimated 2.4 million barrels of oil each and every day. With oil now selling at
Nigerian journalist Musikilu Mojeed finds all this so discouraging.
"With its geopolitical power, economic resources and middle class," he laments, "no country (with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia and Egypt) has the power to change the course of black/African civilization like Nigeria." After all, Nigeria is Africa's most populous state -- and large, twice the size of California.
So Nigerians are living an opportunity squandered -- particularly now. Egypt is in turmoil. In just the last few days, in fact, many Egyptians have been calling for a military coup -- anything to rid the state of its widely despised Muslim Brotherhood government. And a new report by the
Egypt has lost its place as the Arab/African worlds' leader, and Saudi Arabia never had it. So for Nigeria, the time is ripe. But its leaders seem interested only in stealing the state's money to make themselves rich beyond imaging. Think about it:
And Nigeria's people -- well, they are as mistreated as any on earth. In only nine nations -- among them Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia -- do more mothers die during childbirth. And in only 10 states, including Chad, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, is the average life expectancy lower. Right now the average Nigerian's average life span ends at 52. That may be why the median age of Nigerians is just 18.
A few months ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit published an evaluation of the best places for babies to born in 2013, given their probable welfare as children and the chance for a safe, comfortable, prosperous life. Switzerland, Australia and Norway were the top three. The United States came in at 16th, largely because "babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation."
Dead last: Nigeria. "It is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013," the report said.
Even with all that wealth, only just over half the population has access to clean drinking water, and one-third to a toilet,
The CIA also cites endemic "soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution." All this in a county whose gross domestic product stands at
Well, just last week he demonstrated who he really is and what he stands for when he pardoned a former state governor who'd been convicted of embezzling state funds and laundering the money. That pardon triggered a broad, angry uproar.
Good luck, Mr. Jonathan. It's time you were impeached.
- How to Reverse Nigeria's Oil Curse
- Africa: The Soldier and the Street
- Africa: Exploiting Minerals, Exploiting Communities
- Nigeria's Critical Juncture: Boko Haram, Buhari, and the Future of the Fourth Republic
- Congo: Is Democratic Change Possible?
- Nigeria's Youth Factor
- What Now for Burundi? Five Key Risks
- Kenya's Sorrow and How the U.S. Fueled Al-Shabab in Somalia
- Kenya's Garissa Attack Wasn't Just a Tragedy
- Chad: A Precarious Counterterrorism Partner
- Western Sahara Since the Arab Spring: Any Hope for Change?
- Sexual Terror and Impunity in Somalia
- South Africa Resists Nuclear Oversight
- Nigerian Women in the Crosshairs
- Four Years After Gaddafi, Libya Is a Failed State
- Tragedy in Tunisia: Targeting Cultural Heritage
- Tragedy in Tunisia: Perfect Storm of Islamist Extremist Indoctrination and Lax Security
- Authoritarian Symps
- Learning the Lessons of Ebola
- Healing or Harming? The Provision of Health Care by Peacekeepers
- Nigeria: Rebuilding After Boko Haram
© Distributed By Tribune Media Services, Inc. "Nigeria's Squandered Opportunity"
Nigeria's Squandered Opportunity | Current Events in Africa