Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Interviewer: I’d just like to bring you a comment regarding northern Nigeria and the presence of Boko Haram. . . ‘How can Nigeria become an economic powerhouse when Boko Haram are busy causing calamities on its people.’ How much of it is a deterrent to Nigeria’s prospects of becoming this economic superpower?

JW: If I may say so, I think the problem with that comment is that it’s looking at a map with too small a scale. Northern Nigeria is a very very long way from Lagos, and a very long way from the Middle Belt. And we’re talking not northern Nigeria but north-eastern Nigeria in particular. North-western is an ethnically, and in many ways religiously, slightly different kettle of fish, and so is the south-west and the south, south where the oil is, is yet another area, and Lagos is its own city state in a very powerful way. So, yes it is a very serious problem. Any area where there’s war and killing is an absolute tragedy. And the attacks on the Christian population there are very severe, the attacks on Muslim leaders are very severe, and on government figures. But, it is not holding back the south. If you look at most of Nigeria, the south of Nigeria in particular, as an independent country it is growing at a rate that defies description. The economy there is more vigorous than one can describe.

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