By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE, Zimbabwe (IDN) – Sitting in front of a heap of damaged shoes waiting to be mended, 32-year-old Evans Tirivangani, a graduate in accountancy but forced to work as a cobbler because of lack of job opportunities, is anything but convinced that the arrival of a new president in the White House will mark a change in his, and his country’s, prospects.

“We had always had hope since the time Barrack Obama came into power in the United States about a decade ago; we thought he was going to make so much noise about the dictatorship that has damaged our country, but 37 years after our country gained independence, we are still suffering and as you can see, I’m a cobbler even with my degree,” Tirivangani, who plies his trade in a makeshift shed by the roadside in Mabvuku, a high density suburb of Harare, told IDN.

- Photo: 2021

US Think Tanks Consider Nigeria ‘A Failed Nation’

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) — Over 200 people were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria last week, as the insecurity across the country continues despite the efforts of security agencies. Over the same period of time, no fewer than 137 people were abducted across the country.

The figures were gathered by the Premium Times of Nigeria from newspaper reports and family members of victims.

Rising levels of violence and the inability of the nation’s leadership to bring it under control have led the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harvard Kennedy School to conclude that Nigeria as a nation is at a point of no return with all the signs of a failed nation.

Nigeria has long teetered on the precipice of failure, the authors wrote in a report published by Foreign Policy magazine. But now, unable to keep its citizens safe and secure, Nigeria has become a fully failed state of critical geopolitical concern. Its failure matters because the peace and prosperity of Africa and preventing the spread of disorder and militancy around the globe depend on a stronger Nigeria.

Long West Africa’s major power, Nigeria played a positive role in promoting African peace and security, according to the authors. (But) with state failure, it can no longer sustain that vocation, and no replacement is in sight.

Its security challenges are already destabilizing the West African region in the face of resurgent jihadism, making the battles of the Sahel that much more difficult to contain. And spillover from Nigeria’s failures ultimately affect the security of Europe and the United States.

Failed states are violent, the report continues. Nigeria now confronts six or more internal insurrections and the inability of the Nigerian state to provide peace and stability to its people has tipped a hitherto very weak state into failure.

At a bare minimum, citizens expect their states to keep them secure from external attack and to keep them safe within their borders.

The finding was prepared by former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, and the Founding Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Intrastate Conflict and president emeritus of the World Peace Foundation, Robert I. Rotberg. According to them, Nigeria is currently in its final phase from which it would eventually collapse.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, the government has banned Twitter after the US social media giant deleted a tweet from the president’s account for violating its rules.

The diplomatic missions of the EU, US, Britain, Canada and Ireland issued a joint statement on June 5 condemning the ban. “Precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication,” it added.

More than 39 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, according to NOI polls, a public opinion and research organization based in Nigeria.

The government’s suspension came after Twitter deleted a remark on President Muhammadu Buhari’s account in which he referred to the country’s civil war four decades ago in a warning about recent unrest.

The 78-year-old president, a former general, referred to “those misbehaving” in recent violence in the southeast. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” the president had posted on Twitter. [IDN-InDepthNews – 07 June 2021]

Photo: President Buhari of Nigeria. Source: The Premium Times Nigeria.

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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