Nigeria. The violence spiral continued during the year, not least in northeastern Nigeria. The Islamist movement Boko Haram was blamed for a series of attacks on cities and markets, military convoys and military missions. At least 15 attacks against military missiles were reported during the year. In November, more than 40 soldiers – some of whom reportedly killed more than 100 – were killed in an attack against a relocation in Metele, Borno. The figure is among the highest since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015. Buhari visited the state a few days later and promised to provide the military with modern weapons and tried to instill courage in the soldiers.
According to Countryaah.com, Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, a country located in Western Africa. The violence indicated that the Islamists were not defeated, even though the government had taken back areas previously controlled by Boko Haram. Suicide attacks continued. For example, at least 50 people were killed in May when an explosive charge was triggered at a mosque in the city of Mubi in the state of Adamawa. Several cases of schoolgirl mass shootings were also reported.
Some deeds were attributed to the Islamic State of West Africa, an outbreak group from Boko Haram. The group is alleged to have killed two midwives who worked for the International Red Cross Committee in northeastern Nigeria.
Nigeria was promised to buy twelve fighter aircraft from the United States since Buhari met US President Donald Trump in the White House in April. Earlier, the United States had opposed the sale, citing concerns that Nigeria was violating human rights.
Buhari, who was appointed to lead the ECOWAS regional cooperation organization in July, received French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the year. Economic initiatives, migration and security were addressed. Britain and Nigeria signed squad training agreements.
Lethal clashes in several states between livestock and agricultural communities, competing for ever-scarce land and water resources, were another serious challenge for both the Buhara government and state governments. Between January and June, at least 1,300 people were killed in states such as Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau, while 300,000 were fleeing, the International Crisis Group reported.
Security is expected to become a theme in the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Buhari was nominated for a new term by the Progressive Congress (APC). His pair horse becomes Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The main opponent will be the businessman Atiku Abubakar, who won the primary election in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Abubakar has been Vice President three times and supported Buhari’s campaign in 2015. Party changes are not uncommon.
Some 40 members of both federal parliament’s chambers have jumped by the APC. Among these were the Senate President returning to the PDP.
Men make up the majority of the 30 presidential candidates. An exception is Oby Ezekwesili. She has been Education Minister and Vice President of the World Bank, but is perhaps best known for leading a campaign to release more than 270 school girls who Boko Haram kidnapped in 2014 in the city of Chibok. Unlike Buhari and Abubakar, however, she does not have the support of a nationwide party apparatus.
In August, NBS reported that GDP grew by 1.5% in the second quarter, a slowdown compared to the first quarter. This was attributed to lower oil production. In order to stimulate the economy, the government proposed in its budget continued investments in roads, railways, ports and electricity generation.
In March, Nigeria signed off on a free trade agreement, AfCFTA, which was concluded between 44 African countries. The Buhari government felt that more time was needed to anchor the agreement at home, not least following criticism from trade unions.
Jihadists are taking hundreds hostage in the Northeast
Jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State’s West African province (Iswap) are attacking the city of Kukawa and taking hundreds of residents hostage. Many of Kukawa’s residents recently returned after living for nearly two years in refugee camps. Two days after the attack, the military says it has regained control of the city. What happened to the hostages is unclear. Iswap is a breakaway group to Boko Haram that is leading a bloody uprising in the northeast. Thousands of people have been killed and more than two million have been forced to flee. During August, unrest continued in other parts of northern Nigeria. In battles for control of pastures and water, about 30 civilians have been killed.
Singer sentenced to death for blasphemy
A sharia court in the city of Kano sentences artist Yahaya Aminu Sharif to death by hanging for blasphemy of the Prophet Muhammad in one of his songs. The song, which was released in March, led to riots in Kano when a mob attacked the singer’s home and demanded that he be prosecuted.
Many arrested in protests against the government
Police grasp about 100 people participating in the nationwide demonstrations against President Muhammadu Buhari regime. The protesters gather during the joint movement #RevolutionNow, which is formed by pro-democracy activists and civil society organizations. They protest against poverty, injustice and the “endless plundering of state resources” and demand a better standard of living for all citizens. Police use tear gas and sticks to disperse the marchers but say they deprived of liberty demonstrators because they violated the country’s coronation restrictions. Within two days, all those arrested have been released.