Princeton Lyman, one time United States Ambassador to Nigeria, currently Director of African Policy Studies at the US Council of Foreign Relations, was recently reported in Nigerian newspapers as observing ‘deep scepticism bordering on cynicism’ regarding the reform polices of President Olusegun Obasanjo. In Lyman’s recent travels, meeting businessmen in the commercial capital Lagos, journalists around the country, policy analysts in the capital, Abuja, and with everyday people, he was surprised at the unanimity of doubt about an economic programme that at ﬁrst glance appeared laudable.
Nigeria: On the Edge of Chaos
There is a real crisis of legitimacy in Nigeria. Many people believe the government does not have their interests at heart, internationally backed reforms produce a sceptical response. And now there are general strikes about petrol price increases and armed threats to what should be the nation’s lifeline – the oil of the Niger delta.