Since May 2013, political tensions were high in Rivers State after the disputed Nigerian Governor’s Forum election. Formerly a member of the PDP, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who is from Ikwerre (Rivers East Senatorial District), switched affiliation to the APC in November 2013. Despite the zoning formula, which would have given the PDP gubernatorial candidacy to an aspirant from Rivers South-East, Nyesom Wike (Rivers East) won the PDP primaries, upsetting the rotation and raising ethnic sentiments across the state, including the Ogoni axis. In a surprise move, the powerful former militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) apparently made a statement endorsing the APC candidate in the presidential election after claiming dissatisfaction with the current president and the PDP. In the run-up to the 2015 elections, cult groups and ex-militants lined up behind the two major parties and exerted influence through intimidation and violence. Ultimately, Wike (PDP) won the election to succeed Amaechi (APC) as governor.
Although on a per capita basis, violence is relatively high in Bayelsa, the number of fatalities and incidents have dropped since 2010. In February 2012, Henry Seriake Dickson (PDP) was elected as governor after a period of uncertainty in the wake of Governor Timipre Sylva’s termination in January 2012. Over the last four years, incidents of insecurity in Bayelsa have included cult violence, piracy, abductions, and attacks on energy infrastructure. Conflict factors were mainly reported around the capital of Yenagoa, but also in Nembe and Southern Ijaw.
Published August 19, 2015 | By The Fund for Peace and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta*
The Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly elections of March 2015 were widely praised by international observers as free and fair, with relatively peaceful outcomes across most states. However, among those states with elevated levels of political conflict was Rivers, where tension has cascaded with subsequent state and local elections in April and May. This briefing provides context to the local government dynamics surrounding the administration of incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Governor Amaechi, and the succeeding Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Governor Wike, elected in April.
Since 2012, Abia has been the most peaceful state in the Niger Delta overall, as measured by fatalities per capita. In the 2015 gubernatorial elections, Okezie Ikpeazu, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was elected to replace outgoing Governor Theordore Orji (also PDP) in the second round of voting, after the first round was declared inconclusive due to irregularities. In 2010, there was a spike in kidnapping activities and associated fatalities, including a high profile kidnapping of over a dozen schoolchildren from a bus, which led to a security offensive by military and police. Other factors in the security landscape include the role of vigilantes (Bakassi Boys) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
Although the 2009 Amnesty Program was instrumental in reducing violence and fatalities associated with militancy, since 2012 Delta has been the most violent Niger Delta state as measured by conflict fatalities per-capita. Conflict risk incidents in Delta State during this period included gang violence, criminality, vigilante/mob justice, communal violence, and political violence. There were a number of abductions, some targeting political figures, their family members, or oil workers. On October 25, 2014 local elections were held for the first time since the chairmen were dismissed in 2011. In April 2015, Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the gubernatorial election to replace outgoing Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (PDP).
Imo state has a population of approximately 3.9 million people, according to the 2006 census. The population is predominantly Igbo (98%). The capital city of Owerri is the largest in the state. Imo is made up of 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Natural resources include palm oil, mahogany, crude oil, and natural gas. Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been the governor of Imo since May 2011. In 2011, he left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to run for governor with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Published August 13, 2015 | By Sarah Silverman
As a result of ongoing and deep-seated conflicts – particularly those in the Middle East and Africa -- internal displacement is at the highest level the world has ever seen. With over 11 million newly internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 2014, there were a reported 38 million IDPs globally by the end of the year, compared to less than 20 million refugees who have fled beyond their borders. Of the world’s IDPs, 77% are to be found in just ten countries, all but one of which are located in the Middle East and Africa.
Published August 12, 2015 | By Logan Cuthbert
The term “Grexit” has become a mainstay of political and economic discourse in recent times, becoming a necessary shorthand for one of the most significant challenges facing Europe in recent decades. The Grexit example demonstrates a number of important concepts – first, that in our highly globalized world, the struggles of one country of 11million people, can have wide reaching implications, particularly to its neighbors; and second, that metrics such as the Fragile States Index are just as applicable to advanced countries as they are to the most fragile in understanding weakness and charting their trends over time.
The annual findings of the Fragile States Index (FSI) are informative, but really do represent only a single snapshot in time. It is significantly more useful to observe a country's performance over time. That is why the Fund for Peace has assembled trend analysis charts for all 178 countries, listed below. These charts include analysis on overall country trend; indicator trends, year-on-year and long-term; and comparable and relative indicator performance.
The Fragile States Index, produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure. By highlighting pertinent issues in weak and failing states, The Fragile States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—makes political risk assessment and early warning of conflict accessible to policy-makers and the public at large.