Delta is the second most populous state in the Niger Delta, with an estimated 4.1 million people. The state produces about 35% of Nigeria’s crude oil and a considerable amount of its natural gas. It is also rich in root and tuber crops, such as potatoes, yams, cassava, and coco yams. Delta has a legacy of ethnic and political tensions which flared in the late 1990s and again in 2003.
To the southeast of Nigeria, the coastal state of Cross River is home to approximately 2.9 million people (2006 census), predominantly of Efik, Ejagham and Bekwarra background. One of the fastest growing states in Nigeria, Cross River is endowed with vast mineral resources, plentiful arable land, and a growing number of tourist attractions. Liyel Imoke, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was elected governor of Cross River in August 2008 after his first electoral victory of April 2007 was annulled by an Election Appeal Tribunal. He was re-elected in February 2012. Benedict Ayade (PDP) won the 2015 gubernatorial election in April.
With 2 million people, Bayelsa is one of the smallest states in the country, by population. Most are of Ijaw descent. Bayelsa produces between 30-40% of Nigeria’s oil and gas. In addition to the petroleum sector, the state has an extensive commercial fishing industry and produces oil palm, raffia palm, rubber, and coconut. In February 2012, Henry Dickson (PDP) was elected as governor after a period of uncertainty in the wake of Governor Timipre Sylva’s termination in January 2012.
Akwa Ibom has a population of about 3.9 million people according to the 2006 census. Predominantly inhabited by the Ibibio people, the state is also home to Annang, Oron, Obolo and Eket communities. Endowed with large deposits of crude oil, condensate and gas, Akwa Ibom is among the largest petroleum producers in Nigeria. Agriculture also constitutes an important income-generating activity in the state, particularly the farming of palm produce, rubber, cocoa, rice, cassava, yam, plantain, banana, maize, and timber.
Abia State has an estimated population of 2.4 million, predominantly of Igbo origin. Comparatively, it has not experienced the levels of violence and insecurity that other states in the Niger Delta have over the time period analyzed. Abia produces about 27% of Nigeria’s crude oil and a significant amount of its natural gas. It is also rich in yam, maize, rice, potatoes, and cashews. Theodore Orji (People’s Democratic Party) was re-elected as governor of Abia state in 2011.
A rapid rise in anti-immigrant violence has emerged in South Africa, with at least seven people killed and many more local immigrants’ properties and businesses destroyed. In response to this wave of xenophobic crime, the South African government announced the deployment of troops to areas that have been most affected by the violence, including parts of Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the impoverished district of Alexandra in Johannesburg.
Published April 10, 2015 | By Katie Cornelius
After two days of voting in the most closely contested presidential election in Nigeria’s history, Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the final electoral results in favor of opposition candidate and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari’s victory marks a historic occasion for the country considering an opposition candidate has never before defeated the ruling party in a presidential election. At last count, Buhari claimed 15.4 million votes over incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan’s 13.3 million. Despite some technical issues with electronic card readers as well as insecurity arising from the sporadic targeting of voters by Boko Haram militants in the Northeast, the National Democratic Institute’s international elections observers overall hailed the presidential election as smooth and orderly in a preliminary statement offered on March 30.
Published March 28, 2015 | By Ania Skinner
Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnahlid-daʻwa wal-Jihād (JAS), known widely as Boko Haram, has employed suicide bombers as a terrorist tactic in their insurgency against the Nigerian government since 2011. As of mid-2014, however, reports began to emerge of an alarming new dimension: the use of young women and girls in suicide missions. The first reported case of a female suicide bomber occurred on June 8, 2014, when a woman detonated her bomb near army barracks in Gombe state of Nigeria. Since that time, the rate of suicide bombings carried out by women has steadily increased.
Published March 25, 2015 | By Hannah Blyth
As the tense countdown continues to the Nigerian elections – scheduled to take place this Saturday, March 28 – gender based violence is on the rise. This is not just endemic to Nigeria, but can be linked to wider issues of negative gender attitudes and wider violence in the region. Recent data complied as part of the Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) program, a collaboration between FFP and local partner NSRP, suggests that gender-based violence has been steadily rising in the pre-2015 Nigerian election period. This is consistent with the rise in general violence and insecurity in the lead up to the Nigerian elections, as detailed a recent FFP Election Violence Update.
Published March 24, 2015 | By The Fund for Peace
Following the party primaries in late 2014, political jockeying has continued between and among parties. The postponement of the elections originally slated for February 14, due to insecurity in the Northeast, appears to have raised the level of uncertainty. In some states, gangs and cult groups have taken sides. In others, political rallies have escalated to violence. Even issues not directly election-related such as communal tensions and criminality have been affected. Logistical challenges around the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have further complicated matters. Unlike previous cycles, this election looks to be a real contest between the ruling party and the opposition, which has raised the stakes considerably, particularly in states like Rivers and Edo.