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Amb. John Campbell
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Blog Entries by Amb. John Campbell

Why Nigeria's North South Distinction Is Important

Posted February 7, 2011 | 09:23:43 (EST)

Apologists for the Nigerian political system often accuse outside observers of viewing the country's North and South as monolithic blocks. With more than 150 million people, at least 250 different ethnic groups, and Christian and Muslim populations roughly equal in size, Nigeria's diversity is undeniable. Nevertheless, broad differences between North...

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Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan Gets the PDP Nomination

Posted January 21, 2011 | 13:19:32 (EST)

Bribery and intimidation likely helped Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan achieve his overwhelming defeat of former vice president Atiku Abubakar for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) presidential nomination. As a sitting president, Jonathan had access to unlimited amounts of money for bribes as well as control...

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Oil Pollution in the Niger Delta: Whose Fault?

Posted August 17, 2010 | 10:52:59 (EST)

Nigerian commentators have been bemused by popular anger in the United States at BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They claim that the Niger Delta has suffered spillage equal to an Exxon Valdez each year for many decades with little Western indignation or even notice. For some of...

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The World Cup Is a Lift for South Africa

Posted June 7, 2010 | 17:33:05 (EST)

Opening June 10, South Africa hosts the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup, the most widely watched sporting event in the world. Played at ten stadiums around the country, the soccer matches will provide a lift for the national mood of a country that wrestles with seemingly intractable...

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After Yar'Adua's Death

Posted May 6, 2010 | 14:44:53 (EST)

President Umaru Yar'Adua's death on May 5th ends the crisis over the presidential succession in Nigeria that began when he was hospitalized in Saudi Arabia in November 2009. Goodluck Jonathan, who the National Assembly had extra-constitutionally designated acting president in February, is now Nigeria's president, removing any uncertainty about possible...

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Nigeria Fragmented and Unstable

Posted March 5, 2010 | 13:39:11 (EST)

The Nigerian political system remains fragmented and unstable. President Umaru Yar'Adua is incommunicado, despite fanciful reports of him playing with his grandchildren. The small cabal surrounding him, led by his wife Turai, has prevented outside political figures from seeing him, including acting president Goodluck Jonathan (though there was a report,...

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Nigeria: Progress Toward the Rule of Law?

Posted November 4, 2009 | 10:37:24 (EST)

The arrest, conviction and jailing of ruling party chieftain Olabode George for corruption is good news for a country that is a by-word for poor governance. It signals the higher court's increasing independence from the "big men" who wield political and economic power. It may also restore some credibility to...

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