Rescatando a Nigeria del abismo

Una vez más Nigeria parece estar al borde de la desintegación, en esta ocasión debido a la amenaza del parlamento de someter a juicio político al presidente Olesegun Obasanjo. No obstante, Nigeria tiene una gran capacidad para sorprender. Una y otra vez los "expertos" en Africa emiten sombrías advertencias sobre la inminente implosión del país; una y otra vez, Nigeria se mantiene íntegra, si bien de manera precaria.

Las tensiones étnicas y religiosas están creciendo en Nigeria a medida que se aproximan las elecciones presidenciales, las segundas desde el fin del gobierno militar en 1999, y que se celebrarán el año entrante. La juventud urbana desempleada y las milicias étnicas están detrás del aumento en los robos a mano armada y la violencia política en ciudades como Lagos y Warri en el sur y Kaduna y Kano en el norte. La crisis político-ecológica en las regiones productoras de petróleo del delta del río Niger amenaza con salirse de control, con una juventud airada y mujeres depauperadas que se enfrentan las compañías petroleras y a funcionarios gubernamentales, a quienes acusan de devastar su hábitat y llevarse su petróleo sin darles gran cosa a cambio.

Las fuerzas que buscan socavar la unidad y estabilidad de Nigeria son muy variadas y poderosas. Sin embargo, las fuerzas que mantienen unido a este país enorme, de más de 120 millones de habitantes, y con gran diversidad social son igual de potentes y tenaces, y aparecen para alejar al país del borde del abismo una y otra vez, mientras los observadores extranjeros más optimistas se preparan para lo peor.

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