Nigerian riots

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Dec 2 08:12:36 MST 2002

Although I can do without the boilerplate conclusion that only socialism
can solve the crisis in Nigeria, I do recommend this article from the
Grant-Woods tendency from which the following is excerpted:

Of course, the clashes have very little to do with the actual Miss World
contest. Supposedly the clashes were sparked off by an article by a
young journalist, Isioma Daniel, in the This Day newspaper. Some of the
contestants had decided to boycott the contest in protest at the ruling
that an unmarried mother should be stoned. This was in accordance with
Sharia Law (Islamic law) which has been introduced over the past two
years in practically all of the Northern states of Nigeria, where the
Muslim population is the majority. Isioma Daniel in her article
suggested that the prophet Mohammed "would probably have chosen a wife
from among them."

What we should note, however, is that the rioting and killing did not
start immediately on the day the article was published. According to
Pini Jason, a journalist writing in the Vanguard newspaper, based in
Lagos, on November 26, "If the This Day story was the problem, the riots
would have been spontaneous. But the riots did not start until five days
[later]…" As the British newspaper, The Guardian, commented (November
30), "Almost no one in Kaduna - Muslim or Christian - seems to have read
Daniel's piece. Few have any knowledge of or opinion on Miss World. It
was not until four days after the publication of the article that
Kaduna's furious Muslim mobs organised themselves."

It is obvious that there was political manoeuvring going on behind the
scenes. When the rioting started primary targets were the local
governor's house, his business headquarters and his campaign office
which had been set up for the forthcoming elections. The rioters were
shouting slogans of aspiring candidates in the forthcoming elections.
Cars that displayed the present governor's stickers were burnt.


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