My question is on Nigerian Politics. What is the meaning when you hear Presidents in Nigeria always come out to 'condemn' an act of violence even after the violence has been committed already, and deaths have resulted!
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Nigeria has suffered many violent changes throughout the country’s history. Some of the conflicts are between Muslims and Christians. Other issues have been related to a historically corrupt government system. Elections have been inundated with political rigging leading to increased tension among the people. Since 1966, bloodshed has been common in the country, with the first military coup take over that put Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi as the country’s leader. Many people began an exodus. They moved to the eastern regions in hopes of avoiding violence.
In 1967, the Eastern region of Nigeria was declared separate and became the Independent Republic of Biafra. The declaration led to a civil war within the country. Many people were killed in the bloodshed. The eastern region surrendered in defeat, and widespread starvation led to the deaths of a large population of Biafra. Lt. General Olusegun Obasanjo took over after leading a military coup in 1976. In 1980, a series of religious related violent acts broke out in Zaria. Bloodshed and destruction once again had occurred. Riots, looting, murder, and corruption continued, and many different military coups came in and exchanged the leaders by overthrowing the government through violent tactics. Religious clashes intensified throughout Nigeria. In June 1993, a presidential election was held. The people argued that the election was rigged when M.K.O. Abiola did not win. The elections were nullified. M.K.O. Abiola engaged in a presidential takeover but was in office a week before being arrested and removed from office.
The riots moved forward and eventually, the interventions of the United States in Afghanistan led to additional conflicts. Since then, Nigeria has been led by leaders who entered through coups and were disposed of by other coups that followed.
The elections began again. Although many continued to believe the elections were corrupt, Presidents were voted into the position. Of course, each of the presidents had to condemn violence because the history of violence and bloodshed is what has left the country ravaged and torn and the people disheartened. To accept the continued use of violence is to support that Nigeria will always live with violence. For Nigeria, violence is in its history, and so every violent act has occurred in the past. Even when a president has known in advance of a violent outbreak or action that will be taken, the politically correct thing to do is to condemn the act. Although it is a sad reminder that the country continues to experience violence, it would be more devastating if the President supports the violence.
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