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Lying Thieves Versus Murderous Terrorists


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February 20, 2012:

Boko Haram violence has left nearly 300 people dead so far this year. Weeks of energetic police work has left thousands of civilians terrorized by raids and questions but has put several hundred suspected Boko Haram members in prison. Many of these raids yielded tangible evidence of Boko Haram activity and leads to other members of the group. A lot more is known about the Islamic terror group. But the government does not have a solution to the growing unrest, which is driven largely by the persistent corruption and government mismanagement.


The government is making yet another attempt to reduce corruption in the oil industry. New heads of the Oil Ministry and anti-corruption organization have been appointed. But many Nigerian oil companies are owned by prominent politicians, or such companies have politicians as major shareholders. It's generally agreed that what is needed most is transparency (audited financial records that are free for anyone to examine on the Internet). This is something the politicians and government oil bureaucrats always oppose, or sabotage, for obvious reasons. There is a lot of smoke about stopping corruption but not much fire.


The government is also trying to reform the national police, another shamefully corrupt institution. Newly appointed senior police officials are at least admitting that the force is in bad shape. That's a start. Meanwhile, the police, and other security service, are getting a lot more money (20 percent increase since 2010), in large part because of the growing Boko Haram violence.


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