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US Negroponte: Nigeria Democracy In Danger Of Collapse January 11, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.

WASHINGTON (AP)–Nigeria’s democratic experiment is in danger of collapse because of neglect and corruption, a top U.S. intelligence official said Thursday.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte made the comment in assessing Nigeria’s ability to transfer power from President Olesegun Obasanjo to an elected successor based on elections set for April.

He testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on potential threats the U.S. is facing internationally.

“The government’s institutional foundations are hollow from decades of neglect and corruption and will continue to make the country susceptible to recurring crises in the coming years,” he said.

He pointed out that the Nigerian government has been unable to stem rising lawlessness and insecurity in its oil-producing region.

He added that the Nigerian population is “increasingly demoralized from worsening living conditions” in the face of official data showing that the country’s economy is improving.

“Major political unrest in Nigeria would threaten other countries in the region,” Negroponte said.

Nigeria’s elections are being closely watched throughout Africa and the world. Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent and is a major oil exporter. The elections would mark the first time an elected government has handed power to another since Nigeria became independent from Britain in 1960.


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