More of the same story, just a different location, different creeds and color, Nigeria, is both a creation and victim of late nineteenth- to early twentieth-century British colonization. The amalgamation of two neighboring so-called “British protectorates” in western Africa, Nigeria, which gained independence in 1960, like so many other artificially-created former colonies, has an ongoing history of regional, ethnic and religious conflicts marked by military coups, civil war, and ethnic strife. Currently, the seventh most populous country in the world, boasting the largest economy in Africa thanks to its oil reserves, Nigeria is religiously and regionally divided between the Christian South and the Muslim North.

The April 2014 bus-station bombing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, which killed 71 people and wounded hundreds, was an escalation of violence that has been building for years. While no group claimed responsibility, “officials” attributed the attack to Boho Harman Islamists, a group the government has been battling for years. And while regional differences and religious extremism are factors behind the escalating violence, it is massive poverty, an ineffectual central government and rampant corruption that is endemic, not only to Nigeria, but common to much of Africa, that will keep fueling unrest and destabilizing the continent. It’s the same story: With nothing left to lose, people will be losing it.

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