Wednesday, March 03, 2004

BBC - Nigeria Governor Survives Ambush

This is the sort of thing you get when you pack hundreds of ethnic groups with little in common together into a single "nation."

A Nigerian governor has survived an apparent attempt to assassinate him but a close friend was shot dead.
George Akume, governor of Benue state in central Nigeria, was in a convoy of cars when gunmen burst out of the hills and opened fire, targeting his car.
He was unhurt but shaken after his friend died next to him.

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There was apparently no attempt to steal anything from the convoy, which was travelling with its sirens blaring, so armed robbery does not appear to be a motive for the shooting.

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The BBC's Mannir Dan Ali says that Mr Akume, from the ruling People's Democratic Party, is not a particularly controversial politician.
However, he did criticise the government over its handling of the army's shooting of some 200 civilians in Benue state in 2001.
Benue is one Nigeria's most ethnically diverse states and the army was accused of taking sides in clashes between the rival Jukun and Tiv groups.
Senior PDP official Aminasoari Dikibo was shot dead in the volatile Delta state last month.

Note that the much of the volatility in Delta state also has to do with ethnic rivalry, in that case, between the Ijaw, the Itsekiri and the Urhobo.