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Label Nigeria A Failed State, Ex-American Ambassador John Campbell Tells US Govt

A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, and a former Director with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Prof. Robert Rotberg, have asked the US government to label Nigeria a failed state.

Campbell and Rotberg said this in an article titled, ‘The Giant of Africa is Failing’ which was published in the May/June edition of ‘Foreign Affairs’ magazine.

They were of the view that every part of Nigeria now faces insecurity, which they said poses a threat to the nation’s corporate existence.

In their assessment, even the police find it difficult to curb crime, as a result of the sophisticated weapons that criminals posses.

Campbell and Rotberg added that the Federal Government seemed to have given up in some areas because non-state actors are now in control, while quasi-police organisations and militias controlled by state governments are now common.

The two scholars further stated that due to kidnappings and other crimes, several schools had been forced to shut down.

The article read in part, “Nigeria’s worldwide companions, particularly the USA, should acknowledge that Nigeria is now a failed state. In recognition of that truth, they need to deepen their engagement with the nation and search to carry the present administration accountable for its failures, while additionally working with it to supply safety and proper financial system.

“Underneath the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a number of overlapping safety crises has remodelled Nigeria from a weak state right into a failed one. Buhari’s authorities has struggled to quell numerous Jihadi insurgencies, together with the one waged by the militant group Boko Haram,

“Regional quasi-police forces and militias—generally related to state governments however not often formally sanctioned—train de facto authority in some areas. However in lots of others, the federal authorities have successfully ceded management to militants and criminals.”

Campbell and Rotberg said happenings in Nigeria also affect other areas of Africa which shows Nigeria’s importance.

The article continued, “However the Nigerian state has long failed to supply its residents with social companies and Nigerian politics is basically an elite sport disassociated from governance.

“The Federal Government doesn’t or cannot tax the true wealth of the nation, stays too depending on income from oil and gasoline, and lurches from one fiscal disaster to a different. Corruption is structural, too, casting almost everybody as each perpetrator and sufferer.”

In conclusion, Campbell and Rotberg recommended that through conferences, technical recommendations, and different instruments of “comfortable diplomacy,” the US ought to help civil society and Nigerian non-governmental organisations in their struggle to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy. 

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