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Eyes Should Be On Nigeria

April 23, 2007

I have been interested in watching the amount of news coverage that our national press has given to the first round of presidential voting in France.  The story certainly merits a great deal of coverage because a new face in Elysee Palace not only affects Europe, but also Washington.  But I also have noted with interest the absence of real news coverage from much of the same press over the election for president of Nigeria.  Foreign press sources such as BBC, The Economist, along with large serious national papers in the our country have covered the story completely, but cable news, nightly news on the broadcast channels, and local papers have been absent from serious coverage.  Since most people get their news from those latter sources it means the story went mostly unnoticed.

The fact that Nigeria is vital in terms of international oil concerns should have made this election a must cover story.  The amount of oil reserves in Nigeria is the largest in Africa, and the 8th largest in the country.  I always feel a bit guilty when I discuss internal politics about a country with oil supplies, as I do not wish to imply that the only reason to care about their elections is for our own selfish motives.  But since oil is tied so closely to the world’s economic well-being, and also international stability, it is only reasonable to express concern.  Nigeria has also been of assistance to the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, a very heartfelt region of the world for me.  Their continued connection with such efforts is vital to maintain and enlarge.  I strongly suggest that looking at the importance of Nigeria as a nation for larger diplomatic purposes should not have been overlooked by the press.  With three times the number of those who follow Islam in Nigeria, in comparison to Saudi Arabia, at a time when we are seeking to blunt the damage Bush caused our nation over the Iraq War, we can begin to understand the most visible reasons why Nigeria matters.

The fact the election process and outcome was a farce with fraud and political manipulation running rampant does not take the burden off the press who missed covering a vital story.

2 Comments
  1. April 24, 2007 1:44 PM

    You missed the whole point and the facts! The press DID give loads of coverage to France. I argue that Nigeria was neglected by much of the press, but is a very important country. That was the thrust of my post.

  2. April 24, 2007 1:34 PM

    I really don’t see why the US press would give it much more than a quick mention. France has become irrelevant in the big scheme of things. What they say, or do has little bearing upon the rest of the world. Actually most of Europe is heading in that direction.

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