Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country (200 million).  It is a bit more than twice the size of California with less than 3% of the population over 65.  It is an interesting country — amazingly wealthy in natural resources (31st in the world in GDP) yet more than 70% of the populace live below the poverty line.  The country’s leadership over the years has been corrupt, venal and self-serving — sending billions out of the country for personal bank accounts. 

There are three main tribes in Nigeria:  the Yoruba (21%), the Hausa/Fulani (25%) and the Ibo (Igbo) (18%).   While there are hundreds of indigenous languages, English is the official language of the country.   Yoruba are half Christian and half Muslim.  But it is interesting that Muslim and Christian Yoruba get along just fine.   They intermarry and often attend one another’s religious services.  The Ibo are primarily Christian.  It is the Hausa – who are 95% Muslim – who seem to create issues — not only in Nigeria but also in the region.  The terrorist group Boko Haram is composed of violent jihadists (Hausa) who want to impose sharia law (see my post of September 8, 2016).   Boko Haram (means “Western education is forbidden“) has been an instigator of ongoing bloodshed in the northern part of Nigeria. 

There are a fair number of Nigerians in Chicago.  Most seem to be Yoruba.  A large number of cab drivers are Nigerian (see my post of August 19, 2012).    The Yoruba and Ibo assimilate reasonably well among other African nationalities.   Given the strategic location of Nigeria (coastal West Africa) and its tactical resources (mainly oil), this is one country we should really want to understand.   And – there are 11 golf courses in Nigeria.  And yesI am thinking about it. . . . .  

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