There has been a lot of political unrest in the past few weeks. Algeria in 1992 and now Tunisia, followed by Egypt and now countries in the Middle East are feeling the effect. Yemen and Bahrain are also experiencing political demonstrations. The protests now include Libya another North African country. All of these countries previously stated above, have many things in common, this is why they are often grouped together. Islam is the dominant religion, Arabic is widely spoken, and there are a lot of Arab descendents apart from Berbers, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Maghreb etc.
The majority of the people are of Berber origin, and because Arabic is spoken so widely, Islam is the main religion and the Middle East is quite close, they share not just the same beliefs and culture but the same struggles. A lot of the people in Libya have not only seen, but have heard through the media what has happened in their “brother nations”. The demonstrations against the government of Tunisia; inspired anti-government protest in Egypt that eventually forced Hosni Mubarak out of power. Why are all these events happening so suddenly? The people are tired of living under corrupt regimes that suppress the people.
They are tired of seeing the same people in power. This has led to “anti- government sentiment has also manifested itself on the streets of Algeria, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen”. Libya has been ruled by Moammar Gadhafi since 1969, and he does not seem to be moved by the protests. According to a Libyan elite, who is close to the government, who asked not to be identified because he did not have permission to talk to the media said that about 200 protestors came to show support for a human rights activist. Several people were arrested, after being confronted by the police. There is nothing serious here; these are just young people fighting each other”. The people not in favor of the government remained peaceful, while those in favor of the government did not.
Government supports according to the participants of the demonstrations, said rocks were hurled outside the university gates; fortunately the situation was able to stay under control. The reason why this is so important to me is because West Africa and North Africa are in close proximity. We are bordered by Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Morocco. West Africa consists of Ghana, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Burkino Faso, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria etc. The majority of these countries have Muslims including Christians, who sometimes are the majority, Arabic is also common. Whenever there is an uprising in one Muslim country, or where Muslims reside, another country follows suite. These countries listed above fortunately have peaceful Muslims. Nigeria unfortunately has not had the same luck. 50% are Muslim and reside in the north, they are closely related to the North Africans, 40% are Christian or belong to different denominations of Christianity and 10% practice traditional religion.
So the other 50% which includes (Christians and traditionalist) reside in the South- West, the South- East and the South-South. In the past the Northerners also known as the Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri etc depending on which region they are from have violently acted upon Christians and traditional people living in the north. Sometimes riots and massacres occur. If something happens in the Middle East, they feel like they need to reciprocate their actions in northern Nigeria.
A lot of the northerners are also in politics and hold a lot of seats in the House of Representatives and the senate; they are also in the military and have headed lots of dictatorships. Their population is quite big although there are two other major ethnic groups (Yoruba, Ibo) People already complain about this, and have done their best to make sure they don’t get too much power. So the big question what’s going to happen? Are we going to pretend like we did not see anything, like we don’t have TVs; are we for once going to peacefully handle our affairs like civilized people?
Is there going to be an up rise? Is there going to a black market, how is this going to affect oil rigging, are we going to lose business, by how much will the Naira depreciate? The three most important statements made in this article are * Unprecedented demonstrations sweeping the Middle East and North Africa spread Wednesday to Libya… * “There is nothing serious here. These are just young people fighting each other. ” * Anti-government sentiment has also manifested itself on the streets of Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Yemen.