Will Terrorism Hinder Nigeria’s Economic Potential?

September 9, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan is battling to limit political fallout from last month’s suicide bombing of a United Nations building in his nation’s capital, as fears about security threaten to overshadow new policies aimed at spurring growth in Africa’s second-largest economy.  In recent days, Mr. Jonathan has intensified a crackdown on Boko Haram, the Islamic militant group believed to be behind the Aug. 26 bombing. The attack in the capital, Abuja—one of the deadliest against the U.N.—killed 23 people and wounded 81.  Mr. Jonathan has come under fire from critics for the government’s failure to thwart the U.N. suicide bombing, or make much progress dismantling a militant network blamed for a spate of others that killed dozens of police and civilians.  Even the president’s allies say the ferocity of the attack on a foreign target caught them by surprise. Nigerian security forces were “caught unawares by the scale of terrorism” manifest in the U.N. attack, Mr. Jonathan’s chief spokesman, Reuben Abati, said Wednesday. Mr. Jonathan dismissed his counterterrorism adviser on Monday, Mr. Abati said, and is convinced that “security arrangements in the country will need to be strengthened, will need to be overhauled.”

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