Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Situation in Nigeria

Delivered in Plenary - 4 July 2013

Mr President

Nigeria is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and a massive holder of oil and other minerals. It plays a strategic and regional role in the African Union and Ecowas. Sadly, since Nigeria’s independence, it has been characterised by successive military governments and widespread corruption, so it is a welcome relief now to see a democratic government in power.

Sadly, human rights are still a problem, particularly LGBT rights. But recently the rise in Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group linked to al-Qa’ida, is posing a serious threat to the security of the federal state and risks escalating into a widespread southern Christian and northern Muslim confrontation and serious ‘splittism’ in the country. There are already 4 000 dead as a result of this.

The EU must do everything now in its power to help stabilise this fragile country and help bring the perpetrators of these terrorist atrocities to justice.