Nigeria’s tragedy, a continental setback – Daily Newsletter

Hi there,

It’s a joy to be alive. But some days not as much as others. Yesterday was one of those.

From the eye-witness and social media reports, during yesterday’s peak morning rush, four young men drove a VW Golf into a crowded bus terminus near Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. Minutes after they had left the car, the massive bomb inside it exploded, killing over 35 and maiming dozens more. There are some pretty graphic images online which you soon get hit with when Googling for news about the tragedy. Anyone who doesn’t have their stuffing knocked by those pics is not human.

The killers want to draw the world’s attention to their demand that an Islamist Separatist State be carved out in the north of Nigeria. They have become increasingly bold. This time their timing was as cynical as the method. In just three weeks, Nigeria’s Government will be hosting the nation’s first ever event of the powerful World Economic Forum. Millions has been spent in preparation, including a major charm offensive in Davos where green and white scarves were doled out to attendees. It now looks to have been an exercise in futility.

Although the bomb exploded half an hour away from the WEF meeting venue, it is still too close for many a potential foreign investor. The only thing more cowardly than capital is a well-heeled Westerner asked to venture away from his First World safehaven. An opportunity has been lost. Setting back the country’s economic rejuvenation for months, maybe years.

One of the downsides of our globally networked age is the way it is now possible for so much damage to be done to so many by so few. There are no easy answers. But we need to start by opening minds. Especially on our beleaguered continent where every step forward seems to be followed by at least one self-inflicted toe being shot off.




Yesterday’s top stories:

Bye Bye AMCU: Top economist Cees Bruggemans on union’s economic destruction

Whispers in bed: Pistorius story starts to change

Saving in cash will decimate your wealth: warning

Massmart CEO stepping down after year-long share price decline

In a normal democracy, platinum strike would be over – Peter Major


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