Nigeria and malnutrition crisis: Islamists and natural resources

Nigeria and malnutrition crisis: Islamists and natural resources

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Natural resources are in abundance in Nigeria. However, instead of developing the nation, this country is fragmenting. Therefore, from the brutal Biafran War (1967-1970) that witnessed untold massacres and killed vast numbers – to Islamists butchering in Northern Nigeria now and further afield: the political elites have failed the people of this country time after time. 

Approximately 1.7 million children (under 5 years of age) currently face acute malnutrition. This notably applies to the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.

Voice of America reports, “Some 1.74 million children under the age of 5 face acute malnutrition in the area, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says.”

Boko Haram Islamists have been butchering for many years in Northern Nigeria. In time, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) entered the fray. Also, Christians are butchered in various parts of Northern Nigeria and further afield concerning ethnic and religious undertones. Therefore, the fragmentation of Nigeria continues unabated. 

Natural resources in Nigeria include bauxite, coal, gold, lead, limestone, natural gas, niobium, oil, tin, zinc, and many others. In the area of agriculture, the rich arable land should be providing plentiful. This includes beans, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, maize, millet, palm oil, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans, and others. However, the Islamist insurgencies, ethnic massacres, corruption, and other ills continue to blight this nation. 

The Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, said, “We stare at an imponderable tragedy as the nation unravels from all sides.”

International agencies seek economic support to assist the millions of people in the worst hit areas – who face food insecurity and increasing malnutrition. 

President Biden of America announced a major military contract with Nigeria this year. Therefore, the tragedy of a nation buying vast quantities of American military arms – to needing humanitarian assistance – sums up the ongoing tragedy.

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