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Widespread power outage as militants blow up major gas installations

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One of Nigeria’s biggest resources is oil, and unfortunately a lot of the oil has contaminated the Niger River Delta system and polluted it.

In response to it, a group called Niger Delta formed and it frequently uses destructive or dangerous actions to get what it wants.

Most recently, they attacked and destroyed two crude oil pipelines that supply crude oil to Nigeria’s oil refineries.

There were very widespread power outages, and Niger Delta claims responsibility for this incident. To put it in perspective, a Lagos power plant called the Egbin Power Plant is usually able to produce and contribute 1,320 MW to Nigeria’s national power grid. On Thursday (May 5th, 2016) its contribution dipped to roughly 220 MW. That’s less than 20% of its original output.

This is part of a growing problem in Nigeria: conflicts and terrorism. Many of you know about Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group based mainly in northern Nigeria, where most Muslim Nigerians live (I’m not trying to make any connections between Muslims and Islamist terrorists, I’m simply stating where Boko Haram is based and why they’re based there).

Nigeria has had a problem trying to contain their ethnic, religious, and linguistic cleavages in their country.

Often times in elections there is violence due to fraud accusations (fortunately, for the first time since 1999, the 2015 election that elected Buhari to the presidency saw no deaths on election day).

Even in the Nigerian Constitution there is an idea of ethnic representation, where members of the bureaucracy must be diverse.

There’s a non-institutional but still very much followed idea of ethnic rotation in which there will be one president from the mainly Christian south followed by one president form the mainly Muslim north, and that cycle continues.

This incident concerning the crude oil is an unfortunate part of the ethnic cleavages that Nigeria faces and is trying to tackle.

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