The year 2012 did not begin as auspiciously for Nigeria as the country had hoped. The slashing of fuel
subsidies, the subsequent nationwide strikes, the Boko Haram killings and the resurgence of militancy in
the Niger delta have all taken their toll and are pushing the country towards the edge. The government's
ability to deal with these challenges is increasingly being questioned.
Conflicts arising out of ethnic issues are common in most African countries. In Nigeria, however, they are
often linked to the issue of Muslim-Christian identity which has given the conflict a distinct character. The
sharp North-South divide within the country has been further aggravated by the growth of militancy on
each side. Nigeria's security challenges are on the rise and costing the country heavily both financially and
in human terms. Adding to this has been the growing dissatisfaction among the governors of the northern
states regarding the federal revenue distribution system which allows the oil-producing states, in the
South, a 13 per cent derivation. President Jonathan's government needs to tread cautiously and meet these
challenges in order to prevent the country from sliding into chaos.