8 June 2011
By Tolu Ogunlesi
Somehow, much of the ethnic tension fizzled out, thankfully. But the delta militias, empowered by politicians seeking personal armies to fight "do-or-die" electoral "battles", and justified by a ready-made cause - years of criminal neglect and oppression by successive governments - soon upgraded themselves into full-scale terrorist organisations, and in effect began to wage war against the Nigerian state.
And then, just when we thought it was time for peace - with the decline of kidnappings in the south east, and the seeming effectiveness of a controversial amnesty programme in quietening militancy in the delta - a new monster has emerged, in full force: Boko Haram, an extremist Islamist organisation with a ruthlessness and stubbornness that sometimes makes the delta militants look like boy scouts. Boko Haram believes Western education is sinful, and it also seeks the imposition of Sharia law in
. These warriors are not fuelled by oil pipelines. Nigeria