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Area of Expertise: Western Africa

September 24th: Abolition

Nigeria has the largest population of people living in modern-day slavery on the continent. This can happen through women being tricked into migrating for non-existent jobs, or workers who are promise a wage and end up being forced to work for thing. Furthermore, many children are forced to work as street vendors or in the military as fighters, which are also examples of modern-day slavery.


October 1st: The Labour Movement

In 2012, the Nigerian Labour Congress marched in protest of the removal of oil subsidies that had previously been in place. Described as "an oppressive decision" made by former president, Goodluck Jonathan, the price of petrol skyrocketed due to his actions. Prior to Jonathan's decision, the price of petrol was N65 per litre, and was increased to N141 after the subsidies were removed. The intervention of the labour movement resulted in the price being reduced down to N97 per litre.


October 8th: Women and Nineteenth-Century Social Movements

In Nigeria, while women are participants in Nigeria's Labour Movement, women are greatly underrepresented, resulting in them being less likely to take on any sort of positions of greater power. It has been proven that more women join unions than men, however, "they seem to participate less in running for office, holding offices, and serving on committees". While numerically speaking, their involvement in the labour market has increased, women in Nigeria continue to, unfortunately, have very little influence.


October 15th: Independence

Also once a colony under the British, Nigeria gained its independence on October 1st 1960. Shortly after World War II, an increase in Nigerian nationalism and a desire to be independent led the British government to first introduce self-governance to the country, which eventually evolved into full independence.


October 22nd: Anti-Apartheid Movement

Nigeria played a very active role in ending apartheid in South Africa. Nigeria's Prime Minister at the time, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, was the first leader to directly provide financial aid to the Africa National Congress (ANC). Through his efforts, Nigeria was able to pay five million dollars annually to both the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress. Moreover, "under the military administration of General Obasanjo", $10.5 million was donated to the Southern Africa Relief Fund (SARF), which "brought relief to victims" of apartheid, provided them with "educational opportunities", and promoted general welfare. In addition to establishing the SARF, Nigeria also issued passports for those who had gotten them taken away by the apartheid regime, created the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid and chaired it for thirty years (longer than any other country), and in protest of "white minority rule", refused to sell oil to South Africa, costing them $41 billion.


October 29th: The Civil Rights Movement

A campaign recognizing the "people's centenary group" was launched in 2013 by the Nigerian civil rights movement "to mark the 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation by the colonial powers". Because "the country has been troubled by social and political crisis" since 1960, this movement was intended to spark reflection of the "floundering" state as well as "map out a new pathway for the freedom of the people". Because of the unstable nature of Nigeria's political system, it is hoped by the civil rights movement in Nigeria that with the formation of this group, improvements are made.


November 12th: Indigenous Movements

Located in Nigeria, the Ogoni people are a minority that are still fighting for their rights. Because the government in Nigeria "refuses to to recognize the legitimate nature of their aspirations", their circumstances are further complicated by incredibly rich soil that is contained in their lands, a precious commodity. Due to the nature of the Nigerian government, where the Ogoni people are of little concern, their situation is unfortunately becoming increasingly dire as very little assistance is going to aiding them.


November 19th: Environmental Movements

Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian activist that worked from the 1970s-'90s, dedicated himself to raising awareness about the devastating environmental effects of Nigeria's largest industry, oil. Focusing on oil-producing regions in the Niger Delta, Saro-Wiwa centred his actions on his homeland of Ogoni. In launching "a non-violent campaign for social and ecological justice", he accused both the oil companies and the Nigerian government of "wagering an ecological war". He was so successful in his actions that all oil companies had to remove themselves from Ogoni in 1993.


November 26th: Democracy Movements

In this 1993 article on the democracy movement in Nigeria, it becomes evident that this movement is very long-standing and significant, especially since it still remains an issue today under current president Muhammadu Buhari. This article discusses the death of Moshood Abiola, labelled a "democratic champion" and leader of the democracy movement in the country. His death rendered Nigeria in a state of confusion and turmoil, and no longer with a leader, making their transition to democracy increasingly difficult to navigate.