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Last on

Sun 29 Apr 2012 17:00 BBC Radio 4

38 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 24 April 2012

Mark Doyle investigates the Nigerian paradox. He reports from a Lagos international fashion show - and overflies a network of illegal oil refineries. He visits a polo club where relatively wealthy players favour Argentine ponies - and finds himself in a camp for displaced people which looks like it could be in war-torn Somalia.

Nigeria, the giant of West Africa, has the largest population of any African country. It's among the top dozen producers of oil in the world, and has a vibrant, growing economy. It's a country that could - perhaps should - be a significant player on the world stage. But Nigeria's communities are also torn apart by communal and religious violence. And in recent years a new, radical Islamist group has emerged to challenge the power of the state across the north of the country. Thousands have been killed as the police and the followers of the sect battle it out in places of worship, police stations and on the streets.

BBC Correspondent Mark Doyle has been visiting Nigeria for over twenty years. He finds the country to be sometimes inspiring and sometimes intensely frustrating. He asks whether Nigeria will grow into a confident democracy or whether it will collapse into a state of semi-permanent violence.
Producer: Sam Farmar.

  • Download the programme

    Download the programme

    You can listen again to Nigerian Crossroads by downloading the Radio 4 Crossing Continents podcast.

    Download the podcast
  • How oil is being stolen in Nigeria

    How oil is being stolen in Nigeria

    The BBC's International Development Correspondent Mark Doyle flew over Nigeria's oil-rich Delta region to survey the environmental damage caused by oil theft.

    Watch Mark Doyle's report


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