Nigeria faces airport chaos, monkey pox, election violence and church massacre

A viral video has put the spotlight on the growing chaos engulfing one embattled nation after weeks of bloodshed and mayhem.

A viral video has highlighted how a nation has been plunged into chaos recently – and sadly, the latest drama is just the tip of the iceberg.

In the latest example of Nigeria’s escalating tumult, Tiktoker DJ Neptune took to the platform to share a clip of a lengthy line at an airport, revealing there was “no Nigerian immigration officer on duty” to stamp passports and process the new arrivals.

“Safe to say there is serious trouble in the land from top to bottom,” he captioned the footage, with the clip attracting thousands of comments, reactions and shares.

But tragically, it’s just the latest example of the challenges facing the African nation of almost 216 million.

Church massacre

Last Sunday, crazed gunmen unleashed a murderous rampage in the town of Owo in Nigeria’s southwest, storming a Catholic Church and opening fire.

The brutal attack claimed the lives of at least 50 worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church – including many children – with the culprits adding to the carnage by also detonating explosives.

The violence shocked the nation, because while jihadists and criminal organisations operate in other areas, the Ondo State rarely witnesses such brutality.

Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who visited the scene in the wake of the attack, condemned those responsible and vowed to seek justice.

“We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay,” he said in a statement.

“Our hearts are heavy,” Mr Akeredolu also posted on Twitter. “Our peace and tranquillity have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”

The church massacre came just weeks after gunmen attacked a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna, killing several passengers and abducting others in yet another example of the country’s instability.

Monkeypox spreads

Meanwhile, monkey pox is also tearing through Nigeria, with at least 21 cases confirmed this year, and one death.

While the virus is endemic to Nigeria, it has spread rapidly throughout the country in recent times, including into areas where it was previously rarely seen.

The situation has experts so worried, the sale of bushmeat – wild animals killed specifically for consumption – has been banned temporarily in an attempt to stop the spread.

Monkey pox has been steadily spreading across the world in recent weeks, with a string of cases also recorded in Australia.

In fact, the World Health Organisation this week said that 780 laboratory-confirmed monkey pox cases had been reported to it from 27 non-endemic countries, with cases outside Africa tripling in just one week.

Election violence

Nigerians will head to the polls for both state and federal elections early next year – but the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission is already warning of violence to come.

According to political science lecturer Samuel Oyewole from Nigeria’s Federal University Oye Ekiti, that’s because “violence is one of the recurrent features of Nigeria’s electoral history and democratic journey since independence in 1960”.

“The country invariably sees an escalation of violence in the period before, during and after elections,” he explained in a recent piece for The Conversation, noting the reasons for violence vary.

“It can be designed to minimise or neutralise opponents. Also, it is sometimes used to undermine opponent ability to mobilise supporters and perform at the poll, and spoil victory or protest losses.

“Another motive is to manipulate or delegitimise the electoral process. The tactics include armed attack, armed robbery, assault, assassination, kidnappings and bombing.”

‘Reconsider your need to travel’

The situation in Nigeria is so dire the Australian government’s Smart Traveller website urges Aussies to “reconsider” planned trips.

“You should reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria. The potential for terrorism, kidnapping, crime and civil unrest is high throughout Nigeria,” the website states.

“We continue to advise do not travel to other parts of Nigeria due to the very high risk to your safety.

“If despite our advice you undertake travel within Nigeria, research routes and get professional security advice and support before departing.”

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