John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) (Lab): I welcome the opportunity to raise the issue of the Niger delta region of Nigeria, particularly so early in the new Parliament. Nigeria has been held as a beacon of democracy for the rest of Africa, and the Commission for Africa points to it as an example of democracy for the rest of the continent. For that to be true, the delta region must be stable, or the fate of Africa’s largest democracy will hang in the balance.
At first glance, Nigeria appears to be a prosperous nation, enjoying its first decade of democracy and looking forward to another democratic presidential election in 2007. Under President Obasanjo’s leadership, the country has become stable. His anti-corruption drive is to be applauded, but there is still progress to be made.