Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oil prices rise on Nigerian fears

Following the controversial elections in Nigeria, crude oil prices in both London and the United States rose over a $1.60 in each instance resulting largely from armed militants shutting down a 5th of Nigeria’s production. The Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell, one of the most important influences on the Nigerian economy has temporarily shut down their main oil field citing fear of future violence and damage to oil production.

Of more importance perhaps, if you care more about free and fair elections than gas prices at the local Wawa or Shell, European Union observers have declared the election “not credible”. Besides the outcry of electoral fraud, a body count of 200 people has mounted as a result of armed conflict between political parties. I wonder what implications about this violence means to the winner Umaru Yar’Adua… was his victory the result of deep pockets and best connections to militias? (Without jumping to conclusions of course?) What does it say about the state of Nigeria when the outcome of elections result not only in violence and political murders but sabotage to their own economy?