Electric Effects

Something developed countries take for granted—electricity—could go a long way to stem violence often attributed to religion, said Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, in the country’s northwest. Only major cities, like state capitals, have reliable electricity, the bishop said on April 29 during a visit to Washington. Because of the lack of electricity, people cannot do ordinary work without a generator, and generators are expensive. The problem is intertwined with pervasive corruption. “If the lights would come on...the small people would get busy,” said Bishop Kukah. Often violence in Nigeria is attributed to religious conflicts, he said, but “more often it is just a battle for survival and a battle over resources.” Bishop Kukah said Nigerians send their children to school, and they graduate from college, but then there are no jobs. He said the country has infrastructure, but people cannot access it.

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