An eclectic panel of Nigerians discusses her political troubles on Al Jazeera. The impunity of military forces in committing extrajudicial killings is discussed at the outset. For some reason, a strong and unrestrained military is here discussed as characteristic of a "failed state." In Nigeria, however, military rule has been the mechanism through which the state reconstitutes herself when sectarian forces threaten to tear her apart.
The focus of the panel discussion then shifts to the recent transfer of power from Yar'Adua to Goodluck Jonathan. Some panelists appear to fear that if the acting president succeeds, his Christian affiliation may raise issues of the balance between Islamic and Christian leadership in the government.
My overall impression from the discussion is that the "failed state" concept is a rhetorical weapon wielded primarily by partisan players both inside and outside the country. Another common trope or rhetorical weapon used by members of the panel is the accusation of "corruption." Since Nigeria first gained independence from the colonial power, Nigerians have taken power through both electoral and military means. The state survives but her divisions persist.