I am not pessimistic, but I am not optimistic. I don’t see any dialogue in which all these different people can talk to one another. The Boko Haram situation is so fundamental. I don’t think it’s deep enough to lead to civil war, but I think this is the greatest danger we have faced in 50 years, bigger than the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta militancy can be solved by listening to what they are saying. Theirs is not a quest to break away from Nigeria; it is really a question of justice. Boko Haram is different. It’s an issue of a totally different way of looking at the world, a different way of looking at how societies are run. I am not saying it’s impossible, but until something is done about it, [things] will get worse. There is so much bombing and shooting of children in classrooms that can go on before people react. I am surprised it has not gone up in flames already. It shows there is a deep reluctance for another bloodbath.
Ben Okri, winner of the Booker Prize, on present conflicts in Nigeria