Recent elections in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa have been declared flawed by the country’s own monitoring committee. I travelled to Nigeria in 1992. For all its faults, I recognised it then as a powerful country, with a strong role to play in sub-saharan Africa. It suffers a geographical and religious division between the northern muslims and the southern christians. I saw desperate poverty, particularly in the north, with people living in the semi-desert as I imagine they lived centuries before the white man arrived in africa - with none of the benefits supposed to accrue from the nation’s oil wealth.