This is Tyson. We apologize for not updating everyone earlier about the security status here in Nigeria - bad weather knocked out the internet connection for a couple of hours. Let me start off by saying everything here Abuja is fine. When we accepted the assignment to Nigeria, everyone who heard about the assignment immediately expressed concern for our well-being because of the unstable security situation here in Nigeria and the perceived propensity for violence due to Boko Haram. I have to say, today I feel pretty blessed - out of all the countries in Africa with large Muslim populations (Nigeria's Muslim population is approximately 50%), I feel very blessed that my family and I are in this one.
All day I spent reading updates about the violent protests throughout northern Africa and the preparations being made all around Abuja and northern Nigeria for possible demonstrations. And then the Regional Security Officer informed me that the regional Muslim religious leaders (Imams) were urging Muslims throughout the country to NOT demonstrate. Instead, these leaders were urging peace. While there were rumors of possible demonstrations in various cities in Nigeria, the day ended with NO demonstrations/protests anywhere in Nigeria (at least none I was aware of). While part of the peaceful day can be attributed to the preparations of the Nigerian security services, I would have to give a large portion of that credit to the Muslim religious leaders who preached peace, tolerance and understanding. What a blessing to be in a country with good leaders who understand that one man's stupid, ignorant actions are not indicative of how an entire country views Islam.
Obviously, the security situation could change here - obviously there are men who will take advantage and exploit the circumstances for their own ends. But tonight I feel blessed to know that the efforts of good men of all faiths prevailed.