the average life expectancy of its members currently stands at just 46.5 years, and is only slightly higher than it was in 1970 after 3 years of brutal civil war.58 This average continues to be dragged down by the high rates of infant and maternal mortality. Out of ev- ery 1,000 children born in the country, 201 will not live to see their 5th birthday. Out of every 100,000 expect- ant mothers, 800 will die giving birth.59
But more broadly, tens of millions of Nigerians continue to endure general ill health brought on by a lack of access to clean drinking water, adequate medi- cal care, and food that is sufficiently nutritious. Indeed, one-in-two (52 percent) is forced to drink water that is not safe, while one-in-three (34 percent) cannot at- tain sufficient calories each day even when all income is spent on food alone.60 As of 2004, for every 100,000 people there were just 28 doctors,61 most of whom were clustered in the major towns and cities, far removed from the rural masses. Indeed, in the remoter districts of the Niger Delta and the far north, health care provi- sion is virtually nonexistent.
The failure of the federal, state, and local authori- ties to maintain these services gives rise to feelings of both anger and resignation among ordinary Nigerians. Many are outraged by the authorities’ disinterested in- competence and their seeming total inability to get any- thing to work properly. Their fury is stoked by the cor- ruption that continues to deprive the public sector of millions of dollars of much needed funding. But many others have simply given up. For as long as they can remember, these services have never really worked; so long in fact, they have renounced all hope that some- day such services might work. In different ways, both these emotions help make the propagation of radical Islamist ideas easier. Those who are angry are suscep-