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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.
 
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Letter from Goodluck Jonathan (Spoof)

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a...
The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, at the Nuclear Security Summit, in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Warmest Holiday Greetings on this Blessed Independence Day,

Election season is upon us. I ask for your vote in re-electing me as your President of Nigeria. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made in my time in office. Below is a small list of the many, many things that I alone have done to progress forward.
11.       Over 200 girls were kidnapped in the spring of 2014. Over 169 days later I am happy to report that I have done nothing to ensure the release of these girls; they are still being held in captivity. While I have yet to make an appearance onsite regarding this national tragedy, please note that just last two weeks, I did make a visit to Pastor T.B Joshua owner of the Synagogue Church of All Nations about the collapsed church building to offer my support to the pastor who is a dear friend.

22.      The level of corruption that exists in Nigeria has exponentially increased during my tenure. I am very proud to report that I myself am a catalyst of this corruption and personally model this behavior.

33.      I am proud of my lack of proper prioritization regarding issues. I continue to misuse my status to ensure personal growth and profit. I am proud to say that I always put myself first.

I know that you will agree with me when I say that I truly believe that I am the best leader for Nigeria. I engage in corruption, put myself first always, and refuse to deal with critical matters. I look forward to continuing to serve you and look forward to your vote.
Sincerely your proud leader,


Friday, May 30, 2014

Embrace the #bringbackourgirls campaign while upholding integrity

Credit: Jerome Starkey of The Times UK Nov. 23 2012

While the support surrounding the kidnapping of the girls in Borno state Nigeria has been overwhelming and encouraging, there is something that I feel I must draw your attention to. The attached picture is being used to illustrate the lengths that Nigerian women are going to as a result of this kidnapping. This picture is actually misrepresentative. This photo is from a 2012 edition of the UK Times – “Women are bent on revenge against Tuareg rebels in Mali” by Jerome Starkey. See link - http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/africa/article3608925.ece

While I do not want to assume bad intentions, I want to make sure that individuals do not get caught up in misrepresentations. Not that this is the case with the original poster of this picture (referencing the post made regarding #bringbackourgirls), however there are some who do take advantages of horrific situations. Let’s be diligent in our #bringbackourgirls awareness campaign while ensuring that we maintain integrity and do not misrepresent.

#BringBackOurGirls #BokoHaram #Nigeria #BornoState #IslamicMilitantsInNigeria #bringbackourgirls
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Goodluck Jonathan missing in action yet again

This is beyond ridiculous. It is so wrong that the Nigerian President has not taken an aggressive approach to rescuing the Nigerian girls that are being held captive after their kidnapping from school. It was announced this yesterday that the Nigerian government has agreed to accept assistance from the US and the UK with rescuing the girls. Why did it take this long for the Nigerian government to respond to needing global assistance? Clearly the Nigerian government lacks the infrastructure to rescue the girls. Their response to needing assistance, however, should not have taken this long. The girls are being held, the time is ticking, God only knows the conditions they are being subject to by Boko Haram. I am also concerned that Goodluck Jonathan has not met with the families, visited the site in which the girls were abducted, or taken an active role in finding the girls.




During the time that the girls have been abducted, the President has been touring around the country. He has been attended funerals, political rallies, and other social events. Yet he has not visited the site of the kidnapping or met with the families of the kidnapped girls. Does he not see this as a big concern? Maybe he should turn on the national media as this story continues to generate concern and interest.


Update on the girls from Government Girls secondary school Chibok, Borno state Nigeria. Abducted by Boko Haram Islamic militants.
#bringbackourgirls #BringBackOurGirls #Chibok #BornoState #Nigeria

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Search response… epic disappointment

Picture by The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria

I continue to have deep concerns over the manner in which the Nigerian government is handling the kidnapping of 234 Chibok Government Secondary School girls (note: there are conflicting reports on the number of girls abducted). The rescue efforts have yet to start; the girls have been in captivity for 2 weeks. The latest step the government has taken is to form a committee (http://leadership.ng/news/369278/jonathan-sets-committee-abducted-schoolgirls) to determine how to rescue the girls. This is absolutely ridiculous. Why are they forming a committee? The government should be working with multiple law enforcement entities to coordinate a rescue effort. The rescue effort should be active and tactile. If the government doesn’t feel they have the proper personnel to complete the rescue, they need to reach out to other entities for assistance.

The government seems to be missing a huge opportunity to interview the girls that have escaped. By interviewing the girls they will be able to determine the location in which they are being held, the conditions they are being held under, the number of and types of weapons, the number of hostiles, etc. This information can serve as a critical base of information for the rescue efforts. Another source of information that needs to be disseminated is the identity of the girls that are being held in captivity. Law enforcement needs to coordinate with the school and the parents to deduce the identities of the girls.


This situation should force the government to assess their current practices and to make significant improvements. It is critical that the Nigerian government makes changes to their governmental response. The government needs to seek training and develop ongoing crisis response plans.
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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yet Another Example - Islamic Extremist Crisis Management in Nigeria

Boko Haram Image - The News Chronicle

Jung Hong, South Korean Prime Minster, resigned late yesterday as a result of the government’s horrific response to the ferry disaster. While it is unfortunate that his reactions were reactive rather than proactive, at least he took responsibility.

Just recently we learned that 234 girls were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria. Those responsible for the kidnappings are Islamic Militants called Boko Haram. In response to this, the government of Nigeria released a news report regarding a rescue operation. When this story was exposed as erroneous, the government was quick to recant.

Statistically speaking the number of deaths in the ferry tragedy in South Korea is lesser than the number of senseless killings and kidnappings that have occurred within Nigeria at the hands of the Islamic militants. These militants are very active in the far Northern states of Nigeria. The actions of the militants have turned these peaceful communities into towns in which its citizens have fled out of sheer terror.

I would like for us to challenge the elected officials about why they refuse to do anything about this. Why are they not going to be held accountable for lawlessness in their constituency? It is frustrating that the government continues to provide funding to these elected officials for the communities they represent with seemingly no accountability. What is the money being spent on? How are the funds building and sustaining safe and desirable neighborhoods and communities? They need to hunt down these militants and bring them to justice. Stiff consequences need to be put into place. Laws against this type of behavior need to be enforced. Until this happens there will not be peace.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Child Bride kills her husband in order to end her marriage

Ref: Child bride forced to marry poisons groom
http://www.boston.com/news/world/africa/2014/04/10/child-bride-forced-marry-poisons-groom/8CjdeZt62N6WqWUxBrb8fN/story.html

This is an extremely tragic story. This is a perfect illustration of a true injustice. While I am in no way defending this young lady’s choice to commit murder, this is one outcome of forced child marriage. She is a child forced into an adult situation against her will. She was subject to a life of rape and most likely emotional and physical abuse. Let this case be the catalyst that brings about prosecution against those that engage in child marriage. The laws regarding this need to be strictly enforced and those that break the law need to face the consequences. Not only should those engaging in child marriage be prosecuted, but the parents of the child bride need to also be held responsible for allowing this to occur.

Nujood Ali a Yemeni 10 year old was in forced marriage.



Having laws on the books means nothing if they are not enforced. The only way this will change is for people to rise up against this action. They must beat down the doors of their lawmakers and let them know that this is unacceptable and that those that engage in this activity must be held accountable. This tragedy could have been avoided. This girl was forced into this situation against her will. She does not have the ability to process how to deal with this situation in an effective manner. She was placed into an awful situation with no exit strategy, plan or assistance. Shame on her family for subjecting her to this horrific situation and frankly shame on all of us for not taking a stand. 
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Pride of the Nigerian government…providing employment for other countries while our own citizens are unemployed and homeless

Map of Walvis Bay (Namibia)
Map of Walvis Bay (Namibia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The President intends to partner with Namibia to build a joint refinery at the Walvis Bay. Laudable objective! My question however, is, where is the Walvis Bay?. If it is in Nigeria, well, that is quite encouraging. If however, it is in Namibia, then it is the same old story. Do we not have refineries built by Nigerians or Nigerians in government, scattered across the continents? When shall we come home? We are going there to create jobs for the Namibians while the best we can do is to swindle our own people in the guise of giving them jobs that never materializes. Would Nigerians be employed in this joint partnership venture? We always enter into joint partnerships that are lopsided in their composition, with Nigerians ending up marginalized. No matter the level of your investment in a business venture somewhere in Africa, you can never fill a position with Nigerians when there are indigenes of that country that can fill the position, never. What do we have here? The Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Lebanese etc, in the name of investing in our economy, flood our country with their nationals to fill positions that can be effectively filled by qualified Nigerians. We have immigration laws that should control this damaging influx of foreigners but the NIS seem not to be aware of this. We have organizations bring in people who do not speak English to supervise English speaking Nigerians in jobs where Nigerians have been adequately trained, and in English too. The law says any foreign professional must be understudied by at least two Nigerians within two years with the aim of taking over from these foreigners. Is this law working and what is the NIS doing to monitor compliance? There are organizations violating this law with impunity. The NIS just issues work permits without proper verification of claims of organization making application for expatriates. Expatriate quota is flagrantly abused by these organizations without the NIS living up to its responsibilities. In most cases temporary work permit has become permanent with an expatriate staying for as long as four, six or more years, without a single Nigerian trained. We all travel out and we see how immigration laws work. Nigeria, let us wake up. In the local lingo, "One day be one day, yawa go gas". We are selling our country to foreigners. "Quick fingers" in government are the reason for this sorry situation we find ourselves. NIS, please wake up.

Written: Paul Nwoko
Former University of Lagos Engineering faculty.

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