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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.

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 -

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 ( 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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