Post Four: Nigeria: Will They Ever Be Free?

Part I:

Emmanuel N. Onwubiko is a Nigerian journalist, born in the early 1970’s in Kafanchan, Nigeria. He is a modern day human rights activist, writer, and “cheetah.” He attended Nigeria Institute of Journalism and graduated with flying colors. He had his own column in Nigeria’s The Guardian, said to be the “flagship of print journalism.” He was the Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, and he is currently the head of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA). He writes for many human rights newsletters and is a member of many other human rights and peace committees in Nigeria.

Onwubiko, having lost his brother and uncle, as well as being shot himself, fights tirelessly against terrorism in Nigeria. He has written two notable books on human rights, and has sold tens of thousands of copies world-wide. He was a delegate to the United Nations about criminal justice in Bangkok. He met with the US Ambassador to Nigeria to speak about the injustices inflicted on citizens by the military. He is very open about his opposition to Islamic terrorist groups and puts himself in danger having this stance. He often talks about the Nigerian economy, resource curse, military injustices, and government corruption.

Recently, in an effort to be heard, Onwubiko’s group HURIWA requested Nigerian travelers to stop using British Airways and other airlines because of corrupt practices that were not being addressed. This group has written over six thousand media releases pertaining to human rights and has a large following. In May 2016, the group reacted to the European Union and foreign embassies over an invasion of offices, which was seen as an active attempt to silence the media team. His non-governmental organization is ridiculing Nigeria’s government over its suppression of free speech.

Every day, Onwubiko fights for the rights of every human in Nigeria and around the world. He attacks terrorist groups with his words and puts his life in danger to save the lives of others. He uses his significant online following to enlighten supporters on their rights and the rights that are being withheld throughout Nigeria. Onwubiko is a cheetah in every sense of the word and should be recognized for his unwavering desire for peace and human rights.

 

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In Chapter 3 of Emerging Africa, Radelet highlight democracy in developing countries and its importance for prosperous growth. Though he does not define democracy by any one definition, he gives some elements to recognize democracy by. These include popular sovereignty, freedom of speech, laws, minority rights, basic human rights, control of the military, and a checks and balances system. Radelet offers different avenues to discover the democratic ranking of different countries. Though being led by a democratic party for over 15 years, Nigeria still has a long way to go.

According to Freedom House, one of Radelet’s suggestions, Nigeria is a “partly free” country. 2015 was the first time an opposing party won the election and power was peacefully transitioned to the winning party. The government is still corrupt, and political rights are just barely above average. In fact, the government is so corrupt that corruption is considered a norm in Nigeria. Civil liberties are vastly lacking in Nigeria, and many freedoms are poorly welcomed. Calling Nigeria “democratic” country seems like an overstatement. Rather than a country ruled by the people, the country is ruled only by the people who hold office. Human rights, equality, and fairness are not priorities for the Nigerian government.

Systemic Peace has noted slight improvements in authority since the transition to democracy in the late 1990s. Though only partly free, Young African Leaders Initiative is currently active in Nigeria, and in the next two years, Nigerians will have access to a “state-of-the-art YALI spaces.” This organization has opened many doors for Nigerians wanting an education and will continue to educate Nigerians on their rights. Nigeria is in a buffer state between dictatorship and law-abiding, full functioning democracy, and hopefully will find its way sooner rather than later.

 

Part II:

           In Chapter 4 of “Poor Economics,” Banerjee and Duflo emphasize the similar importance of education in developing countries. Though still advancing, Nigeria is vastly lacking in terms of education. Nigeria has the highest GDP in Africa and has enough financial aid for better education. Nigeria is aided by multiple NGOs including the African Foundation for Education and Development, Education for All Initiative, Youth Education and Leadership Initiative, and 48 others.

          Though the United States organization YALI is currently very active among Nigerians, this seems to be the only successful education initiative. Yet, in 2o14, Nigeria has 523,346 primary school classrooms (about 60% of the total needed), 170,642 secondary schools (about 70% of the total needed), and about 138 universities. In addition, 10.5 million children were not in school; this is almost half of the child population in Nigeria. Enrollment rates were dropping because of the increasing child population.

          Furthermore, According to UNICEF, the literacy rate for males is a mere 75%, while only 58% for females. Currently, everything Nigeria is doing, education wise, seems to be failing them. They have limited statistics on the amount of foreign aid distributed to education, but a BBC article posted in 2012 claims 102 million euros from the UK towards Nigerian education yielded little to no signs of improvement. It is clear that everything Nigeria is currently doing to increase availability of education is falling short of the MDGS and SDGs.

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_N._Onwubiko

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2015/nigeria

Picture: http://elendureports.com/n/opinion/the-sorry-state-of-nigerias-education-system/

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/nigeria_statistics.html

http://www.aworldatschool.org/country/nigeria

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-20405140

 

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