News / Africa

New Nigerian Cabinet Faces High Expectations

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (file photo)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (file photo)

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says his new Cabinet is facing high expectations from Nigerians who want a stronger economy and better security.  

President Jonathan says his new Cabinet must rethink the way Nigeria is run to meet what he says are considerable expectations from voters demanding more jobs and better public services.

"We are expected to generate employment for our unemployed youth," he said. "We are expected to revolutionize the agricultural sector and ensure food security for the people.  We are expected to sanitize the oil and gas sector.  The people also want good roads, a more qualitative public school system as well as a more efficient public health and transportation system.”

Stagnant economy

Economist Oderhohwo Oghenevwarhe says university graduates face a stagnant economy where many bosses demand payment to give out jobs.

"You have a lot of youths who have finished, who have graduated for some years now, when they go to the office to look for employment they will tell you bring some amount of money, very huge amounts of money," said Oghenevwarhe.  "How do you expect a graduate who do not have anything to bring money of that such?”

She says Nigerians want less talk and more action from the president's new cabinet.

"When they sit down in their meeting to discuss anything, they should discuss it and put it into practice," she added.  "Not just going there to discuss, sit under the air conditioning then when you come back you just share your own allowances and you go to your house and sit down.  That is not the expectation that people are expecting from them.”

Islamic militants fighting for a separate Muslim nation are President Jonathan's biggest security challenge following a series of bombings and ambushes in northern states.

"These expectations cut across all sectors," said Jonathan. "Most importantly, we are expected to protect life and property and guarantee the welfare and happiness of all Nigerians.”

Security improvements


Gabriel Asakene runs a non-profit group pushing for electoral reforms.  He says the Cabinet can improve security by better training police.

"They should try as much as possible to promulgate a policy that will reach the grass roots," he said. "They should equip our police.  They are not well organized.  The security of this country lies in the police.”

President Jonathan met this week with northern elders to discuss the campaign of violence by the sect known as Boko Haram.  Some leaders from Borno say he should withdraw soldiers from the state capital Maiduguri because troops there are attacking civilians.

Military commanders in Maiduguri say civilian leaders accusing soldiers of looting and rape are “sponsors, sympathizers and members” of the sect.

Boko Haram launched a coordinated uprising across much of the north in 2009.  That revolt was put down by the military in violence that killed more than 800 people, including Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf.  Yusuf was captured alive.  Police say he was killed in a shootout while trying to escape.

Justice

Five policemen this week went on trial on charges of “unlawfully killing” Yusuf and other Boko Haram members.  They pled not guilty, and defense attorney Nelson Ezeagu asked for bail.

"First of all, you have to agree with us that they have their rights. Do you understand?  They are presumed innocent until the whole thing is gone.  And we are ready to go on to trial.  That is the main thing,” he said.

Prosecutor Ralph Ojabo says the recent attacks in Maiduguri have no bearing on the state's case but have brought it greater attention.

"We are prosecuting.  We are not persecuting," he said. "The facts available to us we will put before the court.  It is the court that will decide whether they are guilty or not guilty.  There is a lot of media hype concerning this matter.  We want to be able to try this case in court first before it is tried in the media.”

President Jonathan is appealing to Boko Haram to open talks with his government.  The group has so far refused, setting among their conditions the prosecution of the Yusuf case and apologies from northern governors who used force against them.  Several former and current governors have made public apologies.



You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More