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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora