News / Africa

Nigeria Commission to Meet Former Presidents

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in Abuja, October 10, 2012. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in Abuja, October 10, 2012.
x
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in Abuja, October 10, 2012.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in Abuja, October 10, 2012.
Peter Clottey
President Goodluck Jonathan’s special commission to help Nigeria move forward plans to meet Thursday with the nation’s former heads of state.

Alhaji Maitama Sule, chairman of the commission, says his group will seek the counsel of the former leaders as part of an effort to resolve the country’s growing political, economic and internal security problems.

“These former heads of state had their experience, they therefore know the problems of this country more than most people, and therefore if they can bring their experience, it will help a great deal,” Sule said. “We need their wisdom and above all, we need them to come together… because we expect a lot from them.”

“We believe that if we can get together and get ourselves united, we will be able to offer solutions to the problems confronting us, and that is why we want to have this meeting,” Sule said. “If we can bring them [former leaders] together, I’m sure that we will be able to be strong enough to offer solutions to the problems facing the country, and the north in particular.”

President Jonathan called on the commission to draw up measures that would include granting amnesty to members of the militant group, Boko Haram. The group has been accused of carrying out violent attacks in an attempt to force the country to adopt strict Islamic law.

Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces.          

Sule, a former Nigerian diplomat, says members of the commission are encouraged by the support they received from Jonathan following the group’s first meeting.

“Mr. President has given us some hope, and we hope and believe that we will be able to succeed if the atmosphere continues like this,” said Sule.

The group has about two weeks to come up with recommendations for the government to consider.

But some Nigerians say the allotted period might not be enough for the group to consider solutions to the many problems the country faces.

“From all indications we have started well, so it is not the timing,” said Sule. “Sometimes you give time to people to produce something and if the time is not enough they ask for more time [and] that is life.”

Critics of the president’s new commission say it is unlikely to succeed, citing numerous commissions in the past that have failed to yield any positive results. Sule disagrees.

“The two problems facing Nigeria are tribalism and religious bigotry,” he said. “In our own organization we have both Muslims and Christians, and prominent ones too, together and they are speaking with one voice. And that is why we feel that this time around, we will succeed by the grace of God. That is my hope.”
Clottey interview with Alhaji Maitama Sule, chairman of the commission
Clottey interview with Alhaji Maitama Sule, chairman of the commissioni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid