A few weeks ago over 200 school girls were taken from a small village in Nigeria.

The 223 girls aged between 12 and 15 were sitting their final exams in Chibook, located in the northeastern region of the West Africa country, when a group of abductors stormed the building whilst they slept and kidnapped them. The group claiming responsibility were the Boko Haram, whose name translates as “western education is forbidden” and have ties to al Qaeda affiliates.

Under fire for lack of action, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was forced to defend himself over accusations the government initially ignored the crisis and then later downplayed the abduction of the girls;

“The President and the government (are) not taking this as easy as people all over the world think,” Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for Jonathan told CNN.

“We’ve done a lot – but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.”

But after 3 fruitless weeks of searching, western reinforcements had to be called in. President Obama and secretary of state John Kerry sent a team to help with the search — a move supported by the Nigerian President - but received heavy criticism for the exponential amount of time the U.S. government took to intervene.

So long in fact, there are reports another mass abduction has taken place, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on Twitter. More than 355,000 people to date have signed a petition, that calls upon the world to act to save the girls, including law makers and U.N members. Above are just a few of the celebrity’s said to be supporting the movement.

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Professor Achebe Rejects CFR Award Offer By President Jonathan

Renowned Nigerian literary icon, Professor Chinua Achebe, has for the second time in seven years rejected an offer of a National Honor by the Nigerian government. 

Professor Achebe, globally recognized as one of the world’s most outstanding novelists and intellectuals, rejected the “national honor” in a terse statement.

In a statement today, he said: “The reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me. I must therefore regretfully decline the offer again.”

Two days ago, SaharaReporters reported that with only a few days to the investiture, the nominee had not even been contacted about it by the government.

SaharaReporters has learned that the Nigerian ambassador to the US, Professor Ade Adefuye, received the message from Professor Achebe last night.

[read more]

History Has Been Made. Female Genital Mutilation Banned In Nigeria.

Nigeria made history by outlawing female genital mutilation. The ban falls under the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 that was passed in Senate on May 5 and recently enacted into law.

This was one of the last acts by the outgoing president, Goodluck Jonathan. His successor, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn into office this past Friday, May 29.

Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) is the act of either partially or totally removing the external female genitalia or causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical purposes. 

Read more…

8 More Nigerian Girls Abducted Allegedly By Boko Haram

More Nigerian schoolgirls have been kidnapped allegedly by members of Boko Haram. The girls are from the ages of 12 to 15 years were taken from the Nigerian village of Warabe, According to the police, the eight girls were taken away overnight on trucks, along with looted livestock and food.

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US to send team to Nigeria in response to kidnapping

ReutersThe U.S. State Department says Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has welcomed a U.S. offer to send an American team to Nigeria to support the government’s response to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by an Islamist militant group.

Follow this story on Breaking News

Photo: Women take part in a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok in Lagos, Nigeria, on May 5. (Akintunde Akinleye / Reuters)

Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation: African Powerhouse Sends ‘Powerful Signal’ About FGM With New Bill

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM), which is considered a violation of the human rights of girls and women. This move is being hailed as an important step for Africa’s most populous country, and experts hope it will have a ripple effect on the 26 other African nations that have significant populations of women who undergo the practice. Yet the International Center for Research on Women cautions, “ending violence against women and girls requires investment, not just laws written in statute books… we must emphasize community engagement, with a view towards shifting social norms, as a critical component of the eradication of FGM.”

(Read more)

After over 3 months, a canceled trip, hiring an US PR company for $1.2 million for damage control and a meeting with Malala giving her promises, I don’t blame them for not wanting to meet with President Jonathan. This is downright insulting. Just rescue these poor girls. No need for PR stunts and campaigns, which is what a meeting at this point would be.

Nigerian president signs law banning gay marriage

ReutersNigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill Monday that bans gay marriage, gay rights groups and making “public show of same-sex amorous” relationships. The bill contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

Under existing Nigerian federal law, sodomy is punishable by jail, but this bill legislates for a much broader crackdown on homosexuals and lesbians, who already live a largely underground existence. …

“Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison,” the bill says.

“Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is “deeply concerned” by the law.

Follow updates on this story at Breaking News

Photo: Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for the service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank Stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Johannesburg Dec. 10, 2013.
Jonathan Sacks EFCC Chair, Waziri

President Goodluck  Jonathan has removed the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri.

Her removal was contained in a three-paragraph statement signed by Jonathan’s spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati in Abuja on Wednesday morning.
Jonathan named Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde as the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive of the lame duck commission.
Larmode was among the effective team of the former chairman of the commission, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.

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Mob brutally attacks gay men in Nigeria, dragging them from their homes

TW: Anti-gay violence

Last week, a mob of about 50 men in Nigeria dragged more than a dozen gay men from their homes in the night and brutally assaulted them.

According to activists and a witness, the mob beat the men “with nail-studded clubs and whips, shouting that they were ‘cleansing the community’ of gays.” Some of the victims were dragged to a nearby police station, where police reportedly further beat them and verbally assaulted them. Some of their homes were tagged with anti-gay graffiti as well. 

The attack came in the wake of a new law signed by President Goodluck Jonathan prescribing prison sentences of up to 14 years for gay people. There have been recent episodes of similar mob violence in the Muslim-dominated north of Nigeria.

In Abuja, the witness and the activists said, some in the mob were shouting, “We are working for Jonathan!”

About 14 young men were assaulted, the activists said, and no members of the mob were arrested.

[emphasis added]

Absolutely terrifying. I don’t even know what to say. 

US flights spot large groups of girls in Nigeria

WSJ: Large groups of girls have been spotted by recent US surveillance flights in remote locations of northeastern Nigeria, US and Nigerian officials say.

This new intelligence raises hopes that not all of the 219 kidnapped schoolgirls have been forced into marriage or sex slavery. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has ruled out a rescue operation, saying it could risk the girls’ lives.

Photo: Rachel Daniel holds up a picture of her abducted daughter Rose Daniel, 17, at her home in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in May. Reuters via WSJ

President Jonathan’s Delegation To Brazil Is World’s Largest, At 116!

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As Nigerians lament the abrupt departure of President Goodluck Jonathan for Brazil in the middle of violence and counter-violence in the North, SaharaReporters has gathered that the Nigerian ruler arrived at his destination with 116 men and women, the largest national delegation, contrary to his pledge in January to travel at less weight and expense.

The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria shocked the world and spurred a global movement to #BringBackOurGirls, but six months have passed and the majority of the girls are still missing.

Nigerians demonstrated in front of President Goodluck Jonathan’s home on Tuesday, urging the government to do more to free the girls. Among them was Rebecca Ishaku, who managed to escape from the clutches of Boko Haram militants. “I want the president to try and bring back my friends,” she said. “I can’t even imagine what’s happening to them.”

Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Today in Book News: Random House is promising tweaks to Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl to clarify her use of pseudonyms in an essay on sexual assault.

Also in the news, Richard Flanagan is donating his share of a prestigious Australian literary prize to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting indigenous communities in Australia.

And Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has been legally blocked from publishing his autobiography, according to the Nigerian Tribune. The Melville House blog explains that Obasanjo's My Watch won’t be hitting Nigerian store shelves next week because of a high-level libel dispute involving Obasanjo, current Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and a man named Buruji Kashamu, who is the chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling party.

Read more here.

Nigeria Set To Get First Female Chief Justice

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By SaharaReporters, New York

Nigeria is on the threshold of having its first female Chief Justice. President Goodluck Jonathan has nominated Justice Alooma Muktar to assume the premier position as Chief Justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court.

Earlier today, President Jonathan forwarded Justice Muktar’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the successor to Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is due to retire at the end of July, 2012.
Let's join voices to bring the Nigerian girls home!

I’ve been stewing for three weeks over the lack of interest (except from the BBC) in the greater world over the Nigerian students who were kidnapped from their school, most likely by men from the radical Muslim group Boko Haram.  Now that the news is out that the girls are being sold out of Nigeria, or forced to marry their kidnappers, people are taking interest–but not enough.  8 more girls were kidnapped today.

This link goes to Amnesty International’s protest.  I’ll probably post others, because I want to make some noise.  I thought someone would have done so weeks ago, but … no.  Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan hasn’t even bothered to do more than wring his hands, while his wife had a mother of one of the girls arrested for mouthing off to her (and Mrs. Jonathan doesn’t have any authority to arrest anyone).


On January 3rd, terrorists reportedly murdered over 2,000 people in the town of Baga in Nigeria.
Members of Boko Haram, the group who kidnapped over 200 school-girls in April 2014, stormed into the town with guns and grenades and massacred countless people. They followed in pursuit of anyone who tried to escape, meaning many of those who died were women, children and the elderly, who were unable to escape. Others drowned in Lake Chad attempting to swim away, or were burned in their houses trying to hide. Bodies still littered the surrounding area over a week later.The inital death toll was estimated at over 2,000 by local officials, but the Nigerian government has made an official statement saying that ‘no more than 150’ died. The government has previously played down casualties to the media.
The Nigerian election will take place on February 4th, which means this is a politically tense time. The current president, Goodluck Jonathan, issued a statement of solidarity with France after the Charlie Hebdo attack, and urged the media ‘not be discouraged’ in the fight against terrorism. But he has remained silent on the Baga attack, perhaps for fear of reminding Nigerians Boko Haram are still at large.
Boko Haram are an Islamist terrorist group, and their original aim was to oppose Western education and influence. So far it is estimated that they have affected the lives of 3 million people. 
Despite the shocking nature of the attack and the immeasurable numbers killed, this incident has been virtually ignored by mainstream media. Reports of the Charlie Hebdo attack have dominated the media, meaning this attack has been forgotten in the wake of these events. 
So, while thousands gathered and marched in Paris in protest of terrorism, oppression and fear, this atrocity went unnoticed. There was no mass gatherings for them. In ignoring this, we are not just implying the lives of these victims are less important than the Charlie Hebdo victims, but also missing an opportunity to make the protest against terrorism truly global. Nigeria’s political scene is complicated, and the lack of reponse from the country itself doesn’t make it any easier. But hundreds, if not thousands, of people have died because of terrorism, at a time when terrorism is dominating headlines, and few people know about it. It is hypocritical to protest against ISIS while ignoring Boko Haram.
It is important to stand with Paris and Charlie Hebdo, but it is important to stand with Baga too. 

(So ur ces)

Jonathan's Brazil Junket A Show of "Irresponsible Executive Aloofness," CPC Says

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Goodluck Jonathan and wife Patience arriving Rio today

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has condemned President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to jet out to the United Nations’ Earth Summit in Brazil in view of the insecurity and violence at home, describing it as “irresponsible executive aloofness.”   

Drawing attention to the eruption of violence in parts of Kaduna and Yobe States in the past few days, including subsequent reprisal attacks that have led to a death toll of about 74, CPC said this was not the time for frivolous travels by the country’s leader.