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Bill Clinton, America, Boko Haram and Our Economic Injustice

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As a result of a sizeable number of men and women and a system deep in

corruption as indicated by past and every day happenings, Nigeria now

presents with a national and international face of violence.

A former President, of United States of America, Bill Clinton recently

observed how the continued religious and economic grievances are

fueling fear, terror, insecurity and instability in Nigeria.

Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Terence P. McCulley has

also called on the Nigerian Government to address the long standing

poverty problems in the nation's north where internal terrorism reigns

with security forces doing their best to defeat the extremist group.

There is inequality and poverty everywhere, in the Northern stats

mostly. Unlike many up and coming societies, one must wonder how

effective and concerned are the offices or ministries of Labor and

Productivity in regards to employment issues across the nation.

One needs to see more from the works of the ministries of Agriculture

and Rural Development as well other related agencies in regards to

job-related matters.
In all of our States, the northern states in particular, we see how

lives of misery persist everywhere due to abject poverty. In a recent

report, 'Nigeria Poverty Profile 2010' by the National Bureau of

Statistics (NBS), at least 112.6 million of Nigerians are living below

the poverty level. That is 69 per cent of the country's population.

In the report by Mr. Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of Nigeria,

the highest poverty areas are within the North-West and North-East

geo-political zones. In general, the number of Nigerians living in

poverty continues to increase with 61 per cent of Nigerian currently

living with less than one $1 per day, resulting in 60.9 per cent of

them having minimum standards of foods, shelter, clothing, and

In fact, 93.9 per cent of Nigerians currently consider themselves as

poor, partly due to wealth and income inequality.
In the face of these painful statistics, it is time the government show

us the national poverty reduction plans in the North, in regards to

addressing vocational injustice both in the North and across the nation.

And stop this nonsense about western education. It makes no sense to

say that the economic emptiness in many Northern states is partly due

some Muslims or members of the  Boko Haram sect viewing  "Western

education' as  sacrilege or "sin".
It is a false picture or perception in many peoples' heads that a

rejection of Euro-America or Western education/lifestyle signifies not

embracing Western education; as such those individuals or localities

with such mindset will not be able to attain the good life or economic

It is essential to state that there could be grounds for some Nigerians

including members of the Boko Haram to reject western education if

judged from some well-known day to day standpoints.

Even Bill Clinton and many Americans will testify to the reality that

America, in a much deeper and prevalent way swims inside the

infrastructure of sex clubs, and many of the Sex clubs stand out as

studios of drugs, booze and violence.
There are drugs and alcohol addictions everywhere. There are constant

threats and practice of violence in schools, homes and workplace. Strip

clubs, pornography, prostitution, swapping of spouse, guns and huge

dollar enterprises are the order of the day, at least socially.

There is the general attraction to the allure of glamour, fast

lifestyle, and other 'sins'-at least from the point of Islamic

So could this be what some Muslims across the globe, and in Northern

Nigeria view as bad-mannered, ungodly, irreligious and sacrilegious?

At the same time, no matter how deep is the rejection of Euro-America

or Western education by the Boko Haram group or any other persons, the

use of violence to make demands or to bring any meaningful change is

never a welcomed strategy in a democracy.
Many in the government have asked what do many in the North want. They

want what all humans want as in being able to make an adequate living.

They hate economic injustice and corruption in governance.

The challenge of the Jonathan presidency on security matters in the

North is to find useful ways to shrink poverty, illiteracy, and poor

work conditions, and by the way, the English language is  not the only

avenue for doing this.
All over the globe there are new trends in training and work

development for youths, adults and women, and vested interest could use

native dialects to train potential employees to understand the most

effective ways to do different jobs, even the so called Euro-American

type vocations.
Remember, it is the individuals who usually help the economy, in terms

of consumer spending; as such money to help local economies usually

comes from both the employers and consumers.
In the United States of America, China, and in Latin America and

Spanish societies, business is generally done with the natives using

many native words. So in terms of business and economics, and from

work-skill point of view, the Hausa/Fulani/Gwari/Kanuri languages and

cultures could be looked upon as a set of avenues to enhance

employment. We can even make these Northern languages essential for the

purpose of learning by other Nigerians as it could enhance everyday

commercial relationship and our overall social relations.

In the North, we can focus on transportation, farming, mining and other

related projects that could enhance the local economy.

We need to engage in various local activities to drive the economy in

the North, which could result into a sustainable local economy and

possibly drive up economic prosperity in the North. And in the process

curtail regional frustration and irritability and help regenerate

non-sectarian ways of living.  If we are to understand former U.S.

President Bill Clinton's warning  that widespread poverty is plaguing

Nigeria as well as fueling the religious violence in the country, in

the Northern part especially; let us begin to reduce security

challenges in the North by leveling  the inequality that now exist.

It is time we create exemptions in our judicial guidelines and begin to

use the tribal law as in public shaming, flogging, and whipping only if

for the purpose of a threat, to alert any Nigerian involved in public

corruption or found guilty of corruption in public office, especially.

And here is why?
A recent report from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other

Related Offences (ICPC) showed that a government official was caught

hiding N2 billion cash in his house, so what do one tell that able

bodied man or young adults, may be of Northern or Southern stock who is

unsheltered, sleeping in the street, sleeping inside broke down

vehicles  and could still dance to a good music in the day time, and at

night could become a part of an insurrection group with law enforcement

officers as a collective or representational target, unfortunately.

What do you say to such a person?
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is a Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and

the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA),

Abuja .