Speaking at a "town hall meeting" with US. State Department employees to mark her first year in office, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, spoke about the attempt by a Nigerian to blow up a US airliner on Christmas day. Ms. Clinton criticised the conditions in Nigeria and blamed them for alienating the youth and leading some to Islamic radicalism.
She said, "The failure of the Nigerian leadership over many years to respond to the legitimate needs of their own young people, to have a government that promoted a meritocracy, that really understood that democracy can't just be given lip service, it has to be delivering services to the people, has meant there is a lot of alienation in that country and others."
"Nigeria faces a threat from increasing radicalization by providing an opening for extremism that offers an alternative world view The information we have on the Christmas Day bomber so far seems to suggest that he was disturbed by his fatherâ€™s wealth and the kind of living conditions that he viewed as being not Islamic enough,â€ť
â€śBut in this case, and in so many others, such young people are targets for recruiters to extremism.
She also said Nigeria faces a threat from increasing radicalization because quality-of-life factors in the country like literacy and health care are deteriorating, and from resentment over widespread corruption.
She said, â€śThere has to be a recognition that in the last 10 years, a lot of the indicators about quality of life in Nigeria have gone the wrong direction. Quality-of-life factors in the country like literacy and health care are deteriorating"
"The corruption is unbelievable. And when I did a town hall in Abuja, people were just literally standing and shouting about what it was like to live in a country where you know the elite was so dominant, where corruption was so rampant, where criminality was so pervasive, and that is an opening for extremism that offers an alternative world view,"
"The young people in the world today, they see other options. They are all interconnected through the Internet and the information we have on the Christmas Day bomber so far seems to suggest that he was disturbed by his father's wealth and kind of living conditions that he viewed as being not Islamic."
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
cliff Bmore, MD, USA January 27, 2010
This not news to any one that lives in Nigeria the question is what is the United states doing to make sure this thieves don't enjoy all that stolen money, the truth of the matter is that 99% of African looted funds end up in western Europe and North America, the bank executives, governors, ministers and other looters from Nigeria have multimillion dollar properties in the US.
Am happy yar'adua and his criminal crew will soon go away and we are hopping Dr. Goodluck, will go after all those governors, ministers, and corrupt judges to send clear and unequivocal message to looters. But the US must play it part by not allowing this looters hide and spend there ill gotten wealth there.
Andrew6ff2 London, England January 27, 2010
Generally I regret it but i do agree with most of what was said in this articles its always harder to swallow when you have white people talking negatively of your home land but its the sad truth that needs to be swallowed.
I do think she in generalising too much based on 1 case but none the less the last thing we need in Nigeria to become worried that were looked at as a country that create terrorist we have enough issues on our hands as it is.
"Coming In From The Cold" In California, U.S.A. January 27, 2010
I am really tired of hearing us blame the U.S., Britain, Switzerland, West, East, North or South of every part of the world for our corruption problems.
Charity begins at home, they say. We are our own worst enemies. We should just stop blaming white or yellow or brown people for our corruption. None of these people advised or induced our leaders to steal.
These foreign governments don't sell homes, lands, cars, or jewelries, etc.; these things are sold by private companies who would care less where you got your money from. If you are selling gari in the market in Nigeria and someone comes to buy gari from you, do you ask them where they got their money from before selling to them?
When some of these leaders steal money and bring them to the U.S. or Britain, or wherever, it is other Nigerians living in these places who are real estate agents or car dealers or related to these rogues, that go around with them to buy homes, cars, etc. when they know these people stole the money. Should we or not blame these people first before even blaming white people? I may be mad at them but life's reality makes me to not really blame them as most of us, if not all of us, would do the same thing. Think about it, you would do the same - sell or help these rogues buy homes, cars, whatever, if that is your business because if you don't, someone else would. Some people might say you are encouraging these people to steal but that's not the case.
These foreign governments can only do so much to control corruption of our leaders when they have similar problems to control (not to this extent) in their own countries. Sometimes, we seem to think that white people are gods but they as human as you and me; the only difference is that they really really try. They have rule of law in place and they enforce it to the extent humanly possible.
God can only help those who help themselves first; so, white people can only help us so much. The primary solution remains with us. To me, blaming white people is tantamount to calling ourselves idiots.
Our leaders are simply corrupt but there are solutions to that; and the solutions are not the type you apply in most other places. The solutions must be specific and targeted as our type of corruption is peculiar.
Let me proffer some suggestions here. First, we must get rid of a lot of people, JJ Rawlings way or so, without which change is not possible. Second, before doing the first, we must try to locate all past and present ill-gotten wealth and properties, for example, Babangida's villa in Minna, and confiscate them now or after they are dead. Third, we must design a system of governance, not the American type of democracy, but democracy attuned to accomodate our culture, diversity, mentality and behavior, that will make it difficult to steal and severely punish corrupt practices. Fourth, divide Nigeria into six regions with abundant autonomy; each region with its own governor or president, police, etc., and allow each region to create its own states or subregions to a limited or feasible extent; with each state or subregion creating its own local governments to the extent allowed by the region. There will be a central police system, like the FBI, that will investigate and prosecute federal crimes but not involved with day-to-day law enforcement of the regions. These six regional governors or presidents will form a central government out of which one of them will be the country's president for world affairs and representation. Sharia laws, if allowed, will not be part of the central or regional government laws, but may be allowed at the state or local government levels.
These are just suggestions I have thought about.. Rather than criticize it, please proffer your own suggestions too to help solve our country's problems and keep us together - it is called brainstorming . Hopefully, we can joggle all ideas and create a system that will adequately suit us while not deterring individual advancement and progress.
We cannot continue like this. Prevention is better than cure.
Chijioke Birmingham, England January 27, 2010
Honestly speaking, i absolutely believed what the Secretary of State said. It is not a history yet, it is a daily routine in Nigerian Government System. A country where the Innocent are not allowed to talk, rule / manage Government ministries except if you are corrupt like them (i.e ability to accept and give out bribe) . All our country Officials are corrupt. I have not seen any country where Politicians / Government Officials use Government funds as their own hard earned money for buying lots of property, fleet of cars, plots of land, opening foreign accounts etc. this is only in Nigeria. An indicator is what the December 25th US airline bomber said about his Father's wealth ?, how did his father acquire all these wealth? that lies on the same corruption. No accountability, No Respect for the masses, No adequate and steady amenities( Schools, Housing, Water, Electricity, Roads etc) for the masses/public.
Moreover, the Western world should not be spared free because they encouraged these problems by allowing these Officials to bring in monies to buy property, open up Bank accounts in order to boost their economy without carrying out adequate investigation. They all knew that these embezzlement are NIGERIAN PUBLIC FUND.
Kano Son , USA January 27, 2010
How dare Hillary Clinton disrespect my country for what my country have nothing to do with. What Sec. did was immoral and disrespectful. What happened to America via the Nigerian named so called citizen has nothing to do with my beloved country. The person in question was a British from the UK, he was a party of the devil-based faithfuls of acts of human genocides, and they claimed their luggage. We do not need anyone to come and remind us on the world stage that we have our own personal problems in Nigeria that we have no choice but to stay and salvage it together. We therefore do not expect Madam Sec. to come and disrespect our country where we can only call home. Apologies on the international stage are things that foster good diplomatic ties. Just a reminder Madam Sec. in Hausa language a saying goes "Ba'a san maci tuwo ba sai miya ta kare." We won't know who will have more to loose when those forgotten good diplomatic ties are lost.