My Huffington Post article, on the #UKriots

Read it, Lessons for a Burning Britain, here


Last year the British Council released a report on Nigeria’s youth. One of its observations: “In the worst case, Nigeria will see: growing numbers of restless young people frustrated by lack of opportunity; […] and a political system discredited by its failure to improve lives…”

Talk about irony. Now, one imagines, is the time to commission a similar one on Britain’s youth – if the British Council still has enough funds, post-cuts, for such a venture. Mounting evidence points to the fact that today’s Britain is home to a generation of children and youth cast adrift on a sea of radicalising disenfranchisement. Not long ago the Evening Standard found that “1 in 4 children in London leaves primary school at 11 unable to read or write properly” and “1 in 5 leaves secondary school without being able to read or write with confidence.”

“Many of the people involved are likely to have been from low-income, high-unemployment estates, and many, if not most, do not have much of a legitimate future,” criminologist John Pitts told the Guardian. “Much of this was opportunism but in the middle of it there is a social question to be asked about young people with nothing to lose.”

Read the full piece, here


An ‘Evening of kingmakers’ – PDP Presidential Primaries 2011

My article, An ‘Evening of kingmakers’ – PDP Presidential Primaries 2011, has just appeared in Y! online, here

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and V. P. Namadi Sambo (left) - Photo Courtesy

An excerpt:

There must have been millions of Nigerians watching through the traditional media – the live TV and radio broadcasts.

Unlike four years ago, however, there was another community observing – those tuned in through social networking media. What that group may have lacked in size (the truth is that there are far fewer people within than outside it) they more than made up for in the aggressive energy with which they pushed out their opinions – on Twitter, 140 unruly characters at a time.

This community didn’t exist when the PDP selected the late Umar Yar’Adua as its Presidential candidate in December 2006. Its members did exist of course, but the ‘wiring’ and ‘platform’ that made it possible for them to ‘network’ and aggregate their voices into one raucous, witty, irreverent conversation didn’t exist back then.

Read the full piece here