We are coming up on an election year for Nigeria in Feb of 2019, for a new President and National Assembly. Ongoing political unrest, and now campaigning and promises, headline the national news and take up a great deal of in-country leadership focus. Elections affect everyone, everywhere.
There continues to be unrest and warring between the herdsmen tribes and various local farming communities, with little being done to address the root issues, just attention focused on the horrible outcomes of each crisis. These issues easily overflow into Christian vs Muslim conflicts in terms of retaliations. This crisis, while more predominant in other states, does at times affect our state as herdsmen still pass through, and we are in a farming state.
The recent rains have caused mass flooding in multiple states, including Anambra State which is just above us in Abia. Since we are so close, we have been affected by the flooding and erosions. Many of the roads wash away which not only kills people (as their cars fall into it), but it cuts of access to the cities. One of our access roads has been completely washed away, replaced by deep ravines impossible to cross. We have one access road to the city left which is in dire straits and dangerous to use at this time.
Nigeria continues to face multiple challenges on all fronts, with the most alarming situations relating to the violation of basic human rights and lack of human security in the wake of 9+years of Boko Haram terrorism.The fallout from the last years of Boko Haram terrorism and attacks has left millions of people in horrific circumstances that continue to grow on a daily basis. Many of the camps do not provide adequate food, water and shelter, and there has been gross misconduct and violation of human rights in the camps with many of the women and girls being assaulted. It is a heartbreaking situation that continues to draw global media attention and should until it is properly addressed. Recent UN convoys to the country and talks are surrounding the need for global intervention and support to help these people heal, recover and get their lives set back up.
Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis
An extremely educational and interesting YouTube video, directed by Dan McCain, called “Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis” is an amazing film to see. It helps share many of the concerns we all face in Nigeria. Either people are directly affected by these urgent crises, or it will only be a matter of time before they are. We highly recommend taking time to view this documentary film, and hope you will understand more of the severe plight Nigeria’s people are facing.
This past year in Nigeria has been another one wrought with tensions and struggle for most of the nation. Our President was out of the country for the majority of this year, working through health issues, which left the rulership of the country in a precarious situation. The ‘war on terrorism’, the fight against Boko Haram, has continued to wage, with still growing numbers of refugees and IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) who have not only faced food and shelter shortages, but had to fight for their lives again and again due to mass spread of disease in closely confined camp quarters and limited medical care and interventions. International Aid groups have been doing their best to intervene and meet needs, but are overwhelmed by the numbers needing support, as well as various levels of bureaucracy and lack of ability to ‘get’ where the need is.
There have been continued Fulani Herdsman clashes throughout the country, with a specific crisis in Taraba State where the Mambilla tribe was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Fulani and thousands of their cattle dead or missing. The various Niger Delta Militant groups have continued to cause damage and deaths in the Delta regions as various times, while Amnesty start re-negotiations with several groups and several conflict resolutions groups have moved in to try and create dialogue. The rise of ‘Biafra’ groups and separatist movements have been on the rise, possibly due to the current President’s tribe and history concerning the Civil War, his lack of time in the country during term so far and lack focus on Igbo concerns, as well as the fact that campaigning for the next election will begin next year already.
TWCF is doing its best to stay aware of all the national crises at hand to make wise and informed decisions when some of these challenges and concerns are close to home and can potentially create security challenges for us.
As an NGO and INGO group in Nigeria, the safety and security of our children and staff are of first and utmost importance. This means often we must remain silent when it comes to both sharing or discussing political topics going on in the country. While in our own area, with our staff, children, with community leaders and members, and with State leaders we are open to discuss and share as various challenges and issues affect us and our goals directly, it is not always in our best interest to share or discuss them on social media platforms.
We ask that if you ever have concerns or questions regarding news you hear, to contact us directly, so we might share more information if we have it, or put minds at ease. Please keep these thoughts in mind, as you may wonder why we do not update information regularly or share specific stories or information. We do what is necessary to protect those in our care, employment and community.
One day I pray I may say… the visas were granted and returned expediently.
But so far, in ten years of living in Nigeria, traveling in and out too many times to be counted, it is sad to say that we have NEVER ever, not one person, received they correct visa applied for and in the appropriate amount of time.
So we continue to wade through politics and lack of civility to acquire entry to “our” other home and country where our children and staff family are. We know that God must have a plan in all of this, after so many years to struggle still. Yet we remain committed and steadfast toward our projects and our love of the people and desire to make a difference. We will not let poor attitudes and judgment keep us away from the work God would have us do, no matter how hard the struggle remains to be.
We have hope, and faith … that one day, Nigeria will be a much better, stronger and peaceful place, a nation that loves its own people and desires to help them ALL, to balance the great injustices and inequalities that prevail today, that through justice, love and equality they will begin to heal themselves and show the world a much different side, one that TWCF knows is there, but that most others in the world cannot ever see or know of, the side of HOPE, RESILIENCE AND BROTHERLY LOVE.
We now also have a new Governor in Abia State. Unfortunately we cannot be proud of Abia for its election processes. Abia, along with Imo (and a few other states), had very poor elections processes intertwined with violence and corruption. As a matter of fact the first set election was cancelled and it had to be held a second time. While the first one was contested, the second one also is being contested. It would seem aside that fact that the newly elected Governor had majority votes, he was not truly the peoples choice. It is very difficult to run elections and be a politician of the people ushering in much needed change and reform, when greed and corruption are so heavily intertwined.
We pray strength and wisdom on the current and new leaders transitioning in over the next month. We pray honesty and humbleness. We pray health and virtue. And we pray passion and compassion toward the people of our state, and our country, that our leaders would identify themselves only as a “Nigerian”, just as the people they SERVE are, while they are in office, and through that would make the best changes possible. We have had enough divisiveness and hatred toward one another due to political preference, religion, denomination, socio-economic status, gender, tribe, career/job status, financial status…etc, the list goes on. We must see each other as fellow Nigerians, as one, and start healing our nation.
It is just over a month since my last positing, I apologize. There have been many things going on in Nigeria as a country. The prior postponed elections have just taken place, and yesterday General (Rtr.) Muhammadu Buhari was named the President elect. The official hand over from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will take place on May 29.
We hope and pray for continued peace among the people of Nigeria as this transition of leaders takes place, and we pray for wisdom and guidance as Buhari steps up to lead Nigeria away from violence and corruption and toward peace, unity and healing.
The elections were officially postponed last week despite the advice against it from the international community. The threat of BkH has grown around it, alleged corruption regarding it, and threats of uprising if either candidate does not win. All of these lead to a continued poor situation that is not promoting safety, truth, or honesty. We pray that during this postponement time, the active threat of BkH will be stopped, with strong action taken against them. We pray safety and hope for all those have have been displaced by the BkH horrific actions. And we pray love, unity and peace for all Nigerians, to joing together and build a better Nigeria, to rise above wrong and survive victoriously.
Trafficking of children and persons has been a long standing issue in Nigeria. We ourselves have some children that have come to us through the NAPTIP Agency that fights against this.
With the more recent devastating attacks of the BkH in the North, North-East, the numbers of INP (Internally Displaced People) has risen drastically. Make shifts camps are being set up in multiple locations, many in Adamawa State. With information from various sources of ours in Nigeria, along with the following article’s claims, it is safe to say that morally corrupt individuals are taking advantage of the horrible situation going on in the North. Children who are coming into these camps, who have no parents, or extended family caring for them, are quickly identified and being sold out of the camps across Nigeria. Please pray for these children. And pray that if there is a way for us to help them or be involved that it would be made clear to us.
The Wanted Children Foundation (TWCF), was established in 2006 to meet the growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria, West Africa.
The goal of TWCF is to improve the quality of life for these children by providing a family-centered home that promotes the love and compassion of Jesus Christ, where there is care in a safe and nurturing environment, health and nutrition, education, psychosocial support, and access to necessary medical care.