Christiane looks at why protesters are saying the World Cup only benefits outsiders.
By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
(CNN) – Acting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has told CNN he has not seen the country’s ailing leader Umaru Yar’Adua since he returned from Saudi Arabia in February after medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Jonathan also said he does not know the nature of Yar’Adua’s condition. President Yar’Adua has not been seen in public since last November.
“The thinking of the family is that they should insulate him from most of the key actors in government”, Jonathan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in his first interview with international or local media since he assumed office as acting president two months ago.
Asked if he would like to visit Yar’Adua, Jonathan said, “Yes, of course, but I will not want to force (it).”
He also dismissed suggestions that supporters of Yar’Adua are working against him. “I wouldn’t say they are trying to undermine me, because the laws of the land are very clear.”
Jonathan refused to say whether or not he is planning to run in Nigeria’s next presidential election in 2011.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following blog post was written by Nosarieme Garrick, 25 year old daughter of Nigerian government employees. She left Nigeria at a young age, and now seeks to promote activism within the Nigerian diaspora. This letter to Nigeria’s leaders is a personal appeal by her, and is not endorsed by CNN or its affiliates. “Amanpour” will pass this letter along to the Nigerian president’s office and we will post the government’s response as soon as we receive one.
Dear leaders of Nigeria,
I am a citizen of Nigeria holding a green card in the US. I left in 1998, after the death of Nigerian Dictator Sani Abacha, along with several others. After growing up in Nigeria, and watching others leave to pursue an education, it just seemed like the thing to do if you could afford it. Some entire families relocated to the UK, the US and other countries, other families sent their kids alone to foreign school, for a chance at a better education. Its now 2010, and some of us are itching to come back. I don’t think any of us were ever comfortable with the idea of abandoning our country.
I'm not sure how much longer I want to live abroad. After all, I would like my future kids to know where their mother's from, even possibly go to school there. However, all the brouhaha that has been stirred up in the news these past few months makes the country seem even more unappealing, than it was when it sent us in droves to foreign lands. I've kept in contact with some of the children in the Diaspora, and we've all discussed coming back home, but you keep giving us reasons to stay where we are. I hear you would like us to come back, but you've lost our faith, we don't believe in our government. Fear not, we are willing to work it out, it is our home, and so we’re ready to help you help us come back. Here are some suggestions of ways for you to make us consider the idea.
Our obvious reason for leaving was to get a better education, which is unfortunate because at Nigeria's independence we had the highest number of university graduates in Africa. The crumbling education system has contributed to the increased crime rate; being that our brothers and sisters back home, have very limited options. Maybe you could reconsider the budget cuts you made on education, and look into the proper training for teachers, in order for them to provide proper education for your children. This could be prepare them for a university education, or vocational training, not everyone needs or wants to go to university. Overseas we're taught that you can't get anywhere without a bachelor's degree, a lot of people have been the exception to the rule, but I'm glad I had the option to get a bachelor’s. Maybe we could provide that option for people back home by putting more money into the university system. Once we start to believe in our education in Nigeria, I doubt that people will feel the need to send their kids to the UK or the US for school.
You should think about consulting once more with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Remember, she used to be your former Minister of Finance? She’s now the Managing Director of the World Bank. According to The Punch Nigeria, she made this statement at the Institute of Directors conference in Lagos: ”One of the untapped growth drivers is Nigeria‘s youth. The time has come for us to focus on them and reap enormous development benefits or ignore them to the nation‘s peril.” See, she believes in our potential, don't let another country make use of us. Even Canada has been trying to lure us to their schools, they value our billions of dollars that we are ready to pay for a proper education. That money could go to Nigeria.