Tuesday, June 30, 2015

People Helping Each Other Through Pakistani Heatwave When Government Fails

Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org

It's warm on a residential road in Lahore, Pakistan, but the city is not enduring the kind of brutal heat that has people in Karachi dropping dead on the street.
By Arooj Khalid
Senior Reporter
LAHORE, Pakistan – When a heatwave claims lives, people take matters into their own hands. 
Though lately the weather where I live in Lahore has been normal, a massive heat wave claimed more than 1,000 lives in the southern part of Pakistan last week.
From news reports, friends and relatives, I know that Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, was gravely affected with many people, especially the poor and the elderly, falling victim to heat stroke.
Despite the brutal heat, air conditioners, electric fans, and water pumps were out of the question in this dire situation because there wasn’t enough electrical power to run them.
As the temperatures rose, so did the people’s frustration with the government.
Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org
A local shopping area in Lahore with many
stores, but no one walking outside in the heat.
Officials refused to take responsibility and did little more than blame K-Electric, Karachi’s electricity providing company, for the lack of power.
The lack of electricity, power shut offs and outages are all well known to Pakistanis. In Karachi, the reports are that some people are limited to just eight hours of power a day.
While the water and electricity authorities were busy blaming each other, the death toll kept rising.
Hospitals filled up and morgues overflowed. The city was at loss for funeral vans and tragically, mass graves were dug.
Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org

On the side of a Ramadan Bazaar in Lahore, which looks deserted because of the heat. This photo was taken from under the tent where shoppers were. On the wall in the distance are photos of Pakistani politicians, mostly images from members of the current provincial government, reminding citizens of the great job they're doing.

Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org

Outside of the Ramadan Bazaar near the intersection with a main road in Lahore, a man stands in the street waiting for customers so he can earn money by carrying their goods.

The phrase “dropping dead” took on a literal meaning as many of the victims of the heat wave met their ends by collapsing on city streets in the scorching heat.
It didn’t help that the heat wave came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when nearly everyone in Pakistan is fasting, which means no food or drink from sunrise to sunset.
Religious scholars clarified that people in the areas affected by the heat wave were certainly allowed to skip fasts at these exacerbated circumstances. Islam allows Muslims who are ill, pregnant, or unable to keep fasts for any other reason to stop fasting and do so at another time. It applies to situations such as this, when keeping a fast could be life-threatening.
Even so, many people were dying.
Citizens, disappointed in the government response, took it upon themselves to handle the situation.
People from all walks of life and ages distributed cold water bottles on streets, helping the patients in whatever way they could in hospitals, streets and markets.
Every other social media post here had something to do with the heat wave. Doctors and trained officials made posts and videos on how to effectively help a heatstroke patient.
Even when the temperatures dropped, the number of deaths continued to rise.
This is said to be the most severe heat waves in Karachi in the past 30 years – and another one is expected next week.
This is an alarming situation for all of us, but the tragedies have certainly ingrained among the citizens the desire to help others.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the government authorities. 
***
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Take A Deep Breath And Do Some Yoga

youthjournalism.org
YJI reporter Dawit Leake, in the center in the black shirt, takes part in a yoga session at International Yoga Day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this month.
By Dawit Leake
Junior Reporter
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Yoga experts joined practitioners and newcomers to stretch and breathe during the capital city’s celebration of the world’s first International Yoga Day.
Around the globe, yoga fans marked International Yoga Day in almost 200 countries. The event, recognized by the United Nations, took place June 21, the longest day of the year.
A yoga practice session with four instructors on stage and one going around helping people was the centerpiece of the day.
Migbar Ayalew, a certified international yoga instructor, explained the importance of the breath.
“What is the first thing we do when we come to this world?” she asked. “We breathe in. What is the last thing we do when we leave this world? We breathe out. So the breath is the most important thing in our lives.”
The five-hour event in Ethiopia, organized by the Embassy of India, took place at the Hilton Addis Ababa and began with a video message about yoga from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
youthjournalism.org
Participants do yoga exercises at the International Yoga Day in Addis Ababa.

Later, participants viewed other short videos about yoga and its history. Raffle prizes for non-Indians included a trip to India and meals at a local Indian restaurant.
youthjournalism.org
Practicing yoga in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for
International Yoga Day.
A writing contest with the prize being a trip to India, sought the best quote, slogan or feeling expressed in answer to the questions,” What does yoga mean to you?” and  “How does the UN’s recognition to yoga contribute?”
After the yoga session ended, people handed out International Yoga Day magazines and CDs with subtitles in Amharic, the national language in Ethiopia. Local yoga institutes had booths with sign-up sheets for yoga sessions.
Organizers provided yogurt, Indian sweets and vegetable stews, fruit, small sandwiches, tea, milk and water outside of the hall for participants, who seemed happy, motivated and energized after their yoga session.
*** 
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Obama Inspires With Charleston Eulogy

By Garret Reich
Junior Reporter
GLENWOOD, Iowa, U.S.A. – President Barack Obama delivered an inspiring eulogy at the funeral for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney last week that may resonate for years to come.
Pinckney, the pastor at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, was leading the Bible study group June 17 when a man who was welcomed as a visitor shot and killed him and eight people in his congregation.

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, is charged with killing nine American citizens.
Besides Pinckney, victims were the Rev. Shronda Coleman-Singleton, the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor and the Rev. Daniel Simmons, Cynthia Hurd, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Tywanza Sanders and Myra Thompson.
The murders are being investigated as a racially-motivated hate crime.
Obama, who knew some members of the church, including its pastor, gave Pinckney’s eulogy.
The crowd applauded and frequently offered harmonized yells of acceptance during the president’s moving speech.
He spoke of peace and harmony, the symbolic history of the Emanuel AME Church, and the solutions Pinckney wanted to see to bridge America’s racial divide.
“It would be a betrayal of everything Rev. Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again,” said Obama.
Our nation’s history should show the change that has gotten us to where we are today.  However, it seems that for every two steps we take forward toward making history, we take one step back.
Another racial issue is addressed in our community and one or more residents have to pay the price.  
The president’s speech inspired me and my family to act on the changes that society often discourages.
Nearly every day, it is not difficult to hear, yet again, the shootings of unarmed black citizens and the lack of justice that follows, but that hasn’t stopped many Americans from being willfully ignorant about race.
At the closing of his eulogy, Obama’s words lifted the crowd inside the church – and the many of us watching the recorded video.
Impressively, the president included the name of every individual murdered and concluded that they each found grace “through the example of their lives. They’ve now passed it onto us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift as long as our lives endure.”
This is the perspective the U.S. and its citizens must take if we want the change to make a difference.

***
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Friday, June 26, 2015

America Lives Up To Promise Of Equality With Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling

By Mugdha Gurram
Senior Reporter
WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – Today is a day that has been long awaited in America, and one that will be long be remembered in history books as one where the United States truly lived up to its promise of freedom and equality.
In a ruling announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of reversing the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, making same-sex marriage legal in every state.
Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy were the majority that ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated, “Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.”
This is a huge victory for activists who have been fighting for these rights.
People everywhere are celebrating, taking to social media with the hashtags LoveWins and EqualityForward.
Of course, there are those who disagree with the ruling.
In Justice John Robert’s dissent, he wrote that the ruling had nothing to do with the Constitution, and that for “those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening.” He continued, saying that “stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”
On the contrary, it seems very clear that for many, the legalization of same-sex marriage is a sign of encouragement for many people that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans may finally be able to achieve equality.
However, even as we celebrate, it’s important that we recognize that the fight for equal rights is not over. Gay rights took a great stride today, and while the legalization of same-sex marriage is a huge victory, there is still a long way to go.
Many states, like Indiana, still don’t have legislation banning companies from discriminating based on sexual orientation, while states like Louisiana have laws preventing the advocacy or discussion of homosexuality in sex education.
This kind of legislation threatens the equality that this country is beginning to reach.
The United States has shown once again today that this is a country full of people who are dedicated to fighting for justice.
Hopefully, it is a country that can continue to show that through its support for more legislation that supports equal rights for all people. 
*** 
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Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling Reflects National Mood On Gay Rights

By Eli Winter
Senior Reporter
HOUSTON, Texas, U.S.A.  – A U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states caps off an historic time for the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
In a decision released Friday, justices voted 5-4 that gay marriage is legal nationwide. Media coverage generally reflected American society's increasing support of LGBT issues, but remained sharply divided in some circles.
Evidence of the gradual acceptance of transgender Americans' into mainstream society emerged earlier this month when Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender on the cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair.
The magazine cover, which shows Jenner wearing a short dress, makeup and a wig, was met with both acclaim and animosity. Laverne Cox, a transgender actress on the TV series Orange Is The New Black, wrote that Jenner's appearance in the magazine was a watershed moment for transgender Americans, but that much work needed to be done in the face of the widespread discrimination they face daily.
Meanwhile, Matt Walsh, a blogger for The Blaze, a conservative website, argued that Jenner was delusional, a modern-day wolf in sheep's clothing.
Shortly afterward, a jury in New Jersey ruled that so-called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which attempts to change gay and lesbians' sexual preferences, was consumer fraud – the first such ruling to be made in court.
But the victory for LGBT activists in the Supreme Court's ruling that gay marriage is a constitutionally protected right overshadowed the other advances.
Like media coverage of Jenner's coming out, most columnists accepted the decision. Conservative websites questioned its constitutionality, whether doing so directly or referring to marriage with quotation marks, as to suggest that gay marriages are invalid.
Support of gay marriage has been growing leading up to the decision. In 2010, the Pew Research Center reported that for the first time, more Americans supported gay marriage than opposed it.
The victory comes at a fitting time.
Saturday, June 27th, will see LGBT Americans and allies marching in pride parades across the nation. The annual parades mark the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which were a watershed moment for gay Americans, provoking them to mobilize and become increasingly vocal about improving their rights. 
Progress on gay rights has been steady, but slow. In 1972, the American Psychiatric Association removed the term "homosexuality" from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The next year, an arson during a meeting of Los Angeles' Metropolitan Community Church, known for its large number of LGBT congregants claimed 32 lives. 
Recent years have seen the Supreme Court rule the Defense of Marriage Act invalid and take small steps towards legalizing gay marriage nationwide.
Progress has been even slower for transgender Americans, who only saw the term "gender identity disorder" replaced with "gender dysphoria" in the most recent edition of the DSM, which was published in 2013.
Even though the decision will likely widen the gulf between those who oppose legalizing gay marriage, primarily on religious grounds, and those who support legalizing it for the economic and human rights benefits they argue gay couples deserve, some activists are trying to bridge the gap.
The most notable such activist is Matthew Vines, an LGBT rights activist from Kansas known for his work to make churches more inclusive of LGBT Christians.
Vines wrote a book, God and the Gay Christian, and started the nonprofit organization The Reformation Project.
Conservative Christians argue that his writings are invalid, but the Pew Research Center reports that, in the last decade, religious support of gay marriage has gradually increased at the same time fewer people attend church on a weekly basis. More and more Americans, according to the Center, also think religion is becoming less influential to Americans.
But even as LGBT Americans are becoming more accepted and gaining more rights, discrimination against them remains high in many areas, in large part due to disagreements over religious doctrine.
LGBT Americans are more likely to be homeless, impoverished, and have poorer health than other Americans and much of the reason can be traced back to lingering discrimination in housing, employment and health care.
Discrimination is especially high among transgender Americans, who experience much more severe and frequent discrimination than sexual minorities.
Decisive action needs to be made to reduce and eliminate such discrimination. The Supreme Court's ruling, along with Jenner's coming out, shows that – now more than ever – society supports taking such action.
We can only hope that such progress will be actual, not illusory.
***
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Photo Essay: Checking For Cracks At The Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Outside of Kathmandu is one of Nepal's most sacred Hindu sites, the Pashupatinath temple. It's part of the Kathmandu Valley World Cultural Heritage Site in Gausala, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Cracks in the walls at the Pashupatinath temple compound in Gausala, Kathmandu.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
An ancient stone lion outside the Pashupatinath temple in Gausala, Kathmandu.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
A stone water tap in the Pashupatinath temple area of Gausala, Kathmandu.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Buildings in the Pashupatinath temple area in Gausala, Kathmandu.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Earthquake damage to a roof in the Pashupatinath temple compound.
Nicshal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
A pedestrian in Kathmandu passes a home destroyed by the earthquakes that hit Nepal this spring.


Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Buildings in Kathmandu damaged in the earthquake.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Homes in Chahabil, Kathmandu damaged in the earthquakes

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
A large Kathmandu housing complex damaged in the earthquakes, now empty.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Large cracks in the exterior walls show serious damage to this residential building in Kathmandu.
***
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Friday, June 19, 2015

America Can't Be A Nation Of Bystanders While A Racist Murders Nine Innocents

By Garret Reich
Junior Reporter
GLENWOOD, Iowa, U.S.A. – As it is, does there happen to be a context to pulling a gun on innocent people?  Or a context for pulling one in a church prayer circle because of the race of the worshippers?  
In Charlestown, South Carolina this week, there was what many would call a “church massacre” when a gunman killed six women and three men.

Police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof for the murders. According to various media reports, Roof announced at the church that his intent was to kill black people.
This alone is a matter that must be discussed.  What is being taught in schools and households that white youth of America have the desire to shoot African Americans?
Putting aside the inclination youth might have towards guns and automatic weapons, what is happening in the United States that one citizen terrorizes others?
While Roof’s own mental health and personal background must be investigated, attacks like these also reflect back on the country and community where Roof was raised.  
Over the past few years, racial issues have been a topic in our political arena.  Many in the Democratic Party claim that racial discrimination is still a problem, while many in the Republican Party say it is mostly non-existent.
But genocidal episodes such as these point to the conclusion that racial discrimination presides today.  And it’s not simply within those old enough to have a say in national party politics, but in our youth.  
Despite the pain that overwhelmed Charleston, people in South Carolina did not fail to come together to support one another.  
Alas, while a journalist has to stay unbiased in many conditions, days like these leave many a writer speechless.
The graceful beauty in the history of an African American church and the kindness the congregation offers to any man or woman who enters is extraordinary.  Despite the pain and sorrow that African Americans feel from the severe mistreatment and enslaving of their ancestors, many of them welcome strangers in with open hearts.
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was one of these congregations, as they received the gunman into their small prayer group with love.
The comfort that was once felt in African American churches before last Wednesday is now violated.  The natural human reactions of doubt and fear to any extremist attack such as this will no doubt be left in churches and other places of religion.
Just as slavery and racial discrimination was finally becoming an issue that could be discussed on a respectful level between two parties, it now becomes another matter entirely.  
No longer can the people in the United States stand by to watch, absentmindedly, the pain that comes from senseless killing.  
As a white teenage girl in a small Caucasian town in Southwest Iowa, the news from Charleston leaves me astonished and slightly dumbstruck.
I hear plenty about attacks like these and the impact they have on the families involved.  However, this has never happened to me personally, which leaves me looking on as a bystander at what I consider a terroristic strike.
This alone scares me because, as bystanders, most citizens in the United States get used to witnessing these shootings with a lack of feelings one way or another.
Further, to deny that the majority of those killed by guns are members of racial minorities is to be actively ignorant of modern issues.
The murder of these nine innocent people warrants action. In all honesty, there is never a context for a racist killing spree, whether it be in a street, a park, or a prayer circle of a welcoming church.   
***
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Charleston Massacre: Racist Hate Won’t End Until People Stop Labeling

By Jeevan Ravindran
Junior Reporter
LONDON, United Kingdom – The world is reeling after a white gunman opened fire in a black church on Wednesday night, killing nine innocent people at a Bible study. We all have one question on our minds – what is the world coming to?
In 2015, the year when a transgender woman can appear on the cover of Vanity Fair and receive almost unanimous global support, you’d think people would have learned that there is so much more to a person than their skin color, gender, sexuality or nationality.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the truth is, they haven't.
The atrocity at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 19 broke what little trust people were starting to have in one another, and forced us to regress at least a few years.

The fact that the alleged gunman, Dylann Roof, 21, displayed anti-black propaganda on his Facebook profile is a warning that today’s youth aren’t as accepting as they seem. If one person can cause this much damage, how many more like him are out there?
We have to wonder where things went wrong. Although some people still struggle in accepting race equality, even traditionally white supremacist states like Mississippi have achieved full integration. This must mean that people are still encouraging their children to think that they are better than others just because they‘re white.
In the future, this is going to become a sickening cycle in which ethnic minorities are constantly targeted by a certain group of people.
Gun control laws aren’t doing much to help. Although the Obama administration has reacted to all gun crime and promised to do more to reduce it, yesterday was proof that it’s not helping.
It’s time for the illegalization of firearms. The U.S. still hasn’t signed the Arms Trade Treaty, which says that nations must not export firearms. But the government has to do something – and soon.
Otherwise, how will we be able to answer future generations when they ask us why we allowed such things to happen?
I can’t help thinking maybe this is a wake-up call for all of us. Just earlier this week, the tabloids were splattered with stories of Rachel Dolezal, the woman who “identifies as black,” but is biologically white. She’s been condemned and ridiculed all over the world.
Perhaps this is the cosmic way of telling us, “Who really cares whether she’s black or white?” Maybe she should even be admired – in a world where such crimes are still happening, she’s found such love for a race that she doesn’t even biologically belong to. In that respect, when we’re trying to put labels on everyone, it’s hardly surprising that today’s youth can’t see past the labels.
Sometimes you just wish you could tell these people, For God’s sake, you have a black president. Just get over yourselves.
It’s not that simple, but if everyone drops the labels, the haters won’t really have any choice but to do the same.
***
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Go Back To The Park With Jurassic World


By Alan Burkholder
Senior Reporter
BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. – Kids love dinosaurs. Well, most kids love dinosaurs, anyway. That one simple fact is the reason why, after 22 years, Jurassic Park is still considered a classic movie. 
The original Jurassic Park, released in 1993, tells the story of a rich scientist named John Hammond who uses biotechnology to bring dinosaurs back to life as exhibits in an amusement park. Long story short, things go wrong, the carnivorous beasts start hunting the people sent to scout out the island, and eventually a select few survivors leave on a helicopter, never to return.
Except for the fact that somebody decided to go back and reopen the park sometime during the 14-year break between 2001's poorly received Jurassic Park III and this year's Jurassic World, which critics are hailing as the one good sequel to the original Spielberg movie.
In Jurassic World, the park is open for business, and actually doing fairly well both attendance-wise and safety-wise. Our two main characters are two young brothers, Gray, played by Ty Simpkins, and Zach, played by Nick Robinson.
They go to the island to visit their Aunt Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who actually oversees much of the park's operations. Her ex-boyfriend Owen, played by rising star Chris Pratt, also works at the park, training a pack of raptors to follow his command.
The acting in this movie, unlike the other three Jurassic Park movies, is fairly solid. The characters are nothing revolutionary, but none of the dialogue feels forced or unnatural.
But no one watches a dinosaur movie because of the humans. (Well, except maybe me and a few other people.)
Most people who watch dinosaur movies want to see dinosaurs. Fortunately, Jurassic World has dinos in abundance, as well as extinct sea creatures and flying reptiles because that way, nowhere is truly safe once all hell breaks loose. That is not a spoiler, by the way. In movies like this, hell ALWAYS breaks loose.
At its heart, Jurassic World isn't aiming to be a Best Picture nominee. It knows what the audience came for. Dinosaurs. People getting eaten. Action. Car chases. Explosions.
If you're worried about being bored by deep philosophical discussions of ethics and safety – which , fair warning, happens a few times – don't worry. All of that stays off to the side to focus on the giant flesh-eating beasts that roam the island.
If you're a fan of high art, then you've come to the wrong place. I enjoyed this movie a lot, but if you don't like action movies, then you're not going to like this.
But if you appreciate high-stakes chases and innocent people – as well as a few selfish or stupid characters who we all wanted to see get the ax – getting terrorized by creatures that should have died out 65 million years ago, then Jurassic World is one thrill ride you won't easily forget.

And who knows? Maybe you actually will start thinking about the ethics of raising dinosaurs. Before you shrug off the notion and go back to munching on popcorn while a giant hybrid dinosaur runs amok.

***
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Monday, June 1, 2015

Nigeria's New President Promises To Tackle Boko Haram, National Economy And More

By Linus Okechukwu
Senior Reporter
NSUKKA, Enugu, Nigeria – Insecurity, endemic corruption, fuel and power shortages will be tackled head on, Nigeria's new leader, President Muhammadu Buhari told a cheering crowd at his inauguration ceremony Friday in Eagles Square nestled in the capital city of Abuja.
“Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us,” he said with a tone full of optimism. “We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.”
A former military ruler from 1984 to 1985, Buhari defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan in a national election in March.
Though the tasks ahead seem daunting, Buhari said, they are by no means insurmountable.
With little progress made so far by security forces in tackling Boko Haram terrorists, Buhari announced that the Command and Control Center in Abuja would have to be relocated to Maiduguri until the insurgents were totally subdued.
The city of Maiduguri is in the northeastern state of Borno which lies closer to two other northeastern states, Adamawa and Yobe. All have been ravaged by brazen acts of terrorism perpetuated by Boko Haram terrorists.
According to reports from the BBC, more than the 1.5 million people have been affected by the activities of the terrorists. The insurgents who hope to establish a caliphate in northern Nigeria garnered global attention when they abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, a community in Borno state, more than a year ago.
Muhammadau Buhari, in a photo
from his official Facebook page.
Until these missing schoolgirls "and all other innocent persons held hostage by the insurgents" are rescued, Buhari said, Nigeria shall lay no claims to defeating the terrorists.
"This government will do all it can to rescue them alive," said Buhari, a 72-year-old Muslim from northern Nigeria who is seen as being incorruptible.
He dismissed claims that the dreaded terrorist group had any association with Islam, adding that a sociological study to figure out the origin, causes, sponsors and international connections of Boko Haram would be commissioned in the wake of hostilities between the government and the group.
Speaking of the corruption which has milked Nigeria of stupendous fortunes, the new president promised never to allow it to flourish under his watchful eyes.
He also said that the Nigerian economy was "in deep trouble" and would require that proper care be given not just to the ailing economy, which is reported to be the largest in Africa, but also to unemployment, railways, roads and power.
Buhari, who was the first opposition candidate to win a presidential election since independence in 1960, said it was a "national shame" for the country to generate only 4,000 megawatts.
“We will not allow this (power shortage) to go on," he said.
To tackle unemployment, he said, there is an urgent need to revive agriculture, solid minerals mining and distribution of credits to small and medium size businesses to enable them thrive.
Buhari said he would do everything within his powers to promote responsible and accountable governance at all levels.
He equally promised to cooperate with the international community to combat threats of terrorism, sea piracy, financial and cybercrime, climate change and other challenges confronting the 21st century.
Nigeria’s standards of education and healthcare services would improve, he said.
"I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody," he said, apparently trying to tell Nigerians of his sense of dedication to the clarion call to duty. "We have an opportunity. Let us take it.”
***
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