Kuku launches book, ‘Remaking the Niger-Delta’

September 25, 2012 in Gus in the Media, Print

The following article was published by Checkout Magazine on September 22nd 2012

The special adviser to the President of Nigeria on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon Kingsley Kuku yesterday made official launch of his long-awaited book, ‘Remaking the Nigeria Delta: Challenges and Opportunities’.

Speaking at Jasmine Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, the venue of the book launch, Hon. Kingsley Kuku took the audience on a historical voyage of the agitation of the people of the oil-producing Niger-Delta region of Nigeria for improved livelihood and sustainable development, which led to violent armed struggle and insurgency due to government’s neglect.

The author, while expressing his delight on the achievements so far made by the Presidential Amnesty Programme introduced by the Nigerian government in 2009, warned that the government should increase support for the initiative to make lasting the unusual peace that is presently experienced in the region.

He said the book was a child of necessity delivered to address, in detailed terms, the past and recent events that led to the unrest in the region and efforts made by some notable Nigerians to find solution to the national impasse. Read the rest of this entry →

Boris J. youth violence strategy: ‘sabotaged’ and ‘a shambles’

March 6, 2012 in Gus in the Media, Print

Boris Johnson’s undertaking to get to grips with knife and youth crime was one of the most welcome of his pledges during the last mayoral campaign. Since moving in to City Hall he’s put time and energy into delivering. But what has really been achieved?

Three members of an advisory group Boris set up to help him tackle serious youth violence have made known their disappointment with his administration’s approach to the issue. The educationalist and social investment consultant Professor Gus John describes the mayoral strategy as “directionless” and “a shambles.” Leadership coach and social policy adviser Viv Ahmun believes the group’s work was undermined by people around the mayor. Richard Taylor, the father of Damilola Taylor who was killed when aged 10 in south London in November 2000, was “hugely frustrated” by his experience with the mayor’s regime. Read the rest of this entry →

Riots: The People, the State and the Media

November 26, 2011 in Gus talks, Speeches

Prof. Gus John gave the keynote address at the Media and the Riots Conference’s Big Debate event on Saturday, November 26th, 2011, at the London College of Communication. The full text of his speech:

I thank Marc Wadsworth and his team for inviting me to share some thoughts with you at this most important debate.

I have to confess to a wearying sense of deja vu about all this, for reasons which will be apparent in the course of this presentation.

There has been much debate since the events of 6th August to 13th August 2011 as to whether what the nation had experienced was a riot, a race riot, an uprising, an attempt by organised gangs to subvert law and order and outwit the police on a massive scale, or an orchestrated and opportunistic outburst of criminal activity led by gangs and known criminals, with ‘feral’, ‘feckless’, ‘greedy’, thuggish and morally bankrupt ‘mobs’ joining them on a spree of burglary, looting, criminal damage and arson…, or all of those.

For me, the most disturbing thing about the way the nation responds to events such as the violent civil disorder last August is that politicians, the courts, the media and ‘disgusted of Wilmslow and Tunbridge Wells’ behave as if the civil unrest and those who engaged in it were suddenly visited upon an orderly, socially cohesive and consensual nation from nowhere and cannot, therefore, be treated as if they belong among us and should be guaranteed the same rights as us. Read the rest of this entry →

London Riots: a youthful underclass

August 11, 2011 in Gus in the Media, Print

Camden New Journal's website

Chalk Farm became one more of some unlikely places to be targeted by violent street protesters in the last few days.  It was also the scene of yet one more of those senseless killings of young people by their peers in recent months.  What is it that connects these events?

The serious violent unrest we witnessed in London since Saturday has involved principally the urban poor, unemployed and restive.  A majority of the protesters will have had the experience of being stopped and searched by the police repeatedly and would be aware of the number of deaths of black people in the custody of the police or while engaging with the police, typically with no action taken against those responsible for those killings.

It was always only a matter of time before the police use of ‘Stop & Search’ powers, however justifiably, resulted in an incendiary incident such as we saw in Tottenham on 6 August.  The conditions for what followed have always been there.  They were there in 1981 and have been there since, however much underlying factors may have altered. Read the rest of this entry →

African Diaspora’s programme of action: economic cooperation

February 21, 2011 in Gus talks, Papers

The following paper was submitted to the African Diaspora’s Technical Committee of Experts, which met in Pretoria, South Africa, on February 21st, 2011. 

Preamble

Following the report the rapporteur for the Economic Cooperation break out group gave to the Meeting in the penultimate session on Tuesday 22 February, Mr Richard Cambridge made a helpful and informative intervention in which he dealt with the issue of remittances.  I was a member of the Social Cooperation group, dealing with educational, social and cultural affairs.

The rapporteur’s report highlighted the proposal that there should be a bank to handle remittances and that existing banks with an enlarging profile in Africa and the Diaspora should be used for that purpose.  Eco and Standard banks were cited as examples of those.  The report and Mr Cambridge’s comments also focused on the proposal that there should be an African Institute for Remittances linked to or in parallel with an African Diaspora Investment Fund. Read the rest of this entry →