Stepping Out In Nigeria…
Best known for its 419 international criminal scams, you know, the ones that start ‘Hello my friend, God be with you and keep you safe I am Sani Saro-Wiwa and need your bank details so I can give you billions of dollars..’ usually, at best, ending up with a clean out of your bank and at worse you take up the invitation to visit the capital and come home in a body bag!
Nigeria sits in the West of Africa with its coastal feet soaking in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea. Generally in the south you’ll find the Christians and in the north the Muslims.
If you are really lucky, in the North East, you’ll share a banana or two with Mohammed Yusuf leader of Boko Haram, a terrorist jihad Islamic sect dedicated to ousting the infidels, as you wait for your ransom money to be paid or better still a failed attempt to rescue you. Fun or what!
Boko Haram translates to ‘western education is sacrilege or a sin’, Yusuf founded the movement in late 2001and in 2011it was responsible for 450 killings.
Violence isn’t restricted to Boko Haram, the Country is full of it from clashes between Muslims and Christians near Lake Chad to the lawless capital Lagos where you can join in with the daily muggings, car-jacking’s, robberies, assaults and murdering of any unsuspecting foreigner who just happens to be around, broad daylight or black of night, it doesn’t make any difference. Don’t bother telling the uniformed police or soldiers as many of them are responsible for murdering just for the fun of it, what a hoot!
As well as the 419 accolade Nigeria boasts one of the highest crime rates in the world with around 100 murders and 1300 thefts for every 100,000 people. Organised crime spreads across Europe where drug dealing, counterfeiting and credit card fraud are the norm. Just ask the Germans, it seems the Nigerians really like Germany.
Out and About:
You can walk of course, or try the dilapidated railway, but you’d miss the excitement of driving around the long-distance roads built in the 70’s by the world’s richest oil companies where accidents are commonplace, who would miss this? Not to mention the dangers posed by unauthorised checkpoints staffed by armed bandits, police and the military with the sole purpose of making money either by robbing or kidnapping you. If you are up for a smack on the nose, punch in the mouth or club on the head try to engage in these activities in one of the cities and have access to lots of dollars as the Health System is limited to cities and costs an arm and a leg (you can of course donate these for sale if you are down on your financial luck). Government and International Aid money earmarked to improve the population’s health is usually spent in the Prada Arcade at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ll, Milan or deposited in a Government leader’s personal account in the Deutsche Bank Frankfurt.
As a leaving present you could come home with a dose of meningitis, cholera, measles or gastroenteritis. So prolific are these that the Saudi’s once banned all Nigerians from entering the Kingdom and visiting the Islamic world’s holiest shrines.
For more information on this and many other worthwhile places to visit in the world why not attend one of the author’s regular personal and corporate safety courses designed to lessen the possibility of a corporate manslaughter charge if your employees are sent away without basic safety knowledge.
The news that every agency is to blame for Baby Peter’s death leads me to ask a simple question. Where was the lead agency in this case? In every child protection case, one agency should take responsibility for sharing information effectively between all agencies, and it’s usually the local authority. Without communication and coordination, social workers are unlikely to gain access at the right time, or find themselves on the front line, without the knowledge they need.
I’m sure that every frontline member of staff, from the police to the social worker, who came into contact with Baby Peter, knows that more could have been done. But how can one person make up for the lack of communication that has plagued this case? I believe strongly that the local authority should have been responsible and that without their leadership, it was impossible to protect Baby Peter.
Working alone, many social workers knock on a door and fear for their own safety when the door is answered. No-one takes on this type of work without a strong personal motivation to help others, but even this can be superseded if a social worker is faced with danger and threats to their personal safety. Often the fear takes over and they can fail to challenge the family of the child effectively enough. Is this the right atmosphere in which to make profound and emotive decisions about a child’s welfare?
It’s clear that changes are needed. A central place for this sensitive information to be stored, shared and accessed is essential, and the Government urgently needs to find an effective solution. Social workers should no longer be handling these cases alone – it should be standard practice for two people to work on a case, providing the support they need to make the most appropriate judgements in these difficult, disturbing and challenging cases.
Kenn is available for comment, please call 07831 612688 or fill in the contact form.
Relationship break down doesn’t happen overnight it is usually the result of a long unhappy period that quite often includes the months of pregnancy.
Increasingly, especially in Western society, relief from life’s stress comes from drowning the sorrows with alcohol. It doesn’t work of course but that’s beside the point. People think it does and so the self abuse of copious amounts of wine, sprits and beers will continue.
Although many pregnant women give up drinking many more don’t. They try to cut down but then the need to ‘feel better’ about their lot in life drives them back to alcohol.
In many parts of the world authorities are tackling what they believe is one of the main reasons for the increase in children being born with learning difficulties, hyperactivity, poor memory and speech difficulties. These difficulties are collectively referred to as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). According to The National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – UK, this is such a well recognised condition in the rest of the world that there are over 250,000 existing websites on the subject (if you are searching you will need to use the international spelling of ‘Fetal’).
In the US all products containing alcohol carries a health warning ‘(US) GOVERNMENT WARNING: ACCORDING TO THE SURGEON GENERAL, WOMEN SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DURING PREGNANCY BECAUSE OF THE RISK OF BIRTH DEFECTS’.
- Alcohol can cause more damage to an unborn baby than any other drug.
- FAS is one of the leading known causes of mental retardation.
- FAS can cause serious lifelong social and behavioural problems.
- FAS and alcohol related birth defects are 100% preventable if no alcohol is consumed during pregnancy.
- There is no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy.
The National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – UK
Helpline: 0870 0333 700