Occupy Nigeria Relies on Social Media to Mobilize Protesters

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Crowds protesting a rise in fuel prices in Nigeria have used social media to organize opposition. / REUTERS
The massive street protests in Nigeria – an “Occupy Nigeria” movement – have gained traction through a combination of widespread anger at long-standing corruption and the widespread use of social media.

In a country where everything, it seems, is corrupt, including a press that routinely accepts bribes, ordinary citizens are communicating via Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media. Nigerians are protesting against corruption and fuel prices that have nearly doubled to $3.50 a gallon, in a nation where most live on less than $2 a day.

This price hike came about when the government ended fuel subsidies January 1. Demonstrators say the government is in no position to demand sacrifices of ordinary people, when a corrupt elite has siphoned billions from the economy.

The movement uses social media comes in many ways:  Under the Twitter hash-tag Occupy Nigeria, Nigerians have shared photos of dead protestors. Their tweets are debunking local news coverage,  and spreading word of lavish spending by government officials. Hackers have broken into government.

President Goodluck Jonathan also turned to social media, using Facebook to announce his re-election bid last year.  But what might have started as a gimmick to build support has now turned against Jonathan.  Where comments on the president’s Facebook page were once complimentary, the page is now filled with criticism.

Sweep to  Twitter generation fuels rage of Nigeria gas protests

If you are going to the London 2012 Olympics, watch your bets. The International Olympic Committee certainly plans to do so.

The committee is vowing to keep an eye out for suspicious betting patterns, so that betting-related corruption does not threaten the games.

Sports-fixing has been a perennial problem  in the world of athletics. And with the growth of Internet gambling, it has now become a global problem. IOC president Jacques Rogge says that betting-related corruption is as much a threat to the integrity of the Olympic games as doping.  The concern is that with a lot of betting money on the line, there is the chance for manipulation of the athletes and match-fixing.

This is hardly the sportsman-like conduct that the Olympics tries to promote.

Sweep to Olympics 2012: IOC and Betfair work to stamp out corruption

John Edwards in June 2011. / REUTERS
Once he was a presidential contender, now he’s at the courthouse, facing corruption charges.

John Edwards got a two-month delay from the Jan. 30 start of a trial over charges that he violated campaign finance laws to cover up payments to his mistress.  Attorneys for Edwards said that the former one-term North Carolina senator has a “serious” heart condition that will require surgery.

Quite a downfall for a man who was the vice-presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket in 2004.  If convicted of all counts, Edwards faces 30 years in prison. ,

Sweep to Illness postpones Edwards corruption trial

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to see changes to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American firms from bribing foreign officials to get business overseas.

The changes, say the Chamber, would modernize a 1977 law that is being enforced with increasing vigor  – to the dismay of many corporations. The U.S. government opposes the Chamber’s effort, saying it would weaken a law that is a beacon in the fight against global corruption.

Now, a coalition of 30 human rights groups has written every member of Congress urging them not to amend the FCPA, as the law is known, and has lined up against the Chamber’s efforts.

Those signing the letter include Amnesty International, Oxfam and Transparency International -USA.  They say the Chamber’s proposed changes would “significantly undermine the statute as a tool to curb corruption.”

Given the potential for mischief in a presidential election ear, the Chamber has said it will not submit its legislative proposals to Congress until after the November election.

Sweep to Civil society lobbies U.S. Congress on bribery law

 

 

 

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo is co-founding executive editor of 100Reporters and an award-winning former foreign, national and cultural correspondent for The New York Times and the Baltimore Sun.
Diana Jean Schemo

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