Nigeria’s Squandered Opportunity: The Reckless Writings of a Stanford Professor, By George Kerley

When Stanford University’s Professor Joel Brinkley wrote a largely incoherent opinion article on Vietnam, leading Vietnamese in the United States and back home in Vietnam came together, petitioned, countered him and then demanded that he resign his position at Stanford University.

One of them called the article ‘the most misinformed, bigoted piece of claptrap on the subject of Vietnam that I have ever had the displeasure to read”…

See Petition by Vietnamese in America calling from Professor Brinkley’s resignation from Stanford University here

https://www.change.org/petitions/professor-joel-brinkley-stanford-university-resign-from-teaching

Also, the Stanford Vietnamese Student Association came out to release an Op-Ed in the Stanford Daily, in solidarity with numerous Stanford university on-campus organizations where they described Joel Brinkley’s article ‘A perversion of the cultural image of Vietnam and an antithesis to the mission of tolerance that Stanford University – students and faculty alike- should promote…”

See Op-Ed here http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/02/08/op-ed-a-response-to-joel-brinkleys-offensive-article/

Professor Brinkley’s eventually apologized. The apology is also provided on the petitions page.

One commentator on the Brinkley article, Iain Purdie of Glasgow, UK stated thus “a man who is unable to research a small article on a country with volumes of data available about it is obviously incapable of reliably teaching facts to students. At a guess, he is either lazy, opportunistic or racist – none of which I will find acceptable in a person in charge of the education of others”. (Culled from the petition page provided above)

Trumpet Media through which the published article was syndicated, also offered an apology for the article stating that the opinion article did not meet ‘their’ journalistic standards.

A few days ago, the LA Times published an article titled ‘ Nigeria’s Squandered Opportunity’ authored by the same Professor Joel Brinkley.

Two online portals SaharaReporters and Premium Times again re-published the article.

Obviously fed by slave driven indigenous collaborators who are bent on continuing in their slave-master mentality to cater for their daily bread, Professor Brinkley went on to try paint a largely untruthful and gloomy picture about our country Nigeria much of which was based on dubious falsehood, misrepresentations and misinformation many of which are just outrageous to even mention.

Professor Brinkley started his article by stating that outside President Jonathan’s offices sat 17 ambulances, just in case he or any one of his aides fell ill.

He went on to state that no actual health facility nationwide had as many and that as soon as a Nigerian newspaper took a photograph of the ambulances and published a story about them, they suddenly disappeared adding that they may have been taken to an underground garage.

What manner of misrepresentation!

Why did the Stanford Professor not venture out to find out why there were 17 ambulances PARKED?

He may have been told they were they were to be donated to key medical centers across the country and in Abuja!

He did not. Rather, he fell back to the unreliable junk information fed to him back his hirelings and snoopers.

He ended his article with the sentence, “Good luck Mr. Jonathan. Its time you are impeached’.

Interestingly, maybe we should also say that this is just the right time for Professor Brinkley to also resign from this teaching position at Stanford where he is supposed to be molding minds and building the leaders of tomorrow.

So Professor Brinkley, I hereby join voices with the Vietnamese students at Stanford and DEMAND that you RESIGN immediately.

You can continue to build and nurture MINDS with the measure of falsehood, misrepresentations and misinformation that you peddle around.

While we understand the various challenges that our country is experiencing at the moment, we must never fail to remember how far we have come especially through the dark years of despotic and kakistocratic military leadership which almost destroyed the very fabric of this country.

We must learn to stand up and defend our country from those who seek to see it destroyed or undermined.

There are more infrastructural development programs being deployed across the country today than in the past years of military rule and into the initial years of our budding democracy.

There has been a lot more vigor and push in reforming the power sector today after decades of decay and neglect.

The same goes for the educational sector which suffered so much decay in decades and have left the current administration with a lot more than do than ever before.

Teachers are now being retrained, decrepit schools are now being revamped and the Federal Ministry of Education is taking the initiative to drive Federal presence across the states even as the various state governments are also being energized to take charge and save the state of our education.

Thanks to the Internet and the power of social media, Nigerians have built the ability to report the state of educational decay and the capacity to get government and interest groups to get to action.

This has also helped check and quicken action on the state of infrastructure decay that has encroached into so many sectors of our national being.

After about two decades of grim neglect, decay and massive embezzlement of billions of dollars by past governments, President Jonathan has ensured the return of working railways in Nigeria even as tracks and trains are being upgraded to live up to the challenges of the new century.

The past two and one-half years have seen massive investments in the area of healthcare development. Medical workers such as doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians have had to undergo new training to update their skills and capabilities.

Healthcare centers are being rebuilt, renovated, rehabilitated and equipped across the country.

We may never be able to restore the wasted yesteryears but Nigerians now recognize the need to get Nigeria working again.

There was a time when journalists and writers were sent to jail without trial for writing negative reports about our country Nigeria. Those years are gone.

President Jonathan is committed to doing what is best for Nigeria and Nigerians. He needs the support and guidance of all Nigerians.

The population of our country continues to increase each day and so are its challenges.

Government alone cannot do it all.

Parents, guardians, schools, teachers, friends etc must take charge in the battle to deal with the new challenges facing our country especially in areas of unemployment, security etc.

We must encourage ourselves to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors so that we can all build the skills required to create wealth and new jobs.

We must work together to build sustainable skills required in engaging government so that they will continue to do the right thing for everyone.

We must work with ourselves to ensure that we work within our means in the areas of family planning, career planning, economic planning etc.

When we build ourselves, we build Nigeria.

Read Professor Brinkley’s  controversial article here.


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  • benueman

    Please shut up, for how long must you babysit a clueless president

  • Tim

    You are nothing but a disgrace, for you to come out and defend this clueless individual you call President Jonathan then you definitely have no shame or conscience. Your kids (if you have any) should be ashamed of you for you’re nothing but a nuisance.

  • truth

    typical sycophant .continue with the self deceit and see how far it will lead the country with your likes.

  • Ehidiamhen Okpamen

    You guys are all sentimental talkers who follow the mouths of clueless Nigerians. Any of you critizing the writer of this piece should come out with facts against it, are secondary schools not getting a face lift? Don’t you get better electricity than under obasanjo or abacha? Our health insurance scheme is better isn’t it? The roads I travel through are on constant work or aren’t they? Keep on talking from your rooms. Maybe you want Pres. Jonathan to come to your house and make a presentation of what he is doing or he puts you on a N100,000 salary before you agree he is at least trying to work. I’m not saying he’s the best we should hope for or he’s a saint, no, but he’s definitely on the path towards becoming one.
    Instead of proferring solutions which you obsviously wouldn’t be able to, you sit and continuously critize after efforts have been put in place for progress.
    No one is going to spoon feed us ok!

    • Johnson

      Just to add that after President Jonathan gave the unethical pardon to the criminal Alamieyesigha, he told Nigerians that he does not have apologies to Nigerian citizens. I think that is unbecoming of a president.

    • Soetan. A

      Are you serious? You said electricity supply is better says who? How many mega watts does phcn produce now? You talked about roads constantly under construction anytime you travel, how many routes do you actually ply?
      Economic growth, development, corruption are those getting better or worse?
      Please anytime we Nigerians talk about our country we need to be sincere with ourselves.
      Agreed things are improving but it ought to be at a faster pace and we can only achieve that if corruption is tackled head on.

  • TheHenri

    It is a shame to read this article in response to Brinkley’s original opinion. There are no two ways to describe something when it’s bad and that includes an administration. The one presently headed by Goodluck Jonathan is bad, period!
    If you are asking for the citizen of a nation to support a government in moving Nigeria forward, have you given Nigerians a reason to do so? President Jonathan is just clueless. He has no idea what he’s doing and it is almost impossible to justify the failure of the Nigerian state as it is.

  • Bosede Adegbemile

    George Kerley, let me first put it to you that I am a Nigerian citizen. This is a democracy. You have every right to challenge Mr. Brinkley’s claims. The reason for my position is democracy and your
    fundamental human right . Also, this is what gives me the right to challenge you. Now this is my position. Can you please POINT to one aspect of the write up that is wrong both factually and
    interpretatively? The ONLY point you have raised which the online apologists of President Jonathan such as mpitkwelu/afam/deri/Yussuff/ is that corruption did not start under President Jonathan. And the simple counter is that, that is obvious conceptually in terms of time. But the
    derivative is that though it did not start under him IT HAD INCREASED PHENOMENALLY UNDER HIM. In other words President Jonathan IS DOING NOTHING TO STOP IT . As A Nigerian I think given that he has dashed the hopes of so nay people through this act he deserves to leave. Please challenge that. We have sufficient FACTS to throw at you-Dan Etete Malibu oil scandal case /Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke’s Petroleum ministry serial scandal and corruption -Please go and read Mr. Ribadu’s report on that industry under Mrs madueke in the DUST BIN/TRASH CAN in Aso Rock under President Jonathan-in other words President Jonathan got the report and threw it in the CAN!! /Madam Oteh/Babalakin/Ibori alliance/ etc. Now this is the point-President Jonathan is COMPLETELY FEEBLE IN PROSECUTING CORRUPTION BECAUSE HE AND HIS ACOLYTES PROFIT FROM IT LIKE NIGERIAN RULERS. CAN YOU PLEASE CHALLENGE THIS CLAIM? How does this contradict Mr. Brinkley? How is it different from what Mr. Brinkley wrote? None.Now please do not forget the occasion of Mr. Brinkley’s essay. The ocassion of his essay is THE PARDON GIVEN TO THE CRIMINAL ALAMIEYESEIGHA by President Jonathan. And these are the facts about Alamieyeseigha. He is still an internationally wanted criminal. Once a WHOLE Nigerian governor -Alamieyeseigha- allegedly DRESSED LIKE A WOMAN to run away from a British jail. This has not been refuted. Now how does the fact that corruption did not start under President Jonathan call to question the fact that President Jonathan granted an immoral and criminal pardon to Alamieyesegha, and that Nigerian citizens of ALL backgrounds except YOU have CONDEMNED President Jonathan’s act as immoral and unethical? As fellow Nigerian this is my first shot to your article. We are going to have GOOD TIME rebutting you item by item. But let me take the second aspect which is about “slave driven collaborators” . In other words you are referring to those
    who wrote to say Joel was right. I am one of them I will repeat what has been said severally on this in response to President Jonathan’s apologists. Please if you are talking about alleged “inferiority complex” of those who support Mr. Brinkley’s write up and the position of the US MISSION in NIGERIA on the pardon given to the criminal called Alamieyeseigha-please do the following. I will THROW these facts at your face. In order to show INDEPENDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY, SUPERIORITY COMPLEX, please do the following(i) ask all the ministers under President Jonathan whose children are studying abroad to please return home. They should please return to Nigerian schools, (ii) Ask Mrs Jonathan NOT to go to a foreign hospital for health reasons any more. For patriotic reasons she should please go to Nigerian hospitals, (iii) Ask Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke not to go to Britain for her health. For nationalistic “non” inferiority complex reason she should please go to Nigerian hospital. (iv) ask Senator Mark not to go to foreign hospital, he should go to Nigerian hospital. Finally, we know some of our ministers hold American Green cards and citizenship. Since you apologists of President Jonathan want to show how patriotic and nationalistic you are , please ask these minsters to return their GREEN CARDs/Residency and CITIZENSHIP to the foreign countries where they got them from. We need to begin to show our soverignty, independence, nationalism, patriotism . And those should start from the leadership. And to further show how inferiority complex works-what did Alamieyeseigha do with the billions of naira he stole? he laundered them and used them TO BUY PROPERTIES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. One of these properties is in Maryland. But wait a minute, I am not talking about Maryland in Lagos, Nigeria. I am talking about Maryland, USA, Maryland a state in the US!!! So Mr. Kerley: did the criminal Alamieyeseigha -who the President you are defending pardoned display nationalism and patriotism-when he did not invest the money he stole in Nigeria or in any African country but used it to buy properties in MARYLAND ,US, a foreign country? This is INFERIORITY COMPLEX of a TALL, worst and hopeless order. You steal money and you are investing it in an already developed economy. You cannot even invest it in an African economy needing development. SHAME! As I told you, just for good reasons, we are going to have good conversation on your write up, which as far as I am concerned is a disgrace to Africans, Nigerians and the black race. Why? By your write up, you are telling us that corruption is a norm with black people and that we are incapable of running a modern society. That is the image a handful of Africans like you, and the defenders of President Jonathan’s serial and full scale corruption have given us. We are going to challenge this by rebutting you and rejecting your thought.

  • Good article George Kerley. When America and Ameican leadership have their challenges, how many Nigerians or Nigerian newspapers attack them?
    How many of you will be happy if someone goes out there to write about the marital challenges you have eg your wife is cheating etc. we should fix Nigeria and not allow other people try to put us to shame. A word is good enough for the wise.

    • Otitoju Adamolekun

      Tribesman, This is a response to you and George Kerley. I will itemise the points.

      1. The world is an interconnected democratic global village. This means no leadership of any country is free of criticism FROM ANY PART OF THE WORLD. I do not NEED to give you instances of when Nigerian newspapers have criticized the leaderships in other countries. You will need to educate yourself VERY WELL in this regard in other to join global conversations like this. So this means Mr. Joel Brinkley’s critique is normal, perfect and the right thing to do. It is sound, legitimate and unimpeachable. And Nigerians who love our country (NOT THE CRIMINAL, EVIL,DISGUSTING, CORRUPT LEADERSHIPS AND THEIR DEFENDER LIKE YOU AND KERLEY) passionately welcome Mr. Joel Brinkley’s contribution. We are part of the world, we are morally obliged to live according to certain moral and ethical standards. If you want to live outside the global world you can. But some of us do not want to live in pre-modern, stone age societies. For me I am in FULL support of Brinkley’s observations. They are correct and justified.
      2. According to different countries have challenges. So what follows? Nothing. The point is what kinds of challenges do we have? How many governors and presidents in Europe, US etc will steal their countries’ public treasuries and come and invest same in Africa? Please mention one. So when criminals like Alamieyeseigha, steal and invest the stolen money in foreign countries, you want me to accept that? Or when a character like Babalakin allegedly laundered proceeds of stolen public money with James Ibori, and they would go ahead to invest same in foreign countries, you want me to accept that Babalakin was laundering stolen money on my behalf?. If you accept that he did it on your behalf that is fine-that is your standard. But he did not do it on my behalf, hence I will reject the corruption of our rulers and I welcome the world to expose the looters in Nigeria. Why? It is just disgusting that Nigerian rulers loot and go ahead to invest same money in developed foreign economies. These criminals are not even patriotic enough to invest the stolen money in the Nigerian economy and create employment. They will invest it in already developed economies. It is the worst kind of lack of respect for self.
      3. I will quote another of your statement here: “we should fix Nigeria and not allow other people try to put us to shame”. Characters like you, Kerley and a president like President Jonathan who you defend do not believe we have problems. President Jonathan does no even think we have problems-otherwise he would not sit on monumental corruption and still wonders “what the heck are Nigerians talking about?” I am hearing that President Jonathan’s paid apologists like you, mpitikwelu, afam etc agree for the first time that we have problems. It is people like you and the criminals that are ruling us that put us to shame and not people who exercise their rights and duty to fellow humans by writing about the shame President Jonathan causes us. Let me show you how. You are NEVER shocked that NO ONE WANTS TO VISIT NIGERIA. OF ALL AFRICAN COUNTRIES NIGERIA IS THE LEAST VISITED. AND THAT IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR PROUD, PATRIOTIC AND NATIONALISTIC NIGERIAN CITIZENS LIKE US. IT IS PAINFUL FOR US THAT NO ONE WANTS TO VISIT NIGERIA BECAUSE OF THE SERIAL CRIMINALITIES NIGERIAN RULERS LIKE PRESIDENT JONATHAN AND HIS PAID APOLOGISTS LIKE YOU INFLICT ON OUR ECONOMY THRU ACUTE CORRUPTION. BUT BECAUSE ALL OF YOU CORRUPT NIGERIANS AND THE SO-CALLED RULERS GALLIVANT AROUND THE WORLD, YOU PUT YOUR CHILDREN IN FOREIGN SCHOOLS, YOU DO NOT EVEN CARE THAT NIGERIA IS NOT ATTRACTIVE. YOU ASK “WHY ARE THEY COMPLAINING?” AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT MRS. DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE WHOSE MINISTRY-MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM REELS IN CORRUPTION ONCE SAID. THE MOST RECENT EXAMPLE OF THIS CRIMINALITY FOLLOWED BY NON-CHALLANT ATTITUDE OF OUR RULERS IS THE PUBLIC AND TAX PAYERS’ MONEY GOVERNOR AKPABIO GAVE TUFACE AND HIS WIFE JUST LIKE THAT. AND WHAT DID TUFACE DO, THEY WENT TO DUBAI. MY SIMPLE QUESTION IS: HOW MANY FOREIGNERS COME TO NIGERIA FOR HONEYMOON? HOW MANY FOREIGNERS COME TO NIGERIA TO VISIT? HOW MANY HEADS OF STATE AND THEIR WIVES COME TO NIGERIAN HOSPITALS FOR THEIR HEALTH? IF THAT IS NOT A BIG DEAL FOR YOU, IT IS A BIG DEAL FOR PATRIOTIC AND PROUD NIGERIANS WHO WOULD WANT ORDINARY FOREIGNERS TO VISIT NIGERIA. THEY CANNOT FOR THERE IS NOTING TO VISIT. SO DO FOREIGNERS MAKE NIGERIA UNATTRACTIVE OR THE NIGERIAN CRIMINALS RULING US MAKE NIGERIA UNATTRACTIVE? PLEASE ANSWER . So presidents like President Jonathan who pardon common thieves and criminals shame Nigeria. Criminal rulers who cannot build world class schools, hospitals, good tourist centers, first class universities shame us, and NOT people who write about these things. if you want to STEAL and expect that you will be shielded you must be kidding. IF THERE IS NO SHAME THERE WILL NOT BE SHAME TO WRITE ABOUT. WRITING ABOUT A CRIMINALITY AND SHAME THAT PRESIDENT JONATHAN INFLICTS ON US IS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE SHAME.

      4. Listen Tribesman, have you ever heard a ciivilsed president tell his country men and women that he did a thing and he has no apology? President Jonathan said that. He not only said that he has no apologies to Nigerian tax payers, he said we reject his unethical act because he is from a particular state like the criminal Alamieyeseigha-thereby setting Nigerians against one another. This is the first Nigerian President that WILL NOT CARE TO SET NIGERIANS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. Did Brinkley cause that? Did Brinkley made President Jonathan say what he said? Will an American president take a decision and say he has no apologies to American tax payers? If an American president says that he/she will know he/she WILL NEVER BE ELECTED. BUT IN NIGERIA PRESIDENT JONATHAN SAID THAT AND HE STILL FEELS HE SHOULD BE RE-ELECTED, AND SOME OF YOU HIS PAID APOLOGISTS READ SILLY ETHNIC MEANINGS TO THE REJECTION OF WE NIGERIAN CITIZENS TO SUCH CONTEMPTUOUS STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT JONATHAN. IF PRESIDENT JONATHAN SAID HE DOES NOT HAVE APOLOGIES TO WE NIGERIAN CITIZENS, THEN ON BEHALF OF WHO IS HE RULING? AND DID FOREIGNERS CAUSE SUCH SHAMEFUL STATEMENT FROM HIM?
      5. Some of us will not accept a free for all LOOTING of Nigerian treasury and protecting the looters. You are free to want to protect the LOOTERS of NIgerian treasury, who then use the proceeds of LOOT to (i) send their children to the same foreign countries (US, European countries) which you are saying should not criticize you, (ii) take care of themselves in foreign hospitals, (iii) invest in the economies of the same foreign countries. You are free to want to protect the criminal rulers and looters. But we will NOT PROTECT THEM. Looting of our treasury is NOT a Nigerian problem. LOOTING of PUBLIC TREASURY is the problem of a social class in Nigerian-and it is DUBIOUS and FRAUDULENT patriotism to want to protect criminals and LOOTERS of NIGERIAN PUBLIC TREASURY as you want us to do. Truly a word is enough for the wise. WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT THE LOOTING OF OUR TREASURY . WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT A SITUATION WHERE OUR SCHOOLS ARE NOT DEVELOPED AND CHILDREN OF THE LOOTERS OF NIGERIAN TREASURY ARE SENT TO AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES TO READ AND STUDY. A WORD IS REALLY ENOUGH FOR THE WISE. THE MORAL LINE IS DRAWN VERY FIRMLY.

  • Babajide

    Kerley, You must have read or heard the rigging conducted by Akpabio-Gov of Akwa Ibom state. Remember that part of President Jonathan’s plan for 2015 is to pocket the Govenors Forum. When President Jonathan could not pocket Rotimi Amaechi Gov of Rivers State whoc is also the Chair of the original Governor’s Forum, he created PDP Gov’s Forum and made Gov Akpabio of Akwa Ibom chairperson. This is what Akpabio said he did with respect to the last senatorial election: “I used my own hand to strike out the name of the person who has won
    before, and I said it is important for me to give that region a Senator
    in 2007, and I produced Senator Aloysius Etok for you; that’s where he
    comes from” In other words Giv Akpabio a protege of President Jonathan for the 2015 election said HE RIGGED AN ELECTION. My questions are : did Joel Brinkley rig the Akwa Ibom senatorial election? Who is shaming Nigeria? PDP /President Jonathan and paid apologists or those who write about this shame so that there can be a change? Can you, Tribesman/mpitikwelu.afam/deri/Yussuf and other apologists of President Jonathan answer these questions please? You should also tell us where in the world this kinds of thing happen and a Gov will openly inform us that he rigged an election. You may say he is being honest in his confession. And you will be right. But where in the world will this happen and the Gov will dare re-contest? Where in this world will this happen and people(as you have wrongly done) will put the blame of writing about it on those who report such shame?

  • kuku

    Its only a sycophant like George Kerley wud cry foul wen western media unravel d rot in our society. Are u blind 2 behold the despotic, corrupt and profligate xtics of dis present govt. If u wish 2 criticize the prof’s. article, u shud do dat constructively. Anyways u cn go ahead and cry foul, jst hv it in mind : you’re ON YOUR OWN!!!

  • Moses Adekunle

    Like other paid online megaphones of President Jonathan like mpitikwelu, deri, afam, Yussuff etc who openly campaign for President Jonathan and who also campaign for a break up of Nigeria through what they call a republic of SS and SE, you are free to defend President Jonathan’s immoral pardon of a common thief-Alamieyeseigha. You have a right to that even when I disagree with you. but in exercising your right, you have the moral and intellectual obligation to separate our country-Nigeria as an entity as a people- from the leaderships both past and present. Nigerian leaderships do not make up Nigeria. Nigerian leadership is not the same thing as Nigerian citizens. Stop mixing the two up dubiously. So President Jonathan and his coterie of corrupt officials and looters in Aso Rock are not the same as Nigeria. You WILL NEVER catch me speak bad of my fellow Nigerians, but I think President Jonathan is at the head of a gang of robbers and corrupt officials in Aso Rock. I am a Nigerian citizen, and I challenge you to deny this. If so Brinkley is correct and has the duty as an academic to say the truth. Why? Brinkley talked about the leadership. he did NOT pass any negative comments on we Nigerian citizens. So STOP being dubious and whipping up useless sentiments in defense of your corrupt sponsors in Aso Rock under President Jonathan