24 Willamette J. Int'l L. & Dis. Res. 1 (2016-2017)
Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice in Humanitarian Action: Eight Steps to Humanitarian Wellness in Nigeria

handle is hein.journals/wildisres24 and id is 5 raw text is: 








BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE IN
         HUMANITARIAN ACTION: EIGHT STEPS TO
           HUMANITARIAN WELLNESS IN NIGERIA


                          PHILIP C. AKA*t

I. INTRODUCTION            ........................................ 1
II. BIAFRA  AND   ITS AFTERMATH           ............. .................9
III. EIGHT FATEFUL STEPS TO HUMANITARIAN
      WELLNESS IN NIGERIA           .................     ......... 15
      A. Taking Individual Human  Rights Seriously..       ............. 15
      B. Taking Collective Human  Rights Seriously .............  21
      C. Taking Political Restructuring Seriously ......  ......... 24
      D. Taking Punishment  for Human  Rights Violations
           Seriously, Including Reparations for Past Human Rights
           Abuses ..................................... 31
      E. Stemming  the Influence of Religion in Politics................... 34
      F. Electing Competent Governments  Able and Willing to
           Handle the Preceding Five Assignments     ...  ............. 36
      G. Maintaining Civilian Rule..   .........................  39
      H. External Support or Assistance ............      ......... 48
IV. CONCLUSION                               .................................... 50


                          I. INTRODUCTION

     For various  historical and contemporary  reasons, Nigeria  is a
country of immense  strategic importance for the United States' foreign
policy. Historically, from the 1970s until recently under President Barack
Obama,  the United  States depended on Nigeria for a good  part of its
energy needs.'  Contemporarily,  the global war on  terrorism and the


* Professor of Political Science, Chicago State University; Adjunct Professor of Law, Indiana
University Robert H. McKinney School of Law-Indianapolis; Member of the Illinois Bar;
former Vice Chair, ABA Committee on International Human Rights; and Corresponding
Editor, International Legal Materials (ILM); S.J.D., IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law-
Indianapolis; Ph.D., Howard University; LL.M. (summa cum laude), IU Robert H. McKinney
School of Law-Indianapolis; J.D., Temple University Beasley School of Law; M.A.,
University of North Texas; B.A. (magna cum laude), Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
This article originated as a presentation at a workshop on Rethinking the Origins of
Humanitarian Action in Africa: Religion, Secularism, and the Nigerian Civil War (1967-


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