Posted: Fri, January 05, 2018 | By: Nigeria
Brighter Brains Institute will soon be launching a humanist think tank in Nigeria, titled the “Nigeria Humanist Policy Centre.”
The Nigeria Humanist Policy Centre (NHPC) will promote its opinions and recommendations on Nigerian social issues, especially in the categories of education, economic development, religion, human rights, family planning and international relations.
NHPC will present a secular humanist point-of-view to the Nigerian public via multiple media channels: website, Facebook, Gbooza, twitter, LinkedIn, and newsletter mailed directly to Nigerian professors, administrators, business leaders, and newspaper and journal editors.
NHPC will be composed of 4 Nigerian humanists who serve as directors; these thought leaders will determine the think tank’s police recommendations.
Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) will provide the following services to the NHPC:
1) We will purchase the website, manage the website, and pay for all operating costs.
2) We will send email questions to the directors, asking for their brief comments and opinions on Nigerian current events. The opinions gathered will be organized and framed as policy recommendations that NHPC presents to the world at large.
Three of the directors are displayed below. Two (Leo Igwe and Mubarak Bala) are already on the BBI Board of Advisors.
LEO IGWE, PhD. is a human rights advocate, and former International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) representative of Western and Southern Africa. He specializes in campaigning against and documenting the impacts of child witchcraft accusations. His Ph.D is from the Bayreuth International School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, after earning a graduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Calabar. He has criticized high-profile witchcraft believers, such as Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, for their role in the violence and child abandonment that often result from accusations of witchcraft, and he’s been arrested on multiple occasions. He has held leadership roles in the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Atheist Alliance International, and the Center for Inquiry—Nigeria. In 2012 he was appointed as Research Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation, where he combats the deleterious effects of superstition, and advances skepticism throughout Africa. In 2014, he was chosen as a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, and in 2017 he received the Distinguished Services to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
HAUWA MAHDI, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer on Human Rights in the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously she was a lecturer in the Department of History, at Ahmadu Bello University, in Nigeria. Her primary research interests include women’s human rights and African history. She has researched on colonial and post-independence state policies on gender, gender relationships in Nigeria, and the domestication of the Child Rights Convention in Nigerian laws and practices. She has published articles on Islam, Sharia law, feminism, gender, colonialism, and other gendered discourse. She teaches on human rights, African societies as well as gender and development theories.
MUBARAK BALA, MS is a chemical engineer in Kano - a Sharia State and hotbed of Muslim fundamentalism. He describes himself on his Facebook page Humanist Society of Northern Nigeria as “A Humanist. An Atheist. An ardent Anti-Theist. Angry at callous religions.” He was raised in “Wahhabi Islamic thought, with a jihad ideology” but he was an atheist activist by 2009, receiving death threats for blaspheming Islam. In 2013 he was beaten up by three uncles and his father - a leading Islamic cleric - drugged by his older brother, and locked up in a psychiatric hospital; his atheism was categorized by an Egyptian doctor as a “mental disease.” He tweeted his predicament - from the hospital toilet - via a smuggled cell phone. His release was finally mobilized by the “Godless Mom” of Canada and the London-based International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU).
Abdulrahman Aliyu attended University of Maiduguri, and acquired certifications in networking and routing. He was the general manager of an oil & gas company and CEO of Abtijan Intergrated Concepts Limited. He authors essays on atheism and humanism, such as “The Bewilderment of Islam as an Ideology is Unfortunately Shielding Islam from Critique.” Abdulrahman is the Outreach Coordinator for the Nigeria Humanist Policy Centre; in this role he has distributed clothes, food, and blankets to Almajiri boys. He is also BBI’s Critical Thinking instructor in Nigeria - he’ll soon be teaching our CT method (designed by Leo Igwe) to English students at All Saints University in Lagos.
Doris Nwanne is a a Published Author, Chartered Accountant and a Hybrid Business Analyst based in Nigeria. She is also a mother, and an active member of the secular humanist community in Nigeria. She is currently the Treasurer of The Atheist Society of Nigeria, and the Publicity Liaison of the Nigeria Humanist Policy Centre.