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The Nigerian Village Square (fondly called NVS or the "Square") is an award winning, online virtual watering hole for free intellectual expression for over 10,000 Nigerians and friends of Nigeria across the earth. Information and ideas are exchanged and more importantly, ideas developed here enable us improve our lives and advance the country's ideals.
Through discussions and reviews about political and socio-economic issues affecting the African continent in general and Nigeria in particular, members (referred to as Villagers) around the world engage actively in the affairs of the nation and they have become the foremost voices in charging our leaders to uphold the principles of the rule of law, practice good governance, conduct free and fair elections, and institutionalize political and economic reforms. They are also influencers of their host countries' policies towards the nation and indeed in Africa.
The Square has, in a relatively short period, built up a reputation and has become an authoritative source of up-to-date news, commentary and rich interchange of ideas for Nigerians and friends of Nigeria across the earth. NVS is now one of the most active Internet sites devoted to matters of relevance to Nigeria and Nigerians. In 2011, the Nigerian Village Square received over 4 million visitors from all over the world.
We provide media services in the form of daily articles and essays from top writers across the globe: In June 2012, we published our 21,000th article.
We are a leading forum for Nigerians from all walks of life: In addition to news reactions, the forum features discussions on books, music, relationships, sports, and our unique "Palava Hut" where members offer advise on personal matters.
Our Village Square Digest Emails is a summary of essays and stories that are circulated bi-weekly to over 30,000 unique subscribers.
Our Village Square Podcasts have become Nigeria's premier online podcast service with a worldwide audience of Nigerian Opinion molders across the globe. Village Square Podcasts are intended to educate and enlighten the discerning intellect on topical issues in a lively, interactive format.
Over the years NVS has through its online medium encouraged collective action, care for each other and also shown that deep down, Nigerians are good, caring people and if given the opportunity will step up to the plate.
In the past 5 years, villagers have identified and rallied support for specific charitable activities including:
2003: Donations to help Lagos Fire Victims and to reward an honest Danfo (commuter bus) Driver.
2005: McPhillips Nwachuckwu Fund- The then Arts Editor of Vanguard Newspapers faced a serious threat from an unrelenting kidney ailment. Based on an article submitted, members of NVS rallied to raise $625 to support McPhillips medical expenses
2006: Contributions for the family of Elizabeth Alabi - In June 2006, NVS members contributed £330 to the family of the pregnant Nigerian woman (Elizabeth Ese Alabi) who died following the UK government's refusal to treat her due to her immigration status.
2008: Baby Andrew Duku - In February 2008, NVS members rallied to contribute over $6000 to save the life of a 13-month old baby (Andrew Duku) that urgently needed a corrective heart surgery, whose case was brought to the square by the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria (DSAN). Baby Andrew was able to fly to India for surgery, which was successful. Baby Duku has since returned to Nigeria.
Family Reunion - Also in 2008 NVS reunited a father and daughter after years of separation. The daughter had posted a thread on NVS's Palava Hut about being adopted and wanting to find her father who she hadn't seen since she was 3 years old. Villagers contributed as usual, some offered prayers, others caution. A couple of weeks after posting her thread/palava, Adeola and her father were reunited through the help of a villager.
NVS has become a hub of political activism and social sensitization.
In 2007, NVS spearheaded the protest of the death of Osamuyi Aikpitanhi; the Nigerian killed in Spain in the process of being deported out of that country. NVS set up an online petition that was signed by thousands of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria around the world. NVS members across the world delivered this petition at Nigerian high commissions in their respective locations.
There then followed an unprecedented worldwide protest against forceful inhuman deportation of Nigerians.
These protest marches were a great success. Letters were concurrently delivered to Spanish Authorities in Madrid and Valencia and to Spanish embassies and consulates in Lagos and Abuja. They were similarly delivered in Algeria, Austria, Brazil, Burkina, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Faso, Finland, France, Germany, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and USA.
A protest letter was delivered to Nigeria's National Assembly, NASS who immediately set up a committee of inquiry to look into the death of this Nigerian at the hands of Spanish immigration officers. NVS membership also donated $1,200 to the Aikpitanhi family and secured the services of Mr. Femi Falana in assisting the family to institute legal proceedings against Iberia Airline and the Spanish government
In 2008, members of NVS spearheaded a worldwide "boycott British Airways" campaign due to the incident of 27th March 2008 when British Airways forcefully evicted 137 Nigerian passengers off one of its aircrafts for protesting against the inhumane treatment being meted out to a Nigerian deportee onboard that flight. NVS members also rallied around a villager, Mr Ayo Omotade who became a symbol of that protest. To sustain the pressure and more importantly, to prevent future reoccurrence members formed a body known as the Respect Nigerians Coalition.
NVS is determined to make a contribution to the enhancement of popular education and youth empowerment in our country Nigeria.
In Summer 2006, NVS sponsored a nationwide Youth Writing Contest among Secondary School students in Nigeria.
Cash prizes, books and recognition certificates to Fatima Ibrahim and Zynat Sani Alhassan at St Louis, Bompai Kano, and Adeniji Tolulope in Shagamu were presented in Lagos and Kano by Dr Reuben Abati and Col. Abubakar, Umar respectively.
In February 2009, NVS Launched "Gen-Next" - commonly known as "Generation Next" - to build a sense of community among young Nigerian kids and kids with interest in Nigeria. To start with, we are encouraging kids to send in original materials for publication. These materials will be featured on the pages of NVS each weekend
In 2008, NVS was the winner of 2008's GAB Awards held in the UK. The award citation stated that this community of Nigerians based across the world has won an award for "Excellence in the area of Community Development using online media".
In 2008, the Down Syndrome Society (who had made the appeal on behalf of baby Andrew) presented NVS with an award for Excellence.
In the coming years, we intend to do more to increase our share of Nigeria's intelligentsia minds (thus developing a new generation of minds), and influencing leadership in Nigeria. We will like to see many aspects of the NVS evolving from a cyber vehicle into an entity that would allow people of like minds to be able to go beyond debating issues to being in position to actually implement projects that could actually make a difference in Nigeria.