E-Alert: Digital War Against Terror

E-Alert: Digital War Against Terror

A few weeks ago, I met a group of young men in their early twenties still pursuing their tertiary education. More than just being students, they are also young entrepreneurs who have taken it upon themselves to be problem solvers in their society. Their concern for the socio-economic challenges of Nigeria has prompted them to come up with a fresh and innovative idea to contribute their quota to national development efforts.

They have created a free mobile app, called E-Alert, that will mitigate the risk of insecurity.

By taking advantage of the now well-developed satellite and mobile networks available, these African innovators have designed a platform that aims at complementing the developing effort of communication and connecting average Africans, first with each other and then to the systems and infrastructure they have been previously unable to reach—most importantly, connecting them in a timely fashion. In simple terms, E-Alert lets you send at just the push of a button from your smart phone, pre-written messages to a list of emergency contacts, with updates on your location.

This creation might be technology’s solution to the frightening rate of criminal activity, such as robbery and sexual harassment.  It can also turn out to be a significant tool in our country’s war against kidnappers. In the first half of 2013 alone, Nigeria accounted for 26 percent of the world’s kidnap and ransom incidents. This innovation can be just what we need to combat such an ugly phenomenon, particularly because we still haven’t been able to develop a national emergency communication number.

I was thrilled when the creators of this app told me that 10 percent of Personal Internet Security Interface’s (PISI) profits will be reinvested in a scholarship fund of which beneficiaries will be selected from their user base. In addition, the firm intends to retain a predominantly Nigerian workforce.

At the end of my conversation with the young men, they left me in awe and indeed inspired by not just their desire to come up with such a brilliant and creative solution to our nation’s challenges, but also their decision to give back to society through their scholarship scheme. As a leader, how could I then say no to an opportunity to promote a public cause by being an Ambassador of their project?

I have always been a strong advocate of providing the type of education that will motivate and induce our graduates to not only become accomplished employees, but also brilliant entrepreneurs. Given the alarming rate of youth unemployment in our nation today, it is of great importance that we direct efforts to ensure that our educational institutions are able to train and produce individuals who will not only become job seekers, but also job creators. This is why at the American University of Nigeria in Yola, we have made entrepreneurship training compulsory for every student.

These eloquent and confident young entrepreneurs have identified an African problem: insecurity. Next has been identifying what is common across the region: a proliferation and understanding of smart-phone technology. Their creativity has been in using what is commonly available to solve a widespread problem, by simply facilitating communication. Like many upcoming efforts in African problem solving, E-Alert has opted for the early integration of a sustainable solution: The African Solution.


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14 Comments on "E-Alert: Digital War Against Terror"

  • igoh john says

    Nice effort by the young lads.also it is good to know that your excellency is giving them the needed encouragement.kudos to the team

    • I think this app may be infringing on a an existing Patent issued by the Federal Republic of Nigeria for an app on the market called “Hawk Eye” . However, Hawk eye is much more comprehensive as it does more than just report crimes it includes crime management, global notifications, administration and dispatching solution for the police.

      Hawk Eye also serve not just Nigeria but provide global notification system that cross across countries allowing different countries to track criminals across border.

      Like any security app, the feature and functionalities may be less important than the integrity of the system. Ability to prevent manipulation, or compromises from renegade security officers.

      I commend the efforts of these young men and we need many like them.

      To learn more abut Hawk Eye – please visit: http://www.hawkeyecrimereporter.com

  • Jury- platform for participatory governance and civic renewal! Today civic education is taught in primary and even tertiary schools. Ironically, it isn’t taught up to tertiary institutions nor adult education. Consequently, today’s adults and leaders aren’t learned in the norms of civic responsibilities nor the constitution, opinionatedly because there isn’t any platform like JURY System that would encourage its practice or foster it’s education. Impunity is thus at an industrial scale, blissful indifference keeps at its apogee, civic conscience is obliterated, participatory governance by we the supposed focus of government isn’t the norm; infact, it seems unrealizable because the political class wants to have it all, and the citizens don’t give a darn that the leaders don’t give a darn about us.
    Interestingly, we all seek a re- engineered Nigerian state cum revolution ( most seek a bloody revolution, forgetting this is the 21st century, and so we need to turn our loathe for this people we want exterminated, into a strong reason to seek a defined role for us, and not just the traditional rulers, who by proxy are also part of this oligarchy) yet we shirk our synergies roles, unlike those unassuming-mostly- illiterate gentlemen who took up the civic roles of standing up against terrorists- which may eventually earn them a role in the system as military men; while we can also be jurors as the need so arises. This they did, however, not for themselves alone, but all Nigerians who are the government ( of the people, by the people and for the people) to give us all hope that we can create that platform that can legitimately make us part of government if we so desire/ demand.
    And what better platform than to adopt the Jury judicial mode of bottom up rectitude approach in order to cultivate and re- awaken us to our civic responsibilities, motivate our patriotism and give us stronger initiatives cum defined roles to make the Nigerian system better and change our civic culture from non chalant cum destructive to highly patriotic.
    Like this civilian JTF stood up against insecurity and chose their last hope of defense- the arms, and we’re justly commended and rewarded by the Nigerian state, to restore peace, law and order to their communities and our nation; it is time for the rest of us to go to the judiciary to seek hope, justice, equity, national development, civic renewal and patriotism. After all, the judiciary is the last hope of Nigerians common man, so, why not then also be justly rewarded with being integrated into the system as Jurors.
    These civilian JTF, even before the offer to be integrated into the Nigerian armed forces, knew it entailed sacrifices of which some have paid the ultimate; except we are contended with our extant state of the Nation and continual disregard by the oligarchy, we shouldn’t mull our time on the Jury a sacrifice too big!


    • I like everything you have said. One fundamental weakness, as is most ideas espoused by a lot of Nigerians, is that they are never grounded in the reality of the society we are. We lack serious political institutions to do the types of things most people want us to have and we will never have them so long as we have a largely illiterate society.

      The key to emancipation is education and economic development. China did not start revolutionizing its society until it created foundation for economic development, structured and partnered with education.

      With these 2 things people are empowered, knowledge is enhanced, illiteracy of the population is mitigated, democracy begin to take foothold and a society is emancipated through voting with logic, self interest and common sense.

      Lets start with education and serious short and long term economic plans.

  • I met the VP one on one in Washington DC when he first became vice president and have been fascinated ever since. He will be doing this nation a disservice if he does not run for the Presidency. He has expressed the most logical and organized vision for the future of our country more than any other politician since independence.

    His articulation on policies related to education, technology and Federalism are clearly key elements for emancipation of Nigeria from its current political and economic situation. Nigeria is in trouble and only people in fools paradise will not see this. We need a strong and intelligent leader with global understanding of societal development. Our country has lagged behind the likes of Brazil and Malaysia who only decades ago were looking at us for inspiration.

    I am ready to put my money where my mouth is. Lets cut through the BS and get ready for 2019

    I am however disappointed that this site does not have contact info on this site. How do you build a grass root following without a “contact” or “join us” page. I have incredible idea that would make His Excellency Atiku, the hottest candidate for 2019 using technology, please contact me.

    I am in the technology space and ready to join the Atiku’s team and I have the resources to make things happen.

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