Oge Onubogu is the director of the West Africa program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she leads programming in Nigeria, Coastal West Africa, Lake Chad Basin and the Gulf of Guinea. In this position, she provides leadership and oversees the design and implementation of projects to mitigate violent conflict, promote inclusion and strengthen community-oriented security by partnering with policymakers, civic leaders and organizations. Onubogu’s thematic focus is on governance and democracy, U.S.-Africa relations, and civil society development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining USIP in 2015, she managed governance, citizen engagement, and election programs in countries across West and Southern Africa with the National Democratic Institute. Before that, she was the program officer for West Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy, where for several years, she oversaw and managed a multi-million-dollar grants portfolio to civil society organizations in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cameroon.

Onubogu has consulted for the World Bank, Freedom House and the Carter Center. She has also coordinated refugee resettlement programs with the International Rescue Committee. Onubogu is a regular commentator and speaker on Nigerian and African affairs. She has a bachelor’s in international and area studies from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in international development from Brandeis University. She is also in the Public Leadership Credential program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Publications By Oge

Nigeria Needs Justice, Not Payoffs, to Build Peace

Nigeria Needs Justice, Not Payoffs, to Build Peace

Thursday, March 18, 2021

By: Oge Onubogu

When gunmen stormed a Nigerian government high school last week, kidnapping dozens of students for ransom, this fourth mass kidnapping in three months underscored that Nigeria’s response so far is not reducing the violence and insecurity spreading across the country’s north. That response has been largely ad hoc, a mix of federal military actions, state officials negotiating with the criminal gangs and, allegedly, the payment of ransoms. A more effective response will require better coordination among federal and state authorities, the inclusion of civil society in a broad strategy, and support from the international community.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigeria’s protests against police brutality already were the largest in the country’s history before security forces opened fire on a crowd in Lagos on October 20. The protest and bloodshed have only heightened the need for the government in Africa’s most populous country to end the pattern of violence by security forces against civilians. Leaders must finally acknowledge that this brutality has fueled violent extremism. How the Nigerian government will respond to citizens’ insistent demand for accountable governance will influence similar struggles—for democracy, accountability, nonviolence and stability—across much of Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

COVID-19 and Conflict: Nigeria

COVID-19 and Conflict: Nigeria

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

As Africa’s most populous democracy and largest economy, Nigeria’s ability to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus within its own borders has broader implications for the entire continent. Meanwhile, the virus threatens to exacerbate the country’s existing security challenges, which in turn make an effective pandemic response more difficult. In this #COVIDandConflict video, our Oge Onubogu looks at how the Nigerian government has addressed the virus and what potential takeaways the response to COVID-19 could have for tackling the country’s epidemic of violence.

Type: Blog

Global Health

Nigeria Should Build Peace Like it Fights Coronavirus

Nigeria Should Build Peace Like it Fights Coronavirus

Monday, April 6, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigerian leaders struggling to reduce violence in the country’s myriad conflicts should take some lessons—from their own response to the coronavirus. While Nigeria’s COVID-19 ordeal is still unfolding, its eventual casualties unknown, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and several governors have modeled the ways to reduce catastrophic outbreaks. The simple existence of a national prevention center with sustained resources has proven critical. Key officials have applied vital principles, acting at the first sign of danger and keeping the public widely informed. These are precisely the ways to confront Nigeria’s other national plague—of violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Peace Processes; Global Health

Peace in Nigeria Will Require Accountable Governance

Peace in Nigeria Will Require Accountable Governance

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By: Oge Onubogu

The security crisis seizing Nigeria these days is kidnappings for ransom. A year ago, the spotlight was on violent conflict between farmers and herders. Before that, it was Boko Haram. Even earlier, it was the tensions in the Niger Delta, and so on. As Nigeria lurches from one violent conflict to another, the country’s leaders and its international supporters become easily—and perhaps understandably—fixated on the latest manifestation of insecurity. The larger problem, however, is that none of this will ever change unless the focus turns more firmly and consistently to the thread that runs through all of that upheaval: the failures of governance.

Type: Blog

Democracy & Governance

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