BREAKING: 41 Palestinians killed, thousands wounded as U.S. opens new embassy in Jerusalem premiumtimesng.com

international News, Islam, Terrorism
Gaza on map used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Wikipedia]

At least 41 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded when violence erupts near the Israel border with Gaza on Monday.

The death toll has continued to climb as Palestinians attempt to cross the border from Gaza to Israel, according to Israeli daily, Haaretz.

About 2,000 Palestinians were also injured, AlJazeera reports.

Protests on the border have escalated in recent weeks but suddenly descended into deadly chaos shortly before the formal launching of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. President Donald Trump recently recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

An official opening ceremony for the movement of the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv is currently underway, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several top officials from the U.S. on the ground. Jared Kushner, an in-law of Mr Trump, and his wife, Ivanka, who is Mr Trump’s daughter, are currently attending the event which is televised across the world.

Israeli troops intervened to prevent the Palestinian protesters from entering into Israel used tear gas and live ammunition, media reports said.

The soldiers keep Palestinians from scaling a fence across the border. Video feed circulating online shows protestors seeking to cross the border.

Some media reports said many children were among those killed and wounded. Israeli authorities said some in the crowds were throwing explosives or flying flaming kites into Israel.

Mr Trump addressed the audience via a recorded video and praised the decision to move the capital to Jerusalem.

Ivanka Trump unveiled the formal dedication and said she was delighted to pronounce “Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

The move is a fulfillment of a major campaign promise of Mr Trump, but it had been condemned by leaders across the world. Critics also feared that the development could further complicate ongoing peace talks in the Middle East.

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Israeli forces fire bullets, tear gas at border protesters, wound 200

international News, Islam, Middle East, Military, News, Politics

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers fired bullets and tear gas at thousands of Palestinian protesters at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, wounding nearly 200 people, hours after the United Nations human rights chief criticised Israel for using “excessive force”.

Israeli troops have killed 38 Palestinians and wounded more than 5,000 others since Gaza residents began staging protests along the border fence on March 30 to demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

On Friday, Israeli ground troops, holed up behind fortifications on their side of the 40km (25-mile) border fence, fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters at five locations on the Gazan side.

The Gaza health ministry said 60 were wounded by gun fire, including a Palestinian journalist who was hit with a bullet in his foot.

Dozens more, including four medics, were treated for gas inhalation, as Israeli forces showered the area with tear gas canisters from behind their fortifications.

Protesters hurled stones and rolled burning tyres towards the fence, and some attached cans of burning petrol to kites and flew them into Israeli territory.

 gaza

Others cleared away barbed wire coils which Israeli troops had placed in Gazan territory overnight in a bid to create a buffer zone between protesters and the fence.

The protests come at a time of growing frustration for Palestinians as prospects for an independent Palestinian state look poor. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for several years and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have expanded.

In a statement released earlier on Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the loss of life was “deplorable” and that a “staggering number of injuries” had been caused by live ammunition.

Israel’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment but the government has consistently said that it is protecting its borders and that its troops are following rules of engagement.

 gaza1

Named the ‘Great March of Return’, the protest action revives a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of, when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal enclave. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

Writing by Ori Lewis, Editing by Stephen Farrell and Raissa Kasolowsky

US army trains Nigerian troops on fighting Boko Haram

Boko Haram, Nigerian Army, Politics, Terrorism, War
boko-haram

Boko Haram: Terrorists flee back to Nigeria after hitting military base in Diffa – Daily Post Nigeria

US soldiers, not less than 12, have trained Nigerian troops on a six-week advice-and-assist mission in Jaji, Kaduna State, Pentagon has said.

The US department of defence said Nigerian army’s 26th infantry battalion might be the next to deploy to north-east to confront Boko Haram.

The department, while documenting some accounts of the US soldiers during the training, said it was important to prepare the Nigerian troops for the threats they faced from the terrorists.

Nigerian-Army-TrainingSaul Rodriguez, the most experienced of the 12 US soldiers, said: “Even in triple-digit heat and with AK-47 automatic rifles in hand, it’s easy to forget these soldiers are likely headed into imminent danger.

“My job is to train you as much as I can. Your job is to fight the bad guys out of your country.”

According to NAN, Kevin Martin of the 10th mountain division Fort Drum, New York, said the troops needed the skills as they faced real threats.

He said: “Yes. We are hard on them. We have to be. Their life depends on it. They might need these skills one day.

“They face a very real and lethal threat. We aren’t going to slow down; we are going to pack as much training in as possible.”

Stephen Gouthro said the life-altering responsibility to prepare Nigerian soldiers was not lost on him, adding one of the best parts of the mission was the lack of micromanagement.

Gouthro said: “What better way to demonstrate mission command. This mission isn’t only about the tactical.

“Everything our team does could have diplomatic effects. Out here, the team has to be professional, mature and disciplined. And we are.”

Source: The cableNg

BREAKING: Attacks AAUA Student Protest in Ondo State on Order of Akeredolu

local news, Politics

Akeredolu.jpg

Police on order of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu  has disrupted the peaceful protest by students of AAUA, the students were protesting the hike in their tution from ₦25k to ₦180, reports reaching me says the police are shooting spirodically, injured students rushed to the hospital

One Billion Dollar CVE Operation Fund: Measuring and Evaluating CVE Operations in Nigeria

Terrorism

Policymakers and practitioners have often engaged in the use of absolute force and a top-down approach in the design of programs to counter violent extremism in Nigeria. This top-down approach relies heavily on the insights from politicians, religious leaders, and few elites while failing to incorporate the insights of those most affected by violence—the shopkeepers, students, farmers, and other ordinary people- in most areas of northeast Nigeria. Increase deployment of resources and finance has been the most employed strategies of succeeding governments in battling conflicts within Nigeria. Unfortunately, the militarisation of conflict management processes have failed to achieve peace and tranquility in most areas of current and past engagements.

Lack of a national Peace Indicators framework and formal process for monitoring and evaluation of successes and failure have been confirmed in the repetitive conflict situation being experienced in all areas of engagement in the country. Lack of formal indices has challenge practitioners in measuring and understanding on how ordinary Nigerian’s can easily assess peace and security and identify factors that lead to violent extremism.

One of the few points of consensus in global debates about violent extremism is the problem of measurement. There are no agreed-upon metrics for what success in countering violent extremism (CVE) might be. When designing CVE programs in Nigeria, policymakers and practitioners are stuck in the traditional top-down approach, consulting religious leaders, elders, local politicians, and other elites. Ordinary citizens at the village level and IDPs who are directly affected by the violence are rarely consulted in a systematic way about the metrics to determine success or failure of programming.

As The Nigerian State are poised at investing further $1billion Naira on CVE operations, there are needs for policymakers and practitioners to determine a formal metrics for CVE successes and failures. Proper accountability processes must be ensured towards getting value for each dollar spent.  it should now become important for the state to understand what indicators citizens use in their everyday lives and how they compare to measurements of peace and violence traditionally used by policymakers.

The Nigerian state should create platforms for direct engagement of CVE operators; The Nigerian Military and local actors in an effort to identify the “everyday indicators” of peace in villages in the highly insecure provinces, the use of national security as excuse to loot the national treasury should be discouraged in favour of a more accountable system. Equally, State efforts should be directed at reducing the indicators for violent extremism and radicalisation in Nigeria.  Researches have revealed that the most frequently cited indicators of violent extremism were unemployment and gender-based violence.

Aside from spending one billion Dollars -almost $360 Billion Naira on buying arms and armament for security operations, its my believe that seventy percent of this fund should be invested in developing local law enforcement agencies; facilitate equitable and prompt Justice; develop proper evaluation and  accountability process towards reducing corruptions in government spendings; industrialization within affected communities towards reducing youth unemployment rate which  stays at over 60% by 2016 figures; and develop access to infrastructures and government projects by cities within conflict areas coupled with sustainable youth development projects might influence a reduction in current rate of youth radicalisation in Nigeria. Guns alone cannot keep the peace!!

Another Nigerian Youth Stabbed To Death In London- CHECKPOINTCHARLEY

international News, Uncategorized

An 18-year-old Nigerian, Israel Ogunsola, was stabbed to death on Wednesday night in Hackney, London.

Ogunsola is said to have approached Police with his knife wounds shortly before 8 pm on Wednesday, following the attack, SkyNews states.

Officers rushed to his aid in Link Street, in the east London borough.

Paramedics and staff from the London Air Ambulance attempted to save his life but he was pronounced dead at the scene less than half an hour later.

This is coming shortly after the son of a Nigerian lawmaker, 26-year-old Abraham Badru, was shot dead in the same area in London.

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested on suspicion of murdering Ogunsola, the Metropolitan Police said. They were held on Wednesday night.

The teenager’s father, Dele Ogunsola, who lives in the nearby Jack Dunning Estate, confirmed on Thursday afternoon that his son had died.

The deceased, who was studying computer programming, was described by his dad as “academically brilliant.”

The father of London’s latest knife crime victim today demanded that the “bloodshed must stop,” saying that his son was just cycling to meet friends when he was stabbed to death last night.

Mr. Ogunsola, 55, a customer services administrator, said: “My son was a well brought up boy who respected everyone and was liked by all and sundry.

“The bloodshed must stop. London’s streets are so dangerous. Young people are being slaughtered every day.

“If it means bringing back more stop-and-search, then so be it. We have to tackle this problem and the government needs to do more.”

IGP reinstates Janga as Kogi police Commissioner – Daily Trust

international News, local news, Politics, Uncategorized

jangaMr Ali Janga has been reinstated as the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, the state police command spokesman, ASP William Aya, has confirmed.

Aya told the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Lokoja on Thursday that Janga returned to office on April 3 on the order of the Inspector -General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

He said that Janga was reinstated after meeting the one week ultimatum given to him by the Inspector -General of Police to re-arrest the suspects who escaped from police custody.

The police spokesman confirmed that all the six suspects that escaped from lawful police custody on March 28 had been re-arrested.

Aya also said that 13 persons that aided the escape of the suspects had been arrested in Lokoja.

According to him, those arrested are commercial tricycles operators that ferried the suspects to safety after their escape and the owners of the houses where they slept after their escape from custody.

He said that all the suspects would be charged to court after conclusion of investigation.

Janga had on March 28 announced that six suspects, including Kabiru Seidu a.k.a Osama and Nuhu Salisu, who had named Sen. Dino Melaye as their gun supplier escaped from lawful police custody in Lokoja.

Following the incident, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, removed Janga as the state Commissioner of Police and named Mr Sunday Ogbu as his replacement.

Aya said that the 13 policemen that were on duty on the day of the incident had gone to the police headquarters for interrogation as directed by the IGP, saying that they had started returning to their duty posts.

Breaking: 18 killed, 84 injured in Boko Haram attack in Maiduguri.

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

deploymentMaiduguri- At least 18 people were killed and 84 wounded when Boko Haram jihadist  clashed with Nigerian soldiers near the northeastern city of Maiduguri overnight, the emergency services agency said Monday.

“So far we have recovered 18 dead bodies from the two villages Bale Shuwa and Bale Kura,” on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Benlo Dambatto, an official from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told AFP.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, is the birthplace of Boko Haram, whose nearly nine-year fight to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has claimed at least 20,000 lives and displaced more than two million people.

“The victims were killed while trying to escape the fight between the insurgents and the military,” said the Borno branch of SEMA.

Source: 

 

Troops kill 21 bandits, recover arms in Zamfara

local news, Politics, Terrorism

The Nigerian Army on Thursday said its troops killed 21 armed bandits in the ongoing clearance operation at Tunga Daji in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara.

Brig. – Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that many bandits escaped with gunshot wounds in battle with soldiers on April 4

He disclosed that an army officer and a soldier lost their lives in the fierce battle with the bandits. Chukwu said the troops recovered five AK 47; one Light Machine Gun, five AK 47 magazines and 35 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.

“Troops of 232 Battalion Zuru, on clearance patrols on Wednesday, April 4, neutralized 21 armed bandits in encounter at Tunga Daji in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

“During the fierce battle many bandits escaped with gunshot wounds to the top of high ground close to the area.

“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and a soldier during the encounter. The remains of the gallant troops have been evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau.”

Meanwhile, troops deployed in Bena, acting on intelligence, have raided a bandits’ camp at Laka village in Kebbi.

Chukwu explained in a statement that the troops killed one of the bandits and recovered an AK 47 rifle with a magazine.

According to him, the troops were mobilised on a special operation to comb the general area and arrest any fleeing bandit.

Benue: Herdsmen kill two farmers, injures three

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

Two persons have been reportedly killed by suspected Fulani militia in Agasha town, Guma Local Government area in Benue state. The herdsmen also shot and wounded three persons who are receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital and rustled hundred cows.

Police spokesperson DSP Moses Yamu said he was yet to get the information from the Guma Divisional Police Office.

President of Tiv Barenda Association (TBA) Chief  Aondona Adzuu, reported that the Fulani herdsmen stormed the house of the victim called Asema at about 2am when everyone fast asleep.

“They surrounded his house located on Tilley Gyado Farm road in Agasha town and shot him dead before rustling his 100 cows,” said Chief Adzuu.

While escaping, they shot and wounded three other persons who are receiving treatment at a hospital .

airforces

Adzuu, who is a community leader in Agasha said that the second person died as a result of the gunshot he sustained from the attackers .

This is the second time Agasha town is coming under Fulani attacks. First was in 2014 where seven Tiv farmers were slaughtered.

NAF deploys Special Forces to Zamfara State

international News, local news, Terrorism

Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has confirmed the deployment of Special Forces to Gusau, following the recent attack on Bawan Daji community in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State where some lives were lost.

A statement by Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF said the deployment was directed by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar

He noted that the NAF Special Forces, who were trained in asymmetric warfare, were airlifted from Kaduna with the NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft to complement the efforts of other security forces on ground to prevent further attack on innocent citizens.

He said the personnel and other supporting staff would operate from the recently established 207 Quick Response Group in Gusau, where they would reinforce the existing Regiment personnel in the Unit in support of the ongoing Operation SHARAN DAJI in the State.

In his address to the troops at Gusau shortly before their deployment, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita was quoted as saying that the Special Forces would be further deployed to remote areas of Zamfara State, where they would be engaged in Internal Security operations.

He therefore urged them to effectively utilize their experience and training to protect the lives and properties of the people of Zamfara State.

airforcesHe added that the NAF leadership expects the Special Forces to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights in discharging their duties.

In recent times, the NAF had taken additional measures to enhance its contributions to tackling Internal Security challenges in the country, in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility.

In addition to earlier established Quick Response Groups and Wings and the deployment of NAF Special Forces to various states, the NAF recently established Quick Response Wings at Agatu, Doma and Nguroje in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States respectively to bring security closer to those in the relatively remote areas.

He said arrangements were also ongoing to establish a new Quick Response Group in Jalingo, Taraba State to superintend the activities of the 3 new Quick Response Wings

Emergency rule: Marafa is being mischievous, envious – Zamfara govt

international News, local news

Zamfara state has fired back at the senator representing Zamfara central in the senate  Kabir Marafa over his recent call for the removal of  Abdulaziz Yari as the executive governor of the state.

Senator Marafa had earlier clamoured for the removal of governor Yari when he raised a point of order at the plenary of the senate calling for the adoption of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s approach in addressing the killings in the state.
But in their reaction to the statement, the state government through the commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Alhaji Sanda Muhammad Danjari Kwatarkwashi said for Senator Marafa to make such calls he was only being mischievous and envious.
“As for the clamour for emergency rule in the state by senator Marafa we are at lost as to what his motives actually are. He has unlimited access to governor Yari why can’t go and advice him. Senator Marafa did not even find it expedient to go and condole with the people there,” he added.
Alhaji Danjari further said that after the recent unfortunate killings in Bawar Daji village governor Yari has directed that any civilian caught wielding rifle illegally should be shot at sight and that was part of the numerous measures taken by the state government to ensure that peace has returned to the state.
“Our simple assessment is that Marafa is up for mischief against governor Yari and is envious of the position Almighty Allah has bestowed on governor Yari. Marafa is on a race against time. The people of the state are waiting for him to come and test his popularity in 2019,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.

This was revealed Wednesday by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, while speaking with journalists at the end of a security meeting chaired by the president.

“Of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1 billion,” he said.

Mr. Dan Ali also said Wednesday’s meeting was a normal meeting of security agencies in the country.

“As usual, we discussed the current activities that affected most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states,” he said.

The minister also said the recent deployments to Zamfara and other neighbouring states of Sokoto and Katsina is expected take care of the security challenges in the area.

boko-haram

Boko Haram: Terrorists flee back to Nigeria after hitting military base in Diffa –                Daily Post Nigeria

“Of course, the strength of security personnel has increased including the Air Force additional quick response group, they have added enough manpower in that area,” he said.

On Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi school girl still in captivity with Boko Haram, Mr. Dan-Ali said, “Well, we are making all available efforts to see that the girl is returned safely”.

Where Is the Nigerian Opposition? By Reuben Abati

international News, local news, Politics

Less than a year to the next general elections in Nigeria, the biggest deficit in the political process leading to that moment is the absence of a robust, virile and effective opposition.

The role of the opposition in a democracy is to question, criticise, challenge, and audit the governments of the day – local and national – and make them more transparent and accountable, and even if these twin-objectives may not be immediately achieved, the opposition exists nonetheless to put the people in power “on their toes”, as it were in the people’s overall interest.

This is the underlying principle of a parliamentary system of government, and even in other forms of government including a presidential system, the opposition provides checks and balances, it is a kind of alternative government, a counterweight, providing such balance that could safeguard the integrity of the political process. But, of course, what is at stake is “the conquest of power”: the opposition provides the people with a choice and ultimately seeks to wrestle power from or out of the hands of the incumbent and present a different vision of social and economic progress.

In doing this, the opposition may be constructive – in this regard it could even work with the ruling party or government to promote the national interest. This was the case under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao of India, who once sent opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, as leader of the Indian delegation, to defend the government on its human rights record in response to allegations by Pakistan.

Rao’s party members, who felt he had no business working with the opposition, criticised him as loudly as they could, but the prime minister felt it was more important to be bi-partisan and project a picture of national unity. It is not a strategy that has endured in India’s divisive politics. But what is known is that in other jurisdictions, members of the opposition in parliament sometimes vote on a non-partisan basis on key issues before the parliament. This may occur when the rivalry among the political parties is peaceful and there is a broad consensus that the country is far more important than the boundaries imposed by partisan politics.

For the most part however, opposition politics can be disruptive, and apropos, the strategy of the opposition is not to construct anything or offer any value but to “oppose, oppose, oppose” by any means possible to wear down and pull down the incumbent government. Physical violence, blackmail, abusive words, post-truth imagery and fake news are part of the arsenal of the disruptive opposition.

In Nigeria at the moment, we neither have, in my estimation, a constructive or a disruptive opposition. Whatever we have that may look remotely like any form of opposition is weak, uncoordinated, and ineffective. Our political parties are internally polarised, politics has become evil, our political leaders do not know where to draw the line, the ruling government is having an upper hand, it is committed to an unrelenting, overzealous persecution of the opposition and progressive ideas. The last time we witnessed what looked like organised opposition, even if it was disruptive, was ironically through the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2013, a number of political parties formed a synergy with civil society groups to become the All Progressives Congress, and adopting an “oppose, oppose, oppose” strategy, they managed by 2015 to get the ruling Peoples Democratic Party out of power. It was a major turning point in Nigerian politics since the return to civilian rule in 1999.

But the PDP was not prepared for its new role as the leading opposition party, just as the new government, led by the APC, was equally unprepared for governance. This sudden reversal of roles caught Nigeria’s main political actors napping. The APC at the centre found it difficult to even appoint ministers: it took six months to come up with a list. In one or two states, the governors acted as sole administrators for up to a year. There are about 80 registered political parties in the country, but these are at best relatively unknown parties. The main political party, the PDP, has been largely in disarray since it lost power.

Most of its members have defected to the new ruling party, many of its founding fathers now prefer to be known and addressed as statesmen, and the party’s strong mouthpieces have all been cowed into silence by a ruling party that is wielding power like a whip. The PDP came out of power mired in corrosive in-fighting and blame-sharing that robbed the party of its soul. It was later “kidnapped”, and then rescued, but it is not yet in strong enough shape to stand up to the ruling party, offer alternative views or organise itself properly. Who is even the national leader of the PDP? Close to the next general elections as we are, nobody is quite sure. What exactly does the PDP want to do? It is not so clear either. Is the PDP still interested in power? If it is, it is not showing the kind of determination that the APC projected in 2014.

There are PDP members in the legislature at the federal and state levels, but their voices have not been loud enough. Nigerian politics has not been ideology-driven for a while – that is one explanation, but it is also possible that the remaining PDP members are hedging their bets and secretly planning to join the APC. This is the case because the ruling APC is now in charge of state resources – and that is a major attraction for Nigerian politicians, besides, the APC, not knowing how to govern, has been functioning more as an opposition party. It has spent the last three years hounding PDP members and the Jonathan administration, and making it difficult for anyone to come up with progressive, opposition ideas.

It had to take Microsoft’s Bill Gates to criticise the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) of the federal government before the PDP realised that such a document existed. The new PDP, failing in its role as an opposition party, cedes the initiative to the APC and merely reacts through statements that do not even make much impact. In the states across the federation, opposition members often forget what their role in the legislature is supposed to be as they join the queue of lawmakers trooping to the Government House to collect favours from imperial governors. At the federal level, APC Senator Dino Melaye has functioned more as an opposition leader than any PDP senator, with his persistent interrogation of executive policies and actions. One or two PDP senators, along with some other APC members, in comparison, have since acquired a reputation for going to the Red Chamber to sleep during plenary sessions! There is no quality debate as such in our parliaments, more or less, and so the debate about Nigeria has shifted to morning shows on radio and television, oftentimes conducted by ill-equipped analysts and the hysterical crowd.

It is the country that pays the cost when the opposition is asleep, and one political party is allowed to ride roughshod over everyone just because it is in power and office. When members of the APC claim that there is no alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari, I guess they are not saying there are no persons who are better qualified than the president; rather they are saying they cannot see any organised opposition that could pose a threat to the continued stay of the Buhari government in power beyond May 2019. And by conduct, they even make it clear that whoever challenges the APC should be prepared to face the consequences of doing so. The APC mastered bully tactics as an opposition party. It continues to rely on the same tactics as a ruling party.

The gap that has been created by the absence of an effective opposition in Nigerian politics since 2015 is gradually now being filled by thought leaders. Sometime in 2016, I wrote a piece titled “Where are the public intellectuals? in which I challenged the Nigerian intelligentsia generally to rouse from its slumber. That slumber is perhaps understandable. The Nigerian intelligentsia bought into the APC project in 2014 and 2015, and wanted the PDP out of the way by all means. Not too long ago, confronted with the failings of the APC as a ruling party, this special class has since recanted.

I dealt with that in “The season of recanting” (January 16) but since this other article, the political space has since become more interesting with the interventions of persons like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida, General T.Y. Danjuma, Professor Wole Soyinka and the emergence of groups like the Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria, the Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), the Ezekwesili-led Red Card Movement, and the Concerned Nigerians Movement, led by Charly Boy Oputa. The main battleground in recent times, however, has been the Nigerian social media where young Nigerians have been quite loud in expressing their dissatisfaction with the Buhari administration. The social media proved to be a strong weapon of mobilisation in the hands of the APC before 2015, now it is its main nemesis.

Useful as these interventions, this reawakening of the civil society, may seem, the value is limited except there is a formal opposition that is specifically organised for the “conquest of power” at the polls. There is a growing consensus among these groups that both the APC and the PDP are of no use, they have not yet identified an alternative political party that can engage the ruling party but I believe the point is not lost on the actors involved that elections are won or lost not on twitter but by political parties actively organised for political action. Opposition politics involves branding, strategy, organisation and pro-active action. Nigerian opposition parties seeking to dislodge the APC can work together to form a political coalition as the APC did in 2013, and even if they do not win in 2019, the country’s political process would be better enriched by a constructive and strong engagement from the opposition that any ruling government deserves.

The current infidelity of the average Nigerian politician is the biggest obstacle that I see. Most Nigerian politicians do not necessarily go into politics because of what they can contribute, but because of what they intend to take out of it. The APC would continue to insist on its self-ascribed invincibility if the best that other political parties can offer is to apologise. The PDP chairman recently apologised to Nigerians for whatever the PDP did while in power for 16 years. I don’t know whether that is meant to be a strategy or a confession but the meaninglessness of it has been exposed by the vicious responses from the APC and how the PDP has found itself having to struggle to put in a word. The Nigerian Opposition when eventually it awakens and seeks to engage the APC must realise that the APC has a tested opposition machinery, which found itself out of depths in the context of governance, but which in an election season could assume its emotional memory state, and with the resources now at its disposal, including power, prove to be deadly.

Opposition politics is not rocket science and nobody has to travel to India, the UK or the United States to master it. In Nigeria’s First and Second Republics, whatever may have been the problems of that era, this country had a rich culture of opposition politics. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Action Group and later the Unity Party of Nigeria, as an opposition leader, confronted the ruling government with hard facts and figures and an alternative vision of how Nigeria could be rescued. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Malam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri – opposition figures at various times – also stood for something. Whoever wants to rule Nigeria or any part thereof should be prepared to tell us exactly what he or she wants to do and how and when. If we have not learnt any lesson, we should by now have realised that a politician wearing Nigerian clothes, taking fine photos, eating corn by the roadside, over-promising, pretending to respect women and children, distributing cash and food, claiming to be a democrat, dancing to impress, and sometimes projecting himself or herself as nationalistic, may not be what we are made to see. Nigeria needs a different breed, new faces, new ideas, a new way of politics.

To win this war of ideas against the Boko Haram, there should be a complementary force deployed to maintain and secure liberated town from being overrun and becoming battle areas again. The numbers if IDPs in Nigeria kept increasing while resources to maintain them are winning, clearly lives in those IDP camps are far below national average.

The military gains in recent years in routing out the Book Haram insurgency in Borno and other neighboring states are commendable and showed a high level of resilience and sacrifices in human and material resources. We are all aware of the high level of loses the Nigerian Military were exposed to during these seven years war and we all will continued to pray for the souls of our departed heroes who gave their lives for peace and tranquility to reign in our home.

One factor that stood out in this discourse is the fact that a more independent observer of this theater of war will confess that its either the Kanuris have a preponderance to repeatedly use the same names over and over again for their cities or this war kept going on in circles. the cities and towns librated over and over again in and around Baga and Sambisa shows a sign that something is not being done about securing and holding liberated cities properly by our conquering army.

The fact could be given the large area within which this groups operates, the number of soldiers needed to continue fighting and holding the erractic BH fighters at bay in conquered cities is not readily available. The military is involved in over 20 other states in the country and regardless of funding you can’t create good fighting men on cue. You need long term planning to get more men with good abilities in place and given further constraints in facilities for training and development, the Military is restrained from getting as much men, it needs to pursue its plans effectively.

In a period like these, thinking out of the box should become the new policy thrust. The military needs support from other security agencies in the country to achieve its aims and reduce operational bottlenecks it faces now. The Nigeria Police Force has over 390000 men in its arsenal, they are all averagely trained in basic offence, defense, intelligence gathering and other security maneuvers needed to secure and maintain a liberated city from being overrun while the troop moves on with conquest of newer territories.

The need to secure liberated areas become more important so as not to alienate locals who are easily worn out with repeated gun fights on their lands. Most civilians want to live their lives without any form of stress. Wars results in unwanted collateral damages which cannot be justified to victims families. Repeated engagements ultimately always create unnecessary enmity from locals. Winning the hearts of the locals has been championed by British and US armies in areas of conflict globally to reduce indoctrination and radicalization of locals by extremists.

To win this war of ideas against the Boko Haram, there should be a complementary force deployed to maintain and secure liberated town from being overrun and becoming battle areas again. The numbers if IDPs in Nigeria kept increasing while resources to maintain them are winning, clearly lives in those IDP camps are far below national average.

The IDP camps might become the new grounds for indoctrination and radicalization given the high level of suffering and lacks being experienced in those places. It is our job to as fast as practicable create safe haven for these people return to their homes. The reconstruction and rehabilitation of these towns with direct supports of the displaced groups from these areas will go along way in creating a job for the displaced through direct labour in building their own homes.

The Presidential Initiatives of North East and other programme designed to rehabilitate Northeast should refrain from being a normal government taskforce, always with all the answers. They could break the IDPs into groups based on areas they come from and design for them cooperatives to use direct labour in building and resettlement of their own people using states approved funding.

These methods has been employed in Italy to resettle victims of Mafia attacks and other victimised. Government indirect approach to help will create better cohesion amongst returnees as they systematically design and implement a proper framework for a workable society. Imposing order on people has bee known to lead to dissidence.

The need for newer training for a new policing structure in these newly liberated cities should be encouraged. The recruitment and use of locals as policing authorities could be experimented. The IGP could be prevailed upon to directly recruit and train special squads from current Civilian JTF and deploy under management of seasoned police officers to manage and secure these liberated town. The new force aside from understanding the challenges of the people, should be able to tactically withstand attacks from Book Haram insurgent when needed and design a proper security mix that will reduce infiltration from extremists as a kind of early warning system.

Intelligence driven security system, could be arranged covertly turning these areas into a highly policed environments thereby increasing exposure for budding radicals. Increased security patrols has been successful even in Pakistan and Iraqi where insurgency has become a way of life.

Education of locals using NGOs, CBOs and FBOs should be a major thrust of public spendings immediately. Education authorities should deaignate these areas as education emergencies which could be handled by locally approved educators and leaders. Government may direct one third of current military spending on CVE towards these projects to give it real bite. Youth and women development groups and associations should be formed to improve youth access to government resources and youth working in groups with state supports.

Funding for agricultural and basic start up investments could be specially designed for youth and farming cooperatives in resettlement areas. Local FBOs could be used to manage and dispense these loans on behalf of the state. Education of these startup owners could also be designed as conditions for loans.

Regardless of any other form of challenges northeast must return to its glorious past, we all have to collectively work to put an end to current hemorrhage of our collective Commonwealth currently going on in the area. God help Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Don Michael Adeniji. MA, Fpnm
Abuja-Nigeria

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

The most important external variable to the success of your business is whether or not you had great parents. But you can’t do anything about that. The next most important? Having the right deals in place, at the right times. No one has the team, the resources and the reach to succeed by themselves. Well-constructed partnerships, carefully structured joint ventures, and timely endorsements help a start-up build its brand, credibility, momentum and customer base.

Business success is based on the kind of deal and agreements you reach while doing these businesses. Multi-million Dollars business has been known to fail based on small errors in negotiations. When you make a deal, the deal should favour you and the other party or else one of you might pull out of the deal when they meet better options from other parties.

The best possible outcome in any deal making or negotiation is when both parties feel that they have gained more than they have given away, and more than if they had not entered into a negotiation in the first place. Conflict arises after agreements whenever people leave a meeting feeling quite unsatisfied with the outcomes. This means you have to create a bigger pie than the one that is being discussed. You are a dry cleaner; to build your business you need to create personal touch beyond cleaning peoples clothe. Several dry cleaners have clothes mending departments that help replaces lost buttons, small tears and other challenges to the cloth. Many do home pick ups and deliveries. I even know a mobile car wash firm that visits your house to clean your car. They are adding values to their products and the customers are exposed to better services.

Either you are looking for a job, selling a product or trying to win a contract; people tends to concentrate only on the benefit at hand and never looked beyond these to create newer benefits that could enhance current situations. In every situation where we need to influence the other party the ball is always in our court to make the meeting so valuable that the other party will always remember our offer because it goes beyond his plan before sitting with us. Let them leave the meeting with newer and more productive suggestions and your name will always be on the lips of the other party.

In job interviews, the stated qualifications are there, but the interviewer is looking for something unique, that extra thing that will stand the final candidate out amongst the crowd of applicants. Being prepared through understanding of the other party needs is important. Study widely and reflect on the undeclared needs of the other party before any meeting.

Understand the real needs of the client and fit your pitch towards what will satisfy that need

When Bill Gates was trying to establish Internet Explorer as the dominant browser against strong competition from Netscape, the industry-standard browser – based on what was, at the time, superior software. AOL was looking for a technically outstanding browser and Netscape was the obvious partner, with Microsoft’s prospects for winning over AOL in favour of Explorer looking bleak.

However, when studying the needs and desires of AOL, it became apparent to Gates that AOL’s ultimate goal was to increase market share, and he was able to use this knowledge to reframe the negotiation. Instead of ‘who has the best browser?’ the negotiation became about ‘who can best help AOL achieve its ultimate goal of increasing market share and profits?’

Microsoft then made two big offers. It offered to provide an improved Explorer to AOL free of charge and, also, to bundle AOL’s client software with the next version of its Windows operating system; the AOL logo would sit next to the MSN logo for Microsoft’s own online service. No longer would AOL have to spend $40 to $80 per customer by sending millions of promotional disks through the post. Gates effectively changed the set-up for the negotiation.

Bill Gates Goals:

  • Establish Internet Explorer as the most dominant browser in the world.
  • Upstage Netscape the already established browser in the industry

AOL Goals:

  • Technical out standing browser for its expansion project

Bill Gates offer avoided discussing the issues about the best browser in the market, but offered AOL something they really wanted; a bigger market share at no cost to AOL to win the deal.

INTRODUCE NEWER VALUES

Always look for other areas to add value to your interviewer or the other party, don’t get stuck on the main issues at play. Look at other values that could improve the relationship. In 2016 when my company was negotiating for the contract with Civil Defence to train over one million private security guards in Nigeria. There were over 10 international training companies competing for this consultancy, Mine was the least qualified based on the fact that our company was barely six months old and we were bidding against well grounded and tested firms from England and US.

Our presentation was basic and based on the paper experiences of the directors and no   reference, the only thing that got us the job was the fact that we introduce a free 3 days training for the Civil Defence itself as part of our presentation. We refused to discuss our competence, as we know that we have no clear advantage here, but come and see what we can do and pronto the job was for us.

While negotiating with the government of an African country to run for them a customised version of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. Oxford University Executive Programme (Said Business School) offered the cabinet secretary a free place on the programme so that he could determine its suitability. The value to him of this offer was five days of executive education worth £7,500, free of charge except for his airfare and accommodation. The cost to the School of having one extra person in the class was zero, as it makes no material difference to Oxford whether they are teaching 35 or 36 people. Rarely will the difference be this pronounced, but value can be created whenever two parties perceive different values and costs for the same item.

Deal With Emotions.

Most decision making are illogical and emotionally based. Jim Camp attest to the fact that decision making is mostly based on emotions of the parties involved. Being logical might not be the solution to getting the best deals. We have to always acknowledge and never fail to address the “big elephant” in the room. A June 2014 work on Emotion and Decision Making” submitted to the Journals on Annual Review of Psychology by Jennifer S. Lerner, Harvard University; Ye Li,  University of California, Riverside; Piercarlo Valdesolo, Claremont McKenna College; and Karim Kassam, Carnegie Mellon University, concluded that “emotion and decision making go hand in hand”.    Understanding and managing parties emotions will surely enhance easy discussions and understanding, thereby making agreements easier.

 

Negotiation

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Is Dead at 81

international News, OBITUARY

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, whose hallowed place in the pantheon of South Africa’s liberators was eroded by scandal over corruption, kidnapping, murder and the implosion of her fabled marriage to Nelson Mandela, died early Monday in Johannesburg. She was 81.

Her death, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, was announced by her spokesman, Victor Dlamini. He said in a statement that she died “after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.”

The South African Broadcasting Corporation said she was admitted to the hospital over the weekend complaining of the flu after she attended a church service on Friday. She had been treated for diabetes and underwent major surgeries as her health began failing over the last several years.

Charming, intelligent, complex, fiery and eloquent, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela (Madikizela was her surname at birth) was inevitably known to most of the world through her marriage to the revered Mr. Mandela. It was a bond that endured ambiguously: She derived a vaunted status from their shared struggle, yet she chafed at being defined by him.

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela attended her husband’s trial in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1962. Credit Associated Press

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela commanded a natural constituency of her own among South Africa’s poor and dispossessed, and the post-apartheid leaders who followed Mr. Mandela could never ignore her appeal to a broad segment of society. In April 2016, the government of President Jacob G. Zuma gave Ms. Madikizela-Mandela one of the country’s highest honors: the Order of Luthuli, given, in part, for contributions to the struggle for democracy.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela retained a political presence as a member of Parliament, representing the dominant African National Congress, and she insisted on a kind of primacy in Mr. Mandela’s life, no matter their estrangement.

Increasingly, though, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela resented the notion that her anti-apartheid credentials had been eclipsed by her husband’s global stature and celebrity, and she struggled in vain in later years to be regarded again as the “mother of the nation,” a sobriquet acquired during the long years of Mr. Mandela’s imprisonment. She insisted that her contribution had been wrongly depicted as a pale shadow of his.

“I am not Mandela’s product,” she told an interviewer. “I am the product of the masses of my country and the product of my enemy” — references to South Africa’s white rulers under apartheid and to her burning hatred of them, rooted in her own years of mistreatment, incarceration and banishment.

Conduit to Her Husband

While Mr. Mandela was held at the Robben Island penal settlement, off Cape Town, where he spent most of his 27 years in jail, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela acted as the main conduit to his followers, who hungered for every clue to his thinking and well-being. The flow of information was meager, however: Her visits there were rare, and she was never allowed physical contact with him.

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The Mandelas were married in June 1958.                     Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In time, her reputation became scarred by accusations of extreme brutality toward suspected turncoats, misbehavior and indiscretion in her private life, and a radicalism that seemed at odds with Mr. Mandela’s quest for racial inclusiveness.

She nevertheless sought to remain in his orbit. She was at his side, brandishing a victor’s clenched fist salute, when he was finally released from prison in February 1990.

At his funeral, in December 2013, she appeared by his coffin in mourning black — positioning herself almost as if she were the grieving first lady — even though Mr. Mandela had married Graça Machel, the widow of the former Mozambican president Samora Machel, in 1998, on his 80th birthday, six years after separating from Ms. Madikizela-Mandela and two years after their divorce. It was Mr. Mandela’s third marriage.

In 2016, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela began legal efforts to secure the ownership of Mr. Mandela’s home in his ancestral village of Qunu. She contended that their marriage had never been lawfully dissolved and that she was therefore entitled to the house, which Mr. Mandela had bequeathed to his descendants. High Court judges rejected that argument in April. After learning that she had lost the case, she was hospitalized.

Her lawyers said she would appeal the High Court judgment.

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was surrounded by supporters in the black township of Kagiso in 1986. Credit Associated Press

‘She Who Must Endure’

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was born to a noble family of the Xhosa-speaking Pondo tribe in Transkei. Her first name, Nomzamo, means “she who must endure trials.”

Her birth date was Sept. 26, 1936, according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and many other sources, although earlier accounts gave the year as 1934.

Her father, Columbus, was a senior official in the so-called homeland of Transkei, according to South African History Online, an unofficial archive, which described her as the fourth of eight children. (Other accounts say her family was larger.) Her mother, Gertrude, was a teacher who died when Winnie was 8, the archive said.

As a barefoot child she tended cattle and learned to make do with very little, in marked contrast to her later years of free-spending ostentation. She attended a Methodist mission school and then the Hofmeyr School of Social Work in Johannesburg, where she befriended Adelaide Tsukudu, the future wife of Oliver Tambo, a law partner of Mr. Mandela’s who went on to lead the A.N.C. in exile. She turned down a scholarship in the United States, preferring to remain in South Africa as the first black social worker at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto.

One day in 1957, when she was waiting at a bus stop, Nelson Mandela drove past. “I was struck by her beauty,” he wrote in his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” Some weeks later, he recalled, “I was at the office when I popped in to see Oliver and there was this same young woman.” 

Mr. Mandela, approaching 40 and the father of three, declared on their first date that he would marry her. Soon he separated from his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, a nurse, to marry Ms. Madikizela-Mandela on June 14, 1958.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was thrust into the limelight in 1964 when her husband was sentenced to life in prison on charges of treason. She was officially “banned” under draconian restrictions intended to make her a nonperson, unable to work, socialize, move freely or be quoted in the South African news media, even as she raised their two daughters, Zenani and Zindziswa.

In a crackdown in May 1969, five years after her husband was sent to prison, she was arrested and held for 17 months, 13 in solitary confinement. She was beaten and tortured. The experience, she wrote, was “what changed me, what brutalized me so much that I knew what it is to hate.”

After blacks rioted in the segregated Johannesburg township of Soweto in 1976, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was again imprisoned without trial, this time for five months. She was then banished to a bleak township outside the profoundly conservative white town of Brandfort, in the Orange Free State.

“I am a living symbol of whatever is happening in the country,” she wrote in “Part of My Soul Went With Him,” a memoir published in 1984 and printed around the world. “I am a living symbol of the white man’s fear. I never realized how deeply embedded this fear is until I came to Brandfort.”

Contrary to the authorities’ intentions, her cramped home became a place of pilgrimage for diplomats and prominent sympathizers, as well as foreign journalists seeking interviews.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela cherished conversation with outsiders and word of the world beyond her confines. She scorned many of her restrictions, using whites-only public phones and ignoring the segregated counters at the local liquor store when she ordered Champagne — gestures that stunned the area’s whites.

Banishment Took Toll

Still, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s exclusion from what passed as a normal life in South Africa took a toll, and she began to drink heavily. During her banishment, moreover, her land changed. Beginning in late 1984, young protesters challenged the authorities with increasing audacity. The unrest spread, prompting the white rulers to acknowledge what they called a “revolutionary climate” and declare a state of emergency.

When Ms. Madikizela-Mandela returned to her home in Soweto in 1985, breaking her banning orders, it was as a far more bellicose figure, determined to assume leadership of what became the decisive and most violent phase of the struggle. As she saw it, her role was to stiffen the confrontation with the authorities.

The tactics were harsh.

“Together, hand in hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we will liberate this country,” she told a rally in April 1986. She was referring to “necklacing,” a form of sometimes arbitrary execution by fire using a gas-soaked tire around a supposed traitor’s neck, and it shocked an older generation of anti-apartheid campaigners. But her severity aligned her with the young township radicals who enforced commitment to the struggle.

In the late 1980s, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela allowed the outbuildings around her residence in Soweto to be used by the so-called Mandela United Football Club, a vigilante gang that claimed to be her bodyguard. It terrorized Soweto, inviting infamy and prosecution.

In 1991 she was convicted of ordering the 1988 kidnapping of four youths in Soweto. The body of one, a 14-year-old named James Moeketsi Seipei — nicknamed Stompie, a slang word for a cigarette butt, reflecting his diminutive stature — was found with his throat cut.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s chief bodyguard was convicted of murder. She was sentenced to six years for kidnapping, but South Africa’s highest appeals court reduced her punishment to fines and a suspended one-year term.

By then her life had begun to unravel. The United Democratic Front, an umbrella group of organizations fighting apartheid and linked to the A.N.C., expelled her. In April 1992, Mr. Mandela, midway through settlement talks with President F. W. de Klerk of South Africa, announced that he and his wife were separating. (She dismissed suggestions that she had wanted to be known by the title “first lady.” “I am not the sort of person to carry beautiful flowers and be an ornament to everyone,” she said.)

Two years later, Mr. Mandela was elected president and offered her a minor job as the deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology. But after allegations of influence peddling, bribetaking and misuse of government funds, she was forced from office. In 1996, Mr. Mandela ended their 38-year marriage, testifying in court that his wife was having an affair with a colleague.

Only in 1997, at the behest of Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu at South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, did Ms. Madikizela-Mandela offer an apology for the events of the late 1980s. “Things went horribly wrong,” she said, adding, “For that I am deeply sorry.”

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela at a 2009 gathering to honour her former husband, who died four years later.                    Credit Alexander Joe/Agence France-Presse                          — Getty Images

Yet the catalog of missteps continued, cast into sharp relief by her haughty dismissiveness toward her accusers. In 2003 she was convicted of using her position as president of the A.N.C. Women’s League to obtain fraudulent loans; she was sentenced to five years in prison. But her sentence was again suspended on appeal, with a judge finding that she had not gained personally from the transactions.

To the end, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela remained a polarizing figure in South Africa, admired by loyalists who were prepared to focus on her contribution to ending apartheid, vilified by critics who foremost saw her flaws. Few could ignore her unsettling contradictions, however.

“While there is something of a historical revisionism happening in some quarters of our nation these days that brands Nelson Mandela’s second wife a revolutionary and heroic figure,” the columnist Verashni Pillay wrote in the South African newspaper The Mail and Guardian, “it doesn’t take that much digging to remember the truly awful things she has been responsible for.”

Christian Conflict Management 101

Easter

To be able to live peacefully in any environment, we need to understand the fact that; Conflicts are inevitable and might not be totally avoidable. Regardless of our nature and personality traits, we tend to have issues with other people. Dealing with conflict isn’t easy; natural order of things has made scarcity of resources and time major challenges to humanity. As a leader, as a human being, you can be sure that you’ll face relational conflicts. No leadership model exists that will totally eliminate disagreements or clashes of personality. In fact, the tension that comes from conflict can be healthy and beneficial to growth if dealt with correctly. Life’s most important question isn’t “Will I face conflicts?” but “How can I best manage conflicts when they arise?”

The only Christ supported key to dealing with conflict is to follow God’s word and respond obediently and these are:

Eliminate Need to Retaliate: Understanding the others are important in handling conflicts. We need to listen more and be attentive to the inner pains being expressed by the others always. As Christians we should always learn to emphasize through active listening. Don’t totally avoid discussions. Don’t ignore underlining concern and covert interests that are instrumental to position of the other parties. Ignore the; insults, accusations and curses, they are all expressions of hurt. Emotions cannot be controlled by many people during quarrels, look beyond the tones, the pains and frustrations, concentrate on the issues at all time. Conflicts challenge our unity as a body of Christ. Our unity always poses a threat to the devil that will use every opportunity to take advantage of unresolved issues, especially those involving anger, bitterness, self-pity, and envy to bring us down (see Prov. 26:20)

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from us, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Conflict remains one major challenge to our prayers to the Lord. Jesus insisted that we love our neighbours as ourselves and that we should always promptly settle all quarrels with our brothers before coming for prayers (John 13:34: Romans 12:10). He specifically taught us to always express undying love to one another and tries to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours and brothers (Romans 15:5). Jesus commanded Christians to ensue: patience, kindness and tenderness of heart in dealing with each other always (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Discuss issues as they arise and acknowledge the other’s emotions: Jesus enjoined us to settle our differences among ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:11). Jesus was direct in His instructions about transgressions between brothers. “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Christians should learn the spirit of Jesus and the most essential part of conflict resolution process are; understanding the feelings of others and forgiving them.

We are taught to be long-suffering and tenderhearted toward one another. Good Christians will always consider others feelings and pains before theirs at all times (Philippians 2:3). We are to refrain from pre-judging issues and listen carefully to issues before we comment. In quarrels we should look beyond the explicit to the covert innuendoes in all statements. Interests determine people’s positions and as Christians we should always be conscious not to be selfish and over bearing in our attitude. Saint Paul admonishes us to always “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3–4).

Manage Emotions:

Uncontrolled emotional outbursts are the reasons for most arguments turning violent. We should always learn to appreciate the others standpoint and appreciates their emotions. Be emphatic at all times; listen attentively to what the others are saying. Never presuppose anything. Learn to be patient and see beyond the hurt and thoughtless argument of the other. Try walking away from argument when emotions can’t be controlled. We should always be the barometers of arguments, when it gets too hot to be reasonable walking away is a great option. We might not be able to solve any issue when tempers are flaring, hence when we are reaching our breaking point, please endeavours to move away for sometime for temper to cool down.

We are supposed to be strong and be the pillar for our friends and rejoice in finding solution to issues (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:6). Always understand the role of emotion and ego in conflicts, as Christians; we should never aim at hurting others back, because of what they said during a quarrel. Learn to be more understanding and see beyond the hurt and thoughtlessness in other’s speech. Walk away, cool down and look for another way of addressing issues and not emotion later in a more mutually beneficial and rational way later (Coll. 3:120

Learn how to apologise:

 As peacemaker and Christian, we should learn how to diffuse tension with golden statements like ‘I am so sorry dear” “Please forgive me, if I in any way hurt you” even when you are not wrong! Disarm violent response with positive statements. Look beyond the hurt intended by the speech, learn to see the underlining tone and deal with issues while ignoring their position. Always be careful to craft your response at all time. Avoid deteriorating already fry nerves by saying the wrong things. Be smart to always ignore areas of disagreements and concentrate on points of agreements. This reduces argument from start and encourages better concentration by the other parties. You don’t drop a fish suddenly in a new tank; you do it slowly and gently. Arguments are not for winning; it’s about smoothing patches and designing better relationships. Hence you don’t throw cautions to the wind and attack the other parties relentlessly with violent words (Prov. 6:3; Coll. 3:13; Prov. 12:20).

Learn how to elicit underlining interests.

Clarify issues by asking open-ended questions thereby slowing down argument. These allow your opponent to pause and think out a response. People plan quarrel out in their minds before meeting the other parties. You should always throw a spanner in their meticulous plans by asking pertinent and clarifying questions such as:

  • “Please tell me, why is this so important to you..”?
  • “If I can understand you and rephrase that statement, what you are trying to say is that you are not being appreciated for all your hard works here, right”?
  • “Please tell me again, why is this so important right now”?
  • “Thanks for your complete honesty with me, but what do you think we can do right now, please”?

Always refrain from shouting and striking the others. Learn not to use words that can be deemed insulting, sarcastic and demeaning to others during quarrels. Abstain from raising your hand to strike others when temper flares. It’s barbaric and termed childish in all culture. Never use final words that leave your opponents with no choices. Statements like “ If you walk out, don’t ever come back here again”, “You are a bastard if you don’t do it” “Strike me if you are a man” “I hate you”. Reconciliations are made difficult by words spoken during quarrels. Many could forget the source of the quarrel, but what you say during the quarrel is etched in memories forever. You can’t unsay words, so be careful what you say during conflicts. Quarrels are to rework relationship processes not to end it. We lose great friends by being too excited and not watching our utterances.