APC Planning to Influence 2019 Elections with Military Operations – PDP

2019 Elections, APC, PDP, PMB, Politics


“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

Tinubu and buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari, has been accused of planning to use a military operation code named ‘Operation Python Dance 3’ to influence the results of the February 14, 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria by the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Operation Python Dance designed as a military ‘show of strength‘ exercise by the Nigerian Army directed at silencing the growing influence of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and other criminal associations in the South East region of the country in the first and second versions of the operation took place in the region between 2017 and 2018.

Nigerian Army parades Armoured Tanks in the streets of Port Harcourt Rivers State

Announcing the launch of a third version on Friday, the military said the exercise would now be conducted nationwide and would commence from January 1, 2019 and last till February 28.

The presidential election is billed to take place on February 16.

The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge” insecurity challenges anticipated before, during and after the 2019 general election.

But kicking against the timing of the exercise, the PDP alleged that Mr Buhari was plotting to use the planned nationwide military exercise to legitimise his administration’s alleged ploy of using the military to intimidate voters and rig next year’s presidential election.

“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari Presidency are working in cohort with some compromised top officials of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission to use soldiers to provide cover for diversion of electoral materials, as well as aid APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.

“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari Presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced,” he said.

Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said Nigerians are eager for a new president, having lost confidence in Buhari, due to his alleged failures in governance.

“The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari Presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.

“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarization of our electoral process.

“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should, therefore, foreclose any attempt by the Buhari Presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”

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Nigerian President was at the ECOWAS Heads of Government meetings in Abuja

News

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday participated at the 54th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja.

Speaking at the session, Buhari said: “Despite these successes, ECOWAS is still confronted by several challenges. The sub-region continues to face difficulties in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields.”

According to him, “These lofty ideals are however not attainable without peace and security. That is why I have decided to make the issue of peace and security the major focus of my Chairmanship. I am happy to inform this august assembly that our efforts have started yielding dividends as we have been able to douse tension and restore confidence in some potentially disruptive political situations, particularly in Guinea Bissau, Togo and Mali.

“It is a matter of concern that terrorism and violent extremism have continued to threaten the peace and security in our sub-region. This threat calls for collective action on our part, if we are to effectively and definitively eliminate it. As we work on new strategies to combat and eradicate this menace, we require the support of our partners…”

Read the full text of President Buhari’s statement here:

https://lnkd.in/gJ23tRY

Nigeria: Elections and Human Rights

2019 Elections, Politics, Power

Oge Onubogu 
USIP, Senior Program Officer,                    Africa Programs

Statement before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

I would like to thank the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Congressman Hultgren and Congressman McGovern, for convening this briefing today on Nigeria. I appreciate the opportunity to present my views. I am a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), although the views expressed here are my own. USIP was established by Congress over 30 years ago as an independent, national institute to prevent and resolve violent conflicts abroad, in accordance with U.S. national interests and values.

It is a privilege to appear before you today, along with colleagues to discuss the risks, challenges, and opportunities around the upcoming elections in one of Africa’s most important countries.  

Nigeria’s keenly anticipated presidential and national assembly elections are scheduled for February 16, 2019, while the elections for state governors and state assemblies are scheduled for March 2, 2019. These elections come 20 years after the restoration of democratic, multiparty constitutional rule in Nigeria. The 2019 elections follow the country’s first-ever peaceful transition of power to an opposition candidate in 2015. Thus, the upcoming elections will test the resilience of Nigeria’s democratic institutions to successfully conduct two consecutive credible elections. While democratization is not a linear process, many Nigerians expect further progress in 2019, including a credible electoral process.

While Nigeria has made major strides in its democratic development, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Nigeria’s democracy remains fragile and its elections remain vulnerable.

Nigeria’s political parties are now in full campaign mode ahead of next year’s elections. Unfortunately, signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. However, it is not too late for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of election-related violence in 2019. The United States has actively encouraged Nigeria’s democratic progress in the past and should step up its attention on Nigeria’s 2019 elections.

To do this effectively, it is crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state-level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaigns for the presidency. International and domestic observers reported incidents of voter intimidation by security forces and party agents during the re-run of the off-cycle gubernatorial election in Osun state in September. This illustrates the intensity of state elections and the associated risks. Elections next year in states that are considered higher profile than Osun are likely to be even more volatile.

The 2019 state-level elections will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria and Africa, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The gubernatorial elections will take place in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, just two weeks after the presidential elections. Seven other state elections are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons. In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks, and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.  Incumbents in the remaining 10 of the 29 states, cannot run again because of term limits or because they lost out in their state party primaries, making elections in these states’ competitive open races.

State-level elections are important for democratic progress in Nigeria. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, allocate federally disbursed revenue, shape policy on development and security, and also oversee the state election commissions which manage local government elections across Nigeria’s 774 local government areas. A 2018 USIP study on the Nigeria elections noted the growing prominence of local government elections among Nigerians, who are increasingly viewing local elections as a testing ground for budding politicians – in order words, democracy at the grassroots.   

The USIP study which was conducted in 8 states (Kano, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Rivers, Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra) and in the federal capital territory, Abuja, found that many political and conflict conditions have changed since 2015. So, it is important that the nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—be considered in weighing whether election-related violence at the national or state-level is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

Among these changes are the shifting perceptions of narratives of security and insecurity in Nigeria.  The prominence of the pastoralist-farmer conflicts has shaped perceptions that large parts of the country are insecure. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria. In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have “technically defeated” Boko Haram, but the terrorist group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces, such as the civilian joint task force (CJTF), which were organized in response to the terrorist threat, now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno State – the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. So, the state-level contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another significant change since 2015 are the proliferating divisions within the two largest political parties, the APC and the PDP. Particularly within the ruling APC, it continues to exhibit an inability to consolidate its internal party structure and effectively resolve internal rivalries. The recent October party primaries in the APC-led Zamfara state were marred by violence and the party leadership has been unable to address the internal grievances. Preparations for the Zamfara state elections in 2019 also continue to be controversial. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, stating that the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remain intense. This competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers State. This state is considered a “political prize” for any party that can capture control of the jurisdiction. State-level elections in Rivers are often characterized by high levels of violence. According to the Fund for Peace, Rivers state experienced the most election violence incidents and fatalities of any Nigerian state during the 2015 elections. Political hostilities in Rivers have heightened since APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the 2015 elections. The personal rivalry between the former Governor and current transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi (APC), and the current state Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP), continues to exacerbate divisions along party lines.

Despite the short amount of time before the elections and the potential for election violence in 2019, there are still opportunities for action.

First, clear plans for the prevention of election violence need to be in place now. These plans should be effectively communicated to citizens by the INEC and security agencies and should be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

For many Nigerians, the memories of election-related violence are still current because the Nigerian government has been unable to establish mechanisms to address electoral offenses. The recommendations from the 22-member presidential committee on the 2011 post-election violence – Nigeria’s bloodiest elections since the transition in 1999 in which human rights organizations estimated over 800 people were killed – have not been implemented.  

The National Human Rights Commission, which is a statutory body mandated to document human rights violations and initiate processes for prosecution, is a weak institution and has been relatively ineffective since 2015. A bill to a create a specialized electoral offenses commission with the authority to investigate, enforce, and prosecute electoral offenses is still pending in the National Assembly. It is unlikely that this bill will pass before the 2019 elections.

With less than three months to the elections, the U.S. and international community should prioritize engagements with their Nigeria counterparts on ways to effectively address and prosecute electoral offenses in the 2019 elections. In addition, Nigeria should hold itself to a higher standard when it comes to prosecuting electoral offenses. Proposing that a credibly elected government that emerges after the 2019 elections prioritize the passage and implementation of the bill to establish a specialized electoral offenses commission could be a good way to start.     

In the short term, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders from diverse backgrounds, could be a source of support to the Nigerian authorities. Other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence should be engaged as well.

The National Peace Committee, which played an important role in securing the peaceful transition of presidential power in 2015, should be reenergized. Given the current realities and possibilities of higher levels of violence during the gubernatorial elections, peace committees should also be created at the state-level.   

Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency, the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission, and the Adamawa State Peace Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing. USIP is working closely with them and with local community leaders and civil society representatives to address state-level violence before, during, and after the 2019 elections.  

Secondly, the U.S. and other international supporters of the electoral process in Nigeria should intensify their efforts to reinforce the work of key institutions that administer and support the electoral processes, most notably the INEC and the Nigerian Police.

INEC’s election management process has improved over the years, but challenges remain. The Commission has carried out many commendable reforms under its new Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. However, their good technical work may be of limited value if it is not widely known, understood, and trusted by the electorate or if voters feel that they will experience intimidation on election day.

Nigeria’s security agencies, particularly the police that is the lead agency on election security, should commit to better coordination with INEC and neutrality in the electoral process to positively influence voter confidence.

The U.S. government should support INEC and the Nigerian Police to ensure that the existing Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), which bring together INEC, the police, and other security agencies in a forum for election security planning at both the federal and state levels, serves as an effective coordinating mechanism. This coordination is especially important at the state-level to ensure a peaceful electoral process.

The INEC should also implement a more assertive and far-reaching public relations strategy to communicate with the voters, media, and political parties before, during, and after elections. The INEC should also have a transparent approach on the release of election results. A reinvigorated INEC strategy could go beyond generic voter information and civic education and be designed and differentiated for the realities of different regions, states, and elections in Nigeria.

Finally, Nigeria will be looked to in the region to fulfill its proper role as one of the best examples of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement, Nigeria’s political leaders can and should do better.

The United States and international community, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders can convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They can also convey to Nigerian leaders an expectation that political parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates if they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

The conduct of the 2015 elections raised citizen expectations for government performance. A credible electoral process in 2019 will strengthen Nigeria’s democratic development and enhance public confidence in its democratic institutions. A flawed election could result in a regression in democratic values in Nigeria and weaken the democratic progress that prevails in much of West Africa.

Despite its many challenges, Nigeria shows a commitment to democratic values. It is in the interest of the U.S and the international community to continue supporting Nigeria’s democratic development. Focusing efforts to reduce election-related violence in 2019, especially in the state gubernatorial elections, could be an important place to start.

The view expressed in this statement are those of the author and not the U.S. Institute of Peace

The Current Situation in Nigeria

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, Politics, Power, SEcurity

A USIP Fact Sheet

President Buhari’s 2015 election saw the country’s first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition candidate. Elections raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing problems—including weak governance, corruption, the Boko Haram insurgency, and persistent intercommunal conflicts—could soon be under control. Despite President Buhari’s vision for reform, the country’s security challenges are surging as the factors that fuel violent conflicts remain largely unaddressed. 

USIP’S Work

USIP brings together state governors and civic leaders to design, foster, and implement inclusive policies that mitigate violence and strengthen community-oriented security. The Institute engages a variety of influential figures, empowers citizens, and uses its expertise and convening power to inform Nigeria policy in the U.S., the region, and around the world. Recent work includes:

Promoting Inclusive, Peaceful Societies.

Many of the factors driving conflict and the Boko Haram insurgency exist across Nigeria’s northern region. These include governance challenges, marginalization, and youth unemployment. Nigeria’s federal system gives governors great responsibilities to address these issues.

The Institute leverages the governors’ influence by working with them to focus policies on citizens’ needs and establish strategies that prevent and resolve violent conflict. In the process, USIP and the state governors build more inclusive processes and send the message that addressing violent extremism must be achieved cooperatively.

Through the Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, the Institute adds public figures to the dialogue. The Working Group fosters relationships between citizens and governors—ensuring that a diversity of citizens’ voices impacts important decisions. The Working Group also demonstrates thought leadership through publications, research, editorials, and op-eds on state government roles in addressing conflict.

Strengthening Local Security.

USIP’s peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria improve state-level institutions’ ability to manage local conflict by piloting dialogue-based approaches and providing recommendations and lessons learned to policymakers.

  • Network of Nigerian facilitators. USIP recruited and continues to provide technical and financial support to a cadre of facilitators to convene dialogues related to election security, transitioning to community-oriented policing, and manage communal disputes that pose a risk of violence.
  • Justice and Security Dialogue project. Modeled an approach for community policing through ongoing dialogues between police and the community, particularly youth.
  • State peacebuilding institutions. Bolstering the ability of state peacebuilding institutions in Plateau and Kaduna states to respond to local conflicts before they become violent.
  • Conducting research that translates into action. USIP’s Nigeria research improves understanding of violence’s risks and develops effective approaches to managing violent conflict.
  • Elections violence risk assessment. Together with several partners, USIP is conducting an elections violence risk assessment ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 elections to provide actionable and timely analysis that will help key figures work to prevent violence before, during, and after the elections.
  • Transitioning from military operations to civilian policing. The Institute conducted research on the transition to community-oriented policing following military-led security in northeast Nigeria. The research incorporated the perspectives and priorities of vigilante groups into recommendations for a more responsive security sector.
  • Researching resistance to violence. With USIP’s support, the Centre for Information Technology and Development examined the factors that make certain communities more resistant to the threat of violence in north-east Nigeria. The research showed that community resilience thrives when there is a robust community platform for active citizen participation and democratic decision-making. The absence of such a platform in many communities led to their quick and brutal destruction by Boko Haram.

Download full Report at: USIP

The Risk of Election Violence in Nigeria is Not Where You Think

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Oil, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Containing violence at the state level will be key to a peaceful election

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 / BY: Oge Onubogu ; Idayat Hassan

Nigeria’s political parties are in full campaign mode ahead of national and state-level elections early next year, and unfortunately signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. It’s not too late, however, for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of coercion and possibly even bloodshed. To do so effectively, it’s crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaign for president.

People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)

In Nigeria, All Politics is Local

September’s off-cycle election for governor in the southwestern state of Osun illustrates the intensity of state elections and the accompanying risks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the initial results inconclusive because of technical problems and other disruptions, and the vote had to be redone. In the second round, U.S., European Union and U.K. observers reported that they found “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, and heard reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.” Social media posts showed photos of allegedly injured civilians. Higher profile state races in 2019 are likely to be even more volatile.

State-level elections are important for democratic development in Nigeria, which serves as a bellwether for stability in Africa as the continent’s most populous country and biggest oil-producing nation. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, who allocate federally disbursed revenue and shape policy on development and security, oversee the state election commissions that manage local government elections—the essence of grassroots democracy.

The 2019 state-level voting will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The electoral calendar will be crowded in the first quarter of 2019. Just two weeks after the general elections, balloting will take place on March 2 to select governors and state assemblies in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states (seven others are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons). In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.

In Lagos state, the APC incumbent lost in the October primary, and in the remaining nine of the 29 state contests (Borno, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Yobe and Zamfara), the incumbents cannot run again because of term limits, making for competitive open races.

A Complex Risk Environment

In the 2015 state elections, voting generally proceeded smoothly across the country, according to the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partner organization in Nigeria. Even so, “significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones,” the CDD reported.

Three years later, conditions have changed. The nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—must be considered in weighing whether state-level election violence is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

The number of violent conflicts across the country and their toll have increased. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria.

In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have decimated Boko Haram, but the group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces organized in response to the terrorist threat now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno state. So, the contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another change since 2015 is proliferating fissures within the APC and the PDP. In Kano, northern Nigeria’s most populous state and long considered a harbinger of a party’s political prospects across that region, divisions are deep within the APC between supporters of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and backers of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, formerly the state’s governor, and now member of the opposition PDP. Already, the party primaries in October in Zamfara were marred by violence. Preparations for that state’s elections in March continue to be controversial, as INEC has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, saying the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remains intense. That competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers state—hostility heightened by the APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the lead-up to the 2015 vote. The Fund for Peace, another USIP partner in Nigeria, reports that “the personal rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi (APC) and current Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP)” exacerbates divisions along party lines. Rivers state is considered a political crown jewel for any party able to capture control of the jurisdiction.

How Election Violence can be Mitigated

So, what can be done? Nigeria must be held to a higher standard than in the past in order to fulfill its proper role as the best example of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement in recent years, the country’s political leaders need to do better.

First, planning for prevention of election violence needs to occur earlier and be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

Secondly, the United States and international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders must clearly convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties will act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They must demand that parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates should they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

Finally, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders, could be a source of support, and there may be other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence. Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency and the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing, but they can work closely with local community leaders and civil society representatives.

While Nigeria has made major strides since democracy was restored almost 20 years ago, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Reducing election-related violence, especially in the all-important state gubernatorial elections, is a crucial place to start.

Oge Onubogu is a senior program officer for Africa programs at USIP. Idayat Hassan is the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development–West Africa, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization.

Davido: NYSC has cancelled my service year

local news, Music, personality

Nigerian musician, David Adeleke, popularly known has Davido, has revealed on social media that the compulsory one year service which he started some months ago has been cancelled by NYSC

Davido

He made this known in his reaction to a post made by Nigerian Music Promoter Adesegun Adeosun, @iamsmade who just finished his NYSC program and also got a letter of recommendation.

Reacting, Davido wrote: “Naso dem cancel my own”

This may be related to his refusal to observe the mandatory 3 weeks orientation in the camp.

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Corruption, economy, Facts, Nigeria, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, relationship

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa.

“Owe ni Ifa npa, Omoran ni imo” Ifa’s revelation is always in parables; only the wise can understand their meanings.

In his analysis of the Shakespearean Tragedy “Macbeth” Michael Stratford argues that the essence of human pride was covered in three dimensions by this work. He asserted in supports of the works of Majorie Garber on the play which concluded that Macbeth’s confrontation with morality at the end of the play portrayed “real recovery” and completed the depiction of the phases of pride in men. He went further to outline these stages as: The hubris that hurls a man into sin and error, the false pride that secure and justifies all and perpetuates us in evil acts, and the final realization of our immortality and futility of all things.

The play Macbeth has been analyzed by many due to its relevance in everyday human progression. Macbeth was a young and virile soldier honored for his love of Scotland and bravery at war by King Duncan. He was at the zenith of his profession as a soldier and revered titled gentleman in Scotland when the story started. A chance meeting with the “three witches”, their predictions of Macbeth as the King of Scotland, transported this gentleman into a murderer and usurper and finally his death.Given the level of public exposure to education and the current public discourse about the ruler of Nigeria which pulls towards lack of proper formal education, maybe this narrative could be brought home more.

Curiosity recently made me look into the Ifa esoteric and cosmogony and I was amazed at the level of sophistication of the Odu Ifa in explaining and predicting main pattern of human conscious, and unconscious acts; going even further to reveal the purpose and destinies of humans on earth. I was further impressed by the manner with which knowledge and wisdom for managing pride and power were expressively itemized thorough the use of parables.For noninitiates, the Ifa divinity comprises of sixteen major quadrant of ancient Yoruba Ifa cult, which was subdivided into 256 distinct sub-heads detailing all areas of human: wisdom for proper interrelations, truth and moralities, science, cosmology, metaphysics, medicine and other established norms of the Yoruba People of Southwest Nigeria as established by Orunmila. Orunmila the first Ifa priest was reputed to have started the accumulation of this knowledge base, handing it over to his sixteen children, who continued to practice and develop the Ifa practice.

In Odi Isa, amongst the Odu Ifa, Orunmila tried to balance power and pride; where he depicts the travail of the Tiger, the king of the jungle when the entire animal challenged him to battle. The tiger despite his acclaimed overwhelming power, applied wisdom and appealed to the elders for help. The elders asked the Tiger to perform a sacrifice and in respect to the words of the elders, the Tiger performed all necessary rites. And to this day, no animal was able to conquer the tiger.

Tiger’s powerful could have stupidly against public opinion challenged the whole animal kingdom. which will then overrun him and take over his kingdom. When faced with adversities, he went begging the elders for advice. Instead of ruin and death as in Macbeth case, the tiger excel and its kingdom expanded.

Many writers in the pre-2015 era had lauded the achievements of the new progressives led by General Mohamadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The duo in conjunction with other heavy weights in Nigerian politics had performed the first presidential election upset in Nigerian history; the defeat of a sitting president in a general election. The global press was agog in the spirit of the wave of change coming to Nigeria politics.

The emergence of Buhari as the new government leader was heralded as a milestone in Nigerian political arena. Given the sixteen years politicking before his emergence as the president, people were thoroughly misled that the “Buhari presidential dream” was driven by passionate goals for real change. When the new government started showing signs of unpreparedness to rule and obvious lack of cohesion were being revealed, the Nigerian people still believed and attributed it to huge challenges emanating from long period of institutionalized corruption by previous governments. Nigerian new government was later revealed to have been distracted by huge amount of propaganda, vain retribution, illegal and unnecessary arrests and prosecutions in its first year in power.

Apparently, governance and economy finally start to show negative growth. Before the end of the second year, the country which was reputed as one of the ten growing global economies was in recession. Economic indicator aside, the failing security architecture has been witnessed in all theaters of operation. Conflict escalations in most areas were being witnessed. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) continued to rise as conflicts engulfs the state. Youth and elites migration have more than doubled within three years, and statistics on youth unemployment is reading above one third of population. The national currency’s value in international trade fell by over 200 percent in the first year of this government and it took direct intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to shore up the Naira to its current 360 to one dollar status.

Failed economy, repetitive conflicts, insurrections, low school attendance, thriving illicit economies, and high youth emigration, according to Mary Kaldor are signs of failing states. The constant stay outside the country by the president was a minor issue until the whole world was treated to the caricature of Nigerian President’s show of shame in faraway Poland on the Saturday Night Show recently. The lack of grace and charisma that goes with the esteemed office of the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the representative of over 200millon people and one of the fastest growing states globally by this current president reflects his depth of understanding of the power and privilege of Nigeria in global politics.

Tinubu’s rise to stardom in Nigerian politics was midwifed by the NADECO movement against military rule in the late eighties and early nineties. The movement which led to the emergence of this ongoing republic equally blessed BAT with the governorship of the most priced state in Nigeria, Lagos. Lagos represents the hub of commerce and economy of Nigeria. Nigerian position as a giant in Africa business resides in the economic performance of Lagos State. Eight years of his direct rule, twelve years of his protégés ruling, characterized by unashamed plundering of Lagos state’s resources has created a new Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Czar of Southwest Nigeria was born. By 2014, Tinubu had in his control a war-chest big enough to start and prosecute any political war in Nigeria against any opposition.

When Tinubu pitched his tent against President Goodluck Jonathan, midwifed a coalition of parties to form All Peoples’ Congress (APC) in supports of Buhari, the die was cast. Tinubu’s prowess and political machinery was founded on the Lagos State dynasty. This base he has always controlled since 1999. Experts have posited that the loss of Lagos by the Tinubu gang will surely sound the kernel of his political demise. Recent happenings have shown the arrival of the new Tinubu. Four month to general elections, Tinubu unilaterally influenced the removal of the name of the incumbent governor of Lagos State from the ballot and imposed a new man as the party representative. A move that has been reported irked many locals and party faithful.

Obviously, Tinubu’s power as sole godfather and power broker in Lagos politics is on test as 2019 February elections looms. Buhari’s reign and reelections as president is being supported by the Tinubu’s camp. The alliance many agreed was based on the pact to return Tinubu as president in 2023. This ambition has fueled the unalloyed support from Lagos APC for Buhari’s return. It’s a big gamble on the path of Tinubu and Buhari. Like the proverbial fly, Buhari has tasted the wine and is ready and willing to die in the same cup of wine.

Tinubu’s ambition also has turned him to the fly that refused to heed the warnings of the elders and has decided to follow the corpse into the earth. Ambition is necessary to achieve and progress in life, yet ambitions should be ethically based, no normal leader will continue to aspire to hold and office in which he does not have capacity for managing, and no normal human being will sacrifice the future of his people, merely for his own selfish ambition.

Ambition contaminated by acute pride surely begets disaster. Macbeth ambition was fueled by greed and selfish ambition to rule Scotland, never because he was a pushed by a need to work a better society for his people. His endgame led to war and carnage pushing Scotland which was growing as a nation into complete recession and pillage by ravaging armies. Equally, the Tiger would have resorted to use of might against his enemies as he was in power, but wisdom led him to the elders. Tinubu and Buhari have achieved the impossible in Nigerian politics; the time has come for them both to respect the people and leave the scene. Unrestrained pride and ambition, the elders says always lead to death and destructions.

Don Michael Adeniji                                                                                          Director, African Initiative for Peace and Human Development, Abuja Chicago Illinois. December, 2018

Nigeria: And the herdsmen killings contines

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Herdsmen, PMB, SEcurity, Terrorism

Central Nigeria have witnessed persistent attacks and killing from marauding herdsmen without any hope of restraints from the state security on the restless herdsmen.

Plateau Reportedly witnessed a major attack during the weekend with over aa hundred mortality. Its condemnable and cannot be allowed to countinue. The whole country should u it talking about it, its time we all stand nad take action on stopping these massacre. If the state is powerless, then the people needed to stand and look for a way to stop the evil acts.

ORGANISING NGOS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, Islam, law enforcement, SEcurity, Terrorism, War

Counterterrorism has to be woven into the everyday workings of every department. It should be included on the agenda of every meeting, and this new role must be imparted to officers on the street so that terrorism prevention becomes part of their everyday thinking.” Kelling, G L. & William K. B, (2006) Policing Terrorism, Civic Bulletin 43, New York: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, September 2006.

Terrorism has become a political tool in the 20th century and its spread has become so dynamic that it has now become on of the “new wars” that nations today fights. Emergency response and preventive measures have to become more flexible and adapt to the dynamism of attacks. Terrorist related incidence must be documented, researched and evaluated in line with local needs. The current randomness of terror attacks in Nigeria put all at risks and we must have a structure plans in place to restrict and mitigate these strikes.

Basic understanding of terrorism, its goals and operational method would have sufficed in allowing for designing proper response. It is a waste of resources fighting a reactive battle against terrorists. The Nigerian response to terrorism has been flawed by the lack of institutional understanding of what terrorism is all about. Proactive resources can only be deployed when we are all able to deduce the fact that terrorism is not fought using heavy machinery and standing armies but through employment of psychological warfare that is designed based on proper analysis of the terror groups operational methods, recruitment operations and goals.

Terrorism is a form of rebellion against the state. Modern terrorists have better equipment and global media as its mouthpiece. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, (START) Department of Homeland Security Think-Thank based in the University of Maryland, United State is one of the center set up by the US government to analyse and design engagement protocol for counter-terrorism in US. One of the conclusion of this center that changed the US counter-terrorism engagement was the fact that in over 1000 years of review of terrorism engagement by states globally, the use of military force eliminated the threat in only 4% of such engagements, while the use of proper local security, policing and development programmes was able to achieve end of these groups in more than 40%.

Development NGOs are committed to working towards economic, social or political development in developing countries. The Norwegian bilateral aid agency, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) defines development-oriented NGOs as organisations that “attempt to improve social, economic and productive conditions and are found both as small community-based organisations at village and district levels, and as large professional development agencies at state or national level”

Northern Nigeria economic environment has been described as backward and has continued to regress in the period after the 1970s. The average Disposable Income, access to education and basic infrastructure has equally fallen in the past decades. Lack of access to proper education has created a huge mass of unemployable youth in an environment experiencing a burgeoning youth population. Available data point at a growing youth population in an environment without corresponding growth in infrastructure and industry has led to high pressure on resources leading to perennial class conflict in the region.

Failure of government institutions to deliver on appropriate economic and infrastructural reforms has led to conflicts between state officials and citizens. Increased distrust of officials has led to several clashes and self-help actions. Uncoordinated rebellions in the past decades had eventually matured into current terror operations by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The war on terror have been severely stunted by the growing supply of radical youths from the stock of unemployable youth that littered the streets of northern Nigeria in need of sense of spiritual emancipation from years of poverty and lack. Many literatures had maintained the fact that poverty is not an impetus for rebellion acts yet it has been proven through direct observation that rebellion thrives where the state failure and poverty is evident. As a matter of fact, the basis for international humanitarian efforts in Africa has been based on prevention of high criminality that may result from unchecked growth in poverty and hunger in several failing states in the continent.

One major challenge to the provision of public infrastructure development has been in the slow bureaucratic processes and the attendant high corruption of government officials in most African countries. NGOs and Community Based Organisations has been a bridge between the people and the government in actualizing people oriented development projects.

As development actors, NGOs have become the main service providers in countries where the government is unable to fulfill its traditional role. In the education sector, many NGOs have moved beyond ‘gap- filling’ initiatives into capacity building activities. This paper seeks to address the role of NGOs in development through the lens of capacity building. Through academic articles and NGO working papers, we can determine the effect of NGOs on capacity development and their role in building capacity on all levels, using a framework based on positive hypotheses:

NGOs are increasingly involved in capacity development. As the development discourse leans towards developing skills and tools for strengthening society, NGOs have reacted accordingly. They wish first and foremost to remain important stakeholders in development and to impart their extensive knowledge in the education sector. This involvement changes the ways in which NGOs operate. Capacity-building activities complement traditional service provision, though this does not mean that all NGOs have good relations with government.

In any case, NGO activities are increasingly diverse. They have an impact on the interpretation of capacity development. NGOs are influenced by the ideology of capacity development as defined by the hegemonic development discourse, but they also influence its meaning from the outside. This modified interpretation of capacity development can weaken central government but strengthen it in the long term. NGOs have the capacity to innovate and adapt more quickly than national governments; therefore, their actions can undermine government initiatives. But if they scale up their activities and impart their knowledge and techniques at the government level, the country as a whole can benefit.

NGOs have a significant impact on the whole process but are also plagued by severe obstacles. NGOs continue to suffer from a lack of resources and from their general estrangement from the state. Unless they become partners with government, and not competitors, capacity-building initiatives will continue to be stunted.

The environment in Northeastern Nigeria remains inundated by high-level insecurity that makes development programme seem essentially impossible. While most stakeholders abstained from the area due to high risk factor and the ongoing sate of emergency has further negated the infrastructural capacity of these three states under the military onslaught on the insurgents. The apparent lack of trust for state institutions in these areas will make the use of conventional government MDA approach to development clearly unwelcome. Locally based NGOs, CBOs and FBOs can easily breach this gap and stand in as the only way to reach out and provide succor to non-combatants and civilians in these areas. Government should provide funds for locally established and managed Community Based and Faith Based Organisations to drive development agendas in the tri-violent states of Yobe, Bauchi and Borno to kick start development in these areas.

The advantage of using locally based organisations in handling the development programmes in these areas are two pronged:

1. Train employable locally Based service delivery experts: One of the problems with the region remains in the increasing number of unemployable youth, given low economic activities in the areas. Inflow of fresh funds may increase economic activities and create expansion of local industry to support the increase in demand for resources in the area. The use of locally based personnel should avail the growth of necessary local experts needed for the entrenchment and maintenance of programme. The failure of most INGOs has been traced to the lack of proper local supports for their programme.
2. Increase trust in the process: Most locals may become part of the process since it is being handled through local personnel known to them. Trust in the process may enhance collaboration and could boost the programme at all level.

Recommendations:

Civil societies or NGOs in Nigeria has had a cheered history, from a vibrant, uncompromising and result focus pre-independence era, through a government hampered and corrupt operation before mid-1990s to a strong indivisible front during the democratic struggles of the late eighties and this era of political activism, corrupt leadership and weaken structure.

Regrettably, there cannot be a sustainable reform without the supports and inputs of the civil societies. Civil societies are needed to act as middlemen between the policy makers and their communities. Hence the role of these groups in reforms may includes:

• Raising public awareness on issues and reasons for reforms: There is a need for proper information, direct and people oriented to educate the public. These should not be media driven but generated and managed by the people. The CS could be empowered through seminars and workshops to educate the public on the needs for direct engagement in programmes and their roles in reforms in Nigeria.
• Promoting debates and talks on issues, practices, challenges and reforms required:
Policies can only succeed when the public opinion form its bedrock. The NGO programme should be directed to organize formal public debates and hearings on important policy and inform the state of their reports.
• Spreading Reform Information:
Organizing and maintaining civil societies in areas where there is no awareness and education level is low. Thereby reaching out to lower cadres of the society with proper information on reforms.
• Monitoring and Evaluating the Reform Processes: Exposing and reporting to appropriate authorities’ misconducts, demanding transparency and accountability from all security organization through a nationwide monitoring system. Reporting and writing articles on reform issues to educate the public and the police officers alike.
Creating framework and opportunities for future reforms through the setting-up of bodies to monitor and collate data on PSC operatives and organizations and the police operations in all areas of the country.
• Partnering:
Organizing local and international workshops, talks and town hall meetings to share, discuss, teach and compare feedbacks on policing issues from different unit of the society and publishing their memorandum in national press.
• Act as links between the public and police:
Encouraging and involving community groups in policing, creating neighborhoods watch and vigilante groups -under proper legislations- to guard and secure their environment.

Don Michael Adeniji, MA, pnm
Director, Security Policy Analysis.
African Initiative for Peace and Human Development

A culture of substandard living | Dr. Amaraegbu

News

All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, (suicide) losing, cheating, and mediocrity are easy. Stay away from ease. -Scott Alexander
One major way to measure the degree of development in any society is the value she placed on human life. Even animals operate with the instinct that human life is sacred. This is the reason they initially exhibit fear and flight when they encounter human beings.

Consequently, every progressive human society focuses on the double task of preserving and improving the lives of mortals.Some European and even Asian nations have perfected in this crucial task to a high degree that the elderly cohort (65 and above) form a significant part of their population. In other words, the life expectancy of such nations is high. For instance, the UN 2015 world life expectancy of Nigerian is 52.29 years, UK is 80.45, and Japan is 83.74. The main reason for this divergent disparity in the life expectancy of nations is based on the different values these nations place on the lives of their citizens.

Every institution is a reflection of that society. Consequently, these institutions (family, education, governance, business etc.) become the extensions of the society. They are the vox populi of the larger society.

Two years ago, a national newspaper reported that Nigeria spent over $2 billion annually on educating her citizens abroad. The painful and embarrassing aspect of this ugly event is that, many Nigerian students prefer to obtain their education from poorer West African countries such as Benin, Cameroun, Togo and Ghana than Nigeria. Yet, there was a season in this country when Nigerian universities attracted foreign students from Africa, Europe, Asia and America. One would ask, what went wrong with our educational system?

Simply put, it is the result of substandard thinking and living. Our priorities and value system shifted from supporting quality education to wastage of resources. The increase in the number of universities in Nigeria isn’t commensurate to the quality of degrees produced. The malignant cancerous tumour which has infested our tertiary institutions is hydra headed and come in the form of leadership ineptitude, poor funding, lack of equipment and literature and deliberate neglect. The rut and rust in our educational system started from the primary and secondary and now at the tertiary level, it has festered and is generating fetid odours.

When teachers welfare, training and equipping are neglected, pupils and students study under terrible classroom conditions, parents encourage examination malpractices and both teachers and students engage in clandestine activities, then the result can only be a feast of doom.

A look at the Nigerian business and commerce institutions leaves much to be desired. Sharp practices mark the delivery of goods and services. Such notorious practices like, manufacturing and marketing of substandard products go on unabated in spite of the acclaimed efforts of the designated government agencies such as SON, NAFDAC, customs and exercise departments. Conspiracies at the local and international levels go on to achieve profiteering targets against the citizens of this country. One obvious manifestation of this conspiracy is the intractable difficulties perpetrated against the programme of achieving regular availability of power to the Nigerian populace. The result is that every Nigerian family patronises generator companies.

Like someone rightly said, every Nigerian family assumes the status of a local government because, she generates her own power, supplies her water, provides health services for her family members as well as constructs her own road network. This is a very unfortunate state of affair. The result of such individualistic pursuits is substandard living.

Consider this scenario – in spite of the quality and version of the vehicle one acquires it will ply the same bad road every other Nigerian uses. Many of our roads are either totally neglected or partially maintained. The wear and tear on the vehicles are almost inestimable. More dangerously too, these bad roads facilitate the occurrence of many accidents which claim the lives of our citizens.

The degenerating state of the Nigerian health sector is incalculable. Stretching back from the period when one of the reasons for military coup was because our hospitals had become mere consulting clinics till today, the health institution in Nigeria is almost reaching a comatose stage. The proofs are there for everyone to see. These include, the scarcity of quality drugs, and equipment, the increasing tendency of our people to patronise quarks, the unabated practice of our rich elite and government officials to patronise foreign hospitals, the poor remuneration and delay in the payment of salaries of medical and paramedical personnel.

Perhaps, one may not find any institution in our country that is corruption free. Think of such sublime issues in our country like, mortuary workers, cleaners at our airports, law enforcement agents, lecturers and legislators, and the electorates, executives and executors all demanding bribe in order to offer service undue benefit to people. We have developed a culture of profiteering instead of providing quality goods and services; one of usurping instead of investing, one of harming instead of helping others.

The list of proofs of substandard living in our country is inexhaustive. The big challenge is how to engage ourselves in a turnaround programme which will produce citizens in pursuit of quality living and nobility. Like Alexander Scott counselled at the beginning of this discourse, we should stay away from a life of ease. The life of ease honours laziness but despises diligence, promotes mediocrity over excellence, encourages the notorious lifestyle of the Nouveau riche which like a putrefying sour has bred numerous worms in our nation. It is time for Nigerians to resolve to pursue excellence, nobility, and such virtues which add value to life. I believe that we are able because when Nigerians travel abroad, they confirm and even excel beyond the dictates of the laws of those foreign nations. Several Nigerians are excelling abroad in almost every aspect of life. From arts, Information technology, pharmacy, medicine to engineering, business, governance and religion, Nigerians who live outside the shores of this nation prove beyond all reasonable doubts that they can pursue and achieve a life of all round excellence. Can charity begin at home?

Dr. Passy Amaraegbu is a clinical psychologist and author, lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

via A culture of substandard living By Dr. Amaraegbu — WELCOME TO YOUTH REVOLUTION CENTRE

#Breaking “Worst case scenario” predicted for latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

News, SEcurity

USAfricaLIVE

The World Health Organisation says it is preparing for “the worst case scenario” in a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. WHO has recorded 32 suspected or confirmed cases in Bikoro, including 18 deaths, between April 4 and May 9. The cases include three healthcare workers, one of whom has died. This is the country’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the disease was ærst identiæed in then-Zaire by a Belgian-led team.ebola-un.png

Efforts to contain the latest outbreak have been hampered because the affected region of the country is very remote. “There are very few paved roads, very little electriæcation, access is extremely difæcult… It is basically 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town,” WHO’s head of emergency response Peter Salama said. Cases have already been reported in three separate locations around Bikoro, and Mr Salama warned there was a clear risk the disease could spread to more densely populated areas.

WHO is particularly concerned about the virus reaching Mbandaka, which has around one million inhabitants and is only a few hours away from Bikoro. “If we see a town of that size infected with Ebola, then we are going to have a major urban outbreak,” Mr Salama warned. The organisation has a team on the ground and is preparing to send up to 40 more specialists to the region in the coming week or so.

Nigeria’s government this week ordered that travellers from DR Congo should be screened as an additional security measure after the fresh outbreak was confirmed, but the request was rejected by Nigeria’s health workers’ unions, who have been striking since April 18 over pay and conditions. The country does not share a border with DR Congo but memories are still fresh of an Ebola outbreak in 2014 that killed seven people out of 19 confirmed cases.

ref: AFP

KAICIID BOARD CALLS FOR SOLIDARITY IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND AMONG NIGERIAN CITIZENS TO RESIST HATRED DRIVEN BY MALICIOUS ACTS

Africa, News, Terrorism

KAICIID Board Calls for Solidarity in Central African Republic and among Nigerian Citizens to Resist Hatred Driven by Malicious Acts

KAICIID’s Interreligious Board of Directors, composed of religious leaders from five major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) issued the following statement following a series of violent attacks on 1 May 2018 in Bangui, Central African Republic, and in Mubi, Nigeria. In these attacks, worshippers, including Father Albert Toungoumalé-Baba, parish priest at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Bangui, as well as  worshippers at a Bangui mosque, were murdered. At a mosque in Mubi, Nigeria, a double suicide bombing killed over 80 people.

“The killing of innocent people at prayer in their houses of worship is a despicable crime that compounds the burden the people of the Central African Republic and Nigeria already carry.

In this hour of uncertainty, fear and anger, we express our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones and we offer our prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.

“We call upon all citizens of the Central African Republic and Nigeria to recall their common values and citizenship. In the Central African Republic, after great effort in dialogue, calm had returned and respect, mercy and empathy were re-strengthened following the conflict. The peaceful coexistence of religions had been a hallmark of the Republic’s history in the decades before the unrest on 1 May 2018.  Likewise in Nigeria, dialogue has overcome fear and distrust in many hearts. In both countries, the attempt to fuel hatred by malicious actors must be rejected to preserve the hard-won peace following tragedy.

“We commend the efforts of all people of goodwill in the Central African Republic and in Nigeria, and all the stakeholders who seek to sustain peace. In particular, we encourage and applaud the work of the Interreligious Platforms in both nations to build resilience and social cohesion. In particular we declare our solidarity with Cardinal Nzapalainga and Imam Kobine Layama of the Central African Republic in this difficult time.

“Any attempt to fuel religious hatred and to cause harm to people because of their religion is contemptible. In this spirit we stand up for the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as expressed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Longtime Jihadist Leads Group that Claimed Niger Attack – Ibrahim Ahmed

Military, News
mie.jpgFILE – In this frame from video, Myeshia Johnson cries over the casket in Miami, Florida, Oct. 17, 2017, of her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger.

Not much is known about the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, the group that claimed responsibility for killing four U.S. and four Nigerien soldiers in western Niger last October.

However, the group’s leader, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, is a well-known figure in regional jihadist circles.

Al-Sahrawi “is a longtime veteran of the West African subregion with deep networks in Mali,” according to Jacob Zenn, fellow of African and Eurasian Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation in Washington and a consultant on countering violent extremism. “He is able to manage groups of multiple ethnicities that engage in both terrorist attacks and criminal activity.”

Al-Sahrawi was once a commander for Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, where he became associated with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed leader of the group.

Later in 2011, al-Sahrawi was one of the extremists who came together to form the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, MUJAO, one of the jihadist groups that seized control of northern Mali for several months in 2012.

In 2015, al-Sahrawi issued a bay’a, or pledge of allegiance, to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the overall leader of the Islamic State militant network.

FILE - This image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq.
FILE – This image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq.

According to Zenn, al-Sahrawi still has connections to many of the AQIM sub-groups in Mali because of his experiences. But his loyalty is to the Islamic State.

ISGS operational capacities

On September 1, 2016, ISGS fighters attacked a gendarmerie post in Burkina Faso, just across the border from Niger, where they killed two guards. A month later, ISGS killed three policemen in an attack on a police outpost just a few kilometers from the Malian border in Burkina Faso.

Perhaps the most brazen attack by ISGS before the ambush of the U.S. soldiers at Tongo Tongo was the attempted jailbreak at a high-security prison in Niamey, Niger. The prison held suspected Boko Haram militants and other Islamists from the Sahel and Sahara regions.

Weeks after the attempted jailbreak and more than a year after the pledge of allegiance by al-Sahrawi, IS officially acknowledged the bay’a.

But even with the notoriety that came with killing the American and Nigerien soldiers in October 2017, ISGS has limited capabilities.

Zenn said the group “is able to engage small-scale confrontations with conventional militaries, as well as small-scale asymmetric kidnappings,” but the group has a limited number of fighters. “Perhaps no more than 200,” said Zenn, speaking to VOA last month.

Also, ISGS has no known operational or any other ties to its bigger and more potent Islamist group neighbor, the Islamic State West Africa Province, or the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, which is also an IS affiliate.

The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has generally not been able to carry out attacks on hard targets the way AQIM-affiliated groups have in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast.

But experts like Zenn believe the group poses a risk to economic targets, like French uranium production sites, and in sparsely populated rural areas.
Niger and its Sahel neighbors formed the military alliance called G5 Sahel to fight ISGS and other extremist groups in the area, while at the same time its military is also fighting Boko Haram along its border with Nigeria and Chad as part of the Lake Chad Multinational Joint Task Force.

Nigeria’s first Marine Engineering Centre of Excellence commences Masters programmes by Andrea Ayemoba

News

Shell.jpg

The pioneer post graduate students at the Marine and Offshore Engineering Centre of Excellence have commenced studies at Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, involving 18-month academic and field work that will lead to the award of Masters degrees in Marine Engineering (Power Plants), Naval Architecture and Offshore and Subsea Engineering.

A Diploma in Marine and Offshore Engineering will also be awarded by the Centre which was established last year by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) operated Joint Venture.

“We are pleased that the Centre of Excellence has taken off with students eager to achieve their dreams using hydrodynamic equipment that can simulate offshore/marine situations,” said SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli as he led a Shell team to witness the historic commencement of classes. “The Centre of Excellence is another powerful testimony on the educational initiatives of SPDC which began with the Shell scholarship scheme since the 1950s.”

The Centre of Excellence in Marine and Offshore Engineering – the first in Nigeria – offers a programme that covers lectures, practical sessions, term project modules and a six-month internship in the oil and gas industry. The Board of Trustees for the Centre which is chaired by the Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof. Blessing Didia, also held its inaugural meeting on the day the Shell team visited. Prof. Didia thanked SPDC and her partners for establishing the Centre of Excellence in the University, calling on undergraduate students in Marine Engineering and other Engineering disciplines to study harder as to qualify for enrollment into the programme.

The Director of the Centre, Dr. Ibiba Douglas stated that 10 students were admitted to the programme after a rigorous selection process, and commenced studies in April this year. Speaking at a lecture organised by the centre titled “An enabling business environment – implications for future careers in the oil and gas industry,” Mr. Weli called on youths in the Niger Delta to support the creation of a business environment that will attract investments to the region. He said: “The way we act, speak and manage conflict will help to create an environment where peace, investments and prosperity will thrive for the benefit of all stakeholders including communities.”

Mr. Weli echoed the same sentiments at a dinner which he later hosted to mark the take-off of the Centre which was attended by several stakeholders including the President of The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) Capt. Greg Ogbeifun, Managing Director of the Naval Ship-Yard Limited Commodore Abolaji Orederu and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote (represented by Dr. Patrick Obah).

In other support for tertiary education, SPDC JV funds a Centre of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering at University of Benin, and endowed six Professorial Chairs at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; University of Port Harcourt; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Uyo; and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun. The Chairs are in Geophysics, Environmental Management and Control, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, as well as Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation. The Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development at FUPRE is the most recent endowment and is expected to contribute to the growth of local content in Nigeria’s automobile industry.

www.shell.com.ng

Police IGP IRT and Special Forces Display current arressts in Benue, Nassarawa and Taraba states

Crime, News

The IGP IRT & the Police Special Forces mandated by the IGP to work with Benue, Nasarawa & Taraba State Commands, in the last 2 weeks arrested the 11 suspects mentioned above within Benue & Taraba States & recovered fm them were 10 AK47 Rifles & other assorted firearms & ammunitn

Dc2wYiOWkAMN8jiDc2wYiPX0AApbBDDcvio6MX0AA0H3o Kabiru Idris, Miracle Emmanuel and Husseini Safiyanu were arrested in Taraba State and in their possession Five (5) AK47 rifles, Thirteen (13) AK47 Magazines, Eighty Three (83) Rounds of AK47 Ammunition were recovered.

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1,500 schools destroyed by Boko Haram in North-East – FG

Boko Haram, News, SEcurity, Terrorism

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Federal Government said on Wednesday that more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states had been destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2014.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this at a workshop on the Safe School Declaration initiative in Abuja, noting that there was “an urgent need to protect education from attacks.”

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The minister said the Federal Government was concerned over the systematic destruction and targeting of education, adding that over 2,295 teachers had been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.

Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, said in his address, “There is an urgent need to protect education from attacks, because without access to quality learning, the children are not only being deprived of education; they are also being robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.

“We express concern over the systematic destruction and targeting of education, where over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.

“In the same vein, an estimated 1,500 schools have been destroyed since 2014, with over 1,280 casualties among teachers and students, thereby devastating the school system.

“Education should continue despite the conflicts but this was not evident for many people.

The Director of Education Support Services of the ministry, Mrs Justina Ibe, said there was a need to develop a sound legal framework to ensure proper implementation of the Safe School Initiative for protecting schools from attacks.

She said the workshop was meant to formally inform stakeholders about the researches on the protection of education from attacks and to interact and share experiences with countries that had implemented the Safe School Declaration.

PUNCH.

Conspiracy Theory: Security Men, Lawmakers Conspired To Steal The Mace-Police

APC, Crime, News, PMB, Politics

The Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul, on Wednesday blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on an internal conspiracy between the security men and legislators.

mac.jpgThe Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul, on Wednesday blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on the internal conspiracy.

Abdul stated this during an investigative hearing into the incident by joint ad hoc committee investigating the incident.

According to him, what happened at the National Assembly was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.

“There should be cooperation between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case, the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters.”

On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilized to the complex.”

“However, on April 18, at about 11 a.m., my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, and while I moved to address the group, I was informed that some people were running away with the mace.”

“I signaled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go.

“The strain of blood on their clothes made me suspicious and I ordered their arrest.”

“In all, six people were arrested same day and handed over to the Force Headquarters alongside charms recovered from them.”

“In addition, an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police.”

“It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were the same group with those that attacked”, Abdul said.

He said that there was no communication from the Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly during the invasion by the thugs.

Earlier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Brighton Danwalex, had said that report from the investigation after the incident revealed that Senator Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion.

According to him, it was wrong for them to take orders from Ndume.

“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks,’’ he added.

Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of non-functional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity.

“There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points.”

“The CCTV is not functioning and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Bala N’allah, requested the Police to furnish it with copies of station diary where entry of the crime was made.

He also directed that the committee should be given copies of the crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to.

On her part, the Co-Chairman of the committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi, blamed the invasion on negligence on the part of the Sergeant-at-Arms.

She accused them of failing to raise alarm having observed something unusual.

Similarly, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorized persons into the premises.

“People troop in here by paying money to security. Supposing they were terrorists and had it been that they came in to kill someone, they would have succeeded.”

“How could five thugs succeed if there was no collusion?”, Sani said.

 Originally published in the Punch Newspaper and Sahara onlineriginally published in the Punch Newspaper and Sahara online

Boko Haram will take years to ‘eliminate’: UN envoy

Boko Haram, News

File: AFP

Despite military successes scored against Boko Haram jihadists, it will take years to “completely eliminate” the group, a United Nations envoy told AFP Tuesday.

“Boko Haram has proven to be a resilient group…I think it will take time to totally eliminate,” said Muhammad Ibn Chambas, special envoy to the UN secretary general for West Africa and the Sahel.

“What we are seeing is that Boko Haram has become part of an international terrorism network.”

Chambas was speaking on the sidelines of a Lake Chad regional summit in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram.

Governors from four countries straddling the lake – Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon – are meeting for two days to discuss regional co-operation on stabilisation, peace building and sustainable development in the area.

His remarks come at a time the Nigerian government and military is insisting that the war against Boko Haram is over, despite a recent spate of attacks by the extremists.

On May 1 at least 86 people were killed in twin suicide attacks targeting a mosque and a nearby market in the town of Mubi in Adamawa state.

Chambas said that the Islamist insurgents were likely still holding on to territory in the region.

“It is relative,” he said in response to reports that Boko Haram was holding territory in the northeast states of Yobe and Borno.

“As long as they are not totally defeated obviously they are present in some areas”.

The Islamist insurgency has killed at least 20 000 people in nine years of violence that has spilled from northeast Nigeria into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

The four countries formed the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to fight the Islamic extremists who criss-cross the porous borders in the remote region.

Chambas commended the MNJTF counter terrorism fight as “appreciably successful” but warned it was far from over.

“We of course ask that the MNJTF remains vigilant in its fight against Boko Haram, we cannot take it for granted and assume they have been totally defeated”.

In December 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari declared Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” after reclaiming swathes of territory back from the jihadists.

But claims that the jihadists are a spent force have been put under scrutiny as the jihadists continued to launch deadly suicide and gun attacks on military and civilian targets

movies, News, NollyWood

May has quite a number of new Nollywood movies to offer comedy lovers.

Pulse Movies has rounded up movies coming to the cinemas in May 2018, including “Talking Dolls” and “Crazy People.”

Check out all the new Nollywood movies you could see this May.

1.”Crazy People”

Nollywood movies showing in cinemas this Mayplay“Crazy People” is one of the Nollywood movies showing in cinemas this May

(Instagram/Ramsey Nouah )

 

“Crazy People” stars Ramsey Nouah as a famous Nollywood star, who returns  to the industry after a one-year hiatus. He is on a mission to track down and prosecute one person – his impersonator.

With the help of his new manager Lucinda, a fellow inmate while he was confined in Rosewood Medical Centre, a mental facility, he sets out to find the imposter.

Produced and directed by Moses Inwang, the movie also stars Chioma “Chigul” Omerua, Sola Sobowale, Ireti Doyle, Monalisa Chinda, Desmond Elliot and Kunle Afolayan.

“Crazy People” debuts in cinemas on May 18.

2. “The Ghost and the Tout”

The Ghost and The Tout is an upcoming Nollywood movieplayThe Ghost and The Tout is an upcoming Nollywood movie

Directed by Charles Uwagbai and produced by Toyin Aimakhu, “The Ghost and the Tout” follows the story of a young lady, who is able to see a ghost. She sets out to help the ghost solve a murder case.

The movie stars Toyin Aimakhu, Femi Adebayo, Sambasa Nzeribe, Chioma Akpotha, Lasisi Elenu, Ronke Oshodi Oke, Dele Odule, Chiwetalu Agu, Rachel Okonkwo, Bayray McNwizu,Chigurl and Bobrisky.

“The Ghost and the Tout” debuts in cinemas on May 11.

3. “Talking Dolls”

“Talking Dolls” explores what happens when love happens to you at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Directed by Sukie Oduwole, the movie stars Daniel K. Daniel, Belinda Effah, Tamara Komboye, Mofe Duncan and Victoria Inyama.

The movie debuts in cinemas on May 11.

4. “Alexandra”

Watch Vivica Fox, Joseph Benjamin, Ada Ameh trailer AlexandraPoster for “Alexandra” starring Vivica Fox, Joseph Benjamin, Ada Ameh

 A tale of love, passion and revenge, “Alexandra” tells the story of a young Nigerian woman, who meets and falls in love with an American online.

When she moves to the United States of America to live with her spouse, her nightmare begins.

Directed by Robert Peters, and starring Steffl, Vivica.A.Fox, Joseph Benjamin, Ada Ameh and Rob Hays, “Alexandra” debuts on May 5.

Which of these movies are you most excited about?

What Is The Red Card Movement?

2019 Elections, News, Politics
Red-Cad
2018 will be an eventful year on the Nigerian political scene and that’s an understatement. After the ruckus of 2017 involving a plethora of stories from the comical and embarrassing, to the potentially disastrous, this full year of political campaigning before the 2019 elections next February should throw up more rancor.
The prime exchanges on the battle front will be between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). No other political party in the country is expected to be as prominent in the arm wrestles around the country within the next 14 months, but a movement is growing to upend the status quo.
The Red Card Movement is a Twitter campaign initiated by former Minister of Education and Vice President of the World Bank, Dr Oby Ezekwesili. According to her tweet on the 4th of January 2018, the movement is the expression of her political agenda for the year, aimed specifically at the disadvantage of the nation’s two most recognized parties.
Dr Ezekwesili is not new to the trade of mass mobilization for a cause she believes in. The Bring Back Our Girls Movement and its hashtag took root from a speech she gave on the 23rd of April 2014 at Port Harcourt, creating one of the most universally acclaimed online campaigns on social media. Last year, the former Minister rallied support for a pro-environmental campaign #PickThatTrash which has gone from a mere twitter thing with its icon as a hashtag, to documenting its codes and holding an offline clean-up event in Lagos with Mrs Ezekwesili in participation.
None of the above has taken the form of a political party and the Red Card Movement will not likely deviate from that. As Aisha Yesufu once explained about BBOG, we can expect the “movement” to be an open door with free entry and exit whose lifespan terminates as soon as its agenda is achieved.
WILL THE TWEETS HIT THE STREETS?
How will the Red Card Movement organize itself into a real force to affect the kind of change set out in its agenda by its founder? Every momentous and ground-breaking twitter campaign eventually must go offline to create the sufficient outreach necessary for maximum impact. Compared to Nigeria’s population, the numbers of persons who are on twitter are just about the size of a local government in Ekiti state. Hence, a strictly online movement will definitely come up short in its ambition.
Should we expect to hear sponsored programmes on radio and TV stations on the red card movement soon, and how would the financing be done?
VOTER APATHY and OTHER CONCERNS
Critics of the movement have questioned the rationale behind wanting to kick out both parties with the 2019 General Elections in view. A situation where citizens “wave their red cards” to both the APC and the PDP will result in less numbers turning out to the polling stations where candidates of both parties are clear front runners. That could be the case with the Presidential elections where President Buhari is expected to retain the APC’s flag while the PDP’s ticket will be contested by former VP Atiku Abubakar and others.
Actively declining to support any candidate of either party, perhaps by voting candidates of other parties (such as APGA or GNPP) could inadvertently tilt the scale to a particular candidate (perhaps the less desirable of the top two), which will turn out to be – in theory – counter-productive to the set goals of the movement.
Another factor which comes into scrutiny on the prospects of the movement is the sheer number of beneficiaries that depend on the godfathers and establishment personalities of both parties for their survival. Political thugs usually find campaign season most lucrative, so it will be a wonder to see how they are convinced against making themselves available for use by the politicians. Then there are the market women and traders who form the base of the delegates of these parties at the ward levels, most of whom are not on twitter anyway. They don’t have the world at their feet but these delegates are made to feel somewhat valued by the trappings that come with their duties that it would be interesting to see how they are convinced away from their benefactor parties.
To add to these is a personal observation: will the waving of the red card to both parties produce a permanent solution through an overhaul or just a temporary relief for 2019, since a player issued a red card is only denied a few games at most but can always return subsequently and still win the competition?
The founder, Dr Ezekwesili, makes it clear the agenda is an “individual effort”:
My individual effort to CAMPAIGN AGAINST APC and PDP in the 2019 Elections may not amount to much, but it is at least a DEFINITE EXPRESSION of my personal CONVICTION. My CONVICTION is that it is TIME to END the tyranny of rulership of a WICKED minority Political elite class.
Hence it would appear there is no pressure to become strained by some of the criticisms of the movement. She has had to reply to some of the critics herself, but has also cautiously avoided the more caustic stabs such as those which advice people not to be “anyone’s mugu”
However, her over-600,000 followers, many of whom are Nigerian, are buying in to the campaign. It has not become a mega trend in the sense that political topics take a life of their own on social media, but what the antecedents of the founder say is that she cannot be overlooked.
Movements do not necessarily start off with a bang to create a resonating effect. Keep an eye on this
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Know your Presidential Candidate for 2019 Elections

2019 Elections, APC, Nigeria, Politics

1.Kingsley Moghalu
-55 years old
-Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at Tufts University
-Attended UNN and LSE (Ph.D)
-President of the Institute of Governance and Economic Transformation
-Former United Nations official
-Former CBN deputy governor.

2. Fela Durotoye
-46 years old
-Public speaker and business strategist
-BSc. Computer Science and Economics, and MBA/MSc. Business Strategy from Obafemi Awolowo University
-Look up the Mushin Makeover Project.

3. Donald Duke
-56 years old
-LLB from Ahmadu Bello University, LLM from the University of Pennsylvania
-Former Commissioner for Finance and Planning
-Former Governor of Cross River
-Initiated the Tinapa Free Zone & Resort, and the Calabar Carnival.

4. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
-55 years old
-Professor of Language and Communication Arts at the Rivers State University of Education
-Degrees from the Universities of Ilorin, Port Harcourt, and Northwestern University
-Founded the Agape Bible Church.

5. Muhammadu Buhari
-75 years old
-Current President of Nigeria
-Left secondary school to the army at age 19
-Military Head of State from 1983-1985
-Somehow we put him back in office
-Has so far spent a sixth of his presidency on sick leave.

6. Remi Sonaiya
-63 years old
-Retired professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics at Obafemi Awolowo University
-Degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University and Cornell University
-Was the only female candidate in the 2015 presidential election.

7. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese
-47 years old
-Chief Medical Director of Sckye Hospital and Diagnostics Limited
-Attended the University of Benin School of Medicine and Surgery
-Also a poet, motivational speaker, radio and television presenter.

8. Omoyele Sowore
-47 years old
-Founder and owner ofUniversity Sahara Reporters
-Degrees from the University of Lagos and Columbia University
-Lecturer at the City University of New York and the School of Arts, New York
-Also a writer, public speaker, and human rights activist.

9. Enyinnaya Nnaemeka Nwosu
-40 years old
-Former lecturer at West George College
-Degrees from Asia State University and Robert Gordon University
-Worked with the Royal Bankand of Scotland, SERCO Group, the Legal Aid Agency, and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals in the UK.

10. Ahmed Buhari
-40 years old
-CEO of Skylar Inc.
-Degrees from the Federal University of Technology, and Cavendish College, London.

11. Adesanya Fegbenro-Bryon
-59 years old
-Chairman/CEO of Mothergold Limited, Chief Responsibility Officer forcoordinator Mothergold Consultingcoordinator
-Degrees from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University
-Former regional coordinator for the Department for International Development.

12. Mathias Tsado
-41 years old
-CEO of Matstrutt Nigeria Ltd.Platform
-BSc. Mech. Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna
-Set up the Hope Platform Initiative
-Say he can provide Nigerians with 16-18 hours of constant power within his first 2-3 years in office.

13. Eniola Ojajuni
-39 years old (Turning 40 this year)
-Businessman and consultant on imports,Ghana exports, and investments
-LLB from Lagos State University, MBA from Ghana Business School
-Previously ran for the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Governorship of Ondo.

14. Olu James Omosule
-48 years old
-Attended the City University of New York before dropping out to take care of his ill grandmother
-Former Chief Officer for Scope America Outreach in the US
-Served as General Manager for several US firms.

15. Tope Fasua
-47 years old
-CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd.
-Degrees from Ondo State University, London Business School, and Harvard Business School
-National Chairman of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)
-Also a newspaper columnist and TV analyst.

16. Sule Lamido
-69 years old
-Attended Barewa College
-Former Governor of Jigawa from 2007-2015
-Former foreign minister from 1999-2003
-Briefly jailed and stood trial with his two sons in 2015 for embezzling state funds, blamed his enemies.

17. Atiku Abubakar
-71 years old
-Attended Ahmadu Bello University
-Former Vice President from 1999-2007
-Founder/co-founder of Intels, Adama Beverages Ltd., and the American University of Nigeria
-Making his 4th presidential bid under his 4th political party since 1992
-He said he is not desperate to becoming Nigeria president contrary to opinions held by some.

18. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed
-48 years old
-Degrees from the University of Westminster (BSc & PhD)
-Former senator representing Kaduna North
-MD of Baze Research and Data Services Ltd.
-Founder and Co-Chancellor of Baze University, Abuja.

19. Iyorwuese Hagher
-68 years old
-Attended Ahmadu Bello University
-Pro-Chancellor of Afe-Babalola University
-Former Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico (2004-2007), and Canada (2008-2012)
-Founder of the Africa Leadership Institute USA
-Also a playwright, poet, and activist.

20. Charles Udeogaranya
-46 years old
-Former Lagos State chairman of the defunct African Renaissance Party
-Now a chieftain of the APC.

21. Peter Ayodele Fayose
-57 years old
-Current Governor of Ekiti
-Impeached as Governor in his first term in 2006
-Caught in a 37-minute audio recording of a “vote-rigging meeting” for the Ekiti elections in 2014
-Also in 2014, EFCC froze 4 accounts he used to launder ₦4.7billion
-Somehow still governor today, even though his rigging was caught on tape.
-Somehow was allowed to run after being impeached in 2006.
-Has HND from The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

*CARDINAL*

Nigeria: Boko Haram Has Massacred over 2,000 Teachers, Destroyed 1,000 Schools

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News

booUtomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

by Edwin Mora3 May 20189
The Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram, a name that translates to “Western education is a sin,” has killed 100,000 people since it began waging its insurgency in 2009, including 2,295 teachers and hundreds of students in the northeastern part of the country alone, officials from the African nation revealed this week.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari believes Boko Haram is fading in northeastern Nigeria and the quality of life in the region is “improving.”

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Education Adamu Adamu released the grim data on the teacher fatalities on Wednesday.
On Monday, Buhari spoke to Voice of America (VOA), indicating that “life in the country’s northeast is improving, as the threat of Boko Haram militants recedes and people return to their homes and farms.”
In addition to the 2,295 teachers killed in attacks linked to Boko Haram in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa State, the terrorist group has displaced another 19,000 teachers since 2009, Adamu declared, the African nation’s Premium Times newspaper reports.
Adamu, “who expressed concern over the systematic destruction targeted at education, said 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the last nine years.”
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Premium Times notes that Adamu indicated that “without access to quality learning, the Nigerian child is not only being deprived of education but also robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.”
Nigerian President Buhari has accused young people in his country of being “lazy.”
Minister Adamu also noted that the jihadists had destroyed about 1,500 schools resulting in more the 1,280 casualties “among teachers and students” since 2014 alone.
Borno state is considered Boko Haram’s birthplace.
Northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest – which covers parts of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano states – is identified as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.
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The Nigerian figures echo data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data released in April, which also revealed Boko Haram has indeed killed at least 2,295 teachers, adding that it has destroyed over 1,400 schools.
“Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria since 2013, the United Nations’ children’s agency announced Friday [April 13],” ABC News reported.
Citing UNICEF, ABC News added, “Most of these schools haven’t been able to reopen due to extensive damage or ongoing insecurity in the area.”
As of early April, Boko Haram jihadists had killed at least 120 civilians this year and injured 210 others, Breitbart News learned from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has falsely claimed on several occasions to have defeated Boko Haram, but the terrorist group is known to continue wreaking havoc.
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On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted his counterpart Buhari at the White House.
Trump vowed to work with Nigeria to combat the Boko Haram threat and to deal with attacks on Christians who are targeted by the jihadist groups and Muslim Fulani herdsmen with whom the Nigerian leader shares his ethnicity.
Critics have accused Buhari of being lenient towards the Fulani militants.

Beyond Boko Haram – James H. Barnett

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News, PMB

Buhari-and-Trump-650x330.png

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty
Muhammadu Buhari and Donald Trump (above) held a joint press conference at the White House on April 2018.

America’s biggest partner in Africa faces a host of internal crises—and its approach to security only makes matters worse.
I once asked a Nigerian taxi driver in a moment of cheap, Tom Friedman-esque curiosity what he wished Americans knew about his country. He responded, “Great culture. Horrible politics.”
It’s hard to imagine a pithier formulation of Nigerian society. Contemporary Nigerian literature is diverse and internationally acclaimed. The Nigerian brothers known as P-Square were Africa’s biggest rap act until they broke up last year, “Nollywood” cinema has spread across the continent thanks to ever-higher production values, and the Nigerian diaspora is one of the best educated in the world.

At the same time, if there are four words most Americans would associate with the country, they are not those of my sagacious cabbie but rather the ones on the signs held by Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, and other luminaries in 2014: Bring Back Our Girls. The kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram was an international cause célèbre featuring a cast of familiar characters: a depraved millenarian warlord, a helpless group of children, and an outraged international community.
But if much of the public’s image of the country is that of an archetypal African tragedy, American investors and politicians are finding Nigeria increasingly difficult to ignore. It is one of the 30 largest economies in the world and among the 10 biggest exporters of oil. It is home to more Muslims than Egypt and more Christians than Italy. It is one of the barometers by which outsiders measure Africa’s progress or lack thereof. Nigeria is at the heart of the “Africa rising” narrative championed by optimists who contend that a young, entrepreneurial population is unleashing Africa’s economic potential. It is also exhibit A for skeptics on the right and the left who worry about the expansion of Islamist militancy across Africa, about the economic and political effects of climate change, or about the dangers posed by exploitative multinationals in the third world.
The country is inarguably America’s most important strategic partner in Africa, and on April 30, Donald Trump welcomed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, to the White House. The 75-year-old former military leader, who recently announced that he will seek reelection in 2019 despite concerns about his health, is the first African leader the president has hosted since taking office. Discussions of counterterrorism and economic growth dominated the meeting. The issue of terrorism has driven U.S.-Nigerian relations in recent years as Boko Haram and then its splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa, have made a name for themselves within the global jihadist network.
Trump, like his predecessor, is understandably reluctant to commit U.S. troops to fight Boko Haram, preferring to leave counterinsurgency efforts to the Nigerian security forces and their partners from Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin, which together constitute the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). A small contingent of U.S. special operations forces provides training and assistance. The presence of these advisers undoubtedly deters some of the task force’s more egregious behavior, but the incompetence and abusive practices of the Nigerian security forces nonetheless pose a massive impediment to an effective counterinsurgency. In late 2016, the Obama administration withheld the sale of a dozen A29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria over human-rights concerns. The Nigerian Air Force’s accidental bombing of a refugee camp in January 2017 only validated the concerns further. In December, the Trump administration approved the deal on the grounds that the aircraft would give a much-needed boost to our partner’s fitful efforts against an Islamic State-affiliate.

Boko Haram is far from defeated despite the Nigerian government’s frequent claims to the contrary. While the group’s territorial control has diminished significantly, it still moves freely throughout much of the countryside and can stage large-scale assaults and suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria, as well as in neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The kidnapping of 110 more schoolgirls this February in Dapchi, a northern Nigerian town previously untouched by the violence, should belie any claims that the insurgents are on the back foot. Further, the task of reconstruction in those areas that have been cleared is immense: Millions of Nigerians have been displaced during the nine-year insurgency.
Most Nigerians, though, have never viewed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to the country. More pressing is the growing violence between Fulani pastoralists and non-Fulani farmers in the Middle Belt, the region of states in central Nigeria that are the crossroads between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. Religious questions have shaped the Middle Belt since the early 19th century, when the charismatic Islamic scholar Usman dan Fodio led the Fulani in a jihad against the Hausa kingdoms and established the Sokoto Caliphate. With British soldiers and traders in the late 19th century came Christian missionaries. Until 1914, the British governed Nigeria as two separate colonies: a southern Nigeria where they proselytized, invested, and built up infrastructure, and a northern one, ruled indirectly and neglected economically. The British promoted a distinct northern identity based on Islam and on Hausa and Fula culture, in opposition to a Christian south dominated by ethnic Igbo and Yoruba (though home to dozens of other ethnicities). Nigeria has never fully overcome the cultural divide resulting from the unification of these two colonies over a century ago.
If the Middle Belt has long seen cultural and religious disputes, the scale of the recent violence is nonetheless notable. A sectarian narrative that has begun to emerge around the various localized conflicts paints Muslim Fulani herders—pushed ever further south in search of pasture as a result of desertification—as an invading force linked to international jihadists. Ethnic militias have formed as the lines between reprisal and preemptive attack blur. Local politicians have rallied their constituencies around these militias as forms of collective defense in the absence of any effective security presence by the state.
The balance of power between north and south is the perennial question in Nigerian politics. Buhari is an ethnic Fula with close ties to a trade group of herders. Impartial as he considers himself, Buhari is attacked incessantly in the Nigerian media, especially by non-Fulanis, for the government’s poor response to the Middle Belt crisis. His recent comments blaming the violence on an influx of weapons through the Sahel following the fall of Qaddafi prompted a deluge of mockery on social media. President Trump may have been alluding to the Middle Belt during his joint press conference with Buhari when he expressed concern about the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying that “we’re gonna be working on that problem . . . very, very hard.” If his administration is concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle Belt and hopes to play a constructive role, it first needs to recognize that the sources of the conflict are complex, that the violence is not one-sided, and that sectarian narratives are liable to exacer­bate tensions.

Buhari’s government is also increasingly at odds with Nigeria’s Igbo population. For the past six years, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an Igbo separatist movement, has combined a mythical pseudo-zionism that posits the Igbo as descendants of ancient Hebrews with very legitimate historical grievances to agitate for independence. The group takes its name from the Republic of Biafra, the self-proclaimed Igbo nation whose attempted secession led to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70. In its own words, IPOB seeks to free its peoples from the “shackles of caliphate domination and creeping Islamization” and to remedy the injustices of the civil war, during which more than a million people died in a famine that many scholars consider an act of genocide. IPOB supporters protested outside the White House on April 30, holding signs accusing Fulani of being Sudanese invaders. One explained to me that for Biafrans to accept Buhari’s government would be akin to America accepting rule by the Taliban.
Buhari’s government has officially labeled IPOB a terrorist organization. The Igbo number some 32 million within Nigeria’s population of 190 million, and while IPOB does not necessarily enjoy sympathy among a majority of them, a heavy crackdown on the movement could fuel widespread resentment against the government. The group’s founder, Nnamdi Kanu, disappeared last September after security forces raided his house. The Nigerian government claims to be ignorant of his whereabouts, but IPOB supporters believe he was murdered. Boko Haram’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, was executed in 2009 while in the custody of security forces, who claimed he died in a failed escape attempt. Leaked footage of his killing turned him into a martyr and helped the insurgency gain traction among wider segments of the population in the northeast. If Kanu has been similarly killed, his death could push many Igbo into the arms of IPOB or even more radical movements.
If IPOB wishes to resurrect the cause of a decades-old conflict, the oil-rich Niger Delta is a region where conflict risks emerging as the result of much fresher wounds. Fighting in the delta began in the 1990s thanks to disputes between foreign oil companies and local minority communities such as the Ijaw and Ogoni. The pervasive corruption of the Nigerian state ensures that most of the profits from the oil industry go to political and business elites in Lagos and Abuja while the delta communities grapple with the environmental damage. The conflict accelerated after the execution of several peaceful Ogoni activists by state security forces in the mid-2000s. Militants frequently blew up or sabotaged pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers for ransom. In 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua announced an amnesty that included monthly stipends for any militant who would disarm, as well as lucrative contracts to guard oil installations. This bribery tempered the insurgency, but it did not prevent the militants from continuing their other criminal activities (which include drugs and arms trading).
When Buhari took office, he diverted $1 billion from Nigeria’s excess crude account to ramp up the fight against Boko Haram. This cut into the slush fund for the delta militants and, inevitably, prompted a backlash. The fact that Buhari is Fulani led many in the delta to see his move as an attempt to reward a northern community at the expense of the delta populations. That the fight against Boko Haram has been accompanied by staggering corruption has only contributed to this image. In March 2016, a new group called the Niger Delta Avengers began attacking pipelines, causing Nigeria to temporarily fall behind Angola as Africa’s largest oil producer.

The Avengers’ attacks have not yet reached the scale of the conflict prior to the amnesty, but they have exposed a crippling weakness in Nigeria’s approach to security. The smash-and-forget model of brutally suppressing dissent to the point that it morphs into insurgency and then buying off the militants leaves the state in perpetual fear of old foes taking up arms again. In the Niger Delta, any time erstwhile militants are dissatisfied with the state patronage, they can put a stranglehold on the country’s economic lifeblood by attacking the oil infrastructure. What does this foretell for the conflicts in the Middle Belt or for Nigeria’s small Shia population, hundreds of whom were killed by security forces during 2015 protests?
Nigeria’s shortcomings in governance and conflict resolution are intertwined with the generational challenges arising from an ever-more populous and diverse society. If Boko Haram is defeated, the Nigerian government will still face a northeastern population that largely supports political Islam in one form or another. And regardless of if and how the Middle Belt conflicts are resolved, Fulani herdsmen must grapple with an ecological reality that means many will have to seek other forms of livelihood than the pastoralism which has defined their communities for centuries. The Nigerian government can presumably prevent a Biafran state from ever taking form, but Igbo nationalism will not die quietly. The list goes on.
These challenges are as old as the country’s independence from Britain in 1960, and proposals for greater decentralization have gained influential backers in recent years. “Efforts at wishing away the problem associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted in several tribal, ethnic, and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates,” Yakubu Dogara, a stalwart in Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and the speaker of Nigeria’s house of representatives, said in March. “One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the federation.”
Any plan faces strong opposition from many in the country’s political elite, but the rise of such discussions reflects a recognition of the need for new thinking. U.S. policy towards Nigeria, on the other hand, continues to be driven by the same short-term security concerns. The U.S. approach clearly recognizes the gravity of the threat posed by jihadist groups in West Africa. But if the United States ignores Nigeria’s counterproductive approach towards managing both violent insurgency and peaceful dissent, the partnership will be marred by perpetual concern that Nigeria’s conflicts never die, but simply lie dormant.

James H. Barnett is a Public Interest fellow in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Nigeria News Highlights 4th May 2018

News, Nigeria

Meddlesome Fayose frustrated, jittery – APC – http://bit.ly/2w8VPLt

Stakeholders to NWC: Imo APC dying under Okorocha – http://bit.ly/2JQTruZ

Rivers APC to National Assembly: Drop Buhari’s impeachment threat – http://bit.ly/2JO8W6N

Codeine: NDLEA intensifies surveillance on Nigeria-Cameroon border – http://bit.ly/2JNVnUZ

PCN vows to rid pharmacies in Nasarawa state of codeine syrup – http://bit.ly/2w8QAvp

CBN signs currency swap agreement with China – http://bit.ly/2JRW5Ro

2018 African Banker Awards nominees list released + full list – http://bit.ly/2w5NnwJ

We focus more on private sector operations in Nigeria – AfDB – http://bit.ly/2w8UAvZ

African airlines passenger traffic rose by 11.2% in March — IATA – http://bit.ly/2w7ULrn

Road construction: LASTMA urges compliance with traffic directives, sanctions erring officials – http://bit.ly/2w90ddB

Takeaways from auspicious meeting between Buhari and Trump, by Garba Shehu – http://bit.ly/2w8MV0x

Lessons from Buhari’s meeting with Trump, by Jideofor Adibe – http://bit.ly/2JO7LUV

INEC: The art of kicking the leg, by Azu Ishiekwene – http://bit.ly/2w8RPuN

JAAC: Kwara releases share of LGs, teachers for April – http://bit.ly/2w8UwMI

Jigawa generates N10b revenue – Accountant General – http://bit.ly/2w9rzjU

FG appoints Acting D-G to oversee NBTI – http://bit.ly/2watftd

CeeC, BBNaija ‘Double Wahala’ first runner-up to write scripts on strong characters – http://bit.ly/2JP0Mev

Lawyer Nti Receives 2017 Nogokpo Person of the Year Award – http://bit.ly/2wawQaH

Russia 2018: Media centrehs recieve 2,000 accreditation applications – http://bit.ly/2w9jjAq

Niger United coach give reason for team’s success – http://bit.ly/2wbDg9E