Showing posts tagged as "Nigeria"

Showing posts tagged Nigeria

17 Dec
"The crisis in Plateau requires both national and local solutions."

—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

"Thus far, responses from local and national authorities have proven mostly ineffective."

—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

"Since the end of 2010, security has further deteriorated in Jos because of terror attacks and suicide bombings against churches and security targets by suspected militants of Boko Haram, the Islamist group responsible for an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks in the north."

—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

"Fierce and unregulated political competition characterised by ethnic mobilisation and violence, coupled with poor governance, economic deregulation and rampant corruption, have severely exacerbated ethnic, religious and regional fault lines."

—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

"The Jos crisis is the result of failure to amend the constitution to privilege broad-based citizenship over exclusive indigene status and ensure that residency rather than indigeneity determines citizens’ rights."

—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis
Dakar/Brussels  |   17 Dec 2012
Unless addressed immediately, recurrent violence in Nigeria’s Plateau state will continue to fuel settler-indigene tensions and exacerbate intercommunal strife across the country.
Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis, the first in a series of International Crisis Group reports that examine insecurity in three regions of the country, explores the dynamics of violence in Plateau state since 2001. The ostensible dispute is over the “rights” of the predominately Christian Berom/Anaguta/Afizere (BAA) indigene groups and the rival claims of the Muslim Hausa-Fulani settlers to land, power and resources.
“Indigene-settler conflicts are not new to Nigeria, but the country is currently experiencing widespread intercommunal strife, which particularly affects Jos city, capital of Plateau state, in the Middle Belt region . Violence in Jos is defined and worsened by both local and national dynamics”, says Kunle Amuwo, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst. “The failure of the ruling elite to address and resolve key issues such as citizenship, identity and political inclusion, has aggravated the situation”.
Conflicts have become more frequent and deadlier over the last eleven years, with about 4,000 people killed in several episodes of violence involving the BAA and Hausa-Fulani communities. More suffering can be expected if nothing is done to address the root causes of the tragedy.
Security further deteriorated in Jos from 2010 because of terror attacks and suicide bombings against churches and security targets by suspected militants of Boko Haram, the Islamist group responsible for unprecedented waves of terrorist attacks in the north.
Plateau state and the Middle Belt – which represents, roughly, the centre of the country – used to be a bridge between north and south. For a long time, its capital Jos mirrored the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians from different ethnic backgrounds. Cosmopolitanism, anchored in multi-ethnicity and multiple languages, formed a culture of tolerance and friendly relations between Muslims and Christians.
The crisis in Plateau requires both national and local solutions. Nigeria’s current conception and implementation of its citizenship question are inadequate and flawed. The way forward is for the National Assembly, via a referendum or by itself, following its nationwide public hearings, to replace the indigene principle with a more inclusive residency provision to fight discrimination and inequalities between settler and indigenous communities. The authorities must also take immediate steps to assuage the fears of ethnic minorities, including by prosecuting instigators and perpetrators of violence and stopping the illegal possession of firearms.
At the state level, the current Plateau government can no longer carry on as if it is in power to serve only indigenous communities. It should not wait for national constitutional reform before abolishing discriminatory policies on education and employment between indigenes and settlers.
“Nigeria has to move quickly to get to grips with the indigene-settler divide and the dysfunctional situation this has created in Jos and elsewhere”, says Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group’s West Africa Project Director. “Otherwise, political differences will harden further, more pain will be inflicted on the hapless population, and invariably, the country’s development will be impaired”.
FULL REPORT 

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

Dakar/Brussels  |   17 Dec 2012

Unless addressed immediately, recurrent violence in Nigeria’s Plateau state will continue to fuel settler-indigene tensions and exacerbate intercommunal strife across the country.

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis, the first in a series of International Crisis Group reports that examine insecurity in three regions of the country, explores the dynamics of violence in Plateau state since 2001. The ostensible dispute is over the “rights” of the predominately Christian Berom/Anaguta/Afizere (BAA) indigene groups and the rival claims of the Muslim Hausa-Fulani settlers to land, power and resources.

“Indigene-settler conflicts are not new to Nigeria, but the country is currently experiencing widespread intercommunal strife, which particularly affects Jos city, capital of Plateau state, in the Middle Belt region . Violence in Jos is defined and worsened by both local and national dynamics”, says Kunle Amuwo, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst. “The failure of the ruling elite to address and resolve key issues such as citizenship, identity and political inclusion, has aggravated the situation”.

Conflicts have become more frequent and deadlier over the last eleven years, with about 4,000 people killed in several episodes of violence involving the BAA and Hausa-Fulani communities. More suffering can be expected if nothing is done to address the root causes of the tragedy.

Security further deteriorated in Jos from 2010 because of terror attacks and suicide bombings against churches and security targets by suspected militants of Boko Haram, the Islamist group responsible for unprecedented waves of terrorist attacks in the north.

Plateau state and the Middle Belt – which represents, roughly, the centre of the country – used to be a bridge between north and south. For a long time, its capital Jos mirrored the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians from different ethnic backgrounds. Cosmopolitanism, anchored in multi-ethnicity and multiple languages, formed a culture of tolerance and friendly relations between Muslims and Christians.

The crisis in Plateau requires both national and local solutions. Nigeria’s current conception and implementation of its citizenship question are inadequate and flawed. The way forward is for the National Assembly, via a referendum or by itself, following its nationwide public hearings, to replace the indigene principle with a more inclusive residency provision to fight discrimination and inequalities between settler and indigenous communities. The authorities must also take immediate steps to assuage the fears of ethnic minorities, including by prosecuting instigators and perpetrators of violence and stopping the illegal possession of firearms.

At the state level, the current Plateau government can no longer carry on as if it is in power to serve only indigenous communities. It should not wait for national constitutional reform before abolishing discriminatory policies on education and employment between indigenes and settlers.

“Nigeria has to move quickly to get to grips with the indigene-settler divide and the dysfunctional situation this has created in Jos and elsewhere”, says Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group’s West Africa Project Director. “Otherwise, political differences will harden further, more pain will be inflicted on the hapless population, and invariably, the country’s development will be impaired”.

FULL REPORT 

14 May
Global Post | Nigerian universities demand bribes for admission
By: Heather Murdock
ABUJA, Nigeria — Every year about 1 million Nigerian students pass college entrance exams, but the country’s universities can admit only 300,000.
The shortage of university places leaves most of Nigeria’s best students frustrated and uneducated, according to Kabir Mato, director of the Institute for Anti-Corruption Studies at the University of Abuja.
“There is a tremendous national crisis that is at hand,” Mato told GlobalPost. “At the end of the day, most of those boys and girls that have passed very well will not be accommodated and so they will grow hopeless.”
Mato said the inability of Nigeria’s 122 universities to take on most of their qualified applicants is a national security concern because it drives unemployed young people onto the streets and possibly into extremist groups like Boko Haram, which has killed 450 people so far this year with their protest bombings.
Many would-be students, however, say they are not interested in joining militias; they just want to get a good job. Mato said since many of Nigeria’s young people are unable to go to college, the economy also suffers from a lack of local innovation and educated employees.
Prospective university students say the fact that there are not enough university places is not nearly as frustrating as the corruption and nepotism of the application process.
FULL ARTICLE (Global Post)

Global Post | Nigerian universities demand bribes for admission

By: Heather Murdock

ABUJA, Nigeria — Every year about 1 million Nigerian students pass college entrance exams, but the country’s universities can admit only 300,000.

The shortage of university places leaves most of Nigeria’s best students frustrated and uneducated, according to Kabir Mato, director of the Institute for Anti-Corruption Studies at the University of Abuja.

“There is a tremendous national crisis that is at hand,” Mato told GlobalPost. “At the end of the day, most of those boys and girls that have passed very well will not be accommodated and so they will grow hopeless.”

Mato said the inability of Nigeria’s 122 universities to take on most of their qualified applicants is a national security concern because it drives unemployed young people onto the streets and possibly into extremist groups like Boko Haram, which has killed 450 people so far this year with their protest bombings.

Many would-be students, however, say they are not interested in joining militias; they just want to get a good job. Mato said since many of Nigeria’s young people are unable to go to college, the economy also suffers from a lack of local innovation and educated employees.

Prospective university students say the fact that there are not enough university places is not nearly as frustrating as the corruption and nepotism of the application process.

FULL ARTICLE (Global Post)

16 Apr
Voice of America | Boko Haram Video Brings Threat to Nigerian Government ‘Doorstep’
A 14-minute YouTube video is heightening tensions between Nigeria’s government and a violent Islamist sect President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to destroy. Analysts say the video has revealed the president’s miscalculation of the extremist threat.
The YouTube video opens with graphics of spinning flowers and crossed AK-47s.  Bubble letters identify it as a message to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan made by the group that calls itself People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram.
The group’s suspected leader, Abubakar Shekau, is seated with four armed and masked men. He tells viewers the Nigerian president was boasting two weeks ago when he said the government would destroy the group within three months.  
“We have sworn and we are telling you, Jonathan, that there is nothing that you can do to stop us,” Shekau says.
FULL ARTICLE (VOA)
Photo: VOA/YouTube

Voice of America | Boko Haram Video Brings Threat to Nigerian Government ‘Doorstep’

A 14-minute YouTube video is heightening tensions between Nigeria’s government and a violent Islamist sect President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to destroy. Analysts say the video has revealed the president’s miscalculation of the extremist threat.

The YouTube video opens with graphics of spinning flowers and crossed AK-47s.  Bubble letters identify it as a message to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan made by the group that calls itself People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram.

The group’s suspected leader, Abubakar Shekau, is seated with four armed and masked men. He tells viewers the Nigerian president was boasting two weeks ago when he said the government would destroy the group within three months.  

“We have sworn and we are telling you, Jonathan, that there is nothing that you can do to stop us,” Shekau says.

FULL ARTICLE (VOA)

Photo: VOA/YouTube

22 Mar
The Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force has killed nine suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group in the northern Nigerian town of Tudun Wada, about 60 miles from the city of Kano. The suspected militants were killed shortly after they had reportedly used explosive devices in an attempt to destroy Divisional Police headquarters.
The suspected sect members also appear to have used explosives to destroy a nearby bank, but police officials say that the militants failed to take away the money inside. All the bank’s money appears to have remained intact.
Wednesday’s attack follows a shooting attack on Tuesday in the Sharada section of Kano, where gunmen on a motorcycle shot into a crowd, killing at least three people. Boko Haram is blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 people since its armed rebellion began in 2009. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” claims to be fighting to overthrow the secular government of Nigeria, seeking instead a nationwide application of traditional Islamic sharia law. Yet some analysts believe that the rebellion is primarily aimed at a corrupt Muslim elite of politicians who use their power for their own enrichment, rather than for the improvement of the relatively impoverished areas of the north.
…
"There have been preliminary talks between a Boko Haram-appointed intermediary." But given the fractious nature of the Boko Haram militancy, Andrew Stroehlein of the International Crisis Group told Al Jazeera that it’s not entirely certain whether the Nigerian government is talking to Boko Haram as a whole, or just members of a breakaway faction.
FULL ARTICLE (Christian Science Monitor)
Photo: Raoulduke47/Wikimedia Commons

The Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force has killed nine suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group in the northern Nigerian town of Tudun Wada, about 60 miles from the city of Kano. The suspected militants were killed shortly after they had reportedly used explosive devices in an attempt to destroy Divisional Police headquarters.

The suspected sect members also appear to have used explosives to destroy a nearby bank, but police officials say that the militants failed to take away the money inside. All the bank’s money appears to have remained intact.

Wednesday’s attack follows a shooting attack on Tuesday in the Sharada section of Kano, where gunmen on a motorcycle shot into a crowd, killing at least three people. Boko Haram is blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 people since its armed rebellion began in 2009. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” claims to be fighting to overthrow the secular government of Nigeria, seeking instead a nationwide application of traditional Islamic sharia law. Yet some analysts believe that the rebellion is primarily aimed at a corrupt Muslim elite of politicians who use their power for their own enrichment, rather than for the improvement of the relatively impoverished areas of the north.

"There have been preliminary talks between a Boko Haram-appointed intermediary." But given the fractious nature of the Boko Haram militancy, Andrew Stroehlein of the International Crisis Group told Al Jazeera that it’s not entirely certain whether the Nigerian government is talking to Boko Haram as a whole, or just members of a breakaway faction.

FULL ARTICLE (Christian Science Monitor)

Photo: Raoulduke47/Wikimedia Commons

19 Mar
Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram have been in indirect talks to end deadly violence blamed on the Islamist group, sources familiar with the discussions have revealed.
"There have been preliminary talks between a Boko Haram-appointed intermediary," a senior security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, adding that Boko Haram has set out terms for a temporary ceasefire.
The diplomatic source said contact had been made between Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram through intermediaries.
The security official said Boko Haram has proposed a three-month truce if all of its detained members are released and if the government halts any further arrests. He said the government was looking at the proposal.
The news of planned negotiations comes as more violence was reported in the troubled town of Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria.
Authories said two people were killed on Thursday by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram.
'Level of uncertainty'
Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege, reporting from the capital Abuja, said that the biggest challenge for Nigerian authorities would be establishing who represents and speaks for the hardline group.
"The Nigerian police have gathered intelligence from suspects arrested, but the leaders are still at large and one can imagine that there will be a level of uncertainty on the part of the authorities that they are engaging the right people.
Andrew Stroehlein, communications director of the International Crisis Group in Brussels, told Al Jazeera that while talks were a positive development, there were a range of difficult questions to consider.
"First of all, it is not sure that they are talking to the right people, especially with the factionalism prevalent in Boko Haram. This means that even if they reach an agreement, this does not mean that the agreement will be honoured," he said.
FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)

Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram have been in indirect talks to end deadly violence blamed on the Islamist group, sources familiar with the discussions have revealed.

"There have been preliminary talks between a Boko Haram-appointed intermediary," a senior security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, adding that Boko Haram has set out terms for a temporary ceasefire.

The diplomatic source said contact had been made between Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram through intermediaries.

The security official said Boko Haram has proposed a three-month truce if all of its detained members are released and if the government halts any further arrests. He said the government was looking at the proposal.

The news of planned negotiations comes as more violence was reported in the troubled town of Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria.

Authories said two people were killed on Thursday by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram.

'Level of uncertainty'

Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege, reporting from the capital Abuja, said that the biggest challenge for Nigerian authorities would be establishing who represents and speaks for the hardline group.

"The Nigerian police have gathered intelligence from suspects arrested, but the leaders are still at large and one can imagine that there will be a level of uncertainty on the part of the authorities that they are engaging the right people.

Andrew Stroehlein, communications director of the International Crisis Group in Brussels, told Al Jazeera that while talks were a positive development, there were a range of difficult questions to consider.

"First of all, it is not sure that they are talking to the right people, especially with the factionalism prevalent in Boko Haram. This means that even if they reach an agreement, this does not mean that the agreement will be honoured," he said.

FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)