Chad President Idriss Deby has fired his armed forces chief of staff following the latest bout of unrest which culminated in a Boko Haram attack that left 23 dead.
Deby fired Brahim Seid Mahamat and his two deputies by presidential decree after six years in the post on Friday night just hours after the attack in the southwest of the country.
The soldiers were killed after coming under attack from jihadists in the early hours of Friday morning in the deadliest attack on the Chadian military by Boko Haram, which launched an insurgency in Nigeria a decade ago.
The unrest has spread to neighbouring Niger and Chad with the Boko Haram revolt to date claiming more than 27,000 lives and uprooting more than 1.7 million people.
Friday’s attack took place at Dangdala, on the northeastern bank of Lake Chad.
Thursday had seen another attack by the group kill eight civilians at Karidi in southeastern Niger in the Diffa region bordering Lake Chad, The area is one of the worst-hit areas for jihadist attacks in Niger.
Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been grouped into a multi-national force to fight Boko Haram.
Deby’s reorganisation of security — which included the suspension of the air force chief and his deputy — saw army chief of staff Taher Erda take the top job with a general from the northeastern region of Tibesti made chief advisor on national defence issues.
Erda is a Deby loyalist and former police chief who fought alongside the president before he took power in 1990.
The air force suspensions followed the discovery of debris from an helicopter which went missing more than a week ago in the north.
The sparsely populated, mainly desert region near the border with Sudan, Libya and Niger is volatile prone to attack from Chadian rebel groups based across the Libyan border.
In late January, France pounded Chadian rebels who had crossed back into their country from Libya to halt their incursion.
A shocking trending video making the rounds online has called for caution among Nigerians to be very careful when employing house maids. Two boys who disguised perfectly as girls were recently apprehended by the authorities after they were discovered to be what they are not.After they were arrested and taken to the station, the boys allegedly confessed that they pretended to be girls in order to be employed.
Imagine what they would have done to the female children left in their care.
They were asked to show their private parts (including the fake breasts) right there in the station as they were filmed.
A Facebook user who posted the video online urged people to thoroughly check housemaids before employing them.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who has had more scandal in her short first term than many members of Congress experience in a career, “told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother,” a report said.
February 20, 2020 By Jideofor Adibe Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi
The Conversation is funded by the National Research Foundation, eight universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and South Africa. It is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Western Cape, the African Population and Health Research Centre and the Nigerian Academy of Science. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a Strategic Partner. more
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The Nigerian government recently announced that it had released about 1,400 Boko Haram suspects. The reason given was they had repented and were to be re-integrated into society. The government said the releases – which happened in three tranches – were part of its four-year old de-radicalisation programme called Operation Safe Corridor.
These reactions mask a fundamental challenge facing governments in conflict situations: how does it deal with defectors? Simply executing combatants, or detaining them indefinitely, aren’t viable options. De-radicalisation and re-integration programmes therefore become unavoidable.
Generally ‘de-radicalisation’ is understood to involve having people with extreme and violent religious or political ideologies adopt more moderate and non-violent views. The approach is predicated on the assumption that terrorists, and others with extremist views, can be engaged in a way that can reduce their risk of re-offending.
But there are a number of questions that ‘de-radicalisation’ and ‘re-integration’ programmes raise. These include: is it possible to screen the combatants well enough to measure what level of threat they pose? This is a problem in a country like Nigeria where the basis of selecting those who are being released isn’t transparent. For example, there are allegations that criminal elements in the military have colluded with Boko Haram to secure the release of unrepentant terrorists.
Another question that’s raised is: how can we ensure that the ‘former terrorists’, if re-integrated into the society, do not end up radicalising others in the community, or becoming spies to their former terrorist masters?
And is it fair to rehabilitate the combatants without also rehabilitating their victims?
Most countries faced with violent extremism and terrorism have adopted one form or another of de-radicalisation programmes. Whether they have worked or not is hard to judge because assessments are very often made by people responsible for the programmes. But one thing is clear: governments don’t have many viable alternatives.
Nigeria has three main de-radicalisation programmes. One is located in Kuje prison, Abuja, and was set up by the Nigerian government in 2014. Participants are combatants convicted of violent extremist offences and inmates awaiting trial. The aim of the programme is to combat religious ideology and offer vocational training as a prelude to re-integrating them into communities.
There is also the Yellow Ribbon Initiative which is located in communities in Borno State, in the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north of the country. This is organised by a not for profit organisation, the Neem Foundation. It was set up in 2017 and targets women, children and young people associated with Boko Haram.
The third is Operation Safe Corridor, which was set up in 2016 by the government. It targets Boko Haram combatants who have surrendered. This approach targets three key issues: religious ideology, structural or political grievances and post-conflict trauma.
The project engages Imams to work with those in the programme on religion. Participants are also offered training in rudimentary vocational skills. And they are offered therapy to overcome the trauma they faced as members of Boko Haram.
A wide range of countries have introduced de-radicalisation programmes.
In Africa, the four Lake Chad basin countries – Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad – have their own versions. In Somalia, the Serendi Rehabilitation Centre in Mogadishu offers support to ‘low-risk’ former members of Al-Shabaab.
In Northern Ireland, the Early Release Scheme ensured the conditional release of convicted terrorists under the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It was deemed essential to sustaining the country’s peace process.
In Colombia, former guerrillas who fought for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia were invited to join a peace building programme called the ‘collective reincorporation’.
Do they work?
There is no consensus on what constitutes success in reforming a terrorist.
There is, however, general acceptance that a narrow focus on recidivism as the key metric has been discredited. This is because the reasons for peoples’ behaviour isn’t always understood. For example, re-offending could well have been stimulated by new impulses after release. On the other hand, not re-offending does not necessarily mean the person has abandoned extremist views.
There is also confusion about whether any kind of rehabilitation is necessarily brought about by the de-radicalisation programme. For example, it could be more about the desire for freedom, or to access some benefits that go with a rehabilitation programme.
Measuring success isn’t easy. Official information is likely to be biased as the state and groups running programmes are wont to paint a rosy picture to justify the expenditure.
Additionally, whether a de-radicalisation programme is deemed successful or not may be subjective depending on what metrics are used. A good example is the research done for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. It praised Nigeria’s Operation Safe Corridor to the high heavens, arguing that it was a model of rehabilitation for Africa as well as the Western world. Yet a report for the Carnegie Foundation was very critical of the programme on several grounds. This included a lack of clarity on eligibility and as well as how former combatants would be re-integrated into civilian life.
Not many options
The question often not asked about de-radicalisation programmes is: what’s the alternative?
Framed this way, it’s obvious that governments facing challenges of terrorism and violent extremism have virtually no other alternative.
But that shouldn’t stop criticism of the way in which programmes are run. The Nigerian government’s release of 1,400 former Boko Haram fighters is a case in point. It was handled badly, not least because the public was told after the event.
The timing was also inauspicious. There is currently a resurgence of attacks by the terrorist group. At the same time President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is facing a declining sense of legitimacy . These factors helped harden attitudes and drove the push-back from Nigerians.
Everyone of us run behind our future which is a mystery by sticking in the past where we are not belongs to anymore, by leaving our Today! The present day.
But it’s not the case with me!! I live in present, I feel it and I just don’t want any regrets in my old days when I become too old and need a stick to balance myself with wrinkled face! I don’t want myself to say, I should have done this (or) that, I should have confessed it that moment itself. I just wanna live this life at this moment and I don’t want to miss it in anyway!!
So, my fellow bloggers, I want you too do the same. LIVE TODAY, FEEL IT, ENJOY IT cuz, life is very short for regrets. If you are interested in somebody go and tell you love them. If you wanna make your friend feel special, please go and tell that ” You are my best friend forever!!BFF” If you wanna ask apology go and tell Sorry!
Do it Today! Don’t wait for tomorrow! Tomorrow never comes!!!! Cuz, who knows what tomorrow will bring!
The Federal High Court in Kano on Friday dismissed the preliminary report of the state Public Complaint and Anti-corruption Commission (PCACC) which recommended the suspension of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, pending investigations into alleged financial misappropriation of the emirate’s funds.
Justice O. A. Egwuatu said PCACC did not give the emir an opportunity to be heard before releasing the report on him, adding that such an omission was against the principle of fair hearing.
The emir had sued PCACC, the governor of Kano State and the state Attorney-General. He asked the court to declare that the findings of PCACC contained in its preliminary report issued on June 6, 2019, were a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing and contrary to the rules of natural justice.
Mr Sanusi also asked for an order of the court to quash the preliminary report as it relates to his indictment for fraud, misappropriation, as well as the recommendation for his suspension by the commission.
While granting the emir’s prayers, the court equally awarded him a cost of N200, 000.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kano State High Court presided by Justice Sulaiman Na-Mallam had also restrained the state Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission from continuing to investigate Mr Sanusi.
The preliminary report issued by the commission had asked Kano State government to suspend Mr Sanusi pending the final outcome of investigation of alleged financial misappropriation of emirate’s fund amounting to over N3.5 billion.
Counsel to the emir, Suraj Sa’ida, presented an ex- parte application requesting the court to restrained the anti-corruption commission from continuing with its investigation against the emir.
The probe was criticised as an attempt by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to punish the monarch over his alleged support for Abba Yusuf of the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 governorship election. The emir denied that he supported the PDP candidate in the poll.
Mr Ganduje also carved out four emirates, Gaya, Rano Karaye and Bichi from Emir Sanusi’s kingdom, apparently to curtail the monarch’s influence.
Aishat BabatundeFisayo Soyombo donates N500k journalism prize for release of awaiting-trial inmates
Nigerian investigative journalist and joint-winner of the People Journalism Prize for Africa (PJPA) 2019, Fisayo Soyombo, says he is donating his N500,000 cash prize to aid the release of “awaiting-trial inmates who have no business in prison”.
Last month, Gatefield Foundation, a Sub-Saharan Africa public strategy firm and organiser of the journalism award, named Mr Soyombo and Kiki Mordi, a BBC journalist who is known for her investigative documentary on sexual harassment in some West African universities, as the inaugural winners of the $3,000 journalism prize (approximately N1 million).
They were recognised in Abuja for “subjecting themselves to the excruciating torture of the injustice that they sought to expose in telling these stories.”
Receiving the award alongside his co-winner, Ms Mordi on Thursday, Mr Soyombo said his decision to donate the prize was informed by the sheer feeling of civil responsibility to drive the course of social justice and freedom.
“My three-part investigation may have focused on the deep-seated corruption tarnishing the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria, but that isn’t the only frailty of the system.
“One other is the huge population of awaiting-trial inmates, many of them actually in prison for trivial offences and others not even deserving of detention much less imprisonment in the first place. At Ikoyi Prison, for example, more than 3,000 inmates inhabit a prison built for 800. Of these 3,000, less than 500 are convicts; the number of awaiting-trial inmates usually hovers around 2,500.
“While I am not in a position to help the prisons service clean up its corrupt house, by donating this money, I can at least help to kick-start a process I’m hoping can snowball into prison decongestion through the freedom of scores of awaiting-trial inmates,” Mr Soyombo said.
The fund, he said, will be managed by Abimbola Ojenika of The Justice Project whom he described as “a man of integrity and a hardworking but silent force for social change.”
He said the cash will be used to pay stipends to lawyers who will visit prisons to track the cases, ensure more inmates have their days in court, represent the inmates, settle fines where necessary and provide support to the inmates.
“Aside focusing on the possibility of innocence and frivolity of cases against inmates, women with babies and inmates with young families back home will receive special consideration,” he added.
Expressing gratitude to his parents, colleagues and all those who helped him with the investigation, he dedicated the award to a late friend whom until her death was one of his biggest cheerleaders.
“When she passed on September 3, 2018, I made a little promise to myself that my next journalism award would be for her. I want to thank Gatefield for helping me realise this,” he said.
‘Win for the people’
For Ms Mordi, winning the award is a testament to people’s pervasiveness to true journalism and the clamour for social change.
“Before people would say journalists shouldn’t take sides; it has gone beyond that. In the face of injustice and social inequality, we cannot remain silent,” she said.
The new trend, she said, should be the drive for informed truth that pricks social justice.
Complimenting people’s support for her, she promised to strive for the course of justice at all times.
“A nation without journalists by all intents is dead. A democracy without thriving journalists cannot lay claim to being the actual democracy. Media is central to democracy.
“It is the oxygen of morality and gatekeeper of diversity,” he said.
Worried about government’s attempts at muzzling journalists, Mr Ilo urged journalists to remain resolute in their social commitment to holding the government to account.
“At the time Nigeria needed to find its footing, it was these journalists that gave us our voice, they are the ones who amplify our voices,” he said, recalling military high-handedness on journalists at the time.
“The price of freedom and the work of journalists is very grave and we should never take it for granted. For you to keep doing this work, it requires the collective appreciation of Nigerians.”
‘Adding glamour to journalism’
Adewunmi Emoruwa , Gatefield Lead Strategist, said the PJPA is a public service journalism initiative, instituted to add ‘glints of glamour’ to the practice of journalism.
“We believe three very important things: one, journalism matters; two, journalists should be proud of their work; and three, they must be supported and be praised for the job they do,” he said.
Mr Emoruwa said that authoritarian governments have tried to make the media illegitimate and want people to distrust the media “thus the dwindling media trust in Nigeria from 80 per cent in 2006 to 34 per cent now, according to a report by Researchers NG”.
“We need to do it right in the clamour for good journalism by restoring the glamour back to it,” he said.
He said he hoped their next journalism prize would scale up to $5,000 from its inaugural mark.