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Coalition Counters Ex-US Envoy’s Article On Security Situation In Northern Nigeria

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The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) has rubbished an article by former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell wherein he predicted no end in sight for the country’s security challenges, particularly in the north. 

Campbell, an envoy to Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 through a piece titled ‘Darkness in Northern Nigeria’ said: “with the growth of militias, the Nigerian state is losing an attribute of sovereignty”. 

The article was first published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a New York-based supposed nonprofit think-tank criticised for its biased stance on Nigeria. 

However, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Julius Idoko, on Thursday, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement said Campbell’s position was “uninformed”, adding that Nigeria is “almost out of darkness”. 

The coalition said it came to this conclusion after undertaking on an assessment tour of the 19 states in the north. 

It noted that in the North-central, for example, armed robbery, highway robbery and kidnapping have drastically reduced while the launch of the Operation Sahel Sanity has quelled banditry in the Northwest. 

According to the coalition, the presence of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T.Y Buratai in the Northeast has rubbed off on the troops and adversely on the insurgents. 

After all its analysis, the group, therefore, concluded that the evils of terrorism, insurgency and banditry pervading the North will soon be a thing of the past.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition of Nigeria Movement, (CNM) concerned about the security situation in Nigeria especially in the 19 states the northern part of the country, decided to undertake an assessment tour of the region with the view to understanding the depth of the problems, the factors responsible and what can be done to remedy the situation.

Our observers were in the three geopolitical zones of the North, namely, Northeast, Northwest and Northcentral Nigeria and covered all the 19 states.

The Northeast which is the worst challenge in terms of security, as we all know, has six states namely, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe while the Northwest has seven states and the Northcentral six.

Our survey indicated that the zones have their peculiar problems in terms of the nature of the security challenges, the depth and differences in approach while they commonly share other aspects of the concern.

In all the zones, the Federal Government has mobilized security agencies in the bid to put an end to the challenges while various strategies have also been deployed by each of the agencies.

We noted that some of the strategies deployed by some of the agencies have failed to yield the desired results but that others have worked tremendously changing situation while bringing relief and succour to the people.

The security agencies involved have mainly been the Nigerian Army, Airforce, Navy, the Department of State Security, DSS, the  Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and others.

This appraisal captures the combined efforts of these agencies in each the zones and what has been achieved though there are special cases when specific agencies and strategies did the magic.

THE NORTHCENTRAL 

The general problem of insecurity that pervades the Nigerian landscape also finds space in the Northcentral part of the country.

These include armed robbery, highway robbery, kidnapping and attacks on communities.

But the region is peculiar for farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling, highway robbery and hostage-taking for ransom.

In Niger, Benue and Plateau, several lives have been lost in communities through these clashes.

But there has been a spike in criminal activities in Niger State with the regrouping of a particular religious sect, raids and communities and kidnappings.

Lately, too, states like Kogi and Nasarawa began to experience spikes in security issues like kidnapping and highway robbery.

Our observations indicated that the Federal Government of Nigeria responded to these threats by sending troops to the zone through various operational codes like Exercise Ayam Akpatuma, Operation CROCODILE Smile and other coordinated efforts which turned around the security situation in the zone.

Our observers were told by affected communities in Benue and Plateau states that the presence of troops has helped stem the level of insecurity around them.

They told our observers that it was the coming of troops to their communities that caused bandits mounting road books and killing people to flee.

They said troops also stopped the rustling of cows, made arrests and returned many cows to their owners which eased the tension in the area.

People in the zone also confirmed that the politicization of the herders – farmers clashes also stopped.

Criminals elements operating in parts of Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa under the guise of a religious sect have also been dislodged and those they held captive freed by Nigerian troops. 

NORTHWEST 

We received reports and later confirmed that some criminal gangs from neighbouring countries usually cross the borders on the Northwest mainly through Kastina, Sokoto and Zamfara States to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

These bandits would ride on motorcycles,  attack communities in the night, shoot and kill some, dispossess villagers of their belongings and withdraw to their cocoons before dawn.

There were also confirmed reports that the ranks of the bandits were swollen by run-away insurgents from the Northeast. 

All of a sudden, the mining fields on Zamfara became death traps due to the activities of these criminals while many communities in Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna could no longer sleep with their eyes closed.

The recent additions to the banditry and wave of terrorism included raiding schools and taking student hostage for ransom. 

The most provocative was the abduction of over 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. 

The Kaduna- Abuja highway also became notorious for the rate of killings and abductions of travellers.

The Federal Government acted swiftly before things would get out of hand and beckoned to the military and other security agencies to focus on the area. 

With constant ground and air bombardment of criminal hideouts, residents have been living in peace.

Scores of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have returned to their homes to engage in businesses like trading and farming.

The Kaduna- Abuja High Way which used to be notorious for kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers were also liberated by troops that people can now travel safely

With constant ground and air bombardment of criminal hideouts, residents have been living in peace.

Scores of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have returned to their homes to engage in businesses like trading and farming.

The launch of Exercise Sahel Sanity by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai also proved to be a wise move.

Within a month after the launch of the Exercise, troops combed the bushes and smoked out the bandits. They freed many hostages that were held hostage and arrested many of the criminals, their informants and collaborators.

The Exercise ensured the recovery of 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams and the arrest of 33 suspected bandits arrested. Seven AK47 Riffles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns were also captured while 17 kidnapped victims were rescued.

No sooner than these results began to show than the people of the Zone began to heave sighs of relief as the nightmare of night attacks and frequent raids on communities stopped.

What would have been an embarrassing situation for the Government and people of Nigeria was turned into a blessing when the army rescued 342 boys who were abducted at a secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State without casualty. 

NORTHEAST 

The Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist groups have through terrorists and other criminal activities destabilised the North-East of Nigeria. 

It is said that since 2009 when the Boko  Haram started, the groups have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced about 2.5 million people.

At a time, the North-East was experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis which left about 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid. 

Terrorists were taking over Nigerian territories and hoisting their flags and completely sacking the Local Government authorities.

But the President Muhammadu Buhari led government we were able to establish has through the security agencies, been able to halt the descent towards anarchy and restore hope to the people.

The government made significant military gains, reducing the number of Boko Haram attributed deaths from more than 5,000 in 2015 to hundreds in 2020.

The presence of the chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, at the battlefield was also of great positive effects as it kept the troops pushing harder until they penetrated the fortresses of the insurgents and subdued them in their numbers and it has been series of victories for the armed forces.

At a time the heat was so much on the Boko Haram that their leader, Abubakar  Shekau was heard in an audiotape begging for mercy.

Nigeria troops have continued to dominate the area foiling every attempt by the insurgents to relaunch their operations.

We can confirm that Nigeria has not lost any territory to the terrorists since they were recaptured by troops. 

CONCLUSION

With what we’ve observed as a group, we can beat our chests and say that the evils of terrorism, insurgency and banditry pervading the North will soon be a thing of the past.

There is hope that Nigeria is coming out of the darkness it has found itself in some years back. 

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2023: Darius, Bwacha Rift Deepens As Group Drags Senator To EFCC

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  • ICPC exonerates lawmaker

The rift between Taraba state helmsman, Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, deepened with a petition signed by Darius aides to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). KWARARAFA REPORTERS saw a copy of the petition that has been circulating widely in Abuja and Jalingo. The aides are alleging that Bwacha fraudulently diverted the constituency funds. They also accuse the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) of not doing a thorough investigation.

ICPC on their websites had exonerated
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, after receiving a similar petition. Itemising completed projects in the zone, the ICPC had given Bwacha a clean bill of health On the matter of constituency projects. On the site, out of the 39 projects verified by ICPC across the country, Bwacha’s accounted for 14.

But the petitioners in their latest letter said the EFCC needs to do a further check on those projects- a move many believe to be politically motivated.

Many watchers believed the latest push is all part of the crisis rocking Southern Taraba. Sen. Bwacha representing Southern Taraba has been locked in a war of attrition with Gov Ishaku over control of the zone. Ishaku, a second term governor, nurses the ambition to replace Bwacha in the 9th Senate, while Bwacha has declared his intention to run for governor. Bwacha is largely seen as a favorite by the electorate even as Darius hangs on the power of incumbency for his senatorial hopes.

The petition, signed by Special advisers to Darius, Daniel Dan Azumi and Tijani Sale, titled the document ” COMPLAINT ON THE FRAUDULENT DIVERSION AND PERSONALISATION OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS…”

The petition reads in part, ” these projects have been manipulated to diversion, conversion, part or partial execution, change location of sitting after approval or stage managed them to decieve the constituents whom he represents”.

The letter continued, “most importantly non – execution of a proposed Jatropa farm that is not traceable till today after money has been collected from FG when he was Senate Chairman on agriculture committee as published in 2014…”

“Lastly we are aware all contractors doing his biddings are his political cronies and relations which are against the process of bidding for contract by tender guidelines. Let all the contractors tender their profiles to see if they are not his cronies and relations.”

“We are praying that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s constituency projects right from 2016 is full of fraudulent activities and we appeal to ur esteemed organization to help us make a Better investigation on all his projects..”

But a source in Senator Bwacha’s camp told KWARARAFA REPORTERS that the petition is riddled with lies, noting that Bwacha has been consistent in addressing the constituency issues. The source noted, “this is just a continuation of the Governor’s war against a performing Senator. He recently tried to stop the flagging off of a major project here and hasn’t succeeded. His aides are merely pleasing their master. The governor has always maintained Bwacha is his biggest problem.”

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Rise Against Diaspora Interferences To Destabilize Nigeria, CTJ Charges Nigerians

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The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called on Nigerians to rise against negative influences and interferences in the Diaspora who mean no well for the country. 

The coalition gave this charge at a press conference on Friday in Abuja. 

According to Executive Director, Comrade Dominic Ohene, Nigerians abroad no longer display patriotism but malicious influence, surreptitiously eating the heart of the nation and contaminating the youths. 

Comrade Ohene noted that social media has become the major tool used in spreading false information and propagating misleading propaganda to implant anarchy and ultimately overturn the people’s mandate. 

Speaking further, Ohene recalled how these tactics almost worked during the EndSARS protests last year after these Nigerians hijacked and escalated the exercise. 

While citizens of other nations uplift the image of their country, the CTJ said most Nigerians outside the shores have elected to attack and set their home in flames. 

More worrisome, Ohene noted that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) have assisted these elements to achieve their course, availing its offices as a staging point for attacks against their home government. 

The CTJ, therefore, charged all Nigerians to stand up in solidarity to say enough is enough to the adverse impact of the Diasporas in our country. 

While calling for strict sanctions on these Nigerians, the coalition recommended that all Diaspora groups and offices must be overhauled and replaced with more competent people willing to work earnestly and efficiently for the interest of the country. 

It, however, urged all Nigerians to work together and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for the peace and prosperity of our dear country Nigeria.

 Read the full statement below:

The present epoch could reasonably be referred to as the diasporan age. The age of mass movement from one country to another. The age where citizens can represent their mother countries while residing in another, the age where their actions and voices can be heard, and cause tremendous affect either positively or negatively.

As a matter of fact, these effects have to lead many nations to look into the meanings birthed by the word “Diaspora”, especially meaning with dispersal, immigration, expatriate, refuge, exile, and ethnonational communities. There is no doubt that all these are more or less part of the intrinsic dynamics of a diaspora community.

Be that as it may, membership of a contemporary diaspora now implies potential empowerment based on the ability to exert socio-economic and political influence in both the homeland and the host and.

Indeed, we all know that diasporan historiography and discourses have grown exponentially in recent times. Despite this impressive historiography, the Nigerian diaspora has largely been subsumed under the general categories of studies dealing with Africans or Blacks living outside the shores of Africa.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice feels disturbed and very concerned about the soiled-Nigerian-garment by many Nigerians in the diaspora. It is said that “A good name is better than gold and riches…” 

Unlike how Interestingly it used to be, that members of the Nigerian diaspora were heavily involved in transnational activities that effectively integrated their countries of origin with their host countries. They, therefore, became not only veritable agents of poverty reduction but a key player in the process of Africa’s socio-economic transformation and development, thereby playing a pivotal role in the process of integrating the African continent into an increasingly globalized world.

Unfortunately, it is very heartbreaking to see that this precious historical legacy has now been thrown to the swine just because of the selfishness of some bad urchins that seek after their own political aggrandizement.

These negative influence of many Nigerians in the diaspora are surreptitiously eating at the heart of our nation and it is corrupting our youths. Their influence on the youths of Nigeria has been appalling. A lot of Nigerians at home look up to Nigerians in the diaspora as they believe that they become more successful over there, and thus, their way of life has been emulated by many Nigerians.

The awful thing about this is that they bring their bad culture to Nigeria. They exhibit the most appalling behaviour and this only succeeds in eroding the personalities of our youths. They have chosen to use social media as a means of spreading false information and propagating misleading propaganda. Their only aim is to implant a lawless society in Nigeria. Their only aim is to ensure that their fat cheques keep coming from their sponsors. It is most unfortunate that these evil political sponsors are hiding behind the façade of being democrats when in reality they abhor the very tenets of democracy, which is why they are keen on using crude tactics to overturn the mandate that Nigerians gave the government.

During the EndSars protests, the diasporas shamelessly attacked the Nigerian government.  They also conducted needless protests in their respective countries of residence. These actions only helped to further instigate the young men and women protesting which eventually turned violent and bloody. Their many witless posts on social media escalated the protests into a mini-revolution. But thanks to the prompt mobilisation and efficiency of the Nigerian security personnel, the situation was promptly arrested.

The sad thing about all these is that a majority of these people in the diaspora are outcasts and renegades who escaped to foreign countries after committing various atrocities. Many of them were armed robbers, rapists, school dropouts and lazy louts. These are unrepentant people with past criminal records, and they refuse to desist those act, but tend to continue such without giving it a second thought of the harm they are causing the society. Some of them are people who either failed in their businesses or their careers and therefore migrated overseas in search of greener pasture’. We call on every patriotic citizen to think it deeply that, If these people failed to make a significant impact in their country, of what value could they possibly be in other countries? They have nothing to offer. 

There has never been a group of people that mindlessly rained abuses on its own government from the shores of other countries. Every Nigerian citizen whether in the diaspora or not must do their best to be patriotic citizens by uplifting the image of the country rather than tarnishing it. The actions of the diaspora community especially in recent times is condemnable.

Patriotism is the sine qua non of every Nigerian citizen but the diasporas have shown us times without number that they lack it. This lack of patriotism has made many of the diasporas to act with such reckless abandon.

The shocking thing is that the diaspora groups and organizations such as NIDCOM have done little to curb this menace Nigeria is faced with. They have failed in many regards especially in identifying these rogue elements that are working against the interests of the country. Rather, the diaspora office has become an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interest of our country Nigeria. The diaspora offices have become a staging point for attacks against their home government. They are just opportunists who are only concerned with pursuing their own personal interests. The result of these acts of theirs has led to the unwarranted temporal ban on our dear country by some countries, and these have affected some meaningful Nigerians that had good visions and plans on how they would have made great exploits.

We stand here before you all today to tell you that a stop must be put to the actions of these diasporas before things get out of hand. It is of paramount importance that this situation is tackled headlong and fast. If possible, the leadership of the use the social media to stir the pot of disharmony in the country.

We must all stand up in solidarity to say enough is enough to the adverse impact of the diasporas in our country. To ensure our patriotism is unshaken, the Coalition for Truth and Justice is reminding every Nigerian that this is not a one stakeholder’s affair or fight, We are hereby calling on all Nigerians both in Nigeria and in the diaspora to work together and provide all the needed support for President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for the peace and prosperity of our dear country Nigeria.

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Insurgency: More Nigerians Eager, Willing To Join Nigerian Army To Fight Boko Haram

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Recruitment into the Nigerian Army has assumed a new dimension with a record massive enlistment rate in the past few years. In a bid to understand the rush for enlistment, this medium undertook an analysis of some of the factors responsible for the surge in interest for enrolment into the Nigerian Army.

In a series of interviews conducted, it was observed that part of the reason for the surge in the interest in the Nigerian Army is the reintroduction of professionalism and improved welfare packages for officers and soldiers.

The recently conducted enlistment for recruits into the Nigerian Army buttresses this point. The number of candidates that turned up for screening was massive so much that quite a substantial number was turned back for failing to meet the criteria that by all indication was stringent.

According to some of the interviewed recruits, they stated that enlisting into the Nigerian Army is a thing of pride and a medium to contribute their quota to preserving the country’s territorial integrity.

Adamu Salisu, an indigene of Kebbi State who was amongst those whose application was rejected, stated that he was disqualified because he didn’t have the required educational qualification.

“ I have only two credits in my senior school certificate examinations; the minimum qualification is five credits. I decided to try my luck because I am passionate about Nigeria. I like the way soldiers are fighting the Boko Haram insurgents. My uncle, who is a sergeant in the Nigerian Army encouraged me to apply because he wants me to benefit and contribute to Nigeria.” he said.

He further added that he would ensure that he serves Nigeria with all of his strength if given the opportunity.

“I love Nigeria, and I believe that I have what it takes to be a soldier. The Nigerian Army is the pride of the nation, and I have decided to go back to school and ensure that I get the required number of credits to be eligible to apply next year.”

In the testimony of another candidate, who pleaded anonymity because his family members are not aware of his application into the Nigerian Army stated that the Chief of Army Staff is his mentor with the achievements in office.

“ I have friends in the Army and from what they have been saying is that every soldier adores the Chief of Army Staff because he is the best commander in the history of the Nigerian Army. They have always told me that their welfare has improved since he became Chief of Army Staff. There is also local, and foreign training for soldiers and officers and merit is always rewarded so long you are dedicated and committed to your work.”

This medium consequently carried out an analysis of the Nigerian Army recruitment application in the past four years. It was discovered that in the year 2016, the enlistment was oversubscribed by 45%. In 2017, it was oversubscribed by 65%, 2018, 70% in 2019, by 80% and 2020 by 95%.

This alarming rate of oversubscription cuts across recruits and Short Service and Direct Short Service cadre of the Nigerian Army. The case of Short Service and Direct Short Service was indeed one that presented the most challenges as candidates with master’s degree constituted the bulk of the applicants.

According to credible sources, candidates must possess at least a first degree with not less than Second Class Lower Division or HND of not less than Lower Credit in the arts, sciences or humanities from an accredited institution of learning. Courses of study must also be accredited at the time of the study. However, it was gathered that in 2020 recruitment, over 80% of those that applied had a master degree and 5% with PhDs.

This medium was able to interview some of the candidates that applied. It was gathered that the rush for enlistment into the Nigerian Army is a function of professionalism in the Nigerian Army. They were unanimous in stating that the Nigerian Army presents them the avenue to actualize their dreams of contributing to national development.

According to Chinedu Okafor, a graduate of psychology from Imo State University, he stated that it is a dream comes true for him enlisting into the Nigerian Army.

“The interview process was rigorous as we were subjected to a series of examinations. From the onset, I recall that those of us who enlisted for the Direct Short Service was about 15,000 for a 1500 opening. You can be assured that the process was very rigorous, and I thank God that I was able to scale through.”

When asked about his motivation and preference for the Nigerian Army above other services, he stated that the Nigerian Army remains the dream of every Nigerian desirous of serving the country in her trying times.

“We all know that the country is faced with some security challenges, and the efforts of the Nigerian Army have been very pronounced. The Nigerian Army is the face of the war against insurgency and other acts of criminalities in the country. I don’t know of other services, but I tell you that anyone that adorn the Nigerian Army uniform is indeed passionate about the wellbeing of the country and this is the place to be.”

An instructor also corroborated this fact at the Nigerian Army Depot Zaria. He stated that part of the selection process entails that candidates highlight why they want to join the Nigerian Army. The consensus was that the Nigerian Army is a place where human potentials are maximized because of its policies.

“I tell you that in the past four years, we have been under tremendous pressure dealing with the number of applications into the Nigerian Army. It is always a tasking period for us because of the numbers of applicants that yearly submit their applications in their thousands.”

When asked to comment on the rumours making the rounds of soldiers and officers disengaging from the Nigerian Army, he stated that it remains a figment of the imagination.

“The rumour of disengagement is pure mischief. I am not aware of any such happening in the Nigerian Army. I have served in the Nigerian Army for 25 years, and I can tell you that there is no such happening. It is the other way round because more and more people want to enlist into the Nigerian Army. This can be seen in the enlistment figures from 2016 to date. I think it is just mischief and not a reflection of the issues on the ground.”

“We must give credit to the Chief of Army Staff because his leadership style has made the Nigerian Army the preferred destination for young and energetic Nigerians. All of these were made possible because of the level of professionalism that has been put in place in recent times.”

“Yes, you might find one or two applying for disengagement from service, but I can tell you that they constitute those who joined the Nigeria Army with a misplaced motive and priority. If you cannot give 100%, there is no way you can enjoy your stay in the Nigerian Army, and I believe this number is immaterial.”

He further advised Nigerians that are desirous of enlisting into the Nigerian Army to ensure that they are ready to give in their best as there is no room for mediocrity in the present-day Nigerian Army.”

“Those that want to enlist into the Nigerian Army without passion for what the Nigerian Army entails should do well to look elsewhere. The Nigerian Army is an institution with strong values meant for only those with the bigger picture in mind. This is what has changed since Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai assumed leadership.

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