Boko Haram: Maiduguri residents celebrate ‘return of peace’

Residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno, converged on Ramat Square, on Wednesday, to celebrate the momentary return of peace to their locality.


The event had in attendance officials of the state government in attendance as well as top military commanders.



Speaking at the occasion, Leo Irabor, theater commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, assured the people of the continuous support of the military.


He said security operatives would put in their best to rout insurgency from not just the state, but the entire region.


Borno is the worst hit state in the violent campaign of Boko Haram.

Southern Kaduna: In search of peace and justice – By Oyekan Adeolu

Over the last 37 years, Kaduna State has witnessed numerous violent conflicts, most of which are ethno-religious in nature. Contests for domain controls, resources and religious supremacy has led to the burning of religious places of worship, homes, marketplaces and public property.

Institutions of higher learning, which ought to be somewhat immune to the irrationality that fuels these conflicts, have many times been the theatre of war, as the College of Education riots of 1987, ABU crisis of 1988, and the Federal College of Education violence of year 2000 indicate. Notable places like Zagon Kataf, Kanfachan, Zaria among others, have become flashpoints where contest for identity recognition often results in bloodshed and wanton destruction.

More unfortunately though, attempts to permanently lay these recurrent conflicts to rest have failed, largely owing to half-hearted efforts by the authorities to implement enduring decisions identified as capable of bringing lasting respite.

It would seem that the political class benefits from the exploitation of the fault lines of the highly heterogeneous state for personal benefits. Granted that some of the lingering disputes have roots in colonial meddlesomeness that arbitrarily redrew districts and political domains, there has been little or no effort by the political leadership over time, to find lasting solutions. It is for this reason that the recurrence of violence, though sad, has not been surprising. It is within that brief overview that one must situate the ongoing conflicts in southern Kaduna.

The current conflict, said to have claimed close to a thousand lives, has exposed the fragile, distrustful relationship that exists between the different ethnic, religious and occupational groups in the state. The government, both at the state and federal level unfortunately, has conducted itself in a way that aggravates rather than ameliorate the crisis.

Governor El Rufai didn’t help matters when he, without recourse to verifiable facts attributed the conflict to non-Nigerian Fulani herdsmen who suffered losses while grazing, in the aftermath of the 2011 elections. The implications of this is that while the governor acknowledged the killings in southern Kaduna, he exonerated the indigenous Fulani community and held foreigners responsible for the numerous coordinated attacks on lives and property within his domain. By so doing, he has added a new, more frightening dimension to the issue, as it means that Nigeria is under attack from a band of aggrieved bandits who come into the country at will, wreak havoc, recoil and spring again as the nation watches helplessly. The implications of such an account wasn’t lost on any of the security agencies who have refrained from conferring credibility on the governor’s claim. The governor goes ahead to say that he Knows the perpetrators of these crimes, have visited them, and also offered huge monetary incentives to stop the destruction. Evidently, the governor did not consider as grievous and counter-productive, the use of unappriopriated resources of the State to pacify a party to an ongoing conflict, to the exclusion of the other sides whom the governor himself acknowledges to have suffered great human and material loss. While the governor’s ‘foreign invaders’ thesis is unconvincing, seeking to buy peace from a party to a conflict without a proper mechanism of mediation in a way acceptable to all the stakeholders takes the mismanagement of the Kaduna crises to a new height of incompetence.

Already, the attack on the residents of southern Kaduna a few weeks back, leading to the reported massacre of over 800 persons in the middle of a 24 hour curfew has been interpreted in some quarters as the tragic outcome of the governor’s handling of the issue.

Some have insinuated outright connivance. While we may not be able to affirm the connivance of the State governor with the Fulani side of the Kaduna crises merely on account of ethnic affiliations, the shoddy handling and management of the situation is evidently complicit.

Granted that the federal structure operative in the country gives the governor little control over security agencies, his self-explained use of the instruments of his office in bringing about peace falls far short of an objective, peace-oriented approach to the conflict.

Yet, more worrisome is the apparent indifference of President Muhammadu Buhari over the ongoing killings. It took public excoriation from many quarters to squeeze out a tepid press statement from presidential media aides in respect of the issue. This has unfortunately fuelled the belief in some quarters, rightly or wrongly, that the president, a Fulani himself, is sympathetic to the herdsmen at the centre of the conflict. The mistrusts that this presidential indifference has bred is inimical to lasting peace in Kaduna. Most worrying still, is that President Buhari is wittingly or unwittingly framing himself as a leader incapable of rising beyond narrow, primordial considerations in tackling matters of national importance.

The non-challant approach to conflicts involving herdsmen was an issue of much media debate in the wake of the attacks on farmers in Benue, Enugu and a few other places in months past. Rather than cement further, the increasing perception of the president as a sectional figure, General Buhari could have acted swiftly and decisively in the present Kaduna crisis to demonstrate to all in very clear terms the commitment to being a president for all as he swore to.

All over the world, we see the value attached to lives as leaders show up in areas where there are crisis, to console, identify with, and reassure their citizens in words and deeds that the people’s lives matter to those in power. In July 2016, President Francois Hollande of France was an early caller in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, where terrorists had killed a local clergyman. This was in spite of the fact that the assailants were killed at the scene by security agents. Earlier in 2015, in the wake of the murder of nine worshippers by the white supremacist, Dylan Roof, at a church in Charleston, President Obama visited the community to grieve with them. The import of this is very clear. When tragedies happen, it is expected of leaders to demonstrate empathy and commitment to a healing process. When tragedies occur as a result of conflict, it is even more imperative that a leader intervenes symbolically, calming jarred nerves and going beyond that to show the way forward in the interest of enduring peace, and more importantly, justice.

On this score, President Buhari has been grossly wanting. Unfortunately, such a disposition is not likely to be met with indifference from the feuding parties. It has the dangerous tendency to infuriate and energize further, those who perceive themselves as victims, while equally emboldening those accused of committing serious atrocities. In the absence of decisive and effective leadership, a conflict of this nature can only breed more anarchy and disorder, as people interpret justice and fairness from the perspective of self-interest. Ineffectiveness is a great incentive for degeneration into a Hobessian state

The federal government has decided to establish an Army formation in the part of southern Kaduna most prone to conflicts in order to restore peace. It remains to be seen if such a move will yield expected results in an area where distrust and accusations of connivance on the part of the Armed Forces are rife. In any case, the establishment of a military formation is at best a medium to long term solution which in itself is not encompassing. Peace enforcement all over the world is a temporary measure which precedes peace-building.

Achieving the latter requires establishing the credibility of government and its institutions as unbiased arbiters, dispelling methodically the grounds for further discord between the different sides, and bringing reforms carefully designed to address holistically, the numerous dimensions of the crisis.

In the case of Kaduna, finding lasting peace ought to factor in the political, economic, religious and social dimensions that the contesta has assumed. Areas of influence for each group must be clearly delineated and made binding to the satisfaction of all ethnic groups and other interested parties, while issues relating to the transition from the grazing approach to ranching by herdsmen equally requires a definitive resolution. Efforts must also be made to bring to justice, those known to have committed grave crimes on both sides. These steps, among others will go a long way in restoring trust, a sense of fairness and safety, and the needed peace and order upon which any developmental agenda can be predicated.

Adeolu lectures at the Lagos State University

African Leaders Should Pay More Attention To Peace, Development- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tasked  African leaders on the need to ensure socio-political stability in their respective countries to achieve peace and speedy regional and sub-regional integration in the continent.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with the visiting Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, after a closed door meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari noted that, even though the situation in the ECOWAS sub-region was relatively stable, there was the need to continue to persuade the leaders to pay more attention to security and development.

“The situation in our sub-region is relatively stable but there is the need for us to continue to persuade our colleagues to show appreciation on the efforts the sub-region is doing to make sure that we pay more attention to security and development.”

“I have appreciated very much your efforts and I also congratulate you on your successes. I believe you may even go outside the region, to African Union, so that before the AU meeting we try and persuade the leadership of those countries in our sub-region  to show more patience and accommodation with politics of their countries, President Buhari said.

The President stated that the forthcoming 3rd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security would discuss some political developments in two countries of the sub-region.

Buhari commended the Liberian leader for handling the affairs of the  ECOWAS diligently and  efforts in stabilising her country.

He added that “I have to very sincerely congratulate you with the way you have stabilised your country and with the small contributions Nigeria was able to make through out those difficult times that you went through.

“And also thank you very much on the way you are handling ECOWAS responsibility.

“We have one or two countries that I believe we will discuss when we go to Senegal today, tomorrow and maybe on Wednesday, in terms of peace and security.’’

In her remarks, the Liberian leader who is also the Chairperson of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS  nations,  said she was in Nigeria to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission

According to her, the visit is also meant  enable her meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the forthcoming Summit of the Authority  of the ECOWAS, slated for Abuja on Dec. 17.

She stressed the need for leaders in the sub-region to continue to maintain peace and stability to achieve regional integration and economic prosperity.

“I’m glad once again to be back in Abuja. I’m using the opportunity of this visit to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission,  to meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the reports I will present at the Summit of the Authority, which will be held here in Abuja, on Dec. 17.

“But,I’m so greatful that while here, I reached out to the President and asked him for the opportunity to call on him to be able to brief him on some of the findings I have had in my two days of consultation with the commission.

 “I also exchange with him  some of the developments in our sub-region, political development; economic development, and to get his wise counsel on how we can ensure that we monitor the situation in  all the West African countries so as  to maintain peace and stability in all of our countries” she said.


Lawyers petition US, UN, UK, Germany over IMN’s threat to peace in Nigeria.

A group of legal practitioners in the country under the aegis of Lawyers Initiative For Civil Rights Advancement in Nigeria have petitioned the United States Embassy in Nigeria alerting it of the imminent security threat posed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The letter, which was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, said the threat posed by the “radical Shiite movement” has several security implications not just for Nigeria, but other West African countries.

The petition was equally copied to the British High Commissioner, German Ambassador and the UN mission in Nigeria.

The letter, which was signed by the LICRAN Director of Research and Advocacy, Unande Tersagh, and made available to journalists, described the IMN as an Iranian-backed rebel group.

Tersagh, who described LICRAN as an umbrella body of pro-democracy lawyers dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, justice, equality and rule of law in Nigeria, said it is within public domain that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been harassing Nigeria using members of the IMN.

He said buoyed by Iran’s backing, IMN members in October and early November unleashed violence across several Nigerian cities in the North under the cover of the Ashura procession.

According to him, this led to several deaths in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna and Katsina States.

Tersagh said Nigerians were surprised that IMN propaganda machine used the widespread mayhem as an excuse to allege clampdown on Shiism in Nigeria contrary to the fact on ground.

He said it is on record that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have in previous years been named in illegal shipment of weapons that were deliberately mislabeled as other goods into Nigeria.

He stated further: “There have also been reports that the IMN members visit Iran under the cover of academic scholarships to be trained as terrorists by the same Revolutionary Guards Corps. This will be consistent with recent revelations by Salar Abnoush, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Khatam-al-Anbia Garrison, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards Corps that his country is sending out sleeper cell assets to infiltrate other nations.”

Tersagh urged the ambassador to prevail on the US Government to declare the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terror organization bearing in mind that their modus operandi is strikingly similar to that of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and ISIS.

The group added: “In the light of foregoing, we passionately appeal for peace and justice by calling on your good offices in collaboration with those of other members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to swiftly lend support to the Nigeria government in her bid to shut the door against all emerging and potential terrorist groups so as to strengthen the fragile peace that we are enjoying at the moment.”

Niger Delta Group Storms Villa, Gives Fresh Conditions For Peace

delegation of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress (NDPC) was at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday and gave fresh conditions for peace during a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It would be recalled that elders from the region, under the auspices of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, had on November 1 met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa where they presented a 16-point demand to him.

The secretary of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress, Professor Benjamin Okaba, told Osinbajo yesterday that their visit was to re-affirm the plausible submissions earlier made, prioritise their concerns and place them in clearer perspectives.

Okaba listed his group’s demands as including political reconstruction and fiscal federalism, saying the derivation principle should allow the different units annex and control their resources and pay appropriate and agreed tax to the centre.

The group also demanded stoppage of further invasion of the region under any guise; unconditional release of all freedom fighters from detention, relocation of multinational corporations’ operational bases to the region and creation of at least 6,000 jobs for the teeming population of unemployed and restive youths of the region.

It also demanded resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State and establishment of similar institutions in other parts of the region; release of over N800bn outstanding allocations to the NDDC; building of more modular refineries; reduction of the current state of environmental degradation and threat to life occasioned by the activities of the mult-national corporations in the region as well as comprehensive remediation of areas affected by oil spill.

Other demands were provision of medical facilities and attention to people suffering from ailments associated with oil and gas activities; prompting the legislative process for the review of the nation’s laws on environmental impact; immediate implementation of all laws stopping gas flaring in the region and establishment of internally displaced persons camps for the re-settlement of displaced persons at Bakassi, Gbaramatu, and so on.

In his response, Osinbajo charged the delegation to first address the issue of continued vanadalism in the region which, according to him, he said is the most important thing.

He noted that the problems in the region had always been there, saying if the elite in all regions of the country decide to end the problems in their regions, the crises would be resolved.

The vice president also told the delegation that independent producers who are Nigerians are the ones suffering from vandalism, not the international oil companies.

Credit: dailytrust

How Burkina Faso’s Different Religions Live In Peace

The Pope has invited Burkina Faso’s president to the Vatican later this month to see what can be learnt from the West African nation’s example of religious tolerance. BBC Africa’s Lamine Konkobo is from Burkina Faso and assesses if this can continue in a region under assault from Islamist militant groups.

Religious tolerance has long been wired into the social fabric of my country, with many people drawing their faith from more than a single creed.

The Islam practised by many Burkinabe Muslims – who account for about 60% of the population – would be considered blasphemous by Salafists, as they include many animist practices.

My own father was not born a Muslim. He converted to Islam in the 1970s as a result of his business dealings with El Haj Omar Kanazoe, a rich trader from the Yarse sub-ethnic group known for their affiliation to Islam.

While my father chose to become a Muslim, setting his children up to follow in his footsteps, the rest of his family remained animist and my father could not disown them for that.

In the neighbourhood where he chose to set up his household, he was under the tutorship of his maternal uncle, a patriarch named Yandga who was the custodian of the village’s fetishes.

Anywhere my father looked, even if his new co-religionists urged him to hate, he could not have done so without losing his soul.

Like many others across the country, he had to adapt to the dynamics of society around him by accepting that Islam was not the only way.

As children, we grew up with people with differing religious beliefs – playing together, being told off by each other’s parents, celebrating each other’s festivals, mourning each other’s deaths, with humanity as the overriding connector common to all.

Read More: bbc

Of Peace, Conflict Resolution & National Cohesion – Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr

“My Son, we are better together than separate. What we need is the will to make right our union, and Statesmen whose motivation is to bequeath a fair Country to posterity” – Elder Chris Nwaokobia Snr (1939-2003).

Every so often serious issues of state dominate the intellectual sphere as well as the regular space, I find a unanimous call for peace, a concord that belies the anger in the land, a concord that belies the ethnic bend of leaders and the led, a concord that belies our regional and religious bigotry, and sadly a concord that fails to interrogate the reason there are internecine conflicts across the land.

Crises and conflicts are naught but natural occurrences that test our candour, our civility, our composure and our maturity. They are oftentimes man-made, they are products of our actions or inactions, and they are problems that a willing people can attempt and solve.

I write to stimulate a new thinking. I write to remind you my Compatriots that if nations have triumphed over racism, over apartheid, and over troubling dichotomies of Colour, WE CAN. I write to inform you my Countrymen and women that at some point in this union every Tribe, Creed or Clan has hurt each other, and have also at different times benefited from each other. I write to inspire the emergence of patriots and Statesmen who are willing to build a nation where Justice and Equity is prime. And I write because I agree with my father, that we are better together than separate.

May our debates interrogate the reason we are where we are, and may our drive prefer the highway of Peace, of Justice, of Equity, of Love and Patriotism over partisanship. To the Bridge, Dear Friends.

Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr

Ijaw Youth Group Begs Agitators To Embrace Peace

A group under the aegis of Ijaw Community Association has called on the various Niger Delta militant groups to embrace peace and dialogue with the federal government, saying renewed agitation in the region has added more difficulty to the already ailing economy.

It said the activities of various militant groups who have been destroying oil facilities were disrupting economic activities in the region, stressing that they had caused the Nigerian economy to go into recession.

This call was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Secretary General of the Abuja Chapter of the group, Comrade Bidi Christopher, who noted that the renewed agitation has further aggravated the situation as investors are now moving out to safer grounds.

According to him, “?the Ijaw community Association  in Abuja {IJCA} is using the medium to call these sets of youths under the aegis of various fronts to stop further endangering and hampering the already harsh economy in the region.?

“This is a call for all present and ex-agitators that there is no need for attacking and destroying oil facilities in the country, making the already dwindling economy more difficult. This has further aggravated the situation making investors leaving the country for safer grounds.”

Read More: thisdaylive

Peace Must Be Restored In Nigeria At All Cost – Burutai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has vowed that the Nigerian Army would at all cost ensure restoration and maintenance of peace and harmony in the country.


This is even as he noted that the Nigerian military has degraded to its knee the Boko Haram activities in the north east as incessant bombings of worshipping centres, market places, motor parks and other places have gradually subsided in all section of the country.


The Army boss gave the pledge when he paid a courtesy visit to the Gbong Gwom Jos, His Royal Majesty, Da Jacob Gyang Buba at his palace in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.


Originally, Buratai was on a familiarization tour to military outfits and formations under the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos.

While commiserating with the His Royal Highness over the death of the paramount ruler, Saf Ron Kulere of Bokkos Local Government, HRH La’azarus Agai, he also assured the people of Plateau State of security of lives and properties.


Also commending, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba appealed to the military and other security agencies to continue searching high and law the killers of the paramount ruler La’azarus Agai and brought them to book, appreciating the Nigeria for its sacrifices towards restoring peace and other only in Plateau State but all over Nigeria.

Avengers Embraces Dialogue, Gives Condition For Peace

The federal government’s efforts to restore peace in the troubled oil-rich Niger Delta region recorded a significant gain yesterday as the Niger Delta Avengers, the group that had been responsible for recent serial attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region, said it was ready to discuss its grievances with the government.

The militant group’s turning of a new leaf, was largely due to pressure from the back channel contact made by the federal government’s negotiating team, headed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu.

The group’s offer of dialogue was, however, predicated on International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the region committing to send independent mediators to the dialogue, saying that was the only way it could have confidence in talk that is expected to chart the way forward for peace in the region.

The federal government’s team, which also include the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, is mandated to reach out to the militants and other stakeholders in the region and find a way to end the violence that had adversely affected oil production output of the country, which had dwindled from 2.2m bpd to about 1.6m bpd. Only yesterday, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), said it had lost N60 billion in three months, owing to the break in its Forcados pipeline bombed by the NDA.

The NPDC’s loss is only a part of the general loss to the nation’s overall revenue loss manifested in the shut-in of over 800,000bpd since the NDA hostility began in February.

But in a statement by Mudock Agbinibo, the group’s spokesperson, it said it would cease fire to enable it discuss with the federal government’s team. It, however, demanded absolute sincerity on the part of government, warning that it would not allow the discussion to be turned into a political jamboree.

“We are warning this government of President Muhammadu Buhari not to turn the essence of genuine peace talk and dialogue to political jamboree that is prevailing now where all manner of social media agitators and criminals have been sponsored by the job seeking corrupt political class to save faces before the government of the day,’’ the NDA said.

As guarantees, the group said while it would not blow up more pipelines, it insisted that repairs to all bombed trunk lines must be put on hold until the dialogue is over, threatening to sink in the deep waters two large vessels belonging to the oil companies if its conditions were disregarded.

Credit: Thisday

Okorocha Brokers Peace In Ohaneze Ndigbo

Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has successfully brokered peace between the two factional leaders of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, Chief Gray Enwo-Igariwey and Dr. Ralph Obioha with the latter dropping his claim to the Office of President-General of Ohaneze.


Dr. Obioha equally accepted Chief Enwo Igariwey as the only President-General of the Organization and also pledged to give Chief Igariwey all the needed support and cooperation to enable him succeed.


The reconciliation of the two factions, which was presided over by Okorocha, come Monday night, after a very lengthy meeting between the two leaders, members of their respective executives and delegates from the states that make up Ohaneze, at the Government House Owerri.


It was gathered that one of the agreements at the meeting was that the tenure of Chief Igariwey was extended by one year, and at the expiration of the one year, fresh election would be conducted to select new leaders for the body.


Similarly, all those suspended from the body while the squabble lasted, were also recalled, and all the court cases occasioned by the dispute would also be withdrawn.


“A 17-member committee that would see to the implementation of all that was agreed including the issue of election was set up with Dr. Obioha as Chairman, while the governors will produce one member each”, the communique stated.


In his speech, Governor Okorocha expressed gladness that “the Ohaneze family is back as one”, stressing that “we have proven to the world that Igbos are their brothers keepers.” Okorocha continued, “The President of Ohaneze will soon address the Igbo nation. All Igbos must join hands with the Ohaneze leadership to move Igbo nation forward. With this peace, we are going to see a new kind of support for Ohaneze. The rest of the world will hear about the Igbo nation. The jinx has been broken.”


Chief Igariwey and Dr. Obioha in their respective speeches, said achieving peace in the leadership of Ohaneze and reconciling the two factions should be celebrated by all Igbos because the division had never augured well with the august body and the interest of the Igbos in general.


Credit : Vanguard

Drone Strike Kills Six Suspected Militants In Central Yemen

A drone strike killed six suspected al Qaeda militants in an overnight attack in eastern Yemen, tribal sources said on Thursday.

The apparent U.S. drone strike targeted a car traveling in al Rawda city in Shabwa province, a remote desert area where al Qaeda militants are believed to be operating. The province has been targeted by drone strikes this year.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of a conflict pitting Houthi militiamen against forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to grab territory and operate more openly.

Dozens of al Qaeda militants reclaimed the town of Azzan in Yemen’s Shabwa province on Monday, residents said, exploiting a security vacuum.

The United States has kept up a drone campaign against the militants, adding to near-daily air strikes by a Saudi-led Gulf Arab coalition, which intervened in the war last March to rout the Iran-backed Houthis and restore Hadi’s government.

Suspected U.S. drone strikes, which normally use Hellfire missiles, have killed some of AQAP’s top leaders, including its chief Nasser al-Wuhayshi last June.

Olawale Rotimi: IDPs In Nigeria And A Call For Urgent Intervention

Among others, the growing level of violent attacks in Northern Nigeria has unavoidably led to the increase in the number of displaced persons in Nigeria. Due to siege laid by extremist in northern Nigeria, well over a million Nigerians are displaced and live in IDP camps in their own country.  There are varying statistics about the number of Nigerians living in IDP camps, according to the Displacement Tracking Index published in February 2015, 1,188,018 IDPs consisting of 149,357 households were identified in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states alone.  In addition to this, another 47,276 IDPs consisting of 5910 households were identified in Plateau, Nasarawa, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna states, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). In total, 1,235,294 IDPs were identified in northern Nigeria while the highest number of IDPs is in Borno state with 672,714, followed by Adamawa state with 220,159 and Yobe state 135,810.
According to the report been assessed, the IDP population is composed of the following:
·         53 % women and 47% men.
·         56% of the total IDP population are children of which more than half are up to 5 years old, while 42% are adults.
·         92% of IDPs were dis- placed by the insurgency.
·         The majority of the current IDP population was displaced in 2014 (79%).
·         The IDPs come mainly from Borno (62%), Adamawa (18%) and Yobe (13%).
·         87% of IDPs live with host families while 13% live in camps.
Boko Haram has killed more people than ISIS, particularly in 2014.  The Taliban which was rated as the deadliest group in 2013 was ranked third in 2014 despite killing over three thousand people in deadly terrorist attacks. In 2014 only, 32,658 people were killed by Boko Haram compared to 18,111 in 2013. This extremist has taken responsibility for deadly attacks in Nigeria’s capital and northern parts; with Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as the hotbed. These attacks have led to massive and incessant displacement of people in this geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Assessing the spate of displacement it spread across Nigeria and her neighbours. Aside government organized IDP camps, there are many IDP camps that are organized by people who escaped terrorist attacks in this zone while thousands migrated to peaceful parts of the country- south west Nigeria in particular. (How many IDP camps are situated in the south west?)
 Despite efforts of the United Nations, its organs and other non-governmental organizations collaborating with the Government of Nigeria in order to ameliorate the conditions of IDPs and rehabilitate the victims, there are daunting challenges confronting victims of terrorist attacks in Nigeria. It is important to note that the thoroughly poor condition of IDPs in Nigeria reflects the impecunious condition millions of Nigerians live. There’s a wide gap of commitment to the welfare, security and rehabilitation of IDPs from the Federal and State government authorities. Briefly examined below, these are three major problems confronting government recognized IDPs camps in Nigeria:
 Welfare: Displaced persons are finding it difficult to regain pre-conflict way of living because of the poor living condition; poor sanitation which exposes members of the camps to infectious diseases, poor medical facilities which accommodate growth of infectious bacteria, fungi and virus in their bodies, poor feeding which exposes them to malnutrition and poor condition of infrastructure such as power, water, roads e.t.c.
Considering the population of nursing mothers and children, several appeals have been made to previous and incumbent governments to ameliorate the condition of IDPs but created little or no result. Members of parliament representing affected regions have slammed the Federal and State Government Authorities severally but no result. Members of the IDP camps need the attention of the Nigerian government to ameliorate their conditions.
Security: In September 2015, the deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram in a suicide mission, attacked members of IDPs Camps in Madagali and Yola killing 12 persons. In one of the attacks, bombs were reported to have been detonated inside a tent at the IDP camp. This among others are security threats faced by members of IDP camps in Nigeria. Yet to recover from psychological trauma from loss of families, friends and properties, displaced persons are faced with security challenge coupled with a responsibility to protect themselves in their various camps. The inadequacy of security at the IDP camps opens them to attacks from terrorists and armed robbers.
Rehabilitation: Hosting IDPs in camps without solid rehabilitation plans makes them vulnerable to crime in a bid to survive. Members of IDP camps must be kept busy psychologically and rehabilitated economically to help them recover from the scourge of conflict.  Rehabilitation process of IDP camps members have been sufficiently low. There seem to be a deliberate attempt from the government to ignore the displaced persons; this is evident in several failed, unfulfilled promises made by government and the politicizing of IDPs. Today, the IDP camps is emerging a ground for politicians to score cheap political popularity by visiting to donate scanty items while leaving out long term solutions.
 In addition to the comprehensive challenges stated above, it’s pertinent to also note that there are some IDP camps that are unrecognized by the Federal and state governments. This implies that, the figures of IDPs projected by the government are not accurate since they are limited to camps organized or recognized by the government. In a short documentary broadcast on Channels Television, tagged “Displaced Persons Seek Support of Government, NGOs”, Channels TV reporter, Victor Mathias, gave a statistical, analytic and visual plight of an IDP camp that the government has refused to identify despite the agonies faced by members of the camp. His submission is asserted below:
 “The Malkohi IDP camp is located a few kilometres from the government recognized IDP camp in Yola and has no security, electricity, healthcare facilities, with little or no donation from the government, NGOs and International Bodies. With 215 households, 777 children excluding men and women, they find solace in the settlement after been sacked from their ancestral homes by Boko Haram. Some members have even contemplated suicide due to extreme pains from injuries sustained while fleeing from Boko Haram”
The reporter, Victor Mathias, also interacted with the Adamawa State Government through the Commissioner for Information, Ahmed Sajoh, who said the Federal and Adamawa State governments are aware of the existence of new IDP settlements but to integrate them into the government’s scheme, “proper” channel must be followed. Ahmed said until the government is informed through proper channel, no step will be taken to rescue these displaced persons.”
 The above reported interaction between Channels Television journalist, Adamawa state government and an IDP camp reveals the poor condition the members of IDP settlements are exposed to and the nonchalance of government to help improve their plight. The refusal of Adamawa state government to recognize IDPs camps based on the claim that they haven’t followed “proper” channel violates responsibility of government to its citizens.
This disgraceful act against humanity also violates conventional conduct; Nigeria’s failure to responsibly accommodate Nigerians living in IDPs Camps within the country is too low a blow for the government. Recently in a similar development, we have seen European countries accommodate refugees from Syria who were displaced due to on-going war in Syria, unofficial immigrants accommodated in Europe. Again, Nigeria’s failure to accommodate her own citizens in IDP camps puts to question the commitment of the government to take responsibility for the security and welfare of the people. In the same vein, due to security reasons, IDPs in Madagali and Michika LGAs were not accessible for assessment by statisticians.
There is an urgent need to break protocols in recognizing and accommodating victims of deadly attacks in northern Nigeria. These bureaucracies are irrelevant for a compassionate government. All barricades against displaced persons must be lifted; government and its agencies should scout for displaced persons from settlement to settlement and bring them comfort, particularly in crisis ridden-area of the country. The attention of the United Nations Humans Right Commission, World Powers and NGOs should be drawn and quickened to this. Corruption and government irresponsibility shouldn’t infiltrate the IDP camps.
Olawale Rotimi is a journalist/writer. He can be reached via or 08105508224
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Zaria Killings: El-Rufai Visits City, Sues For Peace

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has visited the city of Zaria, where a clash between soldiers and members of the Shiites sect left several people dead.

The spokesman of the governor, Samuel Aruwan, said the governor appealed for calm and spoke with the leader of the Shiite movement on phone.

Mr. Aruwan also said the governor met with the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, over the incident.

“Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has appealed for calm and peace,” Mr. Aruwan said.

“The governor has spoke on phone with Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky and later proceeded to Zaria to see things for himself.

“He later met with Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Butatai in Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, immediately after the passing-out parade ceremony.

“The situation is calm and security has been beefed up in Zaria,” Mr. Aruwan said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

#Pausibility: It Is So Easy To Start A War by Adebayo Coker


Long before now, I have been carrying the inclination that I am going to write this piece but now I have the conviction of time to do it expressly. This is not an indictment on any religion or a section of the country. In fact, it is a pointer to all of us— globally—that everything is about to go down, if nothing is done in the quickest time possible.

I used to patronize one Brother Adamu. He was introduced into the compound by my landlord. He does some chores for us in the compound but for me I only allow him clean my jalopy. Many times I had to settle him even beyond what a typical industrial car wash would charge and sometimes I defray the bill of his primary principal when I see him lurking around for too long, calling out when he’s done cleaning Alhaji’s cars in order to be settled. This guy deserves that daily pittance however you view it, especially when he works to earn it; I thought each time I saw him hanging there. Adamu is an industrious young man. He had sold me his shoe shining business though I never patronized him but I appreciate the adroit with which he carries the small case beating it to call the attention of any possible client. Adamu is striving, even when he tells you Ba Turenci ,  he puts his best to understanding whatever instruction you pass to him and he will deliver optimally.

Along the line I had a serious disagreement with Alhaji (on principle) that I was prepared to enforce my right in the Court of Law but somehow due to interventions here and there, we were able to reach a compromise. Then I called Adamu to come over to help get the car prepared as usual. Adamu jumped at it, rushed down to my compound, took all the needful from the muster point and got prepared to wash the car: then he was summoned by Alhaja, the wife of the landlord. Adamu was gone longer than normal and when he returned he just stood right there; he couldn’t utter a word, neither did he go back to the bucketful of soapy water to get done with what I invited him for. He just stood there and I got the message. I pressed: you wan wash or not? Adamu couldn’t respond. After a while he just walked out on me and I smiled. I took care of the car myself, in the first place I have always done the chore myself but I have to patronize Adamu for his own sustenance. After I finished washing the car and I realized that Adamu was still in the compound, I walked to where he was standing with Alhaja whom I suspected deliberately kept him company for the period I was washing the car, so he may not return to me. I offered half of what I had planned to give him if he had done the washing. Not that I had so much fund to play with, but I know Adamu needs help. His mind was just being exploited. Even though he may not have liked it, he couldn’t resist. It is possible he may have been told I am a Kaferi. The next morning I saw Adamu grumbling and when I asked what the problem is, he managed to explain to me that Alhaji hasn’t paid him for a very long time now. I pitied the young man who could have earned his full pay yesterday and possibly got a top-up, and also retain this customer. I could only wish him well and I drove off.

My mind went to those cheap recruits lurking around at the foot of the streets; young minds and energies that are left uncharted or underexplored. That’s why someone would see life as undeserving of them and would leave his or her supposed good life wherever in the world to join agents of destruction: ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabbab, Boko Haram, etc.

The ongoing agitation by some youths in the South-East with a tag of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) calling for secession, threatening war and spotting some people as the enemies of their realization, led by one Mr Kanu who had been legally arrested at his arrival on the soil of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, precisely at the airport but, (truth be told) unconstitutionally kept in detention till now. Mr Kanu is a young man himself who had been exposed to sound education and quality life. He instigates untold hate from his base in the UK through one of his machinery of doom, RadioBiafra and he had doubled his effrontery to fly into the land he so much professed hate for and expected to be treated like a royal. At that point he can be taken to be a spy and rightly to be treated as one. The devil doesn’t get a fair trial when he touches God’s anointed.

I didn’t witness the Civil War just as so many of us but we have heard stories and follow histories; most recently, There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe. In some quarters Achebe was said to be fragmentally segmented in his depiction of the events in his piece but whatever he captured were actions I wouldn’t want to experience so I wonder if Mr Kanu truly loves the people he was trying to take with him to his ‘republic’.

The street protests I see have no elderly person joining the march, even though some of us may want to believe the ‘supporting’ elders are only taking the back seat for now and would come out to reap the usefulness of the roundtable after these young men and women have been used to test the venom of whatever clampdown may be necessary in dealing with such unruliness; I still wonder at the raw energies of these unchecked herd-followers.

A reasonable Nnamdi would not see a reason to burn down his own store even if he will agitate for a better space; he won’t stop taking customers to his small shed till he is able to turn it into a chain of stores, then work on becoming a hybrid of importer and exporter group of companies. Look everywhere, you will see my Biafran brothers and sisters doing well. They usually pursue their businesses peacefully so we need to start asking why the majority of them would allow the few fallow-minded ones amongst them to put all of them in a bad light. Despite many expositions that this Kanu guy is a fraud, many young men and women offer themselves as pliable tools for his acts of self-perpetuation disguised as a clarion call for a Biafran dream and actualization. Let no clannish Kanu mess you up.

No doubt the current political hegemony may be lopsided, but don’t be another foolish sect sporting for war when you can get things done within the purview of simple human reasoning. Don’t die for what you can’t even explain if you were asked at the gate of hell: what killed you?

No Victor No Vanquished is a bad memory.

Olalekan Waheed: The Sacrifice Of Patriotism; Why Should I Respect The Nigerian Flag?

It has been long I sang the Nigerian national anthem. I remember joining in its singing long after leaving secondary school few years ago during my National Youth Service. Often I find myself on the warpath with school teachers and my students who will not “salute the flag” and “stand still” when the National Anthem is sung or the National Pledge is being recited during the morning assemblies. To me this was part of my contribution to citizenship, nation building and patriotism.

Some of my fellow teachers (the “permanent” teachers in the school where I was posted) only “stand still” on hearing the Anthem when they know I am around, at least to avoid the “corper’s wrath”. At other times they resort to their usual shabby ways in the contempt with which they treat the nation’s-perhaps most important- symbol. One of the teachers wondered what my nation has ever done for me to deserve a “return of favour”. My traditional reply has been John F. Kennedy’s admonition at his inauguration as US President in 1960, “… ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country.” This reply didn’t make any sense to many of them, I know, but they were under some sorts of “obligations” to agree with the “know-it-all Corper”.  Why are they struggling to understand my simple message of responsibility?

We were all taught that patriotism as a virtue back then in elementary school, but the reality when we left those small classroom are soon to stare us in the face. It soon became a situation of fighting those you do not hate and guarding those you don’t love just because duty, not love, made you fight!

I recall hearing the name, Mr. Taiwo Akinwunmi, as being the young man who designed the Nigerian national flag as a student back then in London since my primary school days. I was surprised to know that, long after my Social studies teachers told me of this man’s exploits, he for many years lived in near-poverty   and neglect, our politicians attend all official functions, the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the likes all transact government businesses in the name of this flag, whose designer lived in a mess. Yet this man was left in his house in Ibadan, not until I watched him on Frank Edoho’s popular television show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire!

I even wondered if any of these so-called politicians has even demonstrated any patriotic act save for monumental corruption, impunity and national embarrassment they have caused us as a nation, yet, there was no compensation for Mr. Akinwunmi who is normally supposed to be a source of inspiration to the young ones and also serving as one of the nation’s pride. But who will tell them?

I am aware President Goodluck Jonathan tried to come to Pa Akinwunmi’s aid in the dying moments of his administration as a face-saving acts, not necessarily an act of love. But better late, they say, than being the late!

I equally read the story of Mr.Joseph Igbinovia Alufa, the man who carved the Queen Idia mask (The Olokun) used for the 2nd edition of Festival of Black Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977 hosted in Lagos, Nigeria. He had to carve it to save the nation from a major international embarrassment when the original mask stolen as one of the works of art stolen by the British during the Punitive Expedition to Benin Kingdom in 1897 would not be released by the British museum even on a “rental fee” of £2 million just for the use of the festival. I am aware the Mr Alufa had to wait for over 31 years for his agreed fee for his work including his 19 years in court to press for his money. All this was as at 2008, I am not aware if the man has been paid now. This is sometimes the sacrifice for patriotism!

At this point, I will like to bring in Chief Charles Okereke. As far as I know him, he is an embodiment of what you can call patriotism and nationalism in an age where it is very tempting to make enough excuse for tribalism. He believes so much in the workability of the Nigerian Project. Despite all he went through as a postgraduate (on Imo State Government scholarship which was cornered and pocketed by the Nigerian diplomatic mission) in the United States, he did his best to get a job, with the help of his school, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA in the University’s Physical Plant Department, when his financial challenges took a heating turn and was about to drop out of school. He successfully earned his Master of Science (MS) in agriculture with flying colours.

All these notwithstanding, he decided to come back home in 1982 to serve his fatherland under the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) Scheme. After his Service, he was disengaged from his employment bond in the Imo state Government and left to wonder the streets of Owerri, Aba, and Umuahia in search of greener pastures for about ten months. He will later get a job in the private sector to last only for a few months before the notorious Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) began to take its toll on the private sector. He was able to save some money to at least take him back to the US to continue his life.

In all these, his love for his country was unwearied, while it was easy for other to simply chicken out and lose faith in Nigeria. He believes in his dreams and his capacity to make despite the formidable odds.

Still in all these, in obeying Kennedy’s admonitions to only ask what one can do for his country and not otherwise, he decided to fly the flag of the country again at the African Union (AU) Symbols Competition-Anthem Category in 2003. His composition, God Bless Africa, today the Union’s unofficial anthem won the competition but was cheated out to the third place. Chief Okereke, in dismay wondered if there could be a third position in a competition where the first position was not announced, and the second position was given to one of the “panel of judges” for the competition, and he was given the “third” position!

Sensing the injustice meted out on him, Chief Okereke turned to his country for help to at least save the country’s honour on the African continent. Despite President Olusegun Obasanjo being the AU Chairman at the time, nothing was done on the matter. Seeing it as a daylight robbery, Chief Okereke again in 2007, wrote another petition to the President of Ghana, John A. Kuffor, then AU Chairman. Again, the matter will not even be investigated because he “knows nobody”. He wrote another petition to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria in 2008, nut remains largely unattended to.

The matter could have been reduced to a tribal or ethnic issue, “If Chief Okereke had been from so-and-so region, bla bla bla, his case would have been given the right attention”. Being an Igbo man, and a proud member of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, he sought the help of the group on his matter.

In 2011, the Ohaneze nominee, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim became the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This time one would have thought things will be easier for Chief Okereke as regards his several petitions. This time the Ohaneze Ndigbo wrote an official petition, dated 24th April, 2012 with reference number, OHNZ/FGN/2012/03/01, on behalf of Chief Okereke concerning the injustice meted out on him at the said AU Competition.

One would have thought it Chief Okereke’s offence was because he is Igbo and therefore no one was there to “represent him”. Let us say for the sake of arguments, that others before President Jonathan did not protect Ndigbo interests and hence “punishing them for their sins”, but can we say that a Jonathan government, which the Igbos loudly call their own will not even attend to a petition filed by the group (Ohaneze) representing them? Is Anyim, an Igbo man, as the SGF also punishing Igbos? Why didn’t the Government, through Ayim, just have at least investigated the matter brought to it by the group or was he not nominated by the Ohaneze?

When I wrote under the title, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, some of my Igbo friends nearly asked for my head.  How dare I write about a subject I knew nothing about? Buhari “hates” Igbos just because he has not appointed anyone to “represent Igbos”? At least, all these I heard!

These were some of the questions they asked me but I told one of them who cared to listen that the fact that Pius Anyim was SGF, did that make much impact on the lives of Igbos in terms of access to Government facilities than before? Was Chief Okereke’s situation better with important Igbo people “in juicy positions” under President Jonathan?

On Chief Okereke’s petition which still lie unattended to at the SGF’s office. I am using this opportunity to call on the newly-appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal and President Muhammadu Buhari to look into this enterprising Nigerian’s case and the merit of it with the view to getting to the root of this matter. The Nation’s honour was toyed with, politicised, ethicized, degraded, and neglected all with reckless abandon by those who themselves whose sense of honour is rather suspect. Chief Okereke typifies what it takes to sacrifice for patriotism!


Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN, a political analyst and author of the article, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, writes from Lagos.

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Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Army Tells Terrorists To Embrace Peace Now

The military yesterday served members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect a notice to surrender, failing which they will be risking grave consequences.

Besides, the Army also urged the international community to tell the insurgents to embrace peace and desist from terrorist acts.

The Army spoke through a statement titled: “Final warning to Boko Haram terrorists.” It was signed by its spokesman, Col Sani Usman.

He said troops operating under the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have uncovered all the sect’s hideouts, adding that they must either surrender or face serious consequences.

It reads: “This is to finally warn all Boko Haram terrorists wherever they are, to desist from all acts of terrorism, surrender themselves and face the law now.

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UN Tasks Nigeria On Peace In North-East

As the world commemorates 2015 International Peace Day on Sept. 21, the UN has charged Nigerians to work for the restoration of peace in the North-East and Middle Belt parts of the country.

UN Peace and Development Adviser, Dr Zebulon Takwa, made the call in an interview on Thursday in Abuja. He said that every Nigerian had a role to play in bringing peace in the conflict zones.

Takwa explained that the protracted crisis in the North-East and other parts of the North had hampered full realisation of the potentials in the country.

“We have to affirm and re-affirm that peace is the foundation of everything that we need to do. The absence of peace has pulled back Nigeria, the greatest economy in Africa, the giant of Africa as we have always said, with all the potential to take everybody along.

“We have now focused on insecurity; we have been bedevilled by the insecurity in the North and that has retarded so many things,” he said.


#Pausibility: An Altar Call For Fr. Kukah.


Dear Sir,

Calvary greetings to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Although I have not written you letters in private that you refused to respond to, getting through to you through this medium is a matter of choice; a choice aimed at correcting the many banalities flying around about your most esteemed office.

Fr Kukah
I fell in love with your classic elocution and outspokenness when I was in my late teens during the Oputa Panel. You sat as the secretary of that Reconciliation Panel. Now I am in my mind 30s.

Last week I had wanted to write this same note to you but somehow I (voluntarily) invoked a Writer’s block because I was still doubtful of the identity of the man shown on national TV as being the Father Kukah I used to know. I even wrote on my Facebook page: If every other member of the Peace Committee would try to talk President Buhari out of his anti-corruption crusade, definitely Father Kukah would not be one of them.

At another time, I had thought of seeking some exorcists to help conjure the ‘unfamiliar’ spirit that was taking over your body, causing you to make those statements I heard from you, because my Kukah would not be a confused spokesperson for a Committee that beatifies grand larceny against the Nigerian state, especially the masses. He would ordinarily fight the cause of the commoners with the last pint of his blood albeit his own living is bought and paid for by droppings from the Vatican.

Impulsively I was disappointed when it dawned on me that it is my dear Kukah and no one else; my Kukah had joined the elders that have altered the altar of God. I really wanted to write on how anyone may have tremendously benefited from such grand larceny to warrant his/her open endorsement of such crime against humanity as a whole.

Sir, I went through a series of self-mortification from which the confidence I have to send this note in the long run sprouted. I had to ask myself why I was still arrogating a dint of conviction of infallibility to some systems and some people. I am sure yourself heard the ROBUST explanation of the 78million naira website: nothing more disheartening your ‘original’ self would say, just as I know your ‘original’ self would have joined many Nigerians in asking if Madam Diezani would have been ‘bedridden’ today had her former boss continued his stay in Aso Rock. But on a closer look, I found out that truly there is no one like Jesus. He is the only one that could walk through the Temple unblemished. This recent realization of mine didn’t just come that easily.

There is a common saying in Christendom: What Would Jesus Do? He would have called out to any ‘deviant’, opened His arms wide in Love so that no sheep would be lost; but He would not ask God to grant a Triumphal Entry to Lucifer because he is a great singer.

We all have our peculiar inadequacies and these our human weaknesses can manifest themselves at anytime, anywhere if not checked (many take epicureanism as the ultimate goal of life). It just so happened that yours recently came out on national television which put you in the same category as any Orubebe of this world. Some people said it happened that way because for some time now, you have been rolling with one empty CAN leader (please read:  )  They are syllogizing with the sheep and the dog tale. (I hope you have not met any Mr. Halliburton neither was your cassock borrowed on any trip to South Africa recently?). I’ve read so many other tales some of which I am sure could not have escaped your eyes and ears, but I will urge you sir, not to attune yourself to such medleys.

Some people are waiting for some I-am-sorry notes from you before they can even touch you with a very long meter pole at all. Some have even given you a leper-treat by outright ostracization. To tender an apology, I am sure, is never an easy task just as it wasn’t easy for the Oba that threatened immersion during the last election because in this part of the world; eyin agba re san ju oju agba lo. I understand that plight and I wouldn’t want to yoke you with such. But one step that I will not encourage you to miss is the next altar call in your church. Even if you are the one that made that call, I will implore you to join in, humble yourself before the Lord your Creator and beg for His forgiveness. You may as well do it in your privacy: God seeks genuine repentance of heart. Restitution is very good as well, as it brings complete peace of mind to the seeker; it is best done when you return ALL you have ‘taken'(crookedly or otherwise). “The Lord hath no pleasure in the death of a sinner”. Let me add, Nigerians hath no pleasure in the death of a looter. There is great joy and fulfillment in our land for every looter that returns our money.

Please turn away from this path you are treading. It leads nowhere but…

Thank you sir.

Yours faithfully,

Adebayo Coker

Maiduguri : From Home Of Peace To Pieces By Raymond Nkannebe

Barely a decade ago, it was a city synonymous with hospitality. Its people were known for their tolerance and forbearance to live with their neighbors that dot its borders. As a state sharing a common boundary with the three countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon, there is no gainsaying the fact that it is/was a commercial and business hub. With merchants from these countries who depended on Nigeria for their supplies crisscrossing the borders into Nigeria through the gates of Maiduguri, it was a window to the world.

As a city, it was a land of opportunities, with a beehive of activities in almost all its markets during the day and a Night life to cool and ebb away the troubles of the day at spots that dot every corner of the city at Night. It was for nothing that it became the capital of the Northeast of Nigeria. For a people that have produced some of the brightest heads that have played significant roles in the Nigerian project, with a rich history that dates back to the saifawa dynasty that produced the El-Kanemis and the Mais, Borno was not a second class state in the comity of states. Indeed, it predates virtually every other state in Nigeria. Majority of its people speak Kanuri, a language that takes its root north of Africa. They love their home so much that they seldom travelled out of it.

As a commercial center, the Baga Fish market located approximately 196 KM from the state capital with its people, reputed for round-the-year fishing off the Lake Chad which runs through the state, Borno joined the pantheon of states involved in the export of local commodities with the fishing and smoking of tons of fishes both for local and international consumption providing both direct and indirect employment for its teeming population. That Borno is/was a blessed state was never in doubt. The popular ‘Monday Market’ located within the metropolis served as the general market where all sort of goods were brought and sold for further distribution to the 27 Local Governments that make up the state.

With a Federal University lying stretches off Bama Road, a Teaching hospital, an International airport, a College of Education, a Polytechnic, College of Legal studies, a National zoo and recreational park, a state Library and a Post Office, Maiduguri bore the full complements of a rising urban city angling to out-perform its peers.

When I first came to the city in 2008 for a Post UME test, I was convinced without more that this is the state I would like to bag my University degree from. With a temperature that went as high as 40oC during the day and fell as low as 18-20oC at night almost round the year, there was no better one could ask for. I remember vividly, asking my host more than once at the time whether police formations truly exist within the state or not? You wouldn’t blame me. Police Patrol vans had become a common feature in virtually all of Nigerian cities, but here was I, in a state which proves to be an exception. It was as though Police and other Security apparatuses posted here just earned their salaries without having to worry over any possible breach of the public peace. That was the vintage Maiduguri and the reason was embedded within the state’s slogan? Home of Peace.

Indeed, Yerwa as some locals choose to call it, was a home of peace in every sense of the phrase but it won’t be long before all those would “wither away” in the Marxian literature.
When I later gained admission to study Law in the University of Maiduguri in 2009, I came back to a city wearing semblance of an imminent doom and entirely different from the one I had visited only a year ago.

The military vans of the then ‘Operation Flush’ now spotted every corner of the city. Nightlife was gradually being curtailed. Restrictions on movement intermittently became a common practice. The morbid fear of an impending doom hung on the face of the city and to know that this was a town I would spend the next six years of my life at least, came with a sort of ambivalence.

Fast-forward to the present, the city is now in near ruins. Its villages ransacked. It’s men and women depopulated. Her daughters kidnapped in their hundreds, its commercial prowess now lost, the foreigners of Shua-Arab descent that once populated the state with their massive investments in trade have fled to their perceived safe havens. Its borders closed, her schools vacated, Nightlife has become something of the past. The recreational centers now wear looks of a relegated scene.

The gates of ‘Hot Bites’ along the Government House closed forever. The road leading to the Custom market where non-indigenes especially of Igbo extraction (who specialized in the sale of beer products, pepper soup, ‘ngwo-ngwo’, suya e.t.c) thrilled their numerous customers have been barricaded with the joints evacuated. The red-light zones that service the city have been vacated with the prostitutes seeking safer environments. The custom-market today, bear traces of a deserted settlement. The Lake Chad Hotels, State Hotels, Giwa Barracks, NAF Officers Mess inter alia which were once centers of huge attraction are now shadows of their former self. The situation is so bad such that a person who travelled out of the state in 2008 and had just returned would bet his life that this wasn’t the city he left seven years ago.

The non-indigenes mostly of Igbo extraction who before now populated the state, after having suffered series of loss of their influential members in one ugly circumstance or the other, have heeded the persistent calls of their kindred back home and have vacated the city leaving behind numerous investments that run into millions of Naira. I spoke with one Chinedu Ozoemena, a young business man who had just taken for himself a wife six months ago, and enquired about how he was able to cope despite the mass exodus of his colleagues in the Motor Spare-parts business along Teshan Bama road and his response dejectedly was a terse, “It’s just God”. Going further, he lamented about how his business have suffered since the inception of the insurgency.

Many locals to this day, hold the view that the University of Maiduguri and the Monday Markets are the only two institutions that have ensured the continued survival of the state to this day. To them, the university and the popular market provide the escape route from their financial predicament. Mallam Kaka Fatori, a commercial tri-cycle rider who plies the Post office-University route, told me one morning in January this year that the sustenance of him, his three wives and 7 seven children hinges on the university with the population of its students and that whenever the school went on holiday, it was always nightmarish for him and his family.

Displaced persons from the villages now litter the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps located at various centers of the state capital where government cater for their basic needs of food, health, shelter and clothing through the assistance of other humanitarian agencies and other spirited individuals with the assurances of returning them to their communities that does appear to be in sight. On a visit to one of the camps located in Yerwa Girls College, one Mallama Amina told me of how she lost her husband and two teenage sons to the insurgents in a dusk raid on their village of Kukawa. She pointed at her to son me among a group of shabbily cladded boys playing football at one corner of the unkempt camp. She told she had already accepted her fate and that Allah knows best.

Such is now the metamorphosis of a city which was once the cradle of peace, which prided itself for its rich traditional institution headed by the Shehus whose Durbar ceremonies once attracted tourists from near and wide. Today, the palace of the traditional ruler, Shehu Garbai Umar ibn El-Kanemi after having suffered series of attacks at the hands of the terrorists, now sits at the center of the city bidding it’s time for the next attack with a huge military presence mistaking the facility for a military barrack.

Nearly every facility in the state have suffered from an attack since the campaign of terror began. From the schools to the markets, namely: the Gamboru Cattle market, the Baga Fish market, the Monday Market to name a few. The airport have witnessed more than one raid, virtually all the police stations have been attacked at one point or the other. The military barracks are not left out. The most popular, being the attack on the Giwa barracks on the 14th of March in 2014 where the insurgents allegedly freed hundreds of their detained ‘soldiers’. The Sharia Court of Appeal complex along Lagos street have been converted to a mini military base. The Maiduguri International Airport having been grounded for operations by the aviation authorities on security sentiments, Okayed it for operations only a fortnight ago.

Upon a cursory look at the city, one cuts the picture of a people dejected and a city fastly losing the glory it took it decades to build. A climate of fear rents the whole atmosphere yet the thought of running away is not an option. Ba’ana, a member of the Civilian JTF who before now was a generator technician told me he decided to take up arms against the insurgents by joining the volunteer force instead of running away. He and many of his colleagues have resorted to either die on their own soil than to meet their demise on another man’s land as to them, that would be a mockery of their masculinity.

Femi, Yusufu and Irimiya are young displaced persons of not more than twelve years old from Gwoza Local government who found their way into the town after their local community was attacked by the insurgents in November last year. They told me they have taken their destinies in their own hands by taking up menial jobs like washing plates in restaurants, helping students of University of Maiduguri who stayed off-campus, in all sorts of casual works and sometimes benefited from the sympathy of the students who extended freebies to them. They rest their heads under the steps of one of the compounds at night and at the break of dawn, they continue their endless struggle. None of them know a thing about their parents and siblings anymore.

In the four years of the Jonathan administration which could be said to herald the peak of terrorist attacks in the city and the nation at large, influential politicians and organizations incited the populace into believing that the Jonathan government supported the wave of attacks to the end of depopulating the region for political considerations. Many of the locals already pierced and bruised psychologically, fell for this ruse and bought into the rhetoric of Jonathan’s insensitivity to their plight.

In a usual evening discussion sessions called ‘Majalisar’ at different spots within the state, one Haruna Bulama, a punctual and active member of the group told me that Jonathan supported the insurgency tacitly and didn’t want it to come to an end so that he could disenfranchise the Northeast sometime in 2014. The justifications for his assertion included: Abacha’s statement that if a problem persists in a country for more than 24 hours, then the government has an interest in it, the former National Security Adviser, Owonye Azazi’s allegations that Boko Haram was a creation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), President GEJ’s seeming romance with former governor Ali Modu Sheriff whom the people of the state had come to blame for all their woes among others. Like a wild fire and like any other ill news, this propaganda spread like a conflagration across the state and the entire North Eastern region. The people couldn’t wait for the 2015 elections to come so they can use their ballot to turn around their misfortune.

The way they voted at the polls didn’t come as a surprise. It was their own way of dethroning darkness and enthroning light. It remains to be seen however if their actions were informed. For them, PDP was the harbinger of death, and they all voted the then opposition party?APC ‘sak’ at the just concluded polls. Who would blame a people that have seen and felt terror for any action they take?

Now that the terrorists have resurged, and appearing to be even more emboldened, many of the inhabitants of this city seem to know not where to fix the blame anymore. Their supposed messiah have come, but before his very watch, they continue to take their members to the morgue and losing life, limb and liberty to their nemesis?Boko Haram.

Before leaving the city a fortnight ago, I met Haruna Bulama, our friend from the Majalisar and an apologist of the ruling party and engaged him in a conversation on the new wave of terrorist attack as against his thesis of government’s support. He looked at me, visibly dazed and obviously lacking words to negotiate a diversion, he ended up saying, “Allah ya kiyaye kuma ya rufa mana asiri a kasan nan kawai” in Hausa. Something which translated to: May God continue to protect us in this country, that’s all I can say.

However, with the current dimension the terrorists have taken, the whole people of the state seem to be in a quagmire with the fear of another cycle of violence enveloping them. While the city lay in ruins, its inhabitants seem to be asking just one question: When will enough be enough? and when will the promise by the Buhari government to bring terrorism to a standstill be delivered?

For them, life has only found expression in the Hobbesian theory of being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. And their land have gone from being a land of peace to a land of pieces.

Nkannebe Raymond is a graduate student of the University of Maiduguri. A lawyer and a Public Affairs analyst. He wrote in from Kano and tweets @RayNkah |

Ramadan: Buhari Begs Boko Haram To Embrace Peace

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged those who perpetrate violence and destruction in the name of Islam all over the world to desist from tarnishing the name of the religion.

In his message to Muslims Thursday as they started the 2015 Ramadan fast, the president called on Nigerians to pray for peace, love and prosperity throughout the country.

In a congratulatory message released on his behalf by the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, President Buhari implored Muslims to seek maximum benefits from the Ramadan period “by being helpful to all manner of people, learning and following the true message of the religion as taught by the Holy Prophet”.

The president in his message directed an appeal to the perpetrators of violence and destruction in the name of Islam all over the world to desist from tarnishing the name of the religion.

“As we make collective efforts to bring to a permanent end the menace of the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin countries, let me use this auspicious occasion to appeal to our misguided brothers to drop their arms, embrace peace and seek a better understanding of Islam during this Holy period and beyond,” Mr. Buhari said.

The president prayed to God to bring peace and harmony to all parts of the country and the world at large.

“I wish all our citizens a blessed Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem Mubarak,” the statement concluded.


Buhari Asks Muslims To Promote Love, Peace As Ramadan Begins

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to pray for the return of peace, love and prosperity throughout the country as Muslims start the 2015 Ramadan.

This followed the declaration of moon-sighting by the president-general, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday night.

In a congratulatory message released on Buhari’s behalf by his senior special assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president implored Muslims to seek maximum benefits from the Ramadan period “by being helpful to all manner of people, learning and following the true message of the religion as taught by the Holy Prophet.”

The president in his message appealed to the perpetrators of violence and destruction in the name of Islam all over the world to desist from tarnishing the name of the religion.

“As we make collective efforts to bring to a permanent end the menace of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin countries, let me use this auspicious occasion to appeal to our misguided brothers to drop their arms, embrace peace and seek a better understanding of Islam during this Holy period and beyond,” Buhari said.

Meanwhile, while addressing newsmen in his palace, the Sultan stated that Thursday, June 18, marks the beginning of Ramadan 1436 A.H, and urged Muslims to use the 29 or 30-day period to offer prayers for peace and development of the country.

“I have the greatest pleasure to announce to you that today, June 17, marked the end of Shaaban and, therefore, Thursday June 18 marks the beginning of Ramadan 1436,” he said.

“Reliable reports from Muslim leaders across the country show that the new moon of Ramadan has been sighted in various parts of the country. I urge you all to use the opportunity to offer prayers for peace and development of this country.”


Gov El-Rufai To Establish Peace And Reconciliation Commission

Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, on Thursday, said plans were underway to establish a peace and reconciliation commission in the state.

El-Rufa’i said this when the Northern Christian Elders paid him a courtesy visit at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna.

He said the move was to further improve peaceful co-existence in the state.

The governor said his administration would take serious disciplinary measures against anyone or group found attacking one another on the basis of religion or ethnic differences.

He added that “we all serve one God but in different ways, therefore there is no need to fight each other over what you don’t have control of.’’

He pointed out that the time had come for all hands to be on deck in order to salvage the state.

He noted that “Kaduna State must be one again. Everyone will live in the area of his or her choice without any fear of attack on the basis of religious or ethnic divide.’’

The governor said that his administration was already making frantic efforts to bring back the lost glory of the state.

He thanked the Christian elders for the visit, and commended them for being the first to visit him officially since his assumption of office.

Earlier, the National Chairman of the forum, Elder Olaiya Felix, had said that the visit was to advance common objective, having seen the governor as a reformer and one who is practical.

He said that the forum had a duty as elders to ensure that peace existed everywhere, especially in the north.

“We are ready to do anything humanly possible to have peace and develop the north,” he said.

Felix also charged the governor to focus on agriculture and education. (NAN)

US jails Ex-Bin Laden Aide For Embassy Attacks

A former aide to Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in the US for conspiring in the deadly 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said on Friday that Khaled al-Fawwaz was an eager supporter of bin Laden’s goals even before the attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including a dozen US citizens.

Fawwaz turned toward victims of the bombings and spoke of his remorse minutes before his sentence was announced.

“I can’t find words to describe how terribly sad and sorry I am,” Fawwaz said.

“I don’t support violence…I hope one day people will find other ways to live with their differences other than violence.”

Kaplan announced Fawwaz’s sentence after three victims spoke, including Ellen Karas, who was left blind by the attacks, the Associated Press news agency reported.

“I worship the same God as you,” she told the defendant. “But he is not an angry God. He is not a vengeful God”

Fawwaz lawyer had asked that he be sentenced to less than life in prison, saying he was less culpable than others

NYSC DG Tasks Rivers Politicians & Supporters On Peace, Assures Safety Of Corps Members

Politicians in Rivers and their supporters have been advised to ensure that peace prevailed in the state during the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday. Director- General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Johnson Olawumi, gave the advice on Thursday in Port Harcourt while addressing NYSC members in the state. “I want to use this opportunity to call on politicians in Rivers state that they should please plead with their supporters not to perpetrate violence during the elections,” he said.

Olawumi, however, assured no fewer than 4,631 corps members in the state, including those that would participate in the elections, of their safety. He urged them to go about their electoral duties without fear, saying that it was part of their national assignment. He advised the corps members against arguments with people on any issue whenever their lives were threatened. “When you are under threat; if anybody threatens you at gun point, don’t just argue, let him snatch whatever he wants to snatch way.

“Your security is paramount; go back and do your report and we make the report available to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and result of such place will be cancelled,” he said.

The director-general also advised the NYSC members to alert security agencies whenever they sensed danger to enable security personnel rescue them. “I want you to help us as far as your security is concerned. When you notice that something is going wrong, just quickly make a call and we will get people to come and rescue you,” he advised. He told the corps members to remain neutral while performing the electoral duties, saying, “we want you as much as possible to be very neutral, maintain your neutrality, do not be biased, perform your duty professionally”.

In his contribution, Koko Essien, Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said dedicated security telephone numbers of military personnel on patrol duty would be passed to NYSC members on election duty. According to him, once a call comes from any of three dedicated lines, the patrol team will know it is from an NYSC member in distress and will go for rescue operation. Essien advised the corps members not to wait until they were in danger before making calls to the numbers, saying “you should call the moment you sense danger”.

Credit: NAN

Amaechi Appeals For Peace During Gubernatorial, Pleads For Mercy

Gov. Chibuike Amaechi has appealed to those he has offended with his actions and inactions in the state as governor to forgive him, saying he acted in the interest of the state.

The governor in a pre- election broadcast yesterday in Port Harcourt, also urged people of the state to shun violence during the coming governorship election.

He said people of the state should note that the election was for the progress of the state, adding that the common good of the state should be the concern of all. “As we prepare for that election, we have a little time to reflect on the issues at stake. It must be about Rivers state. It must be about its progress and the prosperity of all who live here and are from here.

“It must be about development, good governance, peace and security. We need to stand firm as a people for what we believe in…”

Read More: Vanguard

Pray for Nigeria: Gowon

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has called on Nigerians to be patriotic and pray against the problems confronting the country.

Speaking at a church service, Sunday, he said, “Every Nigerian, therefore, needs to pray because if there is peace between Christians and Muslims and peace among family members, Nigeria will definitely be a great country all of us will be proud of. It is necessary for every Nigerian to embrace peace. In the western part of this country, there is an understanding between Christians and Muslims, they are able to live together in peace and harmony, this is what I want Nigerians to emulate, so that we can achieve peace across the land.”


Nigeria Is Not Working; Not A Nation By Adebayo Taiwo Hassan

However unpleasant, we must be frankly truthful about who we are, our history and what future holds for us a society. Perhaps, that would cause us regret, sober reflection, the spirits to correct the mistakes and ultimately bequeath a better society to the posterity.

Such is the frankness and grimness presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, fiction, reflecting Nigeria’s artificiality and brutal history through the 60s, pointing to a future that hangs in balance.

Nigeria is not a nation and I am really convinced, I wish not to be, that the idea of one Nigeria is a blandishment and façade, only being held together by corruption and poverty of the leaders to do the needful.

The founding founders, so-called nationalists, caused grave damage and planted seeds that would make difficult evolving an attitudinally unified entity, a new social whole, with common purpose, national identity and sense of oneness, from array of groups of which Nigeria is composed.

They’re the best ever, even with them, we were going to set our sights on rivalling the West (please get Nigeria’s First Nat’l Devt Plan) but their sectional psychology, among others, fouled their labour, engraving in the psyches of their followers hatred for other tribes and receding belief in this country, because they would exploit the significance of their ethnic background as platform to get the power at the centre. The challenge is still there with us till

The events leading to the civil war, the war itself, the two coups, the unjustifiable massacre of the Igbos have worked with other factors to make Nigeria a state without nation – the idea “we the people of Nigeria” is a fraudulent imposition. The average Hausa Muslim would see Igbos or Yoruba Christians as fellows who don’t worth their lives because they are “astray”. The Yoruba would man would arrogantly refuse to call Hausa man a human being in case of auto accident. Is “only two persons and one Hausa were involved . . .” not common?

Nigeria is divided! The Igbos are still convinced they are victims bloody iniquity, while almost every family could count at least one member killed in the Northern Massacre that preceded the civil war. They still have siege mentality and believe other groups hate and envy them because they are remarkably entrepreneurial and innovative. What’s more? Buhari gave Shagari house arrest in Ikoyi, while the Vice-President,

Alex Ekwueme was to rot in Kirikiri prison. The oil-rich minorities in the Niger Delta are aggrieved because that they are victims of economic injustice and majoritarian oppression and exploitation of the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa (topic for another day).

Some Northerners are already saying the some South South elites, including the President of the country, CAN leader and a former Chief of Army Staff, are behind the Boko Haram terrorism to reduce the North population

We must admit this, and get ourselves to the table to discuss our future and being together, which ultimately should be decided through referendum.

At the risk of being misunderstood, need I say quickly that I still believe it’s a great illusion that we can never and should never live together as a nation due to our diversity. That is our diversity should ordinarily not pose problem, after all India is more diverse than we are and Swaziland is homogenous yet much like forlornly underdeveloped.

And even our collective pre-colonial pasts had met in myths of origin, trade etc. But the problem is what we have over the decades made out of Nigeria’s creation; our failure to think realistically a way of living together in unity, peace, albeit diversity and the characteristic emptiness of the head and mind of the political class.

And we already have caused the mess and embarrassment that Nigeria is, made the country a filthy carcass, a terra nullius to which an average Nigerian does not have emotional, affective and psychological affiliation, in such way as he does to his ethnic group .

Therefore, if we are to continue as one Nigeria, the groups that make up Nigeria must freely work out a template to have a NIGERIANESS out the various Nigerian ethnic groups. Otherwise , every group should be allowed to freely assert for themselves their future and the state under which they wish to live, before things get worse than this all time worst. Should self-determination not be a right?

Adebayo Taiwo Hassan-Justice is a Public Commentator..

 Articles posted on are solely authors opinion 

The Gift Called ‘My Mother’ – Yomi Balogun

Too many get along with life forgetting one huge force that helped them get into it in the first place – the mother. Yes, we were created by God but someone kept us safe in their own body, carrying us along for some 9 months, that is a lot of sacrifice to start with. Imagine the weight especially for those of us that came already bearing so much weight. Our mothers deserve our love, not because of the fact that it is often the cool thing to do but mostly because they earned it right from our conception. I appreciate the fathers and all but come on, in most cases, our mothers are the ones stepping out for us when push comes to shove. Spare a thought for your mum’s sacrifices over the years. I personally remember how my mum will go, “Yomi, whatever you do, never forget your source.” And just when I thought she meant herself, she said, “God is your source. I was only a vessel”.  I love my mum. I love my dad too. So, when last did you speak to your mum? Now is not a bad time to make that call. You can even call both of them. For those who have lost theirs, I pray their souls continue to rest in peace. God keep all that they left behind. It’s gonna be a better day. Cheers to our mothers.

Yomi Balogun

Abayomi Balogun wrote in from Lagos.

Battle On Terrorism – UK Sends Arms To Iraqi Government To Tackle ISIS

Heavy machine guns and ammunition are being donated to Iraq to help fight Islamic State militants, the Ministry of Defence says.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the equipment was worth about £1.6m, and there would be an estimated £475,000 in transport costs.

He said the UK is committed to assisting the Iraqi government and to help Kurdish forces defend themselves.

The equipment is due to arrive in Iraq on Wednesday.


The “gifting” of the equipment is being sent at the request of the Iraqi government, including the Kurdish regional government, Mr Fallon added.

The news comes after Iraq created a new government, sharing posts between the Shia Arab majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

The Islamic State jihadist group has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria and in June declared the creation of a “caliphate”, or Islamic state.

Mr. Fallon said the UK wanted to offer help to the Iraqi authorities by “alleviating the humanitarian suffering” of those Iraqis targeted by IS.

He also said Britain wanted to promote “an inclusive, sovereign and democratic Iraq” that can push back on IS advances and restore stability and security across the country, while working with the international community to tackle the broader threat it poses to the region and countries around the world, including the UK.

He added: “The Kurdish forces remain significantly less well equipped” than IS and the UK was responding to help them.

He said IS was “guilty of shocking brutality”.

“I am pleased that we will supply weapons to the Kurdish forces who are at the front line of combating their violent extremism.”