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Thread: 'Nigeria: the context for violence' (2006-2013)

  1. #821
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    Let me say right off, Kingjaja, I sure hope that your understandings and passion are being to real use for Nigeria and not just contributions to this forum. I appreciate them very much, but the Nigerian people are missing out on a lot if they are not getting some leadership and inspiration from you. I trust they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    I live in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city and a barometer of where Nigeria is heading.

    I went to Church last Sunday and heard an announcement about the creation of a cooperative. Members are supposed to pool resources for a period of six months and then be eligible to apply for loans and financial support. The amount requested per month is minimal (about $20), but the implications are far ranging - in a nation with a non-existent social security system, the Church has stepped into the void.

    Juxtapose this with the planned retrenchment of 25,000 workers from the Civil Service next year, you'd immediately understand that the Church is thinking ahead.
    Given the present religious tensions (and actual bloodshed) in Nigeria, what the churches are doing shows that they have substantial, capable and ministry minded leadership that keeps their eyes and minds on more than the immediate.

    This type of foresight and action will go a long way in winning the hearts and minds of outsiders (non-christians) and solidify loyalty. Yet, it is more than that is genuine ministering to people. Changing lives. When all seems to be polarizing and turning political, these leaders have the interest of their flock in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post

    However, there is a strain of Islam that sees the superior organisational ability and financial muscle of Christian organisations as a threat that must be dealt with. Boko Haram, political Sharia and some Christian/Muslim crises may be seen as an attempt to mark boundaries.

    As government is in retreat, religious organisations are rapidly taking over the functions of government. Will the next generation of Nigerians be even less tolerant than mine?
    I assume you are saying "will they be less tolerant of the government." They probably will be. In fact, IMHO, much of the future of Nigeria is in the hands of the youth of today. Their is a new, entrepreneurial spirit among them. If they get VC investment from some of the elite in the country, they will be able to so contribute to the economic base of the country that they will have the confidence to not depend on the government, but take action on their own to bring improvements.

    Some of the young entrepreneurs in Kenya are already rallying around a cry of "usikai kimie" - don't remain silent. They have the financial clout to be heard, not so much by the government, but by the populous.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    For a nation to whether the test of time, it has to be much more than a vehicle to support the exploration of crude oil - it needs to have a common focus and a common soul. With two rapidly diverging identities (Muslim/Christian, Northern/Southern), is that possible?
    Two diverging identities is one thing. Two diverging and hostile identities is another. In either case it is a major challenge to unity.

    Sadly, the present polarization in the US has seeming brought government to a standstill and raising tension and animosity in the general populous. Granted things are far from as dire as you now face in Nigeria, but people often fail to see that hard line, uncompromising, belligerent stances toward those on the other side, are a often a prelude to violence and the degradation of life.

  2. #822
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    Chowing,

    Thank you very much, I will seek leadership positions but not electoral office.

    Democracy in Africa is a topic I could spend an entire day talking about. My uncle was almost assassinated by a political opponent, but that's not the major issue.

    If you insist on American style electoral politics in a nation as poor and vast as Nigeria (GDP per capita around $2,000), you are effectively excluding 99.99 pc of the population.

    Where are the campaign funds going to come from? Of course from people who have access to a lot of easy money. Will they want to recoup their funds after the elections? Sure. Does that lead to corruption? Definitely.

    What do the masses of unemployed youth do? Some seek employment as political thugs and some others use the experience of thuggery to form the nucleus of organisations like MEND and Boko Haram.

    The British parliamentary system is less expensive, but it has a flaw of being adversarial - that won't play to well in Africa's divided nations.

    Decision making in most African societies is consensual, not "democratic" in the Western sense. We may have to get back to that having tried democracy and failed for fifty odd years.

  3. #823
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    I went to Church last Sunday and heard an announcement about the creation of a cooperative. Members are supposed to pool resources for a period of six months and then be eligible to apply for loans and financial support. The amount requested per month is minimal (about $20), but the implications are far ranging - in a nation with a non-existent social security system, the Church has stepped into the void.
    I have no idea if they are recent arrivals in Nigeria (I find it difficult to believe they are) but tontines are quite common across Africa and have been for some time. The chances of finding a rotating credit association anywhere on our planet where there are poor people are pretty good, actually.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    I have no idea if they are recent arrivals in Nigeria (I find it difficult to believe they are) but tontines are quite common across Africa and have been for some time. The chances of finding a rotating credit association anywhere on our planet where there are poor people are pretty good, actually.
    We've always had cooperatives, we call them esusu down here. The Church getting fully into the business means that there is likely to be more honesty and better adherence.

  5. #825
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    We've always had cooperatives, we call them esusu down here. The Church getting fully into the business means that there is likely to be more honesty and better adherence.
    Depends on the church!
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Default FG to set up central military commands in Bayelsa

    Bayelsa State is President Jonathan's home state. You can read between the lines.

    Federal Government has approved the setting up of central military commands in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

    THE PUNCH learnt that the nation’s service chiefs took the decision after assessing the economic importance of the state to the country and the rising activities of cultists and pirates.

    Also, there has been a resurgence of violence in the state, with some oil facilities destroyed by militant groups in recent times.

    Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson said this on Tuesday when the Chief of the Air Staff, Mohammed Umar, paid him a courtesy visit while inspecting the Nigerian Air Force formations in the state on Tuesday.

    Dickson, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. John Jonah, said the Navy would be in the state on Thursday to set up its central command.

    Dickson said, “I have been told that the Navy is coming in full force on Thursday to establish its central command. The Army has the biggest headquarters around here. So, all the service chiefs will be fully established here in addition to the Joint Task Force. Bayelsa State will be having more of military presence than many states that are new.”

    He said for the state to be secure, government must invest in human development.

    Umar said NAF in 2011 reactivated its mobility command with its headquarters in Yenagoa.

    He said the headquarters of the mobility command was established in the state because of its strategic importance to the economy of the nation observing that the state provided an “easy reach for the Service to conduct its operations especially within the Niger Delta area”.

    He said a parcel of land had been allocated to NAF for the take-off of its command, urging the state government to provide infrastructural assistance to the command.

    Umar described the emergence of Dickson as “a huge masterstroke to rescue the state from a yarning precipice”.

    He added, “With a campaign theme titled, Restoration 2012, we are convinced that this administration will aptly respond to the yearnings of Bayelsans quickly and urgently address the degrading state of affairs in the state. We are all in agreement that a state like Bayelsa should be at the forefront of development.

    “By all means it should be a model state; a state where leadership and governance are accountable, transparent and made to work for the people with the clear aim of being able to guarantee their welfare and progress.”
    http://www.punchng.com/news/fg-to-se...ds-in-bayelsa/

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    Default Ex-Militants Get More Money Than Health Sector: Nigeria's 2012 Budget

    Could this be one of the driving forces behind some aspects of Boko Haram? Violence is profitable.

    The National Assembly yesterday passed the 2012 Appropriation Act of N4,877,209,156,933 with a startling revelation that President Goodluck Jonathan allocated more money to the ex-Niger Delta Militants than the nation’s critical health sector.

    A breakdown of the budget shows that the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants has a recurrent expenditure of N66,176,411,902 while the entire health sector was allocated N60,920,219,702.

    The staggering allocation to the ex-militants is separate from the huge amount also allocated to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which is to gulp N48,673,424,630. In other words, the ex-militants and NDDC, which ought to create a conducive atmosphere to discourage militancy in the Niger Delta, were cumulatively allocated N114 billion.

    The controversial fuel subsidy has the lion share of N888 billion followed by Works which is to gulp N244 billion.

    Education, which is another critical sector of the economy, received only N66 billion, while Power was allocated N75 billion.

    Transport is to gulp N89 billion and Water Resources N75 billion.

    The 2012 budget, which was increased by about N228.3 billion after it was amended by the National Assembly, is predicated on a crude oil benchmark of $72 per barrel and a production output of 2.48 million barrels per day, as well as an exchange rate of N155 to the U.S. dollar.

    After the passage of the budget, Senator President David Mark congratulated his colleagues for the quick passage of the budget and enjoined the executive to submit the 2013 budget to the National Assembly “latest by September this year, to enable us consider and pass it before the end of the year
    http://www.nairaland.com/894394/ex-m...ore-money-than

  8. #828
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    Default Boko Haram: The Human angle

    Two stories illustrate the human toll of the Boko Haram menace and how it appeals to ethnic sentiments.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17369800

    http://www.theratshead.blogspot.com/...oko-haram.html

    I said this earlier, only a reform of the Nigerian Police will stop Boko Haram. Nobody is listening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Two stories illustrate the human toll of the Boko Haram menace and how it appeals to ethnic sentiments.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17369800

    http://www.theratshead.blogspot.com/...oko-haram.html

    I said this earlier, only a reform of the Nigerian Police will stop Boko Haram. Nobody is listening.
    Fear does so much damage to the human soul and spirit. The police and BH have sown so much fear in past year. The world must come to understand just how dire things are becoming in Nigeria.

    I cannot believe that Pres. Goodluck Jonathan really thinks that he is winning the war. He has to know better. Such statements only make it harder for the local populous to trust him and hard for the rest of the world to believe just how serious things are becoming in Nigeria.

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    Chowing,

    You don't really expect him to say he isn't winning the War!

    Unlike the US, Nigeria is a divided nation and sometimes "he may be an SOB, but at least he is our SOB" takes precedence over competence. Jonathan isn't really very competent but he is just as incompetent as the typical SOB the Northern Muslims tend to throw out to Abuja (Abacha, Babangida, Yar'adua, Atiku etc).

    So the Southern Christian population is going to support their man, regardless. And that leaves the Northern 1/3rd of Nigeria sulking.

    Secondly, a not too insignificant proportion of Nigeria's population believe that Boko Haram is an attempt by the North to shake up Jonathan pretty badly - so there is some sympathy for him.

    Thirdly, Jonathan is actually quite media/technology savvy and he seems to be better at connecting with younger voters (at least in the South and Middle Belt), than most other Nigerian politicians. He has a good feedback mechanism and can change his message appropriately. This is his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/jonathangoodluck

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    Default Qaeda group claims kidnap of German in Nigeria

    Remember the Boko Haram raid on Kano and the German engineer that was kidnapped shortly after. Is this conclusive evidence of ties between BH and AQIM?

    NOUAKCHOTT: Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch said Wednesday it was holding a German engineer kidnapped in Nigeria two months ago, and that it wanted to swap him for a jailed Muslim woman, a private news agency in Mauritania said.

    "We inform you that your compatriot Edgar Fritz Raupach is a prisoner of fighters from AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb)," the group said in a statement published by the ANI agency, demanding the release of a woman who it said had converted to Islam.

    The woman, Felis Lowitz, whose Muslim name was given as Um Seiv Al-Islam-Al-Ansariya, was said to be detained in Germany where she was being "tortured".

    A video obtained by ANI and seen by AFP showed Raupach, his hands tied behind his back, surrounded by masked gunmen.

    In the video he called on his "parents, friends and German public opinion" to convince Berlin to "bring an end to the torture of our Muslim sister", adding that only her liberation will save his life.

    AQIM warned that any attempt to rescue Raupach will lead to his death, as happened in the case of Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and British colleague Chris McManus, killed earlier this month during a failed rescue bid by Nigerian forces.

    Raupach, ANI said, is an engineer who was kidnapped in northern Nigeria on January 25.

    Germany has confirmed one of its nationals has been kidnapped in northern Nigeria, and the German construction company Bilfinger Berger has said he is one of their employees.


    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Int...#ixzz1pn46m3YK
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

  12. #832
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    How reliable is the source? Is it confirmed that the people involved really do represent AQIM?

    What's the story on this woman they allegedly want released in trade? Is it certain that this is what they want? Sometimes KFR groups will toss up a political facade while negotiating for ransom on the side.

    Is there any evidence that the kidnapping in Nigeria was carried out by BH?

    I don't doubt that there are links between AQIM and BH... I'd be surprised if there weren't, though the nature and extent of those links is by no means clear. I'm not sure this is evidence of linkage, though... a lot more information would be required.

    I'd hope the US in particular will be very wary of any attempt to use "AQ links" to bait them into greater involvement in the BH situation.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    BH has a huge support base in Kano. Is it possible for BH and AQIM to operate in the same city without both organisations comparing notes? It seems highly unlikely.

    In my humble opinion, this is the surest sign that BH and AQIM are collaborating. The timing is striking - a few days after BH mounted its most spectacular show of force, a german engineer was kidnapped, in the same town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    BH has a huge support base in Kano. Is it possible for BH and AQIM to operate in the same city without both organisations comparing notes? It seems highly unlikely.

    In my humble opinion, this is the surest sign that BH and AQIM are collaborating. The timing is striking - a few days after BH mounted its most spectacular show of force, a german engineer was kidnapped, in the same town.
    AQIM is extending its reach throughout West Africa. Both BH and AQIM have everything to gain from this linkage. The Nigerian people have a lot to loose by it.

    AQIM is linked with the Malian rebels recently returned from fighting in Lybia. They were so well armed that the Malian military was unable to make any headway against them. The military says they were not properly resourced by the Toure's government in Bamako so they stood little chance of defeating the separatist rebels. That, at least in their statements, is the reason for the coup in Mali.

    I realize it is difficult to make comparisons between any two situations in the world, yet I cannot help but wonder if the Nigerian military and police feel under resourced by Goodluck Jonathan? How angry are they at being a frequent target of BH, yet seeming impotent to put BH to flight? Surely some have paid attention to what has happened in Mali.

    The Nigerian president has far too much support in the south for any security forces to take action against him. However, will the time come when the police say, enough is enough, we cannot carry on with such a lack of resources and simply walk away or go on strike.

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    Default Fight for Gadfy 1st, now become AQIM linked?

    Chowing commented:
    AQIM is linked with the Malian rebels recently returned from fighting in Lybia.
    The rebels in most reports I have read were mercenaries for Gadafy and fought against a coalition that included jihadists. Returning home before the end, along with heavy weapons - which the Malian army had nothing to compare. Film footage tonight showed "technicals" and lorry-mounted rocket launchers.

    So how do these men now become linked to AQIM?

    Can you please respond on the Mali thread, where the two posts have been copied to.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-23-2012 at 08:44 PM.
    davidbfpo

  16. #836
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chowing View Post
    AQIM is linked with the Malian rebels recently returned from fighting in Lybia.
    Chowing,
    Do you have a link to this source ?

    To echo David's post, Gaddafi mercenaries are behind the coup in Mali and have nothing to do with AQ or BH. However, as was posted earlier, the flood of Libyan weapons is a valid concern to the Nigerian government as well as all of Africa.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Chowing,
    Do you have a link to this source ?

    To echo David's post, Gaddafi mercenaries are behind the coup in Mali and have nothing to do with AQ or BH. However, as was posted earlier, the flood of Libyan weapons is a valid concern to the Nigerian government as well as all of Africa.
    Hold the phone on that one ... I think certain elements of the Malian military are behind the coup. The only argument they've put forward so far indicates that they blame the Malian executive for not equipping them properly to fight a northern Touareg insurgency - those Touaregs are the former Gaddafi mercs, not the Malian coup makers.

    Now the Malian president has accused the Touareg insurgents of being backed by AQIM:

    http://www.echoroukonline.com/ara/ar...808.html?print

    And I suppose that is part of the reason why AFRICOM was training Malian forces. But I have no idea if the U.S. has concrete intel on AQIM-Touareg links or if this is just part of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership to strengthen all friendly Sahel militaries to fight AQIM.

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    I realize it is difficult to make comparisons between any two situations in the world, yet I cannot help but wonder if the Nigerian military and police feel under resourced by Goodluck Jonathan? How angry are they at being a frequent target of BH, yet seeming impotent to put BH to flight? Surely some have paid attention to what has happened in Mali.
    The police has always been under resourced, but the army has always beaten Boko Haram decisively in one on one encounters. Policemen have been known to go AWOL or refuse to put on their uniforms.

    The Nigerian Military is much more competent than the Malian Military.

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    And I suppose that is part of the reason why AFRICOM was training Malian forces. But I have no idea if the U.S. has concrete intel on AQIM-Touareg links or if this is just part of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership to strengthen all friendly Sahel militaries to fight AQIM.
    Said it earlier, by singularly focusing on terrorism, a host of other more complex and interwoven phenomena are not dealt with sufficiently. As it stands, the entire basis for AFRICOM's Trans-Sahara Counter-terrorism Partnership needs to be reconsidered.

  20. #840
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Now the Malian president has accused the Touareg insurgents of being backed by AQIM:

    And I suppose that is part of the reason why AFRICOM was training Malian forces. But I have no idea if the U.S. has concrete intel on AQIM-Touareg links or if this is just part of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership to strengthen all friendly Sahel militaries to fight AQIM.
    Tequila,
    You're right, ATT did that nearly 4 years ago and garnered Obama's support and our tax dollars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post

    Training a dictator's rogue military generally means (that training) will later be used against the very population it was intended to protect.

    About 3 years ago the President of Mali was unable to abscond with funds for development and pledged a total struggle against AQIM (that, as you and I know got him the POTUS' blessings and OUR cash). He also declared, in the same sentence, that his troops were not equipped nor trained for the counter terrorism task at hand (that he picked and decided to perform).

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