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Shin Aisha Buhari Ta Bada Umarnin Kona Ofishin Abba Kyari?

By HausaNo Comments

Gaskiyar Magana: Labari Ne Na Bogi!

Wani bidiyo mai tsawon minti hudu da dakika goma sha bakwai (4:17) da wata kafa mai suna Gido24TV dake dandalin YouTube  wanda yanzu haka ake yaduwa a WhatsApp ta wallafa ya bayyana cewa Uwargidan Shugaba Buhari, wato Aisha Buhari ta bada umarnin nan take cewa a kona ofishin shugaban ma’aikatan dake aiki a karkashin Shugaba Buhari wato Abba Kyari.

Kamar yadda wannan bidiyo da aka wallafa ranar 26 ga Maris, 2020 ya fada, umarnin ya biyo bayan gane cewa Abba Kyarin yana dauke da Cutar COVID-19 bayan da akayi masa gwaji. Bidiyon ya kara da cewa Aisha Buhari tace Abba Kyari yaje ofishin sa bayan dawowarsa daga kasar waje kuma duk abubuwan da ya bata sun harbu da Cutar COVID-19 dan haka dole a kona komai dake cikin ofis din dan akare mutane daga kamuwa da wannan cutar.

Wannan zance marar tushe har wayau kara da cewa Uwargida Aisha tace tunda kasashen duk suna ta kokarin kawar cutar kuma kawo yanzu babu maganin ta, dole ne a kona ofishin Abba Kyarin.

Binciken CCD

Masu tantance gaskiya ko rashin gaskiyar labari na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya Da Cigaba wato CDD sun gudanar da bincike mai zurfi kuma sun gano cewa wannan kageggen labara ne. Masu binciken sun gano cewa acikin wannan bidiyo mai tsawon minti  hudu (4) da dakika goma sha bakwai (17) babu inda aka zayyana cewa Aisha Buharin ta bada wannan umarnin ballantana rana ko lokacin da ta tayi wannan bayani.

Har wayau binciken ya gano cewa anyita anfani da hotunan Aisha Buhari da Zahra Buhari da Abba Kyari da tsohuwar ministan kudi Kemi Adeosun da hoton wuta yayin ake gabatar rahotan da ba’a ganin wanda yake gabatar dashi. Acikin wannan kageggen labari, mai gabatarwa tun da farko yayi alkawarin nunawa mai kallo yadda kona ofishin Abba Kyarin ya kasance amma har inda bidiyon ya kare ba’aga hakan ba. Kawo yanzu ankalli wannan bidiyo sau dubu shida da dari biyar kawo ranar 30th ga watan Maris, 2020 da misalin karfe 11:15 na dare, wannan yana nufin yawan masu kallon wannan labari na karya zai cigaba da karuwa.

Afili yake cewa wanda suka gina wannan labari na karya suna da aniyar samun riba ta hanyar karfafawa mutane gwiwa su cigaba da kallon wannan dandali nasu dan kuwa manhajar YouTube tana biyan kudi gare su a duk lokacin da aka kalli bidiyon, saboda haka masu kallo suna karuwa su kuma masu wannan labari na karya suna kara samun kudi.

Kammalawa:

Wannan labari, labari ne na bogi saboda haka CDD tana jan hankalin yan Najeriya da suyi watsi dashi tare da dena kallon sa dama kara yadashi a sauran kafafan sada zumunta zamani. Har wayau CDD tana kara jan hankali cewa a dena kirkira dama yada labaran karya.

Tantancewar Mu: Labari Ne Maras Tushe

#AdenaYadaLabaranKarya

Can Steam From Boiled Uda, Uziza, Lime Cure Coronavirus?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

VERDICT: Unproven

CLAIM: A WhatsApp broadcast message (likely from a Nigerian who lives in the United States) has been circulating in Nigeria with the claim that steam from boiled Uda (Negro Pepper), Uziza (Benja Black Pepper), Lime and ginger can cure Coronavirus.

Part of the message reads, Nwunye dim’s (my sister-in-law’s) younger sister is a nurse in New York City and she contracted COVID-19. While she was waiting for her test result, she gave the virus to her husband and kids. Because hospital bed wasn’t available, she had to be treated at home. Her husband boiled Uda, Uziza, Lime and ginger, covered her with a towel and she inhaled the steam. Right now, they are all coronavirus free. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼buy Uda, Uziza, Lime and ginger and keep in the house just in case because it work’’.

The message has been shared among Nigerians on WhatsApp targeting those from South Eastern part of the country.

THE FACT

In times of an epidemic such as the current global health battle the world is facing, people out of anxiety and fear can easily result to self-medication as their human instinct for survival is activated.

While this steam therapy is rumoured among Nigerians, especially from Igbo speaking areas, to have various curative effect, it has not been scientifically proven that it can cure Coronavirus.

In traditional Igbo culture, the use of such combinations that include Uda and Uziza as outlined in the message is believed to treat various forms of ailments and conditions including post-natal care.

Also, a wide range of pharmacological properties have been linked to various members of the citrus species, ranging from antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-typhoid, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer and hypo-lipidemic.

The peels of the citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, lime and lemon which researchers say are rich in flavonoid glycosides, polyphenols and volatile oils have been used in several cultures for weight control, amongst other pharmacological uses. However, there is no research to show that it is anti-viral and if it is effective against COVID-19.

Coronavirus is a new virus and research is ongoing across the globe to determine how best to prevent, cure and even get people vaccinated against the virus. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation has maintained that there is no approved single drug or therapy that cures the disease yet. At best, confirmed cases of those who show symptoms are managed in medical facilities until the virus life span is elapsed without causing damage to the host.

According to Mr Martins Ekor, a Nigerian pharmacologist, the general perception that herbal remedies or drugs are very safe and devoid of adverse effects is not only untrue, but also misleading.

Ekor told the Tribune that: “Herbs have been shown to be capable of producing a wide range of undesirable or adverse reactions some of which are capable of causing serious injuries, life-threatening conditions, and even death.’’

As the time of writing this report, Nigeria confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have been tested with the virus to 65, as at 8.35 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

According to the NCDC, 12 cases were in Lagos state while the remaining two were discovered in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Out of the 14 cases, six were detected on a vessel, three were said to be returning travellers and one had a close contact with a confirmed case.

CONCLUSION

The claim that a combination of boiled Uda, Uziza, Lime and ginger can cure Coronavirus has not been scientifically proven. The WHO and the NCDC have advised against self-medication; whether through the use of drugs or herbs as such use may compound a patient’s medical history or lead to life-threatening conditions and even death.

HEALTH MISINFORMATION: FALSE STORIES FROM EBOLA TO CORONAVIRUS

By Blog, Fact Check, PublicationNo Comments

Summary

Nigeria has had a long-running battle with misinformation and disinformation. In times of health pandemics, misinformation, or false information shared unintentionally, becomes especially harmful. This was evident during the Ebola crisis in Nigeria; similar dynamics are coming to play with the current coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic.

The Centre for Democracy and Development has been tracking misinformation from when the Ebola crisis hit to the current day. The patterns that emerged have shown that Nigeria will not just have to battle COVID-19; but it will have to face a battle of misinformation, which can be similarly deadly. One such instance has materialized already: the cases of chloroquine poisoning in Lagos which stemmed from a Trump statement advocating the use of chloroquine to deal with COVID-19.

From our engagement with misinformation during the Ebola crisis, we have gleaned that misinformation narratives are wide-ranging and subject to rapid change. During the Ebola crisis, narratives ranged from bathing in salty water to eating kola nuts as a treatment for Ebola. In the case of the novel coronavirus, as the situation has developed the misinformation narratives have also changed. In early February, when Nigeria had not recorded any confirmed cases, we saw stories such as: “African blood is immune to coronavirus”, a former Nigerian president allegedly calling coronavirus a hoax, and certain food items being labeled treatments for coronavirus.

Nigeria’s institutions are weak. The country has a history of low trust in government, low social capital, elite division, and low government responsiveness.  These leave the country especially vulnerable to the essential challenge coronavirus presents: optimally allocating relief during a health pandemic. The distrust in government also means that citizens are more likely to seek alternative solutions rather than look to the government to provide them. Misinformation propagates more rapidly in such an environment.

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INTRODUCTION

Since the World Health Organisation has declared the COVID-19 outbreak an epidemic, it is worthy to look inwards to our context and examine the ways Nigerians confront health crises. If we look back to 2014, when the index case of Ebola was discovered, we find that the period was rife with misinformation and disinformation around health and treatment. Here we explore the false narratives that dominated the information ecosystem

:

CLAIM: Bathing in warm, salty water is an effective treatment

This story became the most common piece of misinformation around Ebola. It was trending on pretty much all social media platforms.

CLAIM: Take your back with Dettol, salt & hot water… Ebola is now airborne

This came from a twitter user based in Lagos

CLAIM: Kola nut has been found to halt Ebola virus in its tracks in laboratory tests

This story was reported by the Sun who misrepresented a BBC article from 1999 that suggested kola nuts might offer a solution. The BBC article only claimed that compounds from kola nut stopped virus multiplications in the lab. There were no such results in humans.

CLAIM: Homeopathic remedies can be highly effective in epidemics

This story came from a blogger who told his readers that his homeopathic remedies could treat the Ebola virus.

THE PRESENT DAY

Nigeria, like the rest of the world, is facing the difficult challenge of mitigating coronavirus’ impact. Nigeria’s index case, an Italian man who arrived in Lagos on February 24 and was confirmed positive the next day, was discharged after nearly a month of treatment. As at the time of writing, Nigeria has 30 confirmed cases. Moving forward, as the virus spreads and testing intensifies, Nigeria will need to tackle health misinformation.

A challenge with misinformation is that it can come from otherwise credible sources. For example, on March 20th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that chloroquine had shown very encouraging results regarding treating coronavirus. Nigeria has since witnessed an increased demand for chloroquine, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration quickly clarified Trump’s statement to suggest that the drug’s effects were still being tested.

This is an overview of the most popular false stories on Coronavirus:

CLAIM: The former President Olusegun Obasanjo said ‘’there is no coronavirus in Nigeria, The minister of health cooks the story to defraud the Government, I want to see the Italian man, I wan get the virus too.”

The story turned out to be false as CDD fact-checkers established that the former President never made the statement. A fact check by a sister fact-checking initiative by Premium Times, Dubawa, also gave their verdict as false.

A similar claim was also attributed to the Sultan Of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar. A headline published by online blog newfenzy.com on March 7, 2020, claimed the Monarch had said “Let me say the truth and die, the Italian Coronavirus man was paid to act the drama- Sultan Of Sokoto ’’ But clicking on the link, the news failed to mention the Sultan again. This has become a trend with news bloggers since the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan China. We are seeing a trend of using essential personalities and Coronavirus to create clickbait so unsuspecting internet users can visit their website and increase their traffic. 

PLATFORM: This story was spread on social media channels and online blogs

NARRATIVE FORM: This story was used as a means of discrediting the real threat of coronavirus

2. STORY: WHO Coronavirus Job Scam

A WhatsApp message that has been shared extensively, especially in WhatsApp Groups in Nigeria, is offering applicants $5-$100 to work daily 2-3 hours on mobile at the World Health Organization fighting Coronavirus.  

PLATFORM: WhatsApp

NARRATIVE FORM: Nigeria is currently undergoing huge levels of unemployment, especially with the youth population. This often leads to a high level of job scams where people receive messages about a job, and to get that job, they must pay a certain amount.

This story which was widely shared on WhatsApp was an attempt to exploit Nigeria’s unemployed youth for monetary gain.

3. CLAIM: Garlic and Pepper Soup Can Cure Coronavirus

Amongst others, the list includes drinking alcohol, regular sex, saltwater, and pepper soup as Coronavirus cures. However, there is no evidence to suggest that any of these can cure Coronavirus. Experts from the World Health Organization, Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control and leading epidemiologists around the world have maintained no treatments exist, yet.

According to the WHO’s website, ”Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, no evidence from the current outbreak eating garlic has protected people from the new Coronavirus.”

PLATFORM: WhatsApp and Facebook

NARRATIVE FORM: Nigerian citizens are scared away from public and private health centres due to cost. They are seeking alternatives. This story leveraged that.

  • CLAIM: Constant Sex Can Kill Coronavirus
  • CLAIM: African Blood is Immune to Coronavirus

On February 10, 2020, multiple sources including Abia Pulse News, Kenya Bulletin, African Daily Mail and CityScrollz published a story with the claim that the African Blood Genes are resistant to the Corona Virus. Following low reported cases of Coronavirus in Africa, multiple sources including Abia Pulse NewsKenya BulletinAfrican Daily Mail and CityScrollz published stories with the claim that the African Blood Genes are resistant to the virus.

The report claimed that the Chinese doctors released one Senou, a Cameroonian student who had been infected by the virus after he was cleared and confirmed cured. A UK-based specialist in infectious diseases and epidemics, Paul Hunter, told DW that the absence of Covid-19 on the continent (in early February) might be mainly due to luck. There is nothing special about Africa not having seen a case (at the time the info went viral) other than a pure chance at the moment. Through 26 countries in 2003 but failed to gain a hold in Africa. There is no such thing as the “African blood gene”, and therefore no evidence to support the claim that ‘African Blood Gene’ has immunity to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

PLATFORM: Online blogs, WhatsApp

NARRATIVE FORM: In early February, before the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Africa, many were saying that Africans could not get the virus. This was the most popular of such stories.

CLAIM: A Driver Threatened to Spread the Virus in Nigeria

On February 28, 2020, Fact Checkers at the CDD spotted a story claim that Adewale Isaac Olorogun, the man who drove the index case (Italian) confirmed with COVID-19 from the Lagos airport to Ogun state, has run away from the hospital and is threatening to spread the virus across Nigeria. The story was circulated on a cloned Facebook page AIT Nigeria News Facebook page. The post had up to 2000 shares on Facebook and also distributed via WhatsApp and other platforms.

The story is false. The alleged Uber driver whose image was used on the post released a video to debunk the claim. The man who gave his name as Igwunube Jude is from Edo state.

PLATFORM: WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter

NARRATIVE FORM: This was a story intended to increase panic, and as well increase online traffic through the use of sensationalist content

CLAIM: 9 Cases of Coronavirus were never Confirmed in Lagos State.

The headline of a news report by an online blog Fox News Nigeria claimed 9 cases of the dreaded Coronavirus were confirmed in Lagos leading to 4 deaths. The same FoxNews Nigeria had reported a day earlier on February 8 with the headline Coronavirus hit Nigeria, Outbreak of Coronavirus confirmed in Nigeria. Checks by this Fact Checker, however, reveals the story is a copy edit of a news report by Vanguard Newspaper of February 9, the same day the story was published. The First case of Coronavirus was later reported in Lagos on February 28, exactly 20 days after the blog published the false claim. As of March 17, 2020, there are only three confirmed cases.

PLATFORM: WhatsApp and Facebook

NARRATIVE FORM: Like the story above, this was a story intended to increase panic, and as well increase online traffic through the use of sensationalist content

CLAIM: On February 28, 2020, a trending WhatsApp screenshot of a tweet by @NYSC_Office circulated on the social media platform claiming that fund earmarked for the payment of February allowance of National Youth Service Corps members had to be channelled to the fight of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

CDD fact-checkers spotted the trending message signed by the director-general of the NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim.

A review of the NYSC’s official Twitter account @officialnyscng showed it was created in July 2018 with 46.1K followers while the handle peddling the misinformation was created in September 2019 with 158 followers.  CDD contacted an official at the NYSC, who confirmed the screenshot as false. The NYSC statement read: “A global issue such as the Coronavirus which represents a threat to humanity should not be reduced to an object of joke…. ’’.

PLATFORM: WhatsApp and Facebook

NARRATIVE FORM: This story feeds into the narrative about the non-functional and corrupt nature of Nigerian institutions.

CLAIM: TodayNG published a report that men should shave their beards to stay safe from the disease.

The report which was widely shared on the Twitter page of Nigeria Newsdesk on February 28, was spotted by CDD fact-checkers claimed that shaving beards are part of the preventive measures against Coronavirus. Research by fact-checkers in CDD showed that shaving beards are not part of the preventive measures against Coronavirus released by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States of America. There has not been any scientific proof that shaving beards prevent people from contracting #coronavirus as claimed by TodayNG.

PLATFORM: Online blogs, WhatsApp and Facebook

NARRATIVE FORM: This was a story used sensationalist information to drive traffic to their website.

CLAIM: US President Donald Trump claimed at a White House briefing last week that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the “very powerful” drug chloroquine to treat coronavirus.

“It’s shown very encouraging — very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that’s where the FDA has been so great. They — they’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it — they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states,” Trump said.

He added: “Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s — it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved, by prescription.”

However, the FDA after the briefing issued a statement saying it had not approved the drug for use against Covid-19 and is still studying its effectiveness against the disease.

MESSAGING

Social media in Nigeria is powerful vector. We now know that WhatsApp is used as a means of public mobilisation by political actors. The role WhatsApp now plays is ubiquitous with the Nigerian lived experience; from family groups, to workgroups, political groups, and religious groups, Nigerians are all subject to the forwarded message. This forwarded message is often framed as a ‘warning’ or a ‘public notice’, we are compelled to take these seriously, or at the very least forward it as a way of showing that you also care. Research by CDD in states such as Kano, Kogi and Bayelsa, as well as at the national level, has established that WhatsApp has now taken the role of a primary source of information for many. Interestingly, WhatsApp messages, often find their source in the popular Nigerian messaging board Nairaland, or various online blogs whose intention is simply to drive traffic to their websites.

However, the power of WhatsApp shows that it can also be used to share positive messages. CDD’s research shows that it is important to provide an alternative to the deluge of misinformation on social media platforms. Therefore WhatsApp will inform our communication strategy and will be an important component in tacking health misinformation on the current coronavirus pandemic.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The damaging effect of fake news and disinformation on public health is grave, as such we recommend the following as steps for citizens to take:

  1. Always check the source of the information – only the NCDC and the Ministry of Health are the designated authorities on communications regarding COVID-19 for Nigerian citizens.
  2. Think before you forward.
  3. Do not self-diagnose and give advice on what someone else’s symptoms may be; if you believe someone might be at risk, encourage them to get tested.
  4. Do not engage in a ‘publish first, check later’ approach.

POLICY ACTIONS

The Centre for Democracy and Development believes that a targeted approach to contain and mitigate for the potential epidemic in Nigeria must be targeted and as such we have defined three key areas that are necessary to tackle.

Interventions on disinformation

In focusing on addressing the false narratives on coronavirus, CDD in partnership with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is working together as an authoritative independent team in providing clear, accurate and concise information especially when so little is known. This will complement official messaging from NCDC, the Federal Government and WHO where often there are trust issues and a need to repeat messaging from more than one source. Disinformation thrives in the absence of a trusted source, therefore it is imperative to give citizens an avenue to access up-to-date information

Policy and National Strategy

Improved public discourse should increase pressure and support for a greater investment of resources in Corona response and improved targeting where necessary. As per comments from the WHO it is also vital to begin to mobilise a “whole society” response.

What is the national response to a possible pandemic? Are there any indicators as to what policy adjustments the government can make to ensure that Nigeria is as prepared as it can be. Nigeria’s public health workforce and infrastructure at the moment show that it is grossly unequipped and underprepared to take on a national health crisis – there are very low to non-existent supplies of test kits for example. Lack of test kits means that it will be impossible to evaluate the true extent of infections. And even if we can assess cases, the lack of ventilators means that we will be unable to care for the high number of cases that will become critical, this lack will have serious consequences. While it is important to remember the efficient manner in which Nigeria dealt with the Ebola crisis, the evidence shows that we will need more than just a medical response. Pandemics require cooperation with the global biomedical community, they require institutions of trust that must be built now.

No Case of Coronavirus in Apo, Abuja

By Fact CheckNo Comments

VERDICT: FALSE

CLAIM: Fact checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a flyer alleged to be from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the claim that a case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) had been confirmed in Apo area of Abuja.

The e-banner read ‘’CONFIRMED. First case COVID in Abuja, Apo. March 9, 2020’’.

FACT: a review of the banner shows it is dated March 9, 2020 and has the insignia of a popular Instagram account @Instablog9ja. CDD fact checkers who were at the National Headquarters of the NCDC confirmed from multiple sources that the banner was not from the Centre. It was doctored by purveyors of Fake News to cause panic within the Federal Capital Territory.

In a statement released by NCDC afterwards on its verified official twitter handle, @NCDCGov, the Centre said: ‘’The news circulating of #COVID19 confirmed cases in Apo, Abuja is FALSE’’ adding that every confirmed case will be announced accordingly.

Currently, Nigeria has 12 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and none of them is in Abuja.

CONCLUSION

The report therefore that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Abuja is FALSE.

The banner was altered by mischief makers and purveyors of fake news with an intention to cause panic among residents of Abuja. CDD is urging Nigerians to verify all information before sharing, as sharing of Fake News in such a critical time like we are in can threaten the lives of the general public.

Always wash your hands and practice social distance.

#StopFakeNews #CoronavirusFactCheck #COVID19 #CoronavirusNigeria

Traditional leaders key factors in ending Liberia’s culture impunity – CDD, OHCHR

By Blog, Event, NewsNo Comments

In a continuous effort to end financial crime, the Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform (CSOHRAP) met with traditional leaders in Liberia.

The team who were welcomed to Bomi county by the traditional leaders said the culture of impunity must be ended as a means of addressing economic and war crimes in Liberia. 

It also called for public support for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes court for the prosecution of major actors of the 14-year civil war in Liberia.

Following its one-year nationwide consultation themed “Effects to Address Past Human Rights Violation of Regional Levels in Liberia” the partner who decried the lack of interest by the Liberia government to prosecute major actors of the civil war said there is need for the promotion of rule of law.

Speaking at a two-day outreach on accountability and justice for past crimes, attended by traditional leaders from Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Montserrado and the host county, the head of programs for OHCHR, Sonny Onyegbula, said the office is responsible for accountability and promotion of rule of law.

Onyegbula said the OHCHR Liberia Country office through its accountability projects have provided support to ensure that the recommendations of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) are implemented.

According to him, traditional leaders are Liberia’s most important assets ensuring messages are disseminated to community members.

“We are aware of different myths and falsehood that are mischievously associated with the establishment of Economic and War Crime Courts,”

Onyegbula said.

Debunking some of the misrepresentation of facts on the initiative, the OHCHR programs head said the court when established would not send everyone who took part in the Liberian war to prison.

He said: “Similarly, child soldiers do not bear any responsibility because they were under the direction of a Commander who should account for their action; many countries have established similar courts and underwent justice processes, but it did not lead to any war, Sierra Leone is a very good example.”

In its reaction, the CDD collaborated remarks by the OHCHR that the traditional leaders are key element to ending the culture of impunity and in dealing with issues around justice and accountability.

The centre said it is committed to supporting the promotion of social mobilisation strategies among local and rural traditional leaders and authorities in sub-divisions of Liberia.

According to the centre in dealing with the past, there must room for promoting access to justice, accountability in Liberia.

Also, the CSOHRAP said the outreach is intended for the traditional leaders to discuss with right advocacy groups.

The secretary-general of CSOHRAP, Adama K. Dempster, said the groups will address issues of some violations that took place during the war and those that are still ongoing.

Dempster said the outreach will focus on the implementation of the TRC report and its recommendations to end the culture of impunity across the country to serve as deterrence for others.

He said the rights advocates see the traditional leaders as strong as the national government that can shift things in a positive direction for the betterment of Liberia.

Dempster said since the TRC ended its work ten years ago, nothing has been done to address the culture of impunity.

It may be recalled that a committee headed by Montserrado County District # 4 Representative, Rostonlyn Suococo Dennis signed a resolution last year endorsing the establishment of a war and economic crime court for Liberia.

The resolution which reportedly received over 50 signatures out of the 73 members of the House of Representatives.  However, since the endorsement last year there has been no effort to include the quest of an establishment of a war crimes court on the agenda for debate in plenary of the House of Representatives.

ILLIBERAL INFLUENCE FUELS DISINFORMATION IN WEST AFRICA – By Idayat Hassan & Kyle Hiebert

By Competitive ResearchNo Comments

INTRODUCTION

West Africa is undergoing a period of significant transition. Demographic changes, rapid urbanization, the spread of new technologies and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area have created new development pathways for the resource-rich region, home to 16 countries and roughly 5% of the world’s population. Geopolitical shifts are generating new levels of foreign interest as well. With Western hegemony in decline, a splintering international order has produced opportunities for illiberal state regimes to offer African governments more diverse options for political, economic and military partnerships.

Regional involvement by these actors is not intrinsically negative. China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and others have all contributed to tens of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure improvements, economic trade and development initiatives across the continent. This has benefited countries with growing populations that require better transportation and communications networks, more hospitals and schools, and greater access to finance, clean water and electricity. Spin-off economic activity has created jobs for locals and supported private enterprise by benefiting African suppliers, buyers, subcontractors and entrepreneurs, while boosting intra-regional trade.1 Consumer markets also now feature a wider array of affordable products and greater opportunities for cultural exchange.

The latent risk is the opportunity and potential for illiberal states to further their own interests by interfering with democratic processes in these same countries. Their objective being to prevent civil society groups and electorates from pressuring ruling parties to enact more inclusive and equitable approaches to economic development. Amid a period of intense political and social change made more complex by mounting climate crises, the Covid-19 pandemic and global food and energy shortages stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—West African nations are therefore vulnerable to having their democratic progress stifled as the autocratic tendencies of governments become reinforced by foreign enablers.


A primary tool in this process has been, and will continue to be the deployment of disinformation, by foreign and domestic actors alike. The goal being to influence electoral outcomes and shape public opinion to their advantage. Given West Africa’s rising geopolitical importance and rapid increases in local internet and social media access each year, combined with companies’ limited ability to police their platforms, this trend will only become more prominent.

Read Full Report Here

FACT CHECK: Is the Viral Chicago University Scholarship Application True?

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: The University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United State.

CONTEXT: A trending WhatsApp post claims that the University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United States.

According to the post which provided an application link, eligibility requires that the prospective students are either applying to study in the undergraduates, Masters or PhD categories, should be between the ages of 14 and 40 and should be able to read ad write.

It listed full tuition fees, medical allowance, COVID-19, instant visa approval, permission to work and study, and hostel accommodation as benefits of the programme.

VERIFICATION: To verify the authenticity of the scheme, our partners at Daily Trust clicked the link which led to a phishing site with the requirement to share the news to WhatsApp contacts, a strategy synonymous with scam schemes.

Further analysis of the official websites, clearly indicated the proper method of getting financial aid as it states

“International students are eligible for financial aid only if they apply for funding during the admissions process, and will not be eligible for financial aid after receiving their admissions decision or during their four years in the College.”

CONCLUSION: While it is true that the University of Chicago offers scholarships in form of financial aid, it is instructive to note that the application link contained in the viral WhatsApp post is suspect as it leads to a phishing site.

Herders – Farmer Conflicts In Southwestern Nigeria

By Conflict Resolution, PublicationsNo Comments

Strengthening The Delivery Of Peace & Security (SDPS) Project

INTRODUCTION

Violent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers have been identified as one of Nigeria’s most pressing security challenges in recent years. The major hotspots of the crisis were initially in northern and central Nigeria but have now extended to the southern part of the country. [1] Historically, conflicts between the two food producing groups were few and far apart and mostly non- violent. [2] They also did not take on the numerous dimensions of kidnapping, rural banditry and cattle rustling that have now become recurrent. The changing dynamics of the conflict witnessed in recent times has been driven by widespread availability of small arms and light weapons as well as new modes of launching attacks. Finally, the numbers of causalities recorded have grown astronomically. According to a 2019 report, farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria have claimed more than 10,000 persons in the last decade; with over 4,000 cases recorded within the last two years alone. [3]

In southwestern Nigeria, conflicts involving farmers and herders have increased sharply since 2014. [4] Two people were reportedly killed and six injured in an attack linked to herdsmen in Ekiti state in 2016. In 2018, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Ondo State spoke of incessant killings and destruction of farmlands by herdsmen in several farming communities in the State. [5] The death of no fewer than 11 people was also recorded at Igangan town, in Oyo State in June 2021. [6] Also in 2021, five people lost their lives while many sustained injuries in clashes that happened in Imeko, Afon local government area (LGA) of Ogun state. [7] For the most part, the growing violence has strained social cohesion [8] and threatens regional security and stability. Lastly, recent farmer-herder clashes tend to be framed in ethno-regional and religious terms; erroneously projected as a subterranean attempt to perpetrate Fulani hegemony across the federation. In predominantly Yoruba southwestern states, for instance, it has led to heightened calls for secession and the creation of pan-Yoruba nation.

RESEARCH METHODS

The data for this research was obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data for this study was collected in September 2021 using key informant interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with farmers, traditional leaders, pastoralists, representative of pastoralist groups, nonpastoralist Fulani and local security networks in towns and villages (both Fulani and Yoruba) in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state. Previous fieldwork conducted between 2015-2021 in the state by the researcher was also drawn on along with secondary sources such as academic journals, reports and newspaper articles. Oyo State was selected because it is one of hotspots of farmers-herders’ crises in southwestern region of the country.9 The Ibarapa zone in the state was constantly in the news for at least 6 months as a result of the crises between 2020 and 2021.10 Nothing less than 10 persons were murdered and 25 persons kidnapped within the space of two years (2019 to 2021) allegedly due to the crises in Ibarapa.11 Similarly, the area experienced mass exodus of Fulani who were largely forcefully by the locals in Igangan community. As a result of this, there was a reprisal attack by the Fulani on the community claiming more than 11 lives and loss of properties.

Read Full Report Here

FACT CHECK: Is The NCDC Disbursing COVID-19 Survival Funds To Nigerians?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

CLAIM: The NCDC is disbursing COVID-19 survival funds to Nigerians.

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A message purportedly from the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, is currently making the rounds on Whatsapp. The message alleged that the DG was available to authorize payments from the COVID-19 survival funds.

Part of the message reads: “…Congrats! You have been selected and qualified for N80,000 survival funds from the Federal Government Program.” After revealing the approved banks to include FCMB, Keystone, Union, Unity, TAJ and Zenith banks, it also urged beneficiaries to drop their account numbers and contact one Mr Ken Balogun on a phone number provided.

FACT-CHECKING PROCESS: Background checks by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development revealed that it is not the first time this kind of claim, especially as regards the disbursement of COVID-19 relief funds, will flood the internet.

In April 2022, Daily Trust also fact-checked some of these claims and found them to be false. This is in addition to former fact checks of this nature conducted by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). Similarly, the research also showed that such adverts and notices are issued specifically by fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

NCDC is the national public health institute for Nigeria. It is a federal government agency under the Federal Ministry of Health, with its headquarters in Abuja. The agency’s goal is to protect Nigerians from the impact of communicable diseases through the coordination of public health preparedness, surveillance, laboratory, and response functions for all infectious diseases.

Fact-checkers also found out in the course of investigating the claim that, those perpetrating this fraud have changed their antics to include varying the amounts they claim are to be paid to beneficiaries and giving the alleged grant different names.

Last year, the Federal Government of Nigeria warned Nigerians to be wary of fraudulent messages making the rounds over a purported payment of N80,000 to beneficiaries of the Survival Fund Scheme.

Further research showed that there is no official message or communication from the Dr Ifedayo Adetifa or his office authorizing such payments. It could also be noticed from the WhatsApp message in circulation, that the NCDC DG’s name was not spelt correctly, which confirmed doubts as to the authenticity of the viral post.

CONCLUSION: Facts at our disposal negate the claim that the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, is disbursing N80,000 as a COVID-19 survival fund to Nigerians.

Members of the general public are advised to be cautious and ask questions from informed individuals when in doubt and they should also be wary of sharing their bank account details with unknown persons as fraudsters have perfected ways to defraud citizens, the world over.

NIGERIA’S PRESIDENTIAL POLLS: A SWOT ANALYSIS

By Democracy, Press ReleaseNo Comments
By Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu & Idayat Hassan

The 2023 elections will be the seventh consecutive elections since the return to democracy in 1999; making a 23-year period of unbroken democracy, the longest in the country’s short history. The presidential election is scheduled to hold on 25 February 2023 and will not feature the incumbent president for only the second time, while governorship and other subnational polls will hold on 11 March. More than 95 million Nigerians have registered to cast their ballots with key issues for the leading presidential candidates likely to Centre around the economy, prevailing insecurity and corruption. Ironically, these were the same issues that defined the 2015 general election that brought the outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari, to power.

This strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis assesses some of the key factors and actors that will shape the 2023 polls. These include a review the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and how it is working within the newly passed legislation that ostensibly provides a more robust legal framework for the conduct of the polls. It also offers a review of prevailing insecurity in all the six geo-political zones of the country and how this is likely to impact voting. Finally, attention is drawn to some of the leading candidates and their main support bases in the country. Whilst not ignoring the issues that are likely to come up in the campaign, this piece looks at issues of religion and misinformation that are likely going to be equally critical in shaping electoral outcomes.

The 2023 election will be conducted with a new electoral framework but with the same leadership of INEC as in 2019. INEC continues to push for increased application of technology to election administration and the new Act provides the legislative backing for a more transparent and robust voting and results management processes, if applied judiciously. But the credibility of the 2023 general election will also depend on the degree to which citizens can vote freely and unencumbered. Insecurity remains a critical issue, particularly in the northwest and southeast. Further challenging this operation are the prevailing structural, infrastructural, and cultural ecosystems in which the polls will take place. Prompt release of the full INEC budget could help in mitigating some of these.

Finally, the role played by the security agencies, and subsequently by the judiciary, may be as important in determining the credibility of the election as that of the election management body. Nigeria is currently facing an epidemic of insecurity. Violence led by bandits, terrorists and secessionists has been recorded across its six geo-political zones, further dividing the country along ethnic, religious and political lines. Holding credible polls in this context that guarantees the security of voters and INEC personnel will be a major challenge. The ability of INEC to conduct continuous voters registration has already been questioned as insecurity has prevented the Commission from deploying to all wards across all electoral districts. The challenge of citizen access to electoral infrastructure will remain constant throughout the campaign and during the voting period. This is particularly true for those that have been displaced internally by conflict.

Read Full Report Here

Was The Pilot Who Supplies Weapons to Bandits Arrested in Niger State?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments
Source: HumAngle

VERDICT: False and Misleading

CLAIM: On August 26, 2022, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim on Facebook and several blogposts, including NairaLand, with the caption: “Pilot who supplies weapon to bandits has been arrested in Niger State, North Central Nigeria. The claim added that the Indigenous people of Niger state arrested Juan Remy, a helicopter pilot, who supplies weapons to bandits. Another claim to the image alleged that the former head of state, General Abubakar Abudlsalami own the bandits’ helicopter.

FACT: Nigeria is facing one of her worse security challenges in history, with Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, Banditry in the Northwest and Central and other militia groups in the South of the country. This is not the first time, claim of other National’s involvement in supplying weapons to Nigeria will trend online. 

CDD fact-checkers investigated the claim, using google reverse image search, and TinEye to verify the origin of the images of the supposed arrest. Evidence from the findings reveal the image first appeared online between May 10 and 11, 2021, where the Central African army arrested a man of French nationality, aged around fifty, with weapons and other artillery in Bangui the capital of Chad.  Juan Remy Quignolot’s was arrested in May 2021 in the Central African Republic after an arms stockpile was found in his house.

When contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, (CP) Monday Bala Kurya, through the Police Public Relation Officer DSP Wasiu A Abiodun, in a press release confirmed that no foreign nationale distributing weapons to Bandits was arrested in Niger State. He described the report as a piece of Fake News that such incidents never occurred in the state.

He called on members of the public to disregard such report as it aims at crating unnecessary chaos in the public domain.

CONCLUSION: CDD fact-checkers can confirm the claim the incidence happened in Central African Republic (CAR), where a French Nationale was arrested over allegations of stockpiling weapons in his house. But the claim that the French Nationale was arrested by locals for supplying weapons to Bandits in Niger State, North Central of Nigeria, is False

CDD is urging members of the public verify claims online before sharing same; especially news report from bloggers, who are in the habit of using sensational headlines to draw traffic to their blogs.

PRESS STATEMENT – CDD SWOT Analysis Lists Threats To Credible Elections in 2023

By Press ReleaseNo Comments

CDD SWOT Analysis Lists Threats To Credible Elections in 2023

  • Pro-Democracy Think-Tank Pinpoints Insecurity, Money Politics, Religion And Ethnicity As Risk Factors
  • New Electoral Act Could Redefine Credibility of Polls    

In a new report released today in Abuja, frontline pro-democracy think tank, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has warned that rising insecurity, misinformation, money politics, religion and ethnic narratives may undermine the credibility of the 2023 election. The report titled ‘Nigeria’s presidential polls: A SWOT Analysis‘ raised concerns over the safety of election personnel, voters and election materials, as well as the hurdles posed by threats such as kidnapping, violence, banditry, insurgency and communal clashes.

Noting that the 2023 general election is a significant logistical operation, CDD stressed that there will be significant logistic challenges reaching the 176,846 polling units with election material. CDD noted that for such a far-reaching level of deployment to be successful, it would require the recruitment and training of close to 1.5 million poll and security officials. This, the pro-democracy think tank pointed out requires the deployment of personnel, which number about four times the size of the entire Nigerian military.

On the other hand, CDD pointed out that the negative influence of religion, ethnicity and money politics could also undermine the credibility and acceptability of the elections, if not properly addressed. The think tank observed that these divisive factors have already played a role in shaping the emergence of the four major party candidates running in the presidential election of next year. The candidates are Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of All Progressive Congress (APC), Peter Obi of Labour Party’s and Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Although, the report, which was signed by the Director of CDD, Idayat Hassan, rated the legal framework in place for the elections as robust and laudable, the report however noted that the conduct of political actors would be critical if the benefits of such framework were to be enjoyed across the board. The report pointed that the Electoral Act 2022 has elicited prospects that could redefine elections in Nigeria.

The report further noted that with political campaigns looming in the coming weeks, key governance issues, such as insecurity would be a factor in the political calculations for the leading candidates as they traverse the country.

The report noted in the northwest, the hot button issue of security of lives and property would have an impact on the performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Tinubu. At the same time, the secessionist agitations in the southeast could reduce turnout, which may not favour either the Labour Party flag bearer Peter Obi or People’s Democratic Party candidate Abubakar Atiku. The report read: “Religion is likely to feature prominently in debates following the APC’s decision to contest the presidency with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Renewed youth engagement in politics, a feature of the voter registration period, could also be transformative and favour Obi.

“Money will continue to play a huge role in determining who emerges the winner if the presidential primaries and recent gubernatorial elections offer any lesson. Finally, online campaigns will be more fiercely fought than ever, with attacks aimed at boosting candidates, attacking opponents and undermining INEC likely to be accentuated in social media in the run-up to, during and even after voting,” the report noted in part. CDD added that citizens’ access to electoral infrastructure would remain constant throughout the campaign and during the voting period, especially for those displaced internally by conflict.

On the character and composition of INEC and the implications for the polls, the report recalls that INEC chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, is the first Chair of the Election Management Body to be appointed for a second term in the country’s history. The new report observes the backlash generated by the replacement of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners at the Commission, noting the perception that a number of the replacements are alleged to be partisan and lack integrity could impact the elections; however, CDD stressed that the 2022 Electoral Act may have introduced several changes that would continue to improve the credibility of elections.

Consequently, the SWOT Analysis noted that cases of inconclusive election would be drastically reduced in 2023 as the new Electoral Act now defines overvoting in terms of accredited voters as against registered voters, adding that INEC would also be able to, according to the new act, review results signed under financial inducement or duress. The report enthuses that if INEC judiciously applies technology, which it had pushed for and was granted through the new Electoral Act, the transparency of the election could be improved. The report similarly added that the poll’s credibility would also depend on the degree to which citizens could vote freely and unencumbered.

It noted: “Insecurity remains a critical issue, particularly in the northwest and southeast. Further challenging this operation are the prevailing structural, infrastructural, and cultural ecosystems in which the polls will take place.

“Prompt release of the entire INEC budget could help mitigate some of these. Finally, the role played by the security agencies, and subsequently by the judiciary, may be as crucial in determining the credibility of the election as that of the election management body.

“Nigeria is currently facing an epidemic of insecurity. The violence led by bandits, terrorists and secessionists has been recorded across its six geo-political zones, further dividing the country along ethnic, religious and political lines. Holding credible polls in this context that guarantees the security of voters and INEC personnel will be a major challenge. The ability of INEC to conduct continuous voter registration has already been questioned as insecurity has prevented the Commission from deploying to all wards across all electoral districts,” the report noted.

FACT CHECK: Was INEC Former ICT Director Demoted As Charly Boy Claimed?

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: The former ICT director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A controversial entertainer and convener of the ‘OurMumuDonDo’ movement, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, alias Charly boy or Area Fada, has claimed in a very lengthy post on Facebook that the former Director of ICT at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.

The post partly reads:

“…Instead of promoting the brain behind this electoral innovation, he was demoted and transferred to Enugu as Administrative Secretary just six months to the election. Is Prof Mahmood and INEC ready for a free and fair election in 2023 (sic)? There are already doubts. Please share to create massive awareness about this ugly development.”

VERIFICATION: Checks by Daily Trust revealed that on August 16, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, had in a brief statement disclosed the commission’s continuity with the routine deployment of top officials, including two Resident Electoral Cin commissioners (RECs) and eight directorate level staff members.

INEC redeployed 385 employees nationwide to ensure efficient and optimal performance in March. The affected workers were either serving in their states of origin or had worked between 10 and 32 years in the same state.

Perusing the statement issued by Festus Okoye, one could easily find that Engr Chidi was not the only director redeployed, as seven other directors were also affected by the shakeup. Reacting to Nwafor’s redeployment, Prof. Mohammad Kuna, the Special Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the exercise was normal. He made this known during a panel discussion at a two-day workshop theme, ‘The role and impact of digital technologies in facilitating peaceful elections in Nigeria’ organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC), headed by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) and The Kukah Centre in Abuja recently.

Contrary to the claim by Charly boy that the former ICT director of INEC, Nwafor, was demoted, Daily Trust can confirm that the claim is false as he is still a director with INEC as categorized by the Nigeria Civil Service Commission. Nwafor was only redeployed from one department to another. In addition, the post of administrative secretary is a directorate-level position.

FACT CHECK: Are There 10 Nigerian States with Bigger GDPs Than Some African Countries?

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: 10 Nigerian states have larger Gross Domestic Product (GDPs) than some African nations.

VERDICT: True

CONTEXT: Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo while receiving a group of Harvard Business School students at the State House in Abuja, urged the international community not to compare Nigeria to some smaller African countries in terms of economy. His statement read,

“When they talk about the economy, we are often compared with smaller African countries, but there are 10 states in Nigeria that have bigger GDPs than those countries; it is a huge target market.”

VERIFICATION: To verify the claim by the vice president, our partners at Daily Trust checked the GDPs of the 54 African countries, including Nigeria, and compared them with the GDPs of some economically viable states in Nigeria

Available data from World Bank-based size show that Nigeria leads the continent with an accumulated GDP of $514bn. Nigeria is closely followed by South Africa with $420bn, Egypt with N404bn, Algeria with N168bn, Ethiopia with $111bn, and Kenya with $110bn.

The statistics showed that African countries with GDP below $2bn include Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe.

Although there is no data on the current GDP of states in Nigeria, a 2017 nominal GDP report cited shows that the GDPs of 22 states stood at about $149bn out of the $375bn GDP of Nigeria.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the nominal GDP of the 22 states accounted for about 56 per cent of the 45 countries’ entire GDP. The NBS report reads in part:

“In 2017, the nominal GDP for the 22 states (for which data is currently available) stood at N63.8trn or 56 per cent of Nigeria’s nominal GDP in that year.

In comparing the GDP figures of some Nigerian states to some African countries using the last figures obtained from the NBS, it is clear that indeed the GDPs of some states are bigger than those of some countries.

For instance, the report in 2017 indicated that the GDP figures of 22 states was nominal $149bn, which represents $7bn per state.

Consequently, this shows that the GDPs of states like Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Imo, Delta, Kaduna and few others as mentioned by NBS are bigger than the GDPs of some countries which have GDPs of less than $5bn.

To further verify the claim our partners spoke to some experts including,

An economist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd, Dr Tope Fasua, confirmed the claim of the vice president, saying some Nigerian states had GDPs larger than some African countries.

Speaking to Daily Trust, he said, “Yes; the GDPs of Lagos, Rivers and a few other states may be larger than those of countries like the Gambia and a handful of other African countries. So it is a fact.

“In 2014, Minister Okonjo Iweala informed us that the FAAC allocation of Akwa Ibom State alone was the entire budget of Liberia. We could say the eight Nigerian states with the highest GDPs fall in this category.”

Similarly, The Chief Economic Strategist at the ECOWAS Commission, Prof Ken Ife, told Daily Trust,

“As of 2021, Nigeria’s GDP at $514b was more than 38 African countries put together. The 10 top Nigerian states with GDP totalling $148.1bn was more than those of 24 African countries, while Lagos with GDP of $29bn was more than nine African countries’ GDP.”

CONCLUSION: Following verifications and experts’ views, Daily Trust concludes that the claim by the vice president is true as there are states in Nigeria that have large GDPs due to their economic viability.

A Call to Supply and Install Data Infrastructure Equipment to Anti-Corruption Agency in Nigeria

By Job VacancyNo Comments

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) was established in the United Kingdom in 1997, and registered in Nigeria in 1999, as an independent, not-for-profit, research training, advocacy and capacity-building organisation. The purpose was to mobilise global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratisation and development processes in West Africa. Our goal is to serve as the ultimate catalyst in the transformation of the West African sub-continent into an integrated, economically vibrant and democratically governed community that assures holistic security to the population and is capable of permanent peaceful conflict management.

Theme: A Call for a Company Supply and install Data Infrastructure Equipment to Anti-Corruption Agency in Nigeria under The Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project, Phase II (NACASIP II) implemented by CDD.

 Location:Abuja-Nigeria

The Project

The Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project (NACASIP II) seeks to contribute to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of Anti-corruption Agencies (ACAs) in the fight against corruption, primarily through targeted capacity building, support for forensics and evidence gathering, peer learning, information sharing, forging synergy and coordination amongst the ACAs. The support focuses on five core ACAs amongst the over twenty-four institutions with an anti-corruption mandate in Nigeria. The support will strengthen the ACAs to perform their core duties of investigation, enforcement and prevention.

Key Responsibilities

  • The Consultant will be responsible for planning, designing, supplying, configuring, installation of hard/software, setting up a forensic laboratory, and transfer of technical expertise to the anti-corruption agency by providing adequate training and maintenance of equipment.
  • Based on the need of the respective ACA, purchase, supply and set up key project forensic laboratory equipment for the organization in line with the manufacturer’s specification
  • Training of personnel: Identify and train key relevant staff members of the selected ACA on the use and maintenance of the equipment which must be accompanied with detailed training manuals/tools and modules to be used and a post-installation and maintenance mentoring program
  • Lead in the installations of hardware and software and other key equipment.
  • Reporting: Prepare and submit periodic activities, delivery and installation reports to CDD on the ACA.
  • Impact Assessment: The consultants shall prepare periodic impact assessment progress reports and activity reports in line with guidelines from the ACA.

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Consultant shall possess competencies in the following areas:

  • Relevant IT Project Management skills and experience
  • At least 10 years of cognate experience in implementing similar assignments in the area of data infrastructural setup & Management for reputable public or private sector organizations; such assignments should have been done in the last three years.
  • At least a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Accounting/Audit, Social Sciences or similar studies, and relevant professional certifications (e.g C.ITP, PRINCE2/ PMP, CISA, CRISC etc). Experience in successfully delivering similar assignments in Nigeria or developing world context is an added advantage.

Application Closing Date

The closing date for the application is 9th September 2022


Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should forward a proposal and budget to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org using “PROCUREMENT” in Capital Letters as the Subject.

Below are the equipment and quantities

  1. EXTENSION OF CRIME RECORDS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CRIMS)
Hardware
S/NoItemQty
1Application Server – HP Proliant Server DL380 G10, 2 X 3.0 GHz 16 Cores, 512GB Ram, 10TB HDD1
2Network Attached Storage – Dell PowerEdge R540 server 2.4 GHz 32 GB Rack (2U) Intel Xeon Silver 495 W DDR4-SDRAM (PER540PLM03) with 12 Bay 3.5” Drives and 2TB SATA HDD1
3Storage Drives -Toshiba 3.5” 12TB SATA HDD12
Software
1DevExtreme by DevExpress Javascript Enterprise Library License1
2SQL Server 2019 License Standard Server – 20 CALS1
  • AML/CFT Data Management Framework (Part of MER Activity)

To provide a central database for the collation of statistics on AML/CFT/CPF activities (i.e., investigations, prosecutions, convictions, recoveries, etc.)

S/NItem   Qty   
1.Application Server – HP Proliant Server DL380 G10, Intel Bronze Processor, 64GB Ram, 4TB HDD   1
2.HP 15-dw1049nia 10th Gen – 15.6″ – Intel Core i7 – HDD – 1TB – 16GB RAM – Win 11 – Silver Laptop  5
3.SQL Server 2019 License Standard Server  1
4.HP Pavilion 24-B027 All In One PC Intel Core i7 2.9GHz 16GB RAM 1TB 24 Inch LED Screen Windows 10  10

FACT CHECK: Checking Claims Made By the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire.

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments
Source: VanguardNews

CONTEXT: Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has claimed that there are enough doctors in Nigeria. During a press conference, he made the assertion in Abuja on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. He said,

“…We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system, but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country and the number leaving is less than 1,000.”

CLAIM 1: Does Nigeria have enough doctors?

VERDICT: False

VERIFICATION: Checks by our partners at Daily Trust revealed that data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 reported that three doctors were available to attend to 10,000 patients in the country. The recent report by WHO revealed that the ratio has increased to 10,000 people for four (4) doctors, signalling an increase in the doctor-patient ratio. However, WHO recommends 1 (one) doctor per 600 patients as the best doctor-patient ratio. The report captures African countries with better doctors-patient ratios than Nigeria, including Mauritius, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. It also captures African countries with fewer doctors than Nigeria, including Angola, Kenya, Chad, Mali, etc.

Also, in an address by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) President, Innocent Ujah, during the virtual eighth biennial and scientific conference and annual general meeting of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Kaduna state chapter, the president noted,

“the current doctor to population ratio in the country is about one doctor to between 4,000 and 5,000 population. This falls short of the one doctor to 600 population as recommended by the World Health Organisation. This means that we need about 303,333 medical doctors now, and at least 10,605 new doctors annually to bridge the manpower gap in the health sector,” he said.

Another survey conducted by the Nigeria Health Watch and NOI Polls showed that Nigeria has a deficit of qualified doctors and needs at least 237,000 doctors to ensure the population’s health needs are adequately catered for.

CLAIM 2: Number of doctors leaving Nigeria each year less than 1,000?

VERDICT: False

VERIFICATION: Estimation points out that no fewer than 2,000 doctors leave Nigeria yearly, with at least 8,983 Nigerian-trained medics currently working with the British National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

The General Medical Council of the United Kingdom website reveals that Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK, coming behind only India and Pakistan. It also shows that the number of foreign doctors working in the UK shows that no fewer than 727 medical doctors trained in Nigeria relocated to the United Kingdom alone and licensed between December 2021 and May 2022.

Recently, data from the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, revealed that the total number of doctors that have migrated to the UK in two years is nearly 9,000, while the total in the United States is about 3,895. This means that about 6,447 Nigerian doctors relocated to the UK and the US in each year.

CLAIM 3: Is Nigeria producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors each year?

Verdict: Insufficient Evidence

VERIFICATION: Last year, the president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Innocent Ujah commented on the brain drain in the health sector hinted that the nation produced between 3,000 and 3,500 doctors annually. He said,

“…This is particularly disturbing because Nigeria only graduates about 3,000 to 3,500 medical doctors across medical schools in the country annually.”

We do not have sufficient evidence to independently confirm this claim as no database keeps track of the number of doctors produced annually in the country.

FACT CHECK: Did Larry Ellison Donate $1M for Peter Obi’s Presidential Campaign?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments
Source: Leadership Scorecard

CLAIM: American billionaire, Larry Ellison, donated about $1m to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi.

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A news platform recently reported that American billionaire, Larry Ellison, donated about $1m to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi. The story posted on the news platform’s Facebook page reads:

“American billionaire Larry Ellison donates 1m$ to “Peter Obi’s presidential campaign, offers to build “Plane Manufacturing Company” in Nigeria if Peter Obi wins.”

VERIFICATION: In verifying the claims, our partners at Daily Trust combed through the billionaire’s official social media pages but saw no announcement of such donations or promise of building a plane manufacturing company if Peter Obi wins the 2023 presidential election.

Checks also showed that hat the last time Ellison tweeted was on 06 June 2012 and no major news outlets in Nigeria and the United States reported the donation.

Based on checks by Daily Trust, there was no announcement or statement by Ellison on donations to Obi’s campaign. As such, the claim cannot be verified to be true

FACT CHECK: Is Cameroon’s Senate President, Marcel Niat, Atiku Abubakar’s Elder Brother?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments
Source: AfricaNews

CLAIM: Cameroon’s senate president is Atiku Abubakar’s elder brother

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: A screenshot has been making the rounds on social media claiming that the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s elder brother is Cameroon’s senate president, Marcel Niat Njifenji. The image had the caption, “Nigeria for Nigerians, never again will a foreigner rule this country.”

Accompanying write-ups on the image read,

“The man with white cap is the Senate President of CAMEROON.”

“THIS IS ATIKU ABUBAKAR ELDER BROTHER AND HIS THE SENATE PRESIDENT IN THE CAMEROON SENIOR PARLIAMENT.”

FACT-CHECKING PROCESS: A close look at the write-up on the screenshot reveals another layer of writing, “since 1980” under the letters typed in upper case. This discovery already casted doubt as to the authenticity of the claim.

This is because further research on Cameroon as a country showed that, though it got her independence from France in 1960, the Senate was created in 1996 after an amendment to the constitution.

However, power to convene the Electoral College and call elections for the Senate remained with the President. President Paul Biya chose not to do so until he signed decree 2013/056 on 27 February 2013, which set 14 April as the election date. Marcel Niat Njifenji was elected as President of the Senate on 12 June 2013 and is still in office after winning a reelection on March 18, 2021.

Is Marcel Atiku’s Brother?

Marcel Niat Njifenji was born in Bangangté, located in Cameroon’s West Region. Bangangté is a town and commune in Cameroon. It is the capital of the Ndé division of West Region. The town is primarily inhabited by the people of the Bamiléké tribe.

On the other hand, Atiku Abubakar was born in Jada, a village which was then under the administration of the British Cameroons – the territory later joined with the Federation of Nigeria in 1961 British Cameroons referendum.

His father, Garba Abubakar, was a Fulani trader and farmer, and his mother was Aisha Kande. His grandfather, Atiku Abdulqadir hails from Wurno, Sokoto state and migrated to Kojoli village at Jada, Adamawa state, while his maternal grandfather, Inuwa Dutse migrated to Jada, Adamawa State from Dutse, Jigawa state.

He became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy.

CONCLUSION: Relying on several sources and available data, CDD can confirm that both claims that Cameroon has had a senate president since 1960 and that Cameroon’s Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s brother are both false and should be disregarded by the members of the public.

FACT CHECK: Did PDP Win Osun Governorship Election Without a Single Member in State House of Assembly?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

VERDICT: False.

Claim: CDD spotted a claim on Twitter by a user who claimed that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had won the Osun State Governorship election, defeating the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC), without a Member in the State Assembly. The tweet has already garnered 1,201 retweets, 69 quotes tweets, and 3,412 likes reads

“In Osun, PDP won with no single PDP member in the state assembly. The people voted & waited to count & protect their votes. Indeed the people are the authentic structure.”

Fact Check: CDD fact checkers reviewed the election results of 2019 general elections released by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).  The 2019 Osun State House of Assembly election was held on March 9, 2019, to elect members of the State House of Assembly. Following the declaration of results, the APC won 23 out of 26 State constituencies, leaving the PDP, with 3 seats.

As at July 16, 2022 when the governorship election in the state was conducted, the PDP had three Honorable Members in the State Assembly. The members include Hon. Adewumi Adeyemi, Hon. Niran Atidade and Hon. Babajide Kofoworola representing; Obokun; Ede South and Ede North Local Government Areas (LGAs).

In conclusion, CDD can reliably confirm that PDP has three members in the Osun State House of Assembly as at the time, the governorship election was conducted. Therefore, the claim is false and should be disregarded. CDD advises Nigerians to be wary of social media posts, especially as we head to the general elections in 2023.

Did Isaac Fayose Narrowly Escape Death From Gun Men?

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

VERDICT:  False

CLAIM:  On August 29, 2022, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim with the caption “Isaac Fayose, the younger brother to the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose narrowly escaped death by the whiskers from gunmen attacks along Ife-Ibadan Highway, Gbongan in Osun State.”

FACT: CDD fact-checkers look at asserting the validity of the claim, and reached out to the SP Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Osun state where a press statement which was released on the 30th of August where it was confirmed that no such incident was reported in any part of the State.

The statement further says that “the Command contacted Mr Isaac Fayose to get his perspective on what transpired while he was on transit from Ekiti to Lagos State, He said “at a point after Asejire Dam, towards Ibadan, he saw some travellers make a U-turn for fear of being attacked by presumed Armed Robbers and in his own attempt to make a U-turn, he had a minor accident. He stated further that, he did not see the purported kidnappers, nor was anyone injured nor abducted from the scene.

CONCLUSION: CDD fact-checkers can confirm that the said claim that Isaac Fayose Narrowly escaped death is False

CDD is urging members of the public to verify from certified source before sharing any news report especially, from a random WhatsApp status


OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR: The Deradicalisation and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

By Democracy, Human Rights, PublicationNo Comments

Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy and Development & Dr. Laura Routley, Newcastle University

Introduction

This report presents some preliminary findings of the de-radicalization and reintegration program, aimed at Boko Haram ex-combatant undertaken as part of the federal government of Nigeria’s Operation Safe Corridor (OSC).  The research looks to explore how these processes of deradicalisation, and rehabilitation are understood to have worked by asking key questions about:

  • How staff and clients of the program conceive the de-radicalization programs they are implementing/undertaking? And how successful they have been? 
  • What kinds of changes staff are looking to achieve and perceive they have achieved in detainees?
  • What practices/program/interventions they perceive to be effective in achieving these changes?
  • What they see as the constraints on their ability to reform/de-radicalize detainees?

Understanding how this program is supposed to effect change can encourage discussions about improving these processes and ways in which others can learn from the program’s successes and failures. It also provides insights into how the Nigerian government, and the other agencies involved, comprehend processes of deradicalisation and reintegration.

In the process of undertaking the research the focus shifted not only to the camp itself but to the communities that deradicalized ex-fighters were to be reintegrated.  As Clubb and Tapley (2018) have highlighted it is reintegration which is both a key measure and driver of the success of these kinds of deradicalization programmes.

 A Note on Methodology

The findings of this report are based on interviews and focus groups conducted between July and December 2019 but are shaped by CDD’s long engagement with transitional justice in Northern Nigeria (for example see Hassan and Tyvoll 2018). 

Interviews were conducted with thirty-three ex-combatants, seventeen of whom were currently in special holding and sixteen of whom had been reintegrated into their community.  These interviews explored their experience of the programme and of reintegration.  As well as how they thought their views and behaviours had been reshaped by the programme.  Staff involved in the programme were also interviewed with five of interviews being undertaken with staff implementing the programme this included those engaged in the deradicalisation, administration and oversighting of the Initiative at the Advisory Committee level. These explored how they understood the programme to work what changes they were looking for in clients and the conditions and activities they considered would achieve these.  Members of thirty communities where ex-combatants have been reintegrated were also interviewed.  Through these interviews we aimed to understand further what communities considered to be necessary to consider an ex-combatant as deradicalised / reformed.  All the interviews have been anonymised

In addition, six focus groups were conducted with stakeholders including members of Operation Safe Corridor Advisory Committee, community leaders (both religious and traditional) from communities where ex-combatants were being resettled, Civilian Joint Taskforce (CGTF) among others were held across the three most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.  These were aimed at understanding more broadly community perceptions of how the deradicalisation process takes place and the effectiveness of reintegration.

Background

The activities of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, have caused an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 deaths and displaced over 2.3 million people since 2009. Between 2009 and 2015, the group took control of extensive territories in north-eastern Nigeria, including the Borno state capital Maiduguri, devastated the lives of millions; and constituted a significant threat to the integrity of the Nigerian state.  Boko Haram’s increasing military raids and attacks in territories of Nigeria’s neighbours led to the formation of the joint neighborhood military response force in early 2015: The Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).  Supported by the United States, France, and Britain through the provision of training, advice, and intelligence, the MNJTF came to include the military forces of Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin, in addition to those of Nigeria. Boko Haram lost control of much of its territory from 2015 onwards but despite factionalism that led to a formal split and government declarations of victory, the insurgency continues to kill thousands of people yearly, with about 2,733 people killed in 2019 across the most affected communities in the Northeast, Nigeria. In the last years, the terrorist group has varied its recruitment strategies; most new members have been forcefully conscripted, abducted, or blackmailed into the group. There are also older members who left and even fled their communities when the group made its transformation from dawah (the proselytizing of Islam) to destructive jihad (the spread of Islam by unholy war).

In 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was elected president. In fulfilment of one of his campaign promises, he set up Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) in September 2015. OSC is a custodial program undertaken under a Presidential Directive, with the major aim to deradicalise, rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant ex-combatants into society. Its focus is those who surrendered during the military onslaught, those who were conscripted to the Boko Haram insurgency against their will and those who felt disenchanted with the activities of the leadership of the group.

President Buhari has publicly reiterated his government’s commitment to the scheme on several occasions. In granting amnesty to repentant Boko Haram members in April 2018 he said, “we are ready to rehabilitate and integrate such repentant members into the larger society”.4 With increased military pressure, tightened borders, diminished supply routes, internal division in the group and the desire of forcibly conscripted members to escape, the numbers of Boko Haram fighters surrendering themselves to the military has continued to increase with over 1500 ex-combatants as at December 2019. Since the onset of OSC, a total of 800 ex-combatants have passed through the program.

Read Full Report Here

A Call for a Forensic Company to Supply & Install Forensics Laboratory Equipment For an Anti-Corruption Agency

By Job Vacancy, VacanciesNo Comments

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) was established in the United Kingdom in 1997, and registered in Nigeria in 1999, as an independent, not-for-profit, research training, advocacy and capacity-building organisation. The purpose was to mobilise global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratisation and development processes in West Africa. Our goal is to serve as the ultimate catalyst in the transformation of the West African sub-continent into an integrated, economically vibrant and democratically governed community that assures holistic security to the population and is capable of permanent peaceful conflict management.

Theme: A Call for a Forensic Company to Supply and install  Forensics Laboratory Equipment For an Anti-corruption Agency under The Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project, Phase II (NACASIP II) implemented by CDD.

 Location:Abuja-Nigeria

The Project

The Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project (NACASIP II) seeks to contribute to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of anti-corruption Agencies (ACAs) in the fight against corruption, primarily through targeted capacity building, support for forensics and evidence gathering, peer learning, information sharing, forging synergy and coordination amongst the ACAs. The support focuses on five core ACAs amongst the over twenty-four institutions with an anti-corruption mandate in Nigeria. The support will strengthen the ACAs to perform their core duties of investigation, enforcement and prevention.

Key Responsibilities

  • The Consulting company will be responsible for planning, designing, supplying, configuring, installation of hard/software, setting up the forensic laboratory and transfer of technical expertise to the anti-corruption agency by providing adequate training and maintenance of equipment.
  • Based on the need of the respective ACA, the consulting company will purchase, supply and set up key project forensics equipment for the organization in line with the manufacturer’s specification
  • Training of personnel: Identify and train key relevant staff members of the selected ACA on the use and maintenance of the equipment which must be accompanied with detailed training manuals/tools and modules to be used and a post-installation and maintenance mentoring program
  • Lead in the installations of hardware and software and other key forensic equipment.
  • Reporting: Prepare and submit periodic activities, delivery and installation reports to CDD on the equipment supply to the ACA.
  • Impact Assessment: The consulting company shall prepare periodic impact assessment progress reports and activity reports in line with guidelines from the ACA.

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Consultant shall possess competencies in the following areas:

CDD hereby request the following information with relevant supporting documents, among others:

  1. Evidence of Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) including the most current status of Forms CAC2 and CAC7;
  2.  Evidence of Company Income’s Tax Clearance Certificate for the last three (3) years valid till 31st December 2021;
  3. Evidence of current Pension Compliance Certificate valid till 31st December 2022; 
  4. Evidence of current Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Compliance Certificate valid till 31st December 2022;
  5. Evidence of current Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Compliance Certificate valid till 31st December 2022;
  6. Evidence of Registration on the National Database of Federal Contractors, Consultants and Service Providers by submission of Interim Registration Report (IRR) expiring on 31/12/2022 or valid Certificate issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
  7. Company’s Audited Accounts for the last three (3) years – 2019, 2020 & 2021;
  8. Evidence of financial capability to execute the project by submission of Reference Letter from a reputable commercial bank in Nigeria, indicating a willingness to provide credit facility for the execution of the project when needed;
  9. Verifiable documentary evidence of at least three (3) similar jobs executed in the last ten (10) years including Letters of Awards, Valuation Certificates of Job Completion and photographs of the projects;
  10.  List of Plants/Equipment with proof of Ownership/Lease (where applicable);
  11. Costs for the equipment to the purchase
  12. Any other information deemed necessary by your good office e.g work with any defense or security organization

Application Closing Date

The closing date for the application is 9th September 2022


Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should forward a proposal and budget to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org using “PROCUREMENT” in Capital Letters as the Subject.

Below are  the equipment and quantities

S/NDESCRIPTION
1Upgrade of selected ICT and cybersecurity equipment (data centre upgrade, wireless LAN and access point
2Upgrade of Forensic Lab and training/capacity building, computer, laptops, ICT infrastructure, software
3Installation of audio-visual digital equipment, and soundproofing of 7 interview rooms in detention facility
4Implementation of Phase 2 of EDMS Infrastructure
5Design and implementation of digital project tracking tools for the constituency and executive Project Tracking Division (CEPD)
6Improvement, including digitalization of CRA and system study review tool with analysis capability

West Africa This Week – A Weekly Highlight On Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments


MALI, SENEGAL, AND BURKINA FASO
MALI


Political Dynamics
An acting Prime Minister appointed Following the compulsory imposed medical rest of former Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, a decree of the Malian Transition President made public on August 21st has put Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, as the present acting Prime Minister. Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga who is also the Minister of Territorial Administration is expected to combine the functions of Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization with those of the Prime Minister [1].


Choguel Kokalla Maïga had been facing criticism for several months from his former allies of the June 5 Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), before information about his health circulated, evoking a stroke and then hospitalization in a clinic in Bamako. Following the unending speculations on his health, he was forced by his doctor to rest after 14 months of tireless work. Also, various groups and his allies also sought his resignation and he is strongly contested by the Malian opposition gathered in the Framework for the Exchange of Political Parties for a Successful Transition which had requested a Prime Minister that is non-partisan, consensual, competent, honest and with a proven knowledge of the political, economic and security dynamics of the country.


Mali acknowledges the definitive departure of Barkhane The Malian Transitional Government has acknowledged the final withdrawal of the Barkhane Force and promised more success in the fight against terrorism [2].


Recalling that France had unilaterally decided on June 10, 2021, to withdraw the Barkhane force from Mali by adopting a timetable, without consultation with the Malian authorities to which it was bound by Defense Accords, the Malian authorities justified the departure of France. Thus, Mali’s demand for the immediate departure of France forces on February 18 2022 was on the grounds of the seriousness of the above-stated act by France.


Furthermore, the authorities noted that “the deterioration of the security situation in Mali and in the Sahel is an immediate consequence of the intervention of France and its allies in Libya”. Hence, with the departure of Barkhane and the rise in power of the valiant Malian Armed Forces (FAMa), more successes will be engaged against terrorist groups, the security of the populations will be considerably improved and the assets will not weaken.


The Transitional Government also reiterated “its readiness to cooperate with all the States of the world in order to curb the terrorist threat, provided that this relationship falls within the framework of the [3] principles guiding public action in Mali, defined by HE the President of the Transition, Head of State, Colonel Assimi Goïta, namely: respect for the sovereignty of Mali, compliance with the strategic choices made by Mali, the defense of the interests of Malians in the decisions taken”.
Updates on the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali Negotiations for the peaceful release of the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali on July 10th are ongoing. Interventions and mediations have been made by the Togolese president, ECOWAS, AU, UN and other notable dignitaries but without attaining the much expected happy ending.


Nevertheless, on August 24th, the interparliamentary committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) met in Abidjan and 2 This was noted in a press release by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga consequently, sent a delegation to Côte d’Ivoire and Mali on the dispute arising from the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Mali [3]. The interparliamentary committee hopes to use parliamentary diplomacy in order to achieve a peaceful settlement of this dispute between the two countries. Will UEMOA succeed in attaining a happy ending between Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, without Cote d’Ivoire meeting the conditions set by Mali? It can be recalled that the 49 Ivorian soldiers were tried on August 15 and charged with “attempting to undermine state security” by the investigating judge of the Bamako Anti-Terrorism Unit.
Bilateral Cooperation between Mali and Iran The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Habdollahian, accompanied by the Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture and more than 30 Iranian businessmen were in Mali from August 22 to 23 on a working visit [4].

Meeting with Malian authorities, exchanges were on strengthening Mali’s cooperation with Iran in defence, security, higher education and scientific research, rural development, mines, energy and water, health, transport, infrastructure, industry, trade, housing, town planning, culture and tourism, communication and of the digital economy. The Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture underlined Iran’s preparedness to also intervene in Mali in the fields of cotton and meat processing as well as in the supply of basic necessities. Mali is said to be first in livestock at the level of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) space and second in the ECOWAS space but without meat processing plants and milk factories. The Iranian-Malian cooperation may thus be a win-win project with a lot of economic benefits.

Read Full Article Below


FACT CHECK: Did William Ruto Win the Recent Election with a Newly Formed Party?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

CLAIM: William Ruto, president-elect Kenya won the recent election with a newly formed party.

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A post being shared on social media states that the newly elected President of Kenya, William Ruto won the election despite forming a new party and not having any support from powerful men but the youth. The post further said

“Don’t listen to them that say your vote won’t count, let’s take back our country from these old evil men using 18 billion just to clear farmland.”

VERIFICATION:

Fact check by the CDD revealed that William Ruto did not win under a newly formed party as suggested by the post.

However, his political career on Wikipedia states that he won under a new party and that may have misled many to assume that the United Democratic Alliance Kenya is a new party formed by Ruto which is not correct.

Ruto indeed won the election under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Which is a Kenyan political party initially called the Party of Development and Reforms which was created in February 2012 and was changed to UDA in December 2020 and became notable in January 2021.

Conclusion: CDD fact-checkers can confirm that the claim suggesting William Ruto won under a newly formed party is misleading.

FACT CHECK: Buhari Not First to Introduce Same Faith Leadership in Nigeria

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

CLAIM: Top two government leaders of the same faith can be traced to the then-military regime of Muhammed Buhari (1983 – 1985)

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Mathew Kukah, said precedence for the current Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) could be traced to the legacy of Muhammadu Buhari when he was military head of state.

Bishop Kukah stated this when he appeared on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television, on Thursday, to discuss the state of the nation ahead of the 2023 general elections.

VERIFICATION: In verifying Bishop Kukah’s claim, Daily Trust traced the origin of the same faith rule/regime to the military era. Both Maj-Gen. J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi and his deputy, Brig. Babafemi Ogundipe (Jan – Jul 1966) were Christians. Similarly, both Gen. Yakubu Gowon and his deputy, Vice-Admiral Joseph Edet Wey (1966 – 1975) were also Christians. The military regime of Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari and Maj-Gen Tunde Idiagbon, while being the first both led by Muslims, was only the third same-faith leadership pairing in Nigerian history.

CONCLUSION: Daily Trust was able to establish those previous military regimes before then Maj-Gen Buhari had same faith tickets. As such the claim by Bishop Kukah that Buhari initiated the same-faith leadership is wrong.