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CALL FOR MEMORANDA AND PUBLIC HEARING

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PRESIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION PANEL TO REVIEW COMPLIANCE OF THE ARMED FORCES WITH HUMAN RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS AND RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

CALL FOR MEMORANDA AND PUBLIC HEARING

His excellency, the Acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, on Friday, August 11th,2017 inauguration the Panel to review compliance of the Armed Forces with Human right obligations and rules of engagement especially in local conflicts and insurgency situation.

2. Below are theTerms of Reference of the Panel:
(a) To review extantrules of engagement applicable to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the extent of V compliance thereto;

(b) To investigatealleged acts of violation of international humanitarian and human right law under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),Geneva Conventions Act, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights(Ratification and Enforcement) Act and other relevant laws by the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies;
(c) To investigatematters of conduct and discipline in the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies;
(d) To recommend means of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations; and
(e) To make furtherrecommendations in line with these terms of reference as may be deemed necessary.
3. Stakeholders,affected persons, institutions and interested members of the public are hereby invited to submit to the Presidential Investigation Panel, memoranda that will assist it in the discharge of its mandate.

1)   All Memoranda should be forwarded to the Presidency, Special Services Office,Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Shehu Shagari Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, for the attention of the Secretary to the

Presidential Investigation Panel on Review of Compliance of Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement;

2)   10 Nos.Hard Copies of Memorandum should be submitted

3)   A soft copy should be sent to judcomhro.ng@gmail.com.

4)   Memorandum should be submitted within two weeks from the date of the publication of thisnotice.

5)   The panel will hold Public Hearings in Abuja from 7th September to 6thOctober 2017.

Attached Call for Memoranda

CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS

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CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS
Since, the country’s return to democracy in 1999, the national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria has remained 6.7 percent in elective and appointive positions, which is far below the global average of 22.5 percent, Africa regional average of 23.4 percent and West Africa sub-regional average of 15 percent. For instance, out of the 36 ministerial appointments made by the incumbent administration, only 6, representing 16.7 percent, are women. At the legislative chamber, women constitute only 5.6 percent and 6.5 percent of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
In contributing to address the low representation of women in elective and appointive positions, The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa) is accepting application from suitable qualified female candidate for a fully funded Capacity-Building Workshop for Women Politicians in Nigeria. The objective is to strengthen the capacity of women on political communication, campaigns and voter mobilization, Advocacy and lobbying, policy design and building network of women group across the federation. A total of 50 women politicians (25 per cohort) will be selected to participate and benefit from the training workshops holding in Abuja between 10 and 20 September 2017.
Participants for the workshop will be drawn from an expansive range of the Nigerian political landscape, putting into consideration the ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
Interested women politicians can access the application form (Deadline, August 26, 2017) online on our website www.cddwestafrica.org or follow this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-fTjt3GysZYx0ViTPF-Zs91G9ubmqoPArMJowP6zgvg/edit (copy and paste link on browser).
For more information and clarification, please contact Austin Aigbe  on aaigbe@cddwestafrica.org or Phone: +234 (0) 9 290 2304.
About CDD
CDD was established in the United Kingdom in 1997 and subsequently registered in Lagos – Nigeria in 1999 as an independent, not-for-profit, research, training, advocacy and capacity building organization.
For more information, visit: www.cddwestafrica.org
 
Signed:
 
Idayat Hassan
Director

VACANCY

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Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to research, training and advocacy on issues of democratisation, development and human security in West Africa.
 
 Programmes Officer (Francophone)
This exciting and challenging position carries responsibilities for project development, management and implementation.  Other responsibilities include: fundraising, networking, research support and policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, events organising and conference coordination. Reporting to the Head of Programmes
 
Education/Qualification- the suitable candidate will hold a post-graduate degree in the Social Sciences, Humanities, Law or related field, experience of working in post-conflict or transition environment
 
Skills/Abilities- excellent IT and administrative skills, adaptability to new demands and changing circumstances, sound analytical and report writing skills, ability to translate strategic aims into practical plans, ability to work under pressure to strict deadlines as well as demonstrable experience of project management and multi-tasking. Strong inter-personal and communication qualities will be coupled with teamwork skills and the candidate will have a good understanding of democratisation, international development and human security issues in the West Africa sub-region. Fluency in French is very important.
 
*SALARY*: VERY COMPETITIVE
 
 
Method of application:

  • All interested applicants should forward a one page Cover letter, a maximum 3 page resume and referees contact details by email to: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org not later than one weeks from the date of this advert.
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
  • Only Electronically submitted applications will be entertained. Scanned applications will be disregarded.
  • Subject line of emails must state clearly the Name of Applicant and Job Title of position applied for.

 
 
 
 
 
 
French
Centre pour la démocratie et le développement (CDD) est une organisation non gouvernementale internationale dédiée à la recherche, la formation et le plaidoyer sur les questions de la démocratisation, le développement et la sécurité humaine en Afrique de l’Ouest.
 
Agent de programmes (Francophone)
Ce poste passionnant et stimulant pour le développement du projet, les responsabilités de gestion et de mise en œuvre. D’autres responsabilités incluent : collecte de fonds, la mise en réseau, le soutien à la recherche et l’analyse des politiques, le suivi et l’évaluation, l’organisation d’événements et de conférences de coordination. Rend compte au chef de l’
 
Éducation Programmes/Qualification- La personne retenue doit détenir un diplôme d’études en sciences sociales, sciences humaines, droit ou dans un domaine connexe, l’expérience du travail en transition post-conflit ou de
 
compétences/capacités environnement- excellent il et des compétences en administration, l’adaptabilité à de nouvelles exigences et l’évolution des circonstances, de son rapport et d’analyse de l’écriture, capacité à traduire les objectifs stratégiques en plans pratiques, capacité de travailler sous pression dans des délais stricts ainsi que l’expérience démontrable de la gestion de projet et multi-tâches. De fortes qualités personnelles et de communication sera couplé avec le travail d’équipe et le candidat devra avoir une bonne compréhension de la démocratisation, du développement international et des questions de sécurité dans la sous-région Afrique de l’Ouest. La maîtrise du français est très important.
 
* SALAIRE *: TRÈS COMPETITIF
 
Mode d’application:
 

  • Tous les candidats intéressés doivent envoyer une lettre d’accompagnement d’une page, un résumé maximal de 3 pages et des coordonnées des arbitres par courrier électronique à: recruitment@cddwestafrica.org
  • au plus tard une semaine à compter de la date de cette annonce.
  • Seuls les candidats présélectionnés seront contactés.
  • Seules les demandes envoyées électroniquement seront diverties. Les applications scannées ne seront pas prises en compte.
  • La ligne de sujet des courriels doit indiquer clairement le nom du demandeur et le titre de poste demandé.

Nigeria: Coup rumours reflect rising distrust in Buhari’s absence

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Coup? Don’t even dare.

Nigerian military forces on international duty. Credit: AU-UN ST PHOTO / STUART PRICE

Last week, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, issued a stern warning to soldiers to stay out of politics, raising alarm of a potential coup plot.

His statement claimed that individuals had been approaching army officers for political reasons, and cautioned: “Any officer or soldier of the Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaging in unprofessional conducts such as politicking, would have himself or herself to blame.”

Since that warning, the army has reportedly stepped up security measures and transferred several senior officers, while prominent figures have spoken out against the possibility of a coup.

This talk of a covert plot to take power is the latest conspiracy theory to do the rounds in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari’s health took a turn for the worse earlier this year. Buhari spent nearly two months in London for medical treatment from mid-January to mid-March. On his return home, he said that he had never been “so sick” in his life and talked about undergoing “blood transfusion”.

This somewhat contradicted the suggestion that he was simply suffering from routine health issues, a narrative his aides have sometimes tried to push. However, Buhari’s specific illnesses, or exactly how serious they are, remain secret.

On 7 May, Buhari returned to London for further treatment, triggering a fresh flurry of activity and round of rumours about both his health and what might happen if he cannot continue.

[Nigeria: After Buhari…?]

“Turn by turn”

At the heart of many of the conspiracy theories is the issue of Nigeria’s zoning arrangement. According to this informal agreement, the presidency is supposed to alternate between an individual from the north and south every eight years.

This pattern was previously interrupted in 2010 when President Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner, died in office just three years into his term. He was replaced by his deputy Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner.

Jonathan not only saw out the final year of Yar’Adua’s tenure but went on to contest and win the 2011 elections and serve out another four-year term. This put the system known locally as “turn by turn” into disarray. It has meant that in 13 of the 18 years since the return to multi-party democracy in 1999, the president has come from the south.

When Buhari, a northerner, stood against Jonathan in the 2015 elections and won, there was a sense that the north finally had its turn. But given Buhari’s poor health, there are growing fears that this turn may get cut short once again.

This possibility, which would see southerner and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo become president, is agitating certain groups. According to rumours, interested individuals have already come up with different scenarios to avoid the north losing power if Buhari cannot continue.

One sees both Buhari and Osinbajo being impeached. If this were to happen, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, would assume office for three months and oversee the organisation of a fresh election. Another sees the President and Vice-President jointly resigning, triggering fresh elections. And another sees the two removed for illegally overspending during the 2015 elections; there are reports suggesting both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flouted the campaign ceiling.

A final scenario – if the army chief’s comments last week are indicative – is a coup d’état. This approach would circumvent the uncertainty of holding an election, but raise untold others.

A dangerous rumour mill

These conspiracy theories and alleged plans are reflective of the current political mood in Nigeria, and mix together with other rumours and claims that are circulating.

One particularly insidious conspiracy theory centres on the fact that since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, all the northern leaders that have risen to the highest position have either been killed in office or removed. Abubakar Tafa Balewa was killed in the 1966 military coup; Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in 1976; Shehu Shagari was overthrown in 1983 (albeit by Buhari, another northerner); Sani Abacha was struck down by a heart attack while in office in 1998; and Yar’Adua died as president in 2010.

The wild suggestion is that this pattern is no coincidence and that Buhari is now being poisoned slowly. Another rumour maintains that APC strongman Bola Tinubu was aware of the president’s health ahead of the elections and that he engineered Buhari’s rise as part of a long game that would end up with a Yoruba in power.

What these dangerous rumours point to is the extent to which the political landscape has become polarised. The hateful comments pervading the country are creating animosity, distrust and suspicion.

When Buhari returned in March, there were huge outpourings of love and relief in the north and elsewhere. If the president – so beloved in certain parts of the country – doesn’t complete his term and there are suggestions of foul play or perceived attempts to seize power from the north, things could escalate and turn violent.

Best and worst case scenarios

There are perhaps two possible best case scenarios for Nigeria at the moment depending on Buhari’s health.

If the president is fit enough, he could complete his term with Vice-President Osinbajo continuing to take on many of the actual responsibilities as is the case currently. If Buhari is not able to finish his term, the VP could take over but make it clear that, unlike Jonathan, he will not to contest in the 2019 elections, allowing a northerner to regain the presidency.

There are many more worrying possible outcomes, but the very worst case scenario would a coup. Amongst other things, such a plan would be completely out of tune with present day realities of the continent in general but West Africa in particular. The regional bloc ECOWAS forbids unconstitutional changes of government, and the body as well as national citizens of various countries have acted to vigorously counteract such moves in recent years.

In Burkina Faso, General Gilbert Diendéré’s 2015 coup barely lasted a week before he was forced to return power to the transitional government. In Mali, Major Amadou Sanogo’s takeover in 2012 didn’t last much longer. And at the start of this year, The Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh was confronted by a wide host of steadfast regional neighbours when he tried to stay in office after losing the elections.

Aside from the potential turmoil, death and destruction that an attempted coup could unleash, the experiences of other countries in the region should be enough to deter any would-be plotters from daring to even contemplate a coup in Nigeria.

By:

IDAYAT Hassan

Director

Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa (CDD)

Other Source: http://africanarguments.org/2017/05/23/nigeria-coup-rumours-reflect-rising-distrust-in-buharis-absence/

Boko Haram: Down but far from out

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

cameroon_refugees_2

The Nigerian government has declared victory over the Boko Haram insurgency. The capture at the end of December of Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest, the last stronghold of the jihadists, seemed to herald the formal beginning of the post-insurgency phase in northeastern Nigeria.

The negotiated return last month of 82 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls (an estimated 113 are still in captivity) has been presented as further evidence that the back of the seven-year-old insurgency has been broken.

The government and its development partners are already starting post-war reconstruction in the three most affected states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. Humanitarian conditions remain dire, but houses and schools are being rebuilt, seedlings distributed, and empowerment training schemes launched.

Concerns

Amid all this optimism, it is important to acknowledge lingering causes for concern.

While Camp Zero has been dismantled, the reality is that Boko Haram is an adaptable foe. It is reportedly both forming new enclaves in the Lake Chad Basin and melting back into civilian communities.

The rumours are of profitable business partnerships being formed – especially in the fish and cattle trade. Some fishermen, for example, are supplying their catch to Boko Haram middlemen who sell on their behalf.

And Boko Haram’s network is far deeper than commonly realised. The State Security Service is regularly turning up insurgents across northern Nigeria, and in one case as far away as the western state of Ekiti.

Boko Haram is known for its attacks on civilians and suicide bombings. So far in May there have been 12 suicide bombings (by nine women, three men) – a tempo that suggests the insurgency is far from over.

But since the movement split into two factions led by Abubaker Shekau and Abu Musab al-Barnawi back in August, there has been a change of tactics. Al-Barnawi’s group had criticised Shekau for attacking soft civilian targets, tactics that won Boko Haram few voluntary recruits. Al-Barnawi’s group is much more explicitly targeting the military.

Since November, 11 military installations have been attacked, with 40 soldiers killed. In April alone, 20 soldiers died in raids on four army posts. The weaponry they have captured, and the motorbikes instead of vehicles they favour, means they are mobile and well-armed.

Al-Barnawi’s faction still loots villages for food, fuel, and medical supplies, even if it does appear to be deliberately avoiding killing civilians – as long as they don’t resist.

The government’s inability to completely block the sources of financing for the insurgents continues to pose a challenge. Boko Haram still has money to wage its war, typically raised through kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, cattle rustling, and taxes/levies on businesses.

The strained relationship between the vigilante Civilian Joint Task Force and the military is also affecting the government’s prosecution of the conflict. Since the arrest in February of the founder of the CJTF, Bah Lawan, over his alleged links to Boko Haram, some vigilante leaders are refusing to cooperate with the army.

The CJTF, one of the most effective weapons the military has against Boko Haram, has also been reportedly weakened by factionalism and indiscipline. Regular complaints of irregular pay from the Borno State government and the lack of health insurance and even fuel for their vehicles is affecting morale.

Power of the word

Boko Haram’s ideology, that Westernisation is evil, still has resonance. Rural northeastern Nigeria is highly conservative. While the insurgency’s violence is not approved of, its broad worldview has power and can still attract sympathy.

One 45-year-old woman who was held hostage in Sambisa, and served as a teacher in the camp, was honest enough to tell me she now regretted leaving Boko Haram.

Alleged corruption and sexual exploitation by security forces and aid workers also plays into the militants’ messaging. There is a powerful narrative that girls and women in IDP camps are either being sexually abused or forced into sex-for-food arrangements. Reports of the flagrant use of alcohol and drugs by the army and the CJTF also do not sit well with traditional cultural norms.

The government has a disarmament and reintegration plan dubbed Operation Safe Corridor. More than 4,500 former combatants have surrendered, but the framework for the strategy remains opaque, and it contains real risks.

There are fears that some so-called “deradicalised” Boko Haram are not repentant at all. There are questions over their screening, certification, and whether communities are ready for their return and reintegration.

Some ex-combatants have been deeply indoctrinated. As one man told me: “You cannot believe in one part of the Koran and not in the other part of the Koran, [which includes] killing”.

Then there are the detainees accused of being Boko Haram – those who have suffered abuse at the hands of the security forces and have likely been radicalised as a result of that experience but are then released.

Negotiaitions

Hope that the freeing of the Chibok schoolgirls could be a step towards possible negotiations was dealt a blow by Shuaibu Moni, one of the (at least) five Boko Haram commanders swapped for the released school girls.

In a video released barely a week after he gained his freedom, he was threatening to bomb Abuja and denying there could be any dialogue with the government. “Only war is between us!” he declared.

While we must give kudos to the military and the Nigerian government for improving security in the northeast, it is safe to say the conflict is far from over.

There is still some way to go.

The government must immediately prioritise a hearts-and-minds approach. The focus of the war now should be on combatting the ideology of Boko Haram; there should be an emphasis on healing trauma in a society scarred by the violence.

And while the path of dialogue is a difficult journey, the idea of peace through negotiation must not be jettisoned.

by:

IDAYAT Hassan

Director

 Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa (CDD)

Source : https://www.irinnews.org/opinion/2017/05/24/boko-haram-down-far-out

CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE NEXT EDITION OF THE WEST AFRICA INSIGHT PUBLICATION ON MOROCCO’S ACCESSION TO ECOWAS

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The Centre for Democracy and Development is inviting academics, policy makers, independent researchers and public analysts to submit a well-researched think piece of not more than 3,000 words on Morocco’s accession to ECOWAS for its latest edition of the West Africa Insight WAI).
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established on 28th May 1975 through the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, in Lagos, Nigeria, by Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The Community was established to promote economic cooperation and integration amongst its members. Initially, in 1964, President William Tubman of Liberia tried to establish cooperation between West African States. In February 1965, an agreement was signed among Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone but nothing came of this agreement. It took the intervention of General Gowon of Nigeria and General Eyadema of Togo to re-launch the initiative in April 1972 and this eventually led to the establishment of ECOWAS on 28th May 1975. According to the ECOWAS Treaty, The aims of the Community are to promote cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa in order to raise the living standards of its peoples, and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations among Member States and contribute to the progress and development of the African Continent.
Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, announced its interest through application to join ECOWAS in February 2017. Morocco’s desire to join ECOWAS may appear like the failure of the Arab Maghreb Union in the current framework; though, this may open more promising prospects. Over the years, Morocco has been establishing economic relationship with countries in the region. In all, the King of Morocco to States has visited the region 25 times of which Senegal was visited 8 times for economic reason. In Nigeria; for example, Morocco’s visits have led to collaboration with the government of Nigeria on fertilizers and oil and gas exploration and export.  Cote de Ivoire and Mali are said to be the highest beneficiaries of Morocco’s aid in the region. Following the application to the West Africa bloc, the country has been admitted in principle into ECOWAS.  However, ECOWAS is yet to work out the details of Morocco’s accession according to the President of Ivory Coast.  It is likely that a final decision will be made by the ECOWAS Heads of State during their next meeting which is scheduled to take place in Togo, December 2017.
Policy analysts and scholars in the region have expressed discordant opinions about Morocco accession since its announcement to join ECOWAS. On one hand, some examined this development as having economic benefit to the region. It has been argued that the emergence of Morocco as a member of ECOWAS bloc may give rise to a strong stimulus for exports in the region; the multiplier effect overall of the activity can be quite significant. Others have disputed the feasibility of including Morocco, who exercises a Monarchical form of government, into ECOWAS seeing that the West African regional bloc is an advocate of democracy.
WAI seeks to expand the knowledge flows on trends, innovations and challenges across West Africa by monitoring trends as they unfold and fill in the paucity of data on West African Affairs.
Intending authors are invited to submit their CVs and a full think piece of not more than 3,000 words on or before November 10, 2017 succinctly capturing the aim of the contribution. Submissions should be made electronically to iomoigiade@cddwestafrica.org before the due date.
 
 

The role of women in Countering Violence Extremism: the Nigerian experience with Boko Haram

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While many resources have been dedicated to Countering Violent Extremism efforts, little attention has been paid to the role women play in the Boko Haram insurgency and responses to it in Nigeria, says Idayat Hassan.
women_nigeria
The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), popularly referred to as Boko Haram, has been waging a war against the Nigerian state for the past seven years. The insurgency has claimed over twenty thousand lives, displaced over two million people, and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of personal and public property.
This insurgency and counter-insurgency (COIN) is being waged by three distinct actors: the government of Nigeria, Boko Haram, and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). While many resources have been dedicated to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts, little attention has been paid to the role women play in promoting or participating in the insurgency and counterinsurgency.
Of the aforementioned organisations, only Boko Haram and the CJTF have integrated gender into their terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts. Boko Haram has played on the common perception of women as nonviolent to effortlessly mainstream women into their operations, using them to gather intelligence, as recruiters, and promoters of radical ideologies to indoctrinate abductees and other converts in Boko Haram enclaves. In fact, the sects have allegedly preyed on women’s grievances relating to marginalisation, inequality, and alienation to recruit more women into its folds. In other cases, women are unwilling perpetrators and are forced into becoming suicide bombers, sex slaves, and forced labourers.
There is a growing awareness on the significance of mainstreaming women into Prevention and Countering of violent extremism (P/CVE). The UN Security Council in several of its resolutions has affirmed the importance of including women in P/CVE processes and their implementation. For instance, Security Council resolution 2129 reaffirms the Council’s objective to “increase its attention to women, peace and security issues in all relevant thematic areas of work on its agenda, including in threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”
The importance of women in the P/CVE process cannot be overemphasised as women occupy several twinning roles within the community, and their perception and reaction differs. However, the counter insurgency strategy in Nigeria so far has not seized the opportunity of women’s unique roles and, importantly, their perspectives in the prevention and countering of violent extremism [1].
The Civilian Joint Task Force
The CJTF was formed in June 2013 out of necessity. The motivations behind its creation were the frustrations of the people of Bornu, particularly young people. As the government’s campaign against Boko Haram intensified, hundreds of youth were caught in the crossfire of the military and Boko Haram, resulting in the arbitrary detention of several youths by security agencies. Later, the government issued a declaration of a state of emergency in the states of Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa, which resulted in extreme economic hardship for civilians, compounded by rampant killings of the locals by Boko Haram.
At present, the CJTF boasts between 25,000 – 36,000 members including both men and women [2] and presently operates as a pro-government paramilitary force, similar to the Sons of Iraq or Afghan Local Police (ALP). The CJTF, with its knowledge of local terrain, language, and intelligence gathering capabilities, has contributed largely to the successes [3] recorded so far in Nigeria’s counter-insurgency efforts.
The CJTF was the first to incorporate women into their counter-insurgency operations and currently have between 50-100 female members. Female members’ responsibilities include conducting pat-downs of women in churches, mosques and other public places, gathering intelligence, and arresting suspected female insurgents. The North East has experienced many attacks by Boko Haram, and through the efforts of the female CJTF members, several attacks have been prevented successful intelligence gatherings.
In an expose with female CJTF, members recounted their experiences in intelligence gathering, detecting Boko Haram members, and acting as bait. According to the women, they search women before they enter public places such as mosques, weddings or other festivals, most importantly because of the Islamic religious and cultural system which forbids non related men from entering women’ homes, the female CJTF members easily help in arresting female Boko Haram members in their abode[4].
In an interview with Daily Trust, Murjanatu Umar explained how they have been instrumental to the arrests of potential female suicide bombers and enlightenment campaign they run for women and girls on safety. According to one of the Sectors Commanders of the CJTF in Bornu State, Baba Shehu Abduganiu, women have effectively contributed to prosecuting the war against insurgency.
Human rights violations
Despite reported successes, there have still been over 100[5] suicide bombing so far executed by girls and women in the North East since Boko Haram commenced the use of female suicide bombers around June 2014. The CJTF has also committed grave and serious human rights violations, in particular extra judicial killings, arson, and sexual and gender based violence against women.
There are several reported cases of alleged rape of girls and women as well as reports of coerced sex for food and protection in the internally displaced person’s (IDP) camps. The female members of the CJTF have been singled out for perpetrating violence against other women in the course of carrying out their vigilante duties. In fact, all the actors in the prosecution of the war against insurgency have been indicted for perpetrating egregious human rights violations. It is important for the government to define what accountability for these crimes will look like post-insurgency, as blanket amnesty will not bode well for sustainable peace in Nigeria
Women and counter-insurgency
The Nigerian government has made no discernible efforts to integrate women in counter insurgency operations forgetting the fact that women were reputed enablers of the insurgents’ activities and therefore should constitute strong target in the deradicalisation, disarmament and reintegration processes considering their huge but different power base spanning the socio, economic, cultural and economic bases.
Although the country has developed a National Action Plan to fulfill UN Security Council Resolution 1325, this is not reflected in the ongoing armed conflict between the Nigerian state and Boko Haram. For example, while women and children are most affected by the insurgency, there are few women involved in COIN operations, with government forces estimated to be 98 percent male. This is largely responsible for the gender based violence ongoing in the IDP camps. For instance, there are rife allegations of women and girls being coerced into sex in return for food or other favours, as well as rape and assault, among other vices.
Following a recent report by Human Rights Watch on the molestation of women in the IDP camps, the Nigerian government has deployed 100 female police to Bornu State to protect women in the camps. According to the police commissioner Damian Chukwu, the deployment of the female police officers will ensure the protection of women.
Post-conflict palliatives
Most of the post-conflict plans for the North East do not include the role of women in the rebuilding or specify their needs. For instance, the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA) blueprint developed by the government of Nigeria, World Bank, and other development partners, conceptualises gender as a cross-cutting theme and while emphasising the importance of addressing gender-based violence never dedicated a specific portion of the plan to gender despite the impact of the insurgency on women and children.
Similarly, the 714 page Buhari Plan – the working document of the Presidential Committee on the North East (PCNI) – only emphasises gender based violence with palliatives such as economic empowerment and psychological support. The lack of substantial gender inclusion similarly applies to the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST). None of these blueprints have put women at the negotiation table nor do they work effectively at redressing the alarming gap in women’s participation in the governance processes that predates the insurgency. They have also not adequately explored the intersectionality between gender, peace, and security, and the centrality of gender in CVE and preventing violent extremism (PVE).
Furthermore, there is little or no local ownership of the P/CVE process and women have faced many challenges when trying to participate. Challenges include an overall lack of accountability within the process, trust deficit, lack of funding and access to funders, and trouble deciphering what P/CVE means exactly for effective programming within communities. A significant research gap continues to exist on women in CVE processes. It is time for the Nigerian government to take women’s issues and opinions more seriously.
The inclusion of women in P/CVE processes as well as peace and security matters writ large – as policy makers, negotiators, and as crafters of transitional justice mechanisms are valuable first steps towards building sustainable peace in Nigeria.
Recommendations:
Immediately prioritise the recruitment of women in the security forces particularly Nigerian Police Forces for post conflict reconstruction in the North East.

  1. Define the accountability mechanism for ensuring peace, justice, and reconciliation in the North East.
  2. Mainstream women effectively into all government and donor led reconstruction programs, donors should ensure funding is specifically appropriated to women’s participation.
  3. Strengthen the participation of women in political processes at local, state and national levels.
  4. The Nigerian government, the World Bank, and their other partners should commit to consulting with women around the post-insurgency governance process.
  5. International donors, multilateral agencies and the Nigerian government should provide resources to explore the intersectionality between gender, peace, and security, and the centrality of gender in P/CVE in North East Nigeria.
  6. The Nigerian Government should designate resources to psychological support for women and children.
  7. The government must make provide for at least 30 percent women representation in all post conflict reconstruction plans and committees.

 
[1] The lack of women representation in the P/CVE process itself prevents the messages from reaching the intended beneficiaries.
[2] Interview with CJTF state coordinator Abba Aji Kalil May 3rd, 2016, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
[3] The Nigerian government have declared a technical defeat on the insurgents, the areas captured by the insurgents equalling the size of Switzerland have so far been recaptured, ground zero, Sambisa forest, the enclave of the insurgents have also been captured by the government forces.
[4] Interview with CJTF, Centre for Democracy and Development, October 25, Maiduguri, Bornu State
[5] Centre for Democracy and Development Ecowas Counter terrorism tracker, see also Baseline on Boko Haram CDD forthcoming.
 
 
https://www.insightonconflict.org/blog/2017/03/role-women-countering-violence-extremism-nigerian-experience-boko-haram/
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Nigerians demand immediate action on transperacy, acoountability and your support for the fight against corruption

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

February 21, 2017
 
His Excellency
President of the Senate,
National Assembly Complex,
Three Arms Zone,
Abuja
 
NIGERIANS DEMAND IMMEDIATE ACTION ON TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
 
The National Assembly is an important arm in the triangular governance structure of Nigeria. As the arm of government responsible for making laws for the country, and following up with oversight functions to ensure compliance by other arms of government, the centrality of the National Assembly in a democracy cannot be overstated.
Within the National Assembly, the Senate is the lead chamber responsible for many important decisions of the law-making body. This also places the Senate President, as the Chairman of the National Assembly. It is for these reasons that we choose to address this letter to you, and by extension the 108 other Senators.
Recall that through individual citizens and coalitions of civil society organisations, Nigerians have for a long time been expressing desire for a National Assembly that is responsive, responsible and fully accountable to the people whose interests the members ought to represent.
However, with all the entreaties, advocacies and agitations, the Senate has failed to lead in providing the needed leadership for a more accountable system both within the National Assembly and in the larger governance architecture.
It is in furtherance of these agitations that we find it expedient to once again engage the Senate leadership on these pro-people demands as enumerated below:

  1. Opening-up the National Assembly budget to public scrutiny:

Transparency is key to operating an orderly and accountable system. It is an essential ingredient in the fight against corruption. It is for this reason that citizens in a democracy have a fundamental right to know and ask questions where necessary. For this same reason,Nigerians have been advocating for openness and accountability in the operations of government. It is commendable that the 8th National Assembly recently compelled such hitherto opaque agencies like FIRS, CBN and NNPC to subject their budget to scrutiny. It is, therefore, important that the National Assembly follows the rule it has set for other agencies and institutions by making its own budget open for public scrutiny.

  1. Cutting running cost:

The Senate has been accused of maintaining a bloated budget. Considering the prevailing economic situation in the country, we urge it to do an immediate review of its budget and spending, streamlining it in consonance with not only the present realities of the country but the everyday living conditions of majority of Nigerians.

  1. Commitment to transparency and accountability through asset declaration:

We urge you and other principal officers of the Senate to show commitment to transparency and accountability by publicly declaring your assets. We demand urgent status declaration of pensions and gratuities received by former Governors and Deputy governors presently in the Red Chamber and receiving multiple housing and transportation allowances both as former state executives and serving Senators. We also urge you as the leader of the National Assembly to set an example by making your declaration of asset public.

  1. Investigate allegation of corruption against the Senate leadership:

You would recall that a few weeks ago, a rights group, Citizens Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN) accused you, your deputy, as well the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy, of using the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to perpetrate financial fraud totaling over six hundred and thirty million Naira. For the sake of probity and the integrity of the Senate, we urge an independent inquiry into the allegations. Such unattended accusations have the unsavory effect of undermining the public standing of this important organ of governance.

  1. Demonstrate commitment to the fight against corruption:

One of the cardinal objectives of the current government of which you are a principal officer is the fight against corruption. You will agree that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is central to the government’s anti-corruption effort. As the leader of a Senate that has on several occasions expressed its commitment to the war against corruption, it is important that you put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that the issue of a substantive chairman for the EFCC is dealt with as expeditiously and transparently as possible.

  1. Expedite the passage of the Special Crimes Courts Bill and other anti-corruption related bills.

The objective of the Special Crimes Courts Bill,asstated in its title, is: “An Act to provide for the establishment of a Special Crimes Court as a superior court of record to allow for speedy trials of certain offences, including economic and financial crimes, terrorism, money laundering, corruption offences and for related matters.”The lack of passageof this bill and other related bills is delaying theadjudication of criminal cases. It is, therefore, imperative to have thesespecialized courts and other laws enacted in good time.

  1. Sir, we respectfully demand immediate action on the issues raised hereabove. These actions must go beyond the usual platitudes and politically correct assurances. This is a first step in pressing for these demands. We are, therefore, giving the Senate two weeks from the date of this letter, to show good faith in addressing the issues raised above.
  2. If the Senate fails to act swiftly on these issues, we will be left with no option but to mobilize Nigerians from all walks of life to mount an occupation of the Senate.

Do accept, distinguished Senate President, the assurances of our highest regards.
 
 
Signed:
Olanrewaju Suraju: Civil Society Network Against Corruption
Jibrin Ibrahim, PhD:
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani – Executive Director –Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Eze Nwagwu – Say No Campaign
Faith Nwadishi – Executive Director –Centre for Gender and Development
Yunusa Zakari Ya’u: Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
Chido Onumah – Coordinator –African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Naseer Kura – Executive Director – Basic Rights Action (BRA)
Debo Adeniran – Executive Director – Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)
Kemi Okenyodo: Partners WestAfrica, Nigeria
Ibrahim Modibbo – Executive Director – Democrats of Conscience
Shamsideen Yusuf  –Centre for Democracy and Development
Muhammed Attah – Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative
Dr.George-Hill Anthony – Niger-Delta Budget Monitoring Group
Dr. Bunmi Awoyemi – Citizen United for Peace and Stability (CUPS)
Emeka Betram – Executive Director – Person with Disabilities Action Network (PEDANET)

Why we don’t need a Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (CDCF)

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

My colleague at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) participated in the recent senate public hearing on the proposed Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (CDCF) Bill, which according to its sponsor; Senator Buhari Abdulfatai is aimed at executing projects that would promote government presence in each of the state constituencies.This Bill obviously is in conflict with the creation and functions of local government administration in the country.In Nigeria, constituency project has become a source of financing to those in authority, privileged enough to directly allocate the scarce resource, either to themselves or their cronies. Since the constituency project debate began, there have been a lot of myths, misunderstandings, and confusions about the constituency project administration in Nigeria.
The idea of a constituency fund committee to be supervised by the respective law maker is a misplaced role; arguably borne out by the desire by law makers to show visible evidence of “dividends of democracy” to their constituencies. The other is the claim by the law makers that they are well placed to know what their constituencies really want, this argument is defective. I think law makers, should know better that there is no constituency that solely belongs to them. For instance, the chairperson of a local government area is in-charge of that local area constituency; the governor of the state is in-charge of the state constituency. The Nigeria constituency falls within the purview of the President, who was elected by votes from every constituency in the country.Let me say that the duty of law makers is to make laws for the good governance of the country. The constitution has rightly provided that demarcation; which is called ‘separation of power’. There are three tiers of government, the executive, legislature and the judiciary, each having a specific role under the law. Nigeria is a federal state – national, state and local government administration – with each tier having specific exclusive or concurrent responsibility.
In our system of government, the local government authority is the true third tier of the country’s federalism. Among the functions of local government is the construction and maintenance of roads, streets, street lightnings, drains and other public highways, parks, gardens, open spaces, or such public facilities as maybe prescribed from time to time by the House of Assembly of a State. For me, these functions align with the aim of CDCF “executing projects that would promote government presence in each of the state constituencies.” Local government exists to be the government closest to the people, in which case, the tier that promotes government presence at each state constituency. Law makers cannot usurp constituency to them nor claim that they are closest to the people.
By introducing the law on constituency fund – which isn’t a very bad idea, but situating the supervision with the national assembly members is an obvious departure from the traditional constitutional role of the legislature under the doctrine of separation of powers, and usurpation of the role of the executive by the legislature. It is important to state, that the challenge of development in rural areas led to the creation of local government areas. Local government systems in the country has been incapacitated dues to conflicting laws and CDCF will be another reason while local government in the country hasn’t lived up to their expectation, in terms of rural development.
Let’s avoid another round of disputes between members of the executive and the law makers on the issue of inclusion of constituency projects in the budgets. In the past, budgets have been delayed because of the inclusion of constituency projects. Rather than create a CDCF, the law makers can ensure that the country’s local authority function optimally, by promoting laws that will engender true decentralization in the country. The law makers should promote laws that enhance the functionality of the local government system in the country.
Like CDD, I am also concerned that the Bill challenges the autonomy of the local government administration and I do not support the approach of the Bill to circumvent the strictly oversight role of the legislature stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
 
 
Austin Aigbe
@oaaigbe
aaigbe@cddwestafrica.org