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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.

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CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN NIGERIA – Impact Assessment Study

By Blog, Competitive Research, PublicationsNo Comments

Since the attainment of independence in 1960, civil society groups have contributed decisively towards enabling and enhancing national independence, for instance in the mobilizations against the Anglo Nigeria defense pact, judged to be against the national interest; as well as in the anti-structural adjustment program protests and movements under the military dictatorship of General Ibrahim Babangida. Civil society did what it could to hold the military governments accountable by organising citizens to demand the return to democracy in the 1990s. Since the return to civil rule in 1999, it has been in the forefront of constitutional reform processes to promote inclusion, participation, and improved quality of representation and governance.

As a result of the opening of the civic space brought about by the global wave of democratization and the increased international funding opportunities that came with it, developing countries in the past two decades, have witnessed the mushrooming of civil society organisations (CSOs). Most credible CSOs are primarily involved in advocacy or service delivery with some combining both. These represent diverse ideologies and while some are membership-based and exclusively concerned with issues of particular interest to their members, others adopt a broader approach, relative to their objectives, to either reform or transform the system.

More recently there has been a trend of CSOs either specifically established by the government to advance its interests or those that are co-opted to do so; what orthodox practitioners derogatorily refer to as government non-governmental organisations (GNGO). However, this abuse of the sector is not limited to governments as there have also been numerous cases of bad CSO actors not associated with governments.

However, on the whole community and state actors both acknowledge that civil society has made positive contributions towards ameliorating the sufferings of Nigerian. Evidence from existing literature, as well as findings from focus group discussions and key informant interviews existing literature, as well as findings from focus group discussions and key informant interviews undertaken for this project, show that CSOs have played and continue to play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s development in the past two decades.

It was noted that CSOs have increasingly stepped in to replace a receding, and in some cases, nonexistent state with respect to the delivery of basic, often life-saving, services. Key contributions identified included in the role they have played in humanitarian assistance; influencing policy towards more pro-people legislation; reshaping the attitudes of traditional and cultural practices; improving the publics awareness of human rights, providing economic support to agriculture and trade sectors; supporting skills acquisition initiatives; and support for internally displaced persons and communities. Finally, CSOs are also an important provider of well-paid jobs and employment opportunities.

The study found there to be an overwhelming consensus that civil society plays a complimentary role to the state. At the same time, it was noted that tensions in state-CSO relations do exists. These are often generated in the context of advocacy, and demands for transparency, accountability and the defence of human rights of citizens rather than around initiatives of service delivery. Whilst the state and CSOs work together on a regular basis, the reports findings underscore the need to also include private sector actors in wider development processes to address Nigeria’s myriad of challenges.

Further recommendations include the need for improved and more participatory community and citizen engagement strategies from CSOs; sustained efforts to build an understand between the state and civil society about how they can better work together and not as adversaries; a recognition by states like Nigeria to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens on a daily basis; and the need for domestic civil society groups to set the priority agendas for their countries, rather than have these imposed by external funders. Finally, efforts should be put in place by CSOs to initiate a commonly endorsed Peer Review Mechanism based on a voluntary code of conduct and of practice – for the purposes of mutual support, mutual learning, and strengthening transparency and accountability within the sector itself.

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China’s Multifaceted Influence On Africa’s Media

By Blog, PublicationsNo Comments

By Emeka Umejei

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been described as China’s most ambitious push
for a dominant role in global geopolitics and trade. Launched in 2013 by China`s President Xi Jinping the overarching goal of the BRI is to promote interconnectivity and partnership among countries along the ancient maritime silk road which spans Asia, Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The US-based Council on Foreign Relations estimates that 139 countries that have signed up to the BRI: 49 of the 54 African nations are signatories.1 In 2020, the African Union and China signed an agreement to promote the BRI in Africa, becoming the first agreement signed between China and a regional body to jointly promote the initiative. The BRI has three fundamental objectives: to explore drivers of global growth in the post–great recession era, to rebalance globalization, and to create new models for regional cooperation in the twenty-first century. It is underpinned by five components: policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The people-to-people segment is where media sits in the ecology of the BRI.

An action point from the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar in 20212 was for the two sides to “actively promote exchanges and cooperation in the field of press and publication”. But the going out’ campaign of the Chinese media was first launched in response to the Western media’s framing of events leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This, along with China’s increasing bilateral trade with Africa, provided an important background to its media expansion on the continent. It was eager to counterbalance international media coverage of China’s engagement within Africa, that framed it as being driven by self-interest and a desire for natural resources. In 2007, with the objective to tell a different story of China-Africa relations and support from former prime minister, Wen Jiabao, who urged China to extend its cultural engagement with other countries, the country’s efforts to shape the African it was confirmed that Chinese media outlets going international would receive funding to enable them ‘present a true picture of China to the world. By 2006, the Africa regional editorial office of Xinhua News Agency had already relocated from Paris to Nairobi. But in 2010 it commenced mobile news delivery. These developments were followed in 2011 by the establishment of China Central Television – now renamed China Global Television Network (CGTN) – in Nairobi, the first and largest bureau of CGTN outside China. The following year saw the launch of the African edition of Xinhuanet, an online service of the Xinhua News Agency (XNA). The Economist estimates that China now spends as much as US$10 billion annually on its media internationalization project globally.


However, there are growing fears that Chinese media expansion into Africa is impeding freedom of expression4 and engendering limited professional autonomy among journalists. This, in part, accounts
for why Chinese presence in the media space on the continent continues to elicit widespread anxiety both
within the industry and among outside observers. While some express concern over the authoritarian
model employed by Chinese media, others are worried about how its narrative may impinge on, and
indirectly impact, the continent’s fragile democratic space.


On the whole, Chinese media outlets subscribe to a model of journalism that emphasizes ‘positive
reporting’ over the western model of ‘watchdog journalism’ that seeks to hold leadership to account.
This ‘positive reporting’ model of journalism entails collaboration between the media and government
which limits scrutiny of the latter’s actions. There are concerns that if Chinese media replicate this model
of journalism in West Africa democratic governance will be further threatened by authoritarian tendencies. But the expansion of Chinese media challenging dominant Western narratives about the continent and has sparked competition between China’s state led media and the Western media organizations for audience. African-focused broadcasting programmes such as the BBC’s Focus on Africa and CNN’s Inside Africa which started in 2012 and 2014 respectively, responded to the creation of CTGN and its two hours of dedicated Africa news bulletins, which began in Reflecting on these dynamics this paper will outline some of the key ways in which China engages and cooperates with African media operators and rather than months – perceived it to lack journalism content and viewed it more as an avenue for channeling China’s soft power.

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Russian Influence in West Africa

By Blog, General, PublicationsNo Comments

By Cheta Nwanze

The hands-off approach of the US towards the African continent under the Trump administration, that has continued under Joe Biden and the continuation of failing European influence has afforded Russia the space to step up. Initially by strengthening regional military forces’ capacity to respond to the threat of Islamist groups across west and central Africa. What Russia stands to gain asides from conflict diamonds and mining rights, its increased influence and the numbers required for key votes in the United Nations General Assembly. The long term effect of this, though, is that democratic gains in West Africa, and indeed the whole of the African continent, could be pegged back as more countries look towards Russia for support.


While China’s spending power on the continent is unmatched, Russian re-entry builds on historic socio-political ties which date back to the Cold War era. During the Cold War the Soviet Union provided arms to revolutionaries in places like Angola and Congo seeking to overthrow colonial governments and their “puppet” successors. The Soviet Union’s interest in exporting its brand of Marxist-Leninism did not just stop at military and ideological support. It expanded that core into a more social enterprise drive model: offering scholarships to a whole generation of African scholars, academics, technocrats
and soldiers to be trained in Soviet institutions. The adoption of socialist economics in many an African state was a clear example of this influence. With the collapse of the Soviet Union these African
“socialist” states were starved of moral and ideological support as Russia retreated.


However, Russia has recently shown a renewed interest in Africa.2 A meeting co-hosted by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which was held in Sochi, Russia in October 2019, marked the very first Russia-Africa Summit. At that summit, Putin told a gathering of African leaders that Russia was “not going to participate in a new ‘repartition’ of the continent’s wealth; rather, we are ready to engage in competition for cooperation with Africa”. Renewed Russian interest in Africa has focused on two main areas of support: economic cooperation and military support.

Military Manoeuvres

The West is increasingly reluctant to sell arms to West African state actors based on concerns over how the weapons could be used to violate human rights. In 2020, the UK parliament asked Downing Street to investigate human rights abuses by the Nigerian government3 and security agencies against citizens.
Securing weapons has been a challenge for state security forces in Nigeria’s northeast and northwest, and in the Liptako-Gourma region4, which borders Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Multiple reports have documented terrorists, operating as militia in these regions, carting away weapons after successful attacks on military facilities. This raises further concerns that arms could end up in the hands of non-state actors, who are even less accountable for their actions. The government in Moscow is less concerned about human rights given its record against its own people, and its continued
support for Soviet-era relics like Aleksandr Lukashenko in Belarus.


As the second-largest weapons producer in the world, Russia is a major supplier of arms to Africa: according to the think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 13% of Russian arms are sold to African countries. The weaponry sold is predominantly secondhand equipment, such as combat helicopters, aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems. During the two-day summit in Sochi in 2019, the Nigerian government signed a contract6 with Russia for the supply of twelve Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters, likely to be used in the fight against the jihadist movement, Boko Haram, in the northeast of the country. On 1 October 2021, Mali’s Interim Defence Minister Sadio Camara said that the country had acquired four helicopters, arms and ammunition from Russia in a contract agreed in December 20207 to support its armed forces in their battle with fighters linked to ISIL (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.
The inability of the modern state to find lasting solutions to the crisis has seen the country experience
three coups, with the latest happening early this year when the transitional government of Bah Ndaw was deposed by Col Assimi Goita who led last year’s coup that ousted deeply unpopular President Ibrahim
Boubacar Keita.


Russian private military contractors have also latched on to the security needs of West African states bordering the Sahel where Islamist insecurity is prevalent. In September 2021, a security deal between the mercenary Wagner Group, which is rumoured to have ties to the Kremlin, and the Malian state was agreed according to a report by Reuters. Under the terms of the deal, a thousand personnel are to be deployed to guard regime officials and their families with the Wagner Group paid an estimated 6 billion CFA francs ($10.4 million8) a month for its services. One security source working in the region said the mercenaries would also train the Malian military and provide protection for senior officials. An arrangement that angered French officials given its long-standing military support to the country. But anti-French sentiments in the Sahel have been rising among citizens9 given the inability of French troops stationed in the area to stem violence attributed to the Islamists.

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PRESS STATEMENT TO COMMEMORATE THE AFRICAN UNION ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY

By Blog, Conflict, News, PublicationsNo Comments

THEME: “STRATEGIES AND MECHANISMS FOR THE TRANSPARENT

MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 FUNDS”

The Centre for Democracy and development is pleased to join the Africa Union and its
esteemed governments, as well as other stakeholders in commemorating this year’s African
Union Anti-corruption Day, slated for 11th July 2022. The theme “Strategies and Mechanisms
for the Transparent Management of Covid-19 Funds” is not only apt, but very important at
this time as it seeks to draw global and continental attention to the need to address a
disturbing corruption problem associated with Covid-19 pandemic which severely tasked
many economies and brought social and even political dislocations in Africa.
CDD commends all African countries that have signed and ratified the African Union
Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) which was adopted in
Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003 and came into force in 2006. CDD also commends the
countries that have enacted laws and created independent anti-corruption agencies to tackle
corruption.


Corruption is still an unnerving problem in Africa and indeed the major cause of
underdevelopment. CDD urges all states to work towards complying with the provisions of
the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) and
indeed other similar multilateral instruments such as the UNCAC as well as relevant
international resolutions. There is also an urgent need for member states to collectively take
steps to diligently implement the recommendations of the Mbeki report on Illicit financial
flows which found that the African continent suffers an annual loss of over $50 billion as of
2015 through illicit financial flows (IFFs). That figure has since risen to over $80 billion. It is
pertinent to note that through corruption and mismanagement, some of the Covid-19 funds in
Africa may have become a source of illicit financial flows to countries in the North.


It also remains concerning that national and continental transparency initiative and efforts to
stem the unbridled illicit financial flows from Africa to the Northern hemisphere has been
embroiled in complex international politics. While noting that the problem of illicit financial
flows cannot be solved post-haste, Africa must continue to stand together and push for a
world order that discourages resource and trade price manipulation structured to fritter
resources from Africa and keep the continent perpetually undeveloped. Corruption and illicit
financial flows are twin evils which continue to constrain Africa’s progress and development.
Regrettably, the utilization of Covid-19 funds has also become a major source of Africa’s
corruption conundrum.

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Le Mali, la France et nous

By Blog, Conflict, Coup, Politics, PublicationsNo Comments

Depuis quelques mois, un nombre croissant d’organisations de la société civile et de classes
politiques et intellectuelles africaines manifestent fréquemment leur désapprobation des
politiques de la France dans ses anciennes colonies, singulièrement le Mali qui, depuis une
décennie, est en proie à une menace terroriste et irrédentiste existentielle.
Cet article présente un examen de la toile de fond, des circonstances, causes, dynamiques, et
enjeux de l’acrimonieuse épreuve de force qui oppose le Mali et la France depuis Mai de l’an
dernier lorsque leurs relations se dégradèrent brusquement. Il est suggéré que, tout compte fait,
les promoteurs de la « démocratie et du développement » en Afrique se doivent d’accorder le
bénéfice du doute aux dirigeant de la Transition dont la décision de secouer le statu quo des
relations sécuritaires avec la France semblent avoir secoué dans ses fondations, et est susceptible
de saborder, la Françafrique. Cependant, cette solidarité doit s’accompagner d’une vigilance
méticuleuse afin que la Transition aboutisse à un État sécurisé, stable et véritablement en voie de
démocratisations.

Quitting Banditry, Exiting Conflict: Pathways, Options and Way Forward

By Blog, Human Rights, PublicationsNo Comments

Since 1999 Nigeria has conducted periodic elections and in 2015 witnessed the first democratic transfer of power from one political party to another. This democratic progress has seen the expansion of the frontiers of political participation and provided citizens with an opportunity to expand civic engagement. At the same time these developments have been challenged by increasing poverty, unemployment and conflict. From Boko Haram in the northeast; to the secessionist violence of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in southeast; to the oil bunkering activities of Niger Delta militants; to the prevailing ethno-religious tensions and conflict in north-central; and the violent armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in the northwest, Nigeria is beset by insecurity. These violent conflicts continue to push the country towards failure, collapse and even disintegration.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has taken a leading role in nurturing Nigeria’s democracy through cultivating peaceful co-existence, supporting conflict resolution and peace-building and aiding conflict mitigation effort. One of its key strategies for achieving this objective has been sustained community engagement. This is again at the heart of its approach to supporting efforts to reduce the threat of conflict in Nigeria’s northwest. As part of ongoing interventions a two-day community engagement and roundtable event was organised on ‘Quitting Banditry, Exiting Conflict: Pathways, Options and the Way Forward’ in Sokoto. Its key objective was to generate ideas regarding possible pathways and policy options to address the violent armed banditry in the geo-political zone.

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VACANCIES AT CENTRE FOR DEMOCRACY & DEVELOPMENT

By Job Vacancy, Publications, Vacancies5 Comments

VACANCIES

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 organization. The organization aims at mobilizing global opinion for democratic development and provides an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratization and development process in West Africa. CDD envisions a West Africa that is democratically governed, economically integrated – promoting human security and people centered development. Since its inception, the Centre has remained focused on capacity building work, policy advocacy, and as a research reference point on democratic governance, human security, people-centered development, and human rights. The Centre is advertising for the following positions in its Maiduguri office:

JOB LOCATION: MAIDUGURI

  • Administrative/Finance Assistant
  • Qualifications and Skills

  • BSc. In business administration, management, finance, or related degree
  • A minimum of 1 years’ experience working as an administrative/finance assistant.
  • Working knowledge of accounting software, such as QuickBooks.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and ability to perform tasks with accuracy and efficiency in mind.
  • Excellent analytical skills and financial prowess.
  • Good organisational and time-management skills.
  • Strong team player with solid communication skills.
  • High levels of integrity and ability to handle confidential information.

Admin responsibilities:

  • Assist with the maintaining the front desk
  • Answer and direct phone calls
  • Schedule and coordinate meetings, appointments, and travel arrangements
  • Assist in the preparation of regularly scheduled reports such as weekly and monthly reports
  • Assist in the planning and control of inventories through accurate tagging system.
  • Maintaining records of all assets to ensure proper tracking of assets movement and assignments.
  • Maintain vendor contacts, do market surveys, identify viable vendors, and receive quotations and invoices from vendors.
  • Order office supplies
  • Produce and distribute correspondence memos, letters, faxes, and forms
  • Resolve administrative problems and inquiries
  • Book travel arrangements and other logistics for existing projects
  • Submit and reconcile expense reports
  • Reproducing documents with the photocopying machine, Binding of documents
  • Raise payments and ensure proper disbursement to beneficiaries.
  • Inspection of hotels to make reservations for lodging and hall for workshop/trainings.
  • Provide logistics and finance support for trainings, workshops, and meetings
  • Data collection during workshop/trainings, seminars, and town hall meetings
  • Responsible for the proper Finance /Administrative electronic and hard copy filling systems.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by management.

Finance Responsibilities

  • Raising of cheques and preparation of payment vouchers
  • Proper filing of documents both in funders file and general office documentation
  • Proper registration and delivery of cheques to appropriate personnel
  • Disbursement and general handling of petty cash
  • Preparing financial retirement to funders
  • Preparing payment vouchers and raising of cheques
  • Updating financial records and ensuring compliance with internal control procedures.
  • Carrying out bank reconciliations
  • Disbursing cash to training participants and reconciliation thereof.
  • Preparing of Budget
  • Liaise with the headquarters office on financial matters
  • Other duties as may be assigned from time to time
  • Communications officer:

Qualification/Skills

  • B.Sc or HND in Information Communication, Computer Science or any other related field with a minimum of 1 year experience 
  •  Excellent English writing and Communications skills 
  • Strong writing and editing skills 
  • Superior admin and organizational skills 
  • Proficiency in MS suite of Programme
  • Knowledge of social media including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
  • Familiarity with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, basic HTML, and other web design tools is strongly recommended
  • 3-5 years relevant experience in Communication and Media as well as IT
  • Quality experience in the use of social media and digital platforms.
  • Higher qualification in Communication and Media would be an added advantage.
  • Relevant experience as a Communications and Media practitioner with any agency or NGO is an asset.
  • Exceptional communication skills, interpersonal skills and ability to operate with little or no supervision.
  • Good team building qualities with excellent writing skills.
  • He/she must be highly computer literate with a good knowledge of all Micro Soft office tools as well as effective handling and operation of online tools and portals.
  • Good visibility enhancement skills and Ability to engage actively via social media.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide support to the organisation on all communication activities.
  • Assist in the development and dissemination of communication prints and audio-visual materials.
  • Provide media relations support for all staff of the organisation including responding to requests and gathering input for talking points.
  • Provide support to the organisation’s public campaigns and events.
  • Assist in Design and creation of social media content as well as content for all communication channels (website, social media, Basecamp, Mailchimp, Adobe Creative e.t.c)
  • Support in planning, monitoring, and reporting of communication activities.
  • Assist the programm unit in implementing planned communications activities.
  • Support in the production of the Newsletters, Annual reports and editorial series for Publications.
  • Assistant Programmes Officer

Qualification/Skills

  • Bachelor of Social Science Degree / or any other related degree
  • Experience with large complex organization is required, familiarity with international NGOs preferred.
  • Post basic qualification in Program Management will be an added advantage
  •  3 or more years’ experience in development work is an added advantage

Responsibilities

  • Assists in overall programme development by contributing to the development and production of annual Action Plan and other corporate plans.
  • Responsible for the delivery outputs of specific projects through direct input into project activities from conception to implementation.
  • Ensure the provision of accurate, up-to-date information on individual projects to relevant stakeholders within the organisation and amongst external institutions, in accordance with statutory, management and reporting requirements.
  • Participate in the preparation of budgets for activities within the relevant programme portfolio
  • Undertake appropriate research and advocacy activities in relation to programme responsibilities.
  • Fundraising & Reporting
  • Assist in generating funding proposals in accordance with the overall strategic plan of the organisation
  • Assist in the production of regular project monitoring and evaluation documents
  • Information, Advocacy & Communication
  • Contribute appropriately to the information, communication and advocacy work of the Centre, including external representation (by permission).
  • Ensure effective internal communication between relevant programme area/project responsibilities and other sections of the organisations
  • Any other task that may be assigned from time to time

Note: Persons with disabilities and females are strongly advised to apply

All interested applicants should forward a one page application plus a maximum 3 page CV (in one document) to recruitment@cddwestafrica.org on or before Friday 15th July, 2022. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

We are an equal opportunity employer of labour committed to feminist principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Is Nigeria’s Economy in Better Shape than in 2015 as Claimed by President Buhari?

By 2023 Elections, Blog, Constitution, Fact Check, Fake News, Food for thought, News, PublicationsNo Comments

Verdict: FALSE

CLAIM:

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with international news outfit Bloomberg  said his administration will be leaving Nigeria in better shape than it met it in 2015. The president also stated that he is leaving Nigeria’s economy better than he met it in 2015 when he assumed office.

According to the president, “We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden, for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.”  

Verification Process:

Although the President made extensive comments on different sectors, CDD/Daily Trust verified his claim on the economy, and found out that what the president said were largely false.

Verifying the president’s claim, Daily Trust analysed key economic indices which meet the World Bank’s criteria to ascertain whether an economy is performing or not. These criteria include inflation, debt level, exchange rate, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment rate and distribution of natural resources.

Inflation

Nigeria’s inflation rate in 2015 was a single digit of 9.01 per cent. A breakdown of inflation figures year on year showed that inflation rate at the end of 2015 was 9.01 per cent. In 2016 at the thick of the recession, it skyrocketed to 15.68 per cent. In 2017, it further moved up to 16.52 per cent. It however slowed to 12.09 per cent in 2018 and later 11.40 in 2019.

It again rose to 15.75 per cent in December 2020 which is the highest recorded in the past three years.

In 2021, inflation rate rose for the first time in eight months to 15.63 per cent, the reason attributed to the high yuletide spending.

Subsequently, the latest Consumer Price Index report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that Nigeria’s inflation rose to 15.7 per cent in February from 15.6 per cent in January.

Inflation rose to its highest level since 2017, rising from 16.82% recorded in April 2022 to 17.71% in May, according to the recently released Consumer Price Index report, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Debt

On debt level, as of 2015 before President Buhari took over power, Nigeria’s debt revenue stood at N8.8 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office

However, recent statistics from the DMO showed that Nigeria’s debt skyrocketed from N8.8 trillion in 2015 to N41 trillion as at June 2022. This represents an increment of over 500 per cent,

The country’s debt rose from N39.56 trillion in December 2021 to N41.60 trillion in the first three months of 2022 alone.

Fuel prices

In the same vein, checks by CDD/Daily Trust show that fuel price at the Buhari government’s inception stood at N87 per litre. As at May 2016, it had moved from N145 per litre representing a 66 per cent increase.

In 2020, it was further reviewed upwards to N162 per litre. The same year, the product sold for between N165 per litre and N220 per litre at the fueling stations. This was further compounded by the unavailability of the product with the major oil marketers saying they could not continue selling fuel at N165 per litre.

Exchange rate

In 2015 when President Buhari assumed office, the dollar was exchanging at N198/$ in the parallel market. By 2018, it was N306 to the dollar, and in 2019 it went up to N360 to the dollar and eventually exchanged at N520 in 2021.

From 2021 till date, the dollar at the parallel market is exchanging for between N600 to N610 as a result of the recently concluded party primaries where delegates were said to have been bribed with dollars.

Unemployment

Nigeria’s unemployment rate at the last quarter of 2015 stood at 10.4 per cent according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure went up to 14.2 per cent at the end of 2016. At the end of 2017, it moved up to 20.42 per cent. It moved up to 23.1 per cent in 2018 and the latest figures from the NBS indicate that unemployment rate now stands at 33.3 per cent.

Gross Domestic Product

A breakdown of the GDP figures from the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank from 2015 to 2020 shows that Nigeria’s GDP in 2015 when President Buhari assumed office stood at $486 billion; it declined to $404 billion when the country slipped into recession.

In 2017, GDP figures further declined to $375 billion. However in 2018, as the economy began to recover, the figures improved to $397 billion. In 2019, the figure surged to $448 billion.

By 2020, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected virtually every sector of the world economy, Nigeria’s GDP figures declined to $432 billion.

The GDP figures were estimated to have risen to $440 billion in 2021, with 3.98% growth of the economy even though official figures by the World Bank are still being expected.

Conclusion:

Verifying the key economic parameters that determine if an economy is in a good shape, checks by CDD/Daily Trust show that the key economic indices as at 2015 were better than what is obtainable currently. As such, the claim by President Buhari that he is leaving a better economy for Nigerians is FALSE.

FACT CHECK: Did Arthur Eze Promise to Mount 200,000 Cameras In All Polling Units?

By 2023 Elections, Blog, Election, Fact Check, Fake News, PublicationsNo Comments

Verdict: FALSE

CLAIM:

A screenshot making the rounds claims that the founder and Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, Prince Arthur Eze, has volunteered to mount 200,000 cameras in all the polling units in Nigeria.

It reads: “Presently one of the richest Africans and Prince Arthur Eze has volunteered to mount 200,000 cameras all over polling units in Nigeria and has said that he won’t be alive for Peter Obi to be rigged out. He also said yesternight that he is donating first installment of $500 million to Obi campaign organization, wahala be like bicycle, we go shake Nigeria. Thanks Ozoigbondu.”

Verification Process

Currently there are 176,846 polling units across Nigeria as mapped out and demarcated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This number is in contrast with the planned 200,000 cameras for all polling units stated in the claim.

Probing further, available information shows that one may pay about $600 to install four or more wireless cameras, a recording system, and Cloud and Smart capabilities. Analyzing this number and cost, it is established that the cost of setting up 200,000 cameras is equivalent to $3 million.

According to multiple sources, Arthur Eze’s net worth is estimated to be around $5.8 billion. Although the amount for installation of the cameras including the claim on donating $500 million for Obi’s presidential campaign would not be difficult for Prince Eze to provide, it should be noted that he did not make the claim as circulated by social media users and blogs.

Conclusion

CDD/Daily Trust can confirm that there is no evidence that Prince Arthur Eze made the claim. The information should be disregarded by members of the general public.

FACT CHECK: Did APC Not Engage In Vote Buying As Ekiti Governor-Elect Claimed?

By Blog, Constitution, Election, Fact Check, Fact Checks, Fake News, General, News, Publicaitons, PublicationsNo Comments

VERDICT: FALSE

Claim:
The Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has claimed that the All Progressives Congress did not engage in vote buying during the June 18, 2022 governorship election which held in the state.
Oyebanji made the claim on Monday while briefing State House correspondents after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by some party big-wigs led by the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, following his victory in the Saturday poll.


He said that as far as he was concerned, his party did not buy votes, while adding that he did
not witness the development in the polling unit where he voted in Ikogosi, Ekiti West LGA.


The governor-elect said he won the election based on the performance of the outgoing
administration in which he played a prominent role.

Verification Process:

In a bid to ascertain the veracity of the claim, Daily Trust looked at several reports by independent and non-partisan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media who observed the election.

While some of the reports revealed in details the parties involved in voter inducement along with their locations and amounts involved, some others generally agreed to the fact that there was vote-buying across party lines.

According to the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) who was on the ground to observe the election, its observers documented 41 instances of vote buying and selling at polling units in LGAs like Ado-Ekiti, Ijero, Ikole Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ise/Orun and Moba.

The statement noted that one of the observable patterns of vote buying was the collection of cash in brown envelopes, which was apparently meant to disguise the content of the envelopes in order to avoid arrest by the anti-corruption agencies.

Also, in a post-election statement issued by another independent observer group, Yiaga Africa, vote buying was reported by its observers in ​​Alowodolu/Ojo – The Apostolic P.S Compound with PU code 13/09/04/00 in Ijero Ward D of Ijero LGA.

“Party agents from APC were reportedly sharing N7,000 to voters who showed how their ballot paper was marked. A similar report on vote-buying by APC was received from Open Space At Bamitale Along St. Mary’s Road in Ikere.

“Also, in Ogidi – in Ipoti Ward A, party agents from PDP and SDP were seen bribing voters. At ​​C. A. C. Gramm. Sch. / Ola Oluwa II with PU code 014 in Ado-Ekiti, APC party agent was also reportedly giving N5,000 to voters who confirmed they had voted for the party,” it stated.

Conclusion

Based on evidence contained in reports groups that observed the governorship election, it is not true that the APC didn’t engage in vote buying as claimed by Oyebanji.

Regional Consultation Strengthening Reparation Measures In Transitional Justice Process In The ECOWAS Region 

By Fact Checks, PublicationsOne Comment

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), in collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, organised a regional consultation on ‘Strengthening Reparation Measures in Transitional Justice Process in the ECOWAS region’ from 25 to 26 January 2022 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. The purpose of the meeting, which brought together experts on transitional justice from across the region, was to better understand how reparation measures can be responsive to the needs of victims and the restoration of social equilibrium. It was also a chance to map out strategies for the integration of human rights-based approach in the design and implementation of reparation measures in member states.

Regional Consultation On Strengthening The Role Of Legal Practitioners And Justice Stakeholders In Transitional Justice Process In The Ecowas Region 

By Fact Checks, PublicationsNo Comments

In collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa) organised a ‘Regional Consultation on Strengthening the Role of Legal Practitioners and Justice Stakeholders in Transitional Justice Process in the ECOWAS region’ from 5 to 6 October 2021 in Accra, Ghana. Its objective was to assess the role of legal practitioners and other justice stakeholders in the development and implementation of transitional justice mechanisms and processes in both post-conflict and ongoing conflict settings, as well as to examine judicial practices in the promotion of accountability, healing, social cohesion, and justice to strengthen transitional justice mechanisms in the region. The meeting brought together legal practitioners and stakeholders, including several members of the West African Bar Association.

Regional Strategy Meeting on Enhancing Traditional Justice in Traditional Justice Process In The Ecowas Region

By Fact Checks, PublicationsNo Comments

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), in collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, organised a regional strategic meeting on ‘Enhancing Traditional Justice Mechanisms in Transitional Justice Process in the ECOWAS Region’ from 27 to 28 January 2022 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. The objective of the meeting was to enhance traditional justice measures in justice dispensation and foster reconciliation and peace in post-conflict societies in member states.

Multiple Nodes,Common Causes: National Stocktake of Contemporary Insecurity and State Responses in Nigeria 

By Fact Checks, PublicationsNo Comments

The Nigerian body politic faces a seeming epidemic of insecurity spanning jihadist insurgency, criminal banditry, farmer-herder conflicts, and violent separatist agitations. While governmental responses have overwhelming followed a militarised path to resolving these multifaceted conflicts, such interventions do not appear to have substantially diminished insecurity. 

REQUIEM FOR DEMOCRACY

By Fact Checks, Publications

On September 5, 2021, the military ended the eleven-year ‘reign’ of Alpha Conde in Guinea. The coup was led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the head of Guinea’s Special Forces. The military have since received assurances of cooperation from the major opposition party, the National Alliance for Change and Democracy (ANAD), and the Convergence for Renewal and Democracy in Guinea (COREDE) led by Mamadou Sylla. The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) which was the foremost organization contesting Conde’s illegitimate tinkering of the constitution for a third term in 2020 have also announced support for the military leadership. These declarations of support have largely echoed popular sentiment amongst Guineans who had grown frustrated with the leadership of Conde and the manipulation of the electoral process to keep him in power.

BENIN’S FAKE NEWS ECOSYSTEM: An Overview

By Publications

La propagation des fausses nouvelles ou infox, appelées ‘’fake news’’ chez les Anglo-Saxons, a pris une ampleur inquiétante et dévastatrice au Bénin au cours de la dernière décennie. La flambée de la circulation des fausses nouvelles a coïncidé avec l’augmentation du taux de pénétration de l’internet, la croissance du parc internet mobile et l’émergence des réseaux sociaux. La présente étude abordera des questions telles que les
effets de la démocratisation de l’internet et des smartphones sur l’écosystème de l’information au Bénin, la production et la propagation des infox, les principaux acteurs impliqués, l’ampleur de leurs conséquences sur l’ordre social et politique, l’impact sur le genre et les réponses locales au
problème.

Burkina Faso's fake news ecostem

BURKINA FASO’S FAKE NEWS ECOSYSTEM: An Overview

By Publications
Burkina Faso's fake news ecostem

l’image de la situation dans les autres États, les fausses informations font aujourd’hui partie intégrante de l’écosystème de la circulation de l’information au Burkina Faso. Ces fausses informations côtoient les vraies informations dans un contexte marqué par le développement des réseaux sociaux numériques et internet de façon générale.

Dans cet environnement, tandis que les médias en ligne se créent à un rythme foisonnant, les médias traditionnels s’exercent de plus en plus sur internet, parce que la majorité des consommateurs de l’information s’y retrouvent. Manquant d’une culture de la vérification systématique de l’information, les acteurs de la presse contribuent à relayer des fausses informations souvent fournies par les acteurs gouvernementaux lors de l’animation des conférences de presse ou des interviews. À côté des acteurs de la presse et des gouvernants, les influenceurs et/ou lanceurs d’alerte ont conquis une place centrale dans cet environnement de la circulation de l’information, rendant ainsi complexe le contrôle des fausses informations qui touchent non seulement l’espace public, mais aussi la vie privée.

TOGO’S FAKE NEWS ECOSYSTEM: An Overview

By Publications
Togo’s Fake News Ecosystem: An Overview

Les fausses nouvelles sont un phénomène qui n’épargne pas le Togo à l’instar d’autres pays du monde. Il importe donc d’essayer de comprendre les mécanismes qui gouvernent leur rapide diffusion pour trouver les voies de mitigation. L’écosystème de l’information au Togo est composé de deux branches : les médias traditionnels (la presse écrite, la radio, et la télévision traditionnelle) et les nouveaux médias (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et la presse en ligne, la web radio et la web télé). Les médias légalement constitués et installés au Togo ont une faible propension à publier des fausses nouvelles bien que quelques uns y participent, souvent inconsciemment. Les médias traditionnels, notamment la radio et la télévision, représentent les canaux les plus crédibles pour infirmer ou confirmer une information qui pourrait sembler suspecte. Cependant, la presse en ligne est le maillon faible en ce qui concerne la diffusion des fausses nouvelles et les réseaux sociaux l’amplificateur ou le principal vecteur de diffusion. Les principaux acteurs qui jouent un rôle dans la création et la propagation des fausses nouvelles au Togo sont les influenceurs, les acteurs politiques et dans une certaine mesure les professionnels de l’information même. Covid-19 et la politique sont les deux domaines où les fausses nouvelles ont réellement été prépondérant ces dernières années. Le Togo n’a ainsi pas échappé à l’avalanche globale de fausses nouvelles qu’a générée la pandémie. Certaines ont été importées, mais d’autres sont également nées sur place. Nous avons l’exemple
de l’annonce de la fermeture de l’aéroport de Lomé en raison d’un cas présumé de Covid-19, alors qu’en vérité aucun cas n’avait encore été détecté au Togo. La vie politique en général et l’élection présidentielle de 2020 en particulier ont par ailleurs été un terreau fertile pour les fausses nouvelles. L’affaire « des cuillères dorées » dans laquelle le journal « L’Indépendant Express » faisait cas de deux ministres ayant été interpellées pour vol de cuillères dorées à la sortie d’un banquet organisé par une institution bancaire internationale. D’autre part, durant la campagne électorale l’humoriste « Gogoligo » avait publié ne photo du candidat Faure Gnassingbé faisant une accolade à une personne qu’il a présentée comme la mère de l’opposant politique Tikpi Atchadam. Ces deux affaires se sont révélées fausses.