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Boko Haram - Centre for Democracy & Development

Salim Sani Zakariyya Ba Dan Boko Haram Bane

By Fact Check

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Litinin, 12 ga watan Afirilun shekara ta 2021, masu tantance sahihancin labarain na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano wani jawabi da wani mai amfani da shafin Twitter mai lakabin @UchePOkoye ya wallafa. Jawabin na dauke da hoton Salim Sani Zakariyya kuma anga wani rubutu a jikin hoton kamar haka: “Dan Boko Haram Da Ake Nema Ruwa-a-Jallo”.

Wannan jawabi da shi Uche P. Okoye ya wallafa akan Salim Sani Zakariyya na danganta shi da Boko Haram ya biyo bayan gargadi ne da Salim din ya yi masa game da yada labaran karya jim kadan bayan shi Okoyen ya ce Ministan Sadarwa Dr. Isa Ali Pantami yan cikin jerin yan ta’adda da Amurka ke nema.

Okoye ya wallafa labarin da aka yi ta yama-didi akansa da wata jaridar yanar gizo mai suna NewsWireNGR ta wallafa cewa Isa Ali Pantami na cikin yan ta’addan da kasar Amurka ke nema saboda alakar sa da wadda ya assasa kungiyar Boko Haram, marigayi Mohammed Yusuf.

Gaskiyar Al’amari:

Binciken da CDD ta gudanar ya gano cewa Salim Sani Zakariyya bashi da alaka da kungiyar Boko Haram. Binciken ya kara gano cewa Salim Sani Zakariyya baya cikin jerin wadan da Rundunar Sojin Najeriya ta wallafa a matsayin yan Boko Haram da take nema, wannan kuma kai tsaye yana karyata ikirarin da Mr. Uche yayi wa Salim din a jawabin day a wallafa a shafin sa na Twitter.

Zuzzurfan nazarin da CDD ta kara aiwatarwa ya gano cewa Mr.Okoye (@UchePOkoye) ya samu hoton Salim ne daga shafin Twitter na Salim din inda ya yi rubutu ajikin hoton day a zayyana shi Salim a matsayin dan Boko Haram da ake nema ruwa a jallo.

Da CDD ta tuntube shi, Salim Sani Zakariyya ya ce ya yi mamakin abinda Mr. Okoye ya yi masa dan kawai ya gargade shi kan yada labaran bogi.

Salim yace: “nayi mamaki yadda aka dauki hoto na kuma aka yi rubutu ajikin sa tare da bayyana ni a matsayin dan Boko Haram da ake nema ruwa a jallo, lallai wannan rashin adalci ne karara kuma abin takaici, abinda ya janyo haka shine gargadin da na yiwa shi Mr. Okoye game da yada labarin da bashi da tabbacin sa”

“Ganin cewa labarin da ya wallafa labari ne na bogi sai nayi tsokaci inda naja hankalin sa game da hakan amma kawai sai ya dauki hoto na rubuta cewa ni dan Boko Haram ne kuma ya yada a shafin sa”.

Kammalawa:

Wani hoto da ake yadawa a shafukan sada zumunta na zamani da ke bayyana Salim Sani Zakaraiyya a matsayin dan Boko Haram da ake nema ruwa a jallo hoto ne na bogi.

Wanda ke cikin hoton, Salim Sani Zakariyya ba dan Boko Haram bane, hoton sa kawai aka dauka a shafin Twitter akayi rubutu bayan ya janyo hankalin wani mai amfani da shafin “Uche P. Okoye (@UchePOkoye) game da yada labaran bogi.

CDD na jan hankalin jama’a kan tantance sahihancin labari kafin yada shi ga sauran mutane.

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labaran da kuke da shakku akan su dan tantance muku gaskiyar su ta hanyar aiko gajeren sako SMS ko ta manhajar WhatsApp akan lamba +2349062910568 ko a shafin Twitter ta wannan adireshi: @CDDWestAfrica

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Salim Sani Zakariyya Not A Boko Haram Suspect

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False

CLAIM:

On Monday, April 12, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a tweet made by a Twitter user @UchePOkoye with a picture of a young man, Salim Sani Zakariyya, and some inscription that read “Wanted, Boko Haram Suspect”.

Okoye’s tweet followed a viral story published by NewsWireNGR that Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has been placed on the United States of America’s terror watch list for alleged ties with Boko Haram founder, late Mohammed Yusuf.

FACT:

An investigation conducted by CDD shows that Salim Sani Zakariyya is not a Boko Haram suspect. A check through the list of Boko Haram suspects released by the Nigerian Military in the past shows that the young man was not listed as a suspected terrorist as claimed by Okoye in his tweet.

CDD’s investigation found that the Twitter user (@UchePOkoye) used Zakariyya’s profile picture from his Twitter handle to tag him as “Wanted Boko Haram Suspect” after Salim reacted to his tweet.

The Twitter user, Anambra 1st son (@UchePOkoye) had earlier tweeted:  “as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Isa Pantami has access to all of our data. A terrorist with our data is very dangerous and unacceptable!”

Salim Sani Zakariyya (@SalimbinSani) reacted to the tweet by drawing the attention of Okoye  against peddling fake news and a few minutes later his profile picture was taken and tagged as “Wanted Boko Haram Suspect”

When CDD contacted him, Salim Sani Zakariyya said he was surprised at the reaction of the Twitter user.

He said: “I am surprised how I saw my picture in a tweet and I was portrayed as a Boko Haram suspect, this is seriously highly unfair if he disagrees with my suggestion on why he should not spread fake news so be it but to tag me as a Boko Haram suspect is unfair and unacceptable”

“I am graduate of Quantity Survey from Kano state Polytechnic and now work as a developer as a campaigner against fake news”

“I only quoted his tweet and cautioned him against sharing fake news and in return I got my picture tagged as “wanted Boko Haram Suspect”.

Conclusion:

The claim that Salim Sani Zakariyya has been declared “Wanted Boko Haram Suspect” by any security institution in the country is false.

Zakariyya’s picture was seen in a tweet identifying him as a wanted Boko Haram suspect is fake.

The phrase “Wanted Boko Haram Suspect” was added to the picture by a Twitter user @UchePOkoye following Zakariyya’s reaction to his tweet about sharing fake news on Isa Ali Pantami’s terror allegation.

The CDD urges members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report, especially on social media.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Shin Gwamna Zulum Ya Nada Aisha Bakari Gombi a Matsayin Mai Taimaka Masa ta Fannin Yaki Da Yan Boko Haram?

By Fact Check

Tantancewar CDD: Gaskiya Ne!

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Asabat, 19 ga watan Disamban shekara ta 2020, masu tantance sahihancin labarai na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano wani labari da majiyoyi da kafafen yada labarai da yawa suka wallafa, labarin yace, Gwamna Babagana Umara Zuum na Jahar Borno ya nada sananniyar yar farautar nan yar asalin jahar Adamawa, wato Aisha Bakari Gombi a matsayin mai taimaka masa ta musamman a fannin yaki day an kungiyar Boko Haram.

Majiyoyin da suka wallafa labarin sun hada da: Premium Times, AljazirahNews, JTV, The Niche NG da sauran wassu kafafen sana zumunta na zamani.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta aiwatar game da nadin sananniyar yar farautar a matsayin mataimakiya ta musamman ga Gwamna Zulum gaskiya ne.

Takardar nadin Aishan da sakataren din-din-din game da harkar gudanarwa da al’amuran yau da kullum, Danjuma Ali ya sanyawa hannu tace Gwamna Zulum ya amince da nadin jarumar.

Wani sashi na takardar nadin Aishan yace: “an nada ki ne bisa cancanta da kwarewarki dama sadukarwarki ga ayyukan al’umma”.

“muna fata zaki nuna sadaukarwa da jajircewa wajen aiwatar da aikin ki tare da bada gudummawa ga gwamnati dan cimma manufofin ta”.

Da CDD ta tuntunbe ta game da nadin nata, Aisha Bakari Gombi ta tabbatar da cewa Gwamna Zulum ya bata mukamin mai taimaka masa a fanni yaki da Boko Haram.

Aisha tace: “eh hakane, Gwamna Zulum ya nada ni mataimakiya ta musamman a fannin yaki da yan kungiyar Boko Haram, nan gaba za’a saka ranar da zan karbi takardar kama aiki a hukumance”.

Kammalawa:

Labarin da ake yadawa cewa Gwamnan Borno, Farfesa Babagana Umara Zulum ya nada sananniyar yar farautar nan, Aisha Bakari Gombi a matsayin mai taimaka masa a fannin yaki da yan Boko Haram gaskiya ne!

CDD tana karfafawa mutane gwiwa game da tantance sahihancin labarai kafin yada su. Kuna iya aikowa CDD labarai na tantance muku sahihancin su ta hanyar aika gajeren sako ko ta WhatsApp akan wannan lamba: +2349062910568 ko ta shafin Twitter a: @CDDWestAfrica @CDDWestAfrica_H

#AgujiYadaLabarinBogi

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-Check: Did Governor Zulum Appoint Female Hunter Aisha Gombi as Aide?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: True

CLAIM:

On Saturday, December 19, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy (CDD) spotted reports that the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, had appointed a female hunter, Aisha Gombi, as his aide on fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

The story widely published by online newspapers including Premium Times, AljazirahNews, JTV, The Niche NG and on social media said the appointment will take place with immediate effect.

FACT:

CDD’s investigation established that the claim is true. Aisha Gombi, Borno’s female hunter, has been appointed a Special Assistant to the Governor on fight against Boko Haram.

A letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Administration and General Services, Danjuma Ali, indicated that Gombi’s appointment was approved by the Governor and seen by the CDD.

The letter read in parts; “Your appointment is based on your personal merit, wealth of experience, dedication to duty and service to your community.”

“It is expected that you will uphold the dignity of your office and justify the confidence reposed in you by discharging the responsibilities diligently so as to achieve the full implementation of all government policies,” the letter added.

When contacted by CDD, the renowned female hunter, Aisha Bakari Gombi confirmed her appointment by the Borno governor.

She said: “It is true, I have been appointed an aide to Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum, a day will be fixed for me to formally receive the appointment”.

CONCLUSION:

The story that renowned female hunter, Aisha Bakari Gombi has been appointed by Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum as aide to the fight against Boko Haram is true.

CDD urges the public to always share story they verify.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica @CDDWestAfrica_H

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Ba’a Kaiwa Ayarin Motocin Gwamnan Borno Hari Ba

By Fact Check

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Ladi, 22 ga watan Nuwanban shekara ta 2020, masu bin diddigin sahihancin labarai na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano wani labari da jaridar Sahara Reporters suka wallafa inda sukace yan ta’adda sun kaiwa ayarin motocin gwamnan Borno, Farfesa Babagana Umara Zulum hari.

Kamar yadda labarin ya zayyana, yan ta’addan sunyi kwantan baune ne ga ayarin farko na motocin dake rakiyar Gwamna Zulum din a ranar Asabat, 21 ga watan Nuwanban shekara ta 2020 a Ja’alta dake kan titin Gajiram zuwa Munguno.

Labarin har wayau yace an kasha sojoji bakwai da jami’an tsaron kato-da-gora a lokacin da suke kan hanyar su ta zuwa Baga dake karamar hukumar Kukawa.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta gudanar ya gano cewa ba’a kawai ayarin motocin Gwamna Babagana Umara Zulum hari ba. Hasalima mai magana da yawun gwamnan, Isa Gusau yace babu wanda yakai musu hari.

A wata sanarwa da ya fitar, Gusau yace babu wanda ya fuskanci kowane irin hari tsakanin Gwamna Zulum ko ayarin motocin sa duk kuwa da cewa Sahara Reporters sun rawaito faruwar hakan, amma al’amarin bai faru ba.

Isa Gusau yace: “muna son mu tabbatar da cewa wani labari da wata kafar yada labarai ta yanar gizo ta wallafa cikin sigar ‘labari da dumi-dumin sa’ cewa an kaiwa Gwamna Zulum hari karya ne”

“kamar yadda jama’a suka sani Zulum mutum ne mai kallon abubuwa a yadda suke kuma fade su a yadda suke, a wannan karon babu hari da aka kai masa”

Kari akan bayanin Isa Gusau shie babu wata kafar yada labarai sahihiya da ta rawaito faruwar al’amarin, kuma wannan wata alama ce dake nuna rashin faruwar al’amarin.

Kammalawa:

Labarin da ake yadwa cewa an kaiwa ayarin motocin Gwamna Babagana Umara Zulum na jahar Borno hari karya ne. Har wayau labarin da jaridar Sahara Reporters ta wallafa cewa an kai hari ga jami’an tsaron dake baiwa Gwamnan kariya ne!

CDD tana jan hankalin jama’a game da yada labaran da basu da tabbacin sahihancin su. Kuna iya aikowa CDD labaran da kuke shakku akansu dan tantance muku ta hanyar WhatsApp ko gajeren sako ta wannan lamba +2349062910568 ko a shafin Twitter a: @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Governor Zulum’s Convoy Not Attacked By Terrorists

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False


CLAIM:
On Sunday, November 22, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim published by Sahara Reporters that the Governor of Borno, Professor Babagana Zulum’s convoy was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists.


According to the claim, the terrorists had ambushed the governor’s advance team on Saturday, November 21, at Ja’alta along Gajiram to Monguno Road.

The report also claimed that seven soldiers and members of Civilian-JTF were killed on their way to Baga in Kukawa local government area.


FACT:
Investigations carried out by fact-checkers at the CDD showed that the report that the Governor was ambushed by terrorists is false.


Denying the claim, Professor Zulum said he was not ambushed or attacked.
A statement by the Governor’s spokesperson, Isa Gasau, states that neither the Governor nor his convoy was attacked as claimed by Sahara Reporters.


Gusau said, “For the record, we write to quickly clarify that contrary to a ‘breaking news’ by an online news medium, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was neither attacked nor was any component of his convoy attacked by anyone.”


“As members of the public can testify, it is the culture and principle of Professor Zulum to say things as they are, and in this case, it is what it is- no attack whatsoever.”

Also, no other credible media organisation has reported the claim that the Governor or his convoy was attacked by terrorists

CONCLUSION:
The Governor of Borno, Professor Babagana Zulum was not attacked by Boko-Haram terrorists as claimed by the media organisation.

Also, his advanced security team were not ambushed as reported by Sahara Reporters.


The Governor denied the breaking news on his attack through his spokesperson Isa Gusau.


CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.


You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FACT-CHECK: Customs Did Not Issue Security Alert For FCT

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False

CLAIM

On Saturday, September 5, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a letter shared widely on WhatsApp stating that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had issued a security alert to residents of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory and its environs.

The statement which was shared in a PDF format titled; ‘Intelligence on National Security’ said information reaching the Comptroller General of the Service reveals the existence of Boko Haram terrorists camps in and around the FCT.

The letter written on a NCS’s letterhead said reports have it that the terrorists are planning to attack some selected targets within the FCT.

Copied to all NCS controllers and coordinators, the letter claimed that the terrorists have set up camps in five different locations across FCT, Nasarawa, and Kogi States.

FACT

Checks by CDD fact-checkers show that the NCS did not send a security alert to Nigerian or residents of FCT.

Speaking to CDD fact-checker on Monday, September 7, 2020, the spokesperson for NCS, Joseph Attah, said the service does not know the source of the letter being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Attah said: “We don’t know the source of that document.” Continuing, he said: “A security alert as sensitive and of such magnitude could not have been sent in that manner.”

Also, in a swift reaction to the claim, the Defence Headquarters released a statement signed by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Eneche, ensuring residents of the FCT of their safety.

Eneche said the DHQ in collaboration with other security agencies have been on red alert to ensure the safety of all residents and citizens.

He also said that the Nigerian Armed Forces has intensified effective surveillance of the FCT and other states to checkmate activities of the criminals.

“The Armed Forces in conjunction with other security and response agencies particularly the core intelligence agencies hereby assure the public that preventive and preemptive intelligence are ongoing,” Eneche said.

CONCLUSION

The Nigeria Customs Service did not issue a security alert to all residents of the FCT and its environs. The spokesperson for NCS told CDD that the document being shared across all social media platform did not emanate from the Customs.

CDD urges members of the public to remain vigilant and always verify all information before disseminating them.

You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

West Africa Speed Notes on Security

By Publication, Publications

Recently in Burkina Faso, the government reported an attack on a cattle market in eastern Burkina Faso by some unidentified gunmen during which about 20 people were killed. Similarly, about 25 people were also killed in an attack on another cattle market in the eastern village of Kompienga in May. These incessant killings raised ethnic and religious tensions in the country.
In the same vein, the murder of 8 people by armed men on motorcycles in the region of Kouré, East of Niamey, capital of Niger has been reported.

As revealed by Agence France-Presse, six were French nationals and confirmed staff members of ACTED a French humanitarian non-governmental organization; while two were Nigeriens, a driver and Khadri – a local guide and the president of the Kouré Giraffe Guides Association.

According to a humanitarian aid worker, they were not tourists but rather expatriates who had gone to explore the region for the day in a vehicle
of the organization, one of the few authorized trips outside the capital.

DOWNLOAD FULL SPEED NOTE HERE

Is the Nigerian Military recruiting ex- Boko Haram Fighters into the Army?

By Fact CheckOne Comment

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: CDD is in possession of a video released by Roots TV, an online platform; where one Mr Dalhatu Musa Ezekiel, a leader of the FCT indigenes’ Association was interviewed. In the 8 minutes long video, which has gone viral, especially on social media, including Facebook; YouTube and WhatsApp. In the video Mr Dalhatu alleged that the Nigerian Military is recycling insurgency by recruiting (ex) Boko Haram fighters into the Nigerian Army. According to him, ‘’20 years from now, officers of the Nigerian military will comprise of terrorists’’.

FACT: Our Fact-checkers traced the video to it source, posted on RootsTV facebook page, released on 29th November 2019. As of December 1, 2019, the video had 95,000 views, 673 comments and 5,400 shares on the page. A background check on Mr Dalhatu Musa Ezekiel shows that he is the deputy coordinator, Coalition of Abuja Indigenous Association (CAIA).

Mr Dalhatu’s claim is in relation to the activity of the Federal Government’s initiative on De-radicalization and reintegration of ex- Boko Haram combatants, which is tagged “Operation Safe Corridor, (OPSC)” implemented by the Defence Intelligence Agency of the Military.  CDD has since inception partnered with the OPSC; with the goal largely to De-Radicalize and Reintegrate (DRR) ex-fighters to the communities, through their state governments. The State Governments as part of strategic and full reintegration hand them over to the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in their communities who monitors their activities.  

The OPSC was set up in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari to encourage willing & repentant Boko Haram fighters to surrender & undergo a DRR Programme. This is a global Transitional Justice model that brings together local and international partners, including the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID) and the North East Regional Initiative (NERI)

It is worthy of note that a good number of the ex- insurgents are child fighters, between the age of 10 – 19. From our fact check, available data shows over 1,370 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, Nigeria’s Military Operation fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria.  

In addition, the Nigerian Defense Headquarters released a statement:

‘’The Defence Headquarters wishes to unambiguously state that Dalhatu’s claims are not only bereft of truth but laced with mediocrity emanating from a poorly researched and uninformed position. Contrary to his claims, no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing.’’

The statement urged members of the public to disregard Dalhatu’s claim, “as it constitutes outright aberration of extant recruitment procedures and practice of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”

CONCLUSION

The Nigerian Military has a known process of recruitment of its personnel which include officially publicizing the process widely across Nigeria. The Military does not recruit personnel secretly, Mr Dalhatu’s claim is false. 

CDD caution members of the public to always verify information before sharing them. Disinformation, Misinformation and Fake News are capable of igniting tension, cause chaos, violence and endangers our democracy. Let us Stop Fake News.

Nigeria Forum: IDPs, Boko Haram and elections likely to be settled by the courts – By Idayat Hassan

By Blog, Fact ChecksNo Comments

It is no longer news that Nigeria is heading, with breakneck speed towards elections on Feb 14 and 28. Beyond the familiar issues of analysis, such as the country’s bifurcation along religious or regional  lines and the newly identified “˜Buhari tsunami,’ the likelihood of elections being held in the three north eastern states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno (currently all suffering under the Boko Haram insurgency) is uncertain. However, it must be emphasised that the citizens of these states are still clamouring to vote.

Boko Haram has an avowed disregard for democracy, as evidenced in countless statements release in the last 4 years and subsequently unlikely to let elections be held peacefully. The practicality of conducting elections in all the local governments in the three states under occupation is disappearing fast. At last count, Boko Haram was in total occupation/complete control of 13 local governments (and other swathes of land) in Borno and 2 each in Yobe and Adamawa. Can these territories be recovered from the insurgents with just days to go until the elections?

The answer is no. First, we must acknowledge that rather than Boko Haram decreasing in strength, they are showing themselves to be adaptable and resilient. Mapped incidences since the beginning of January show an intensification of attacks. Besides its capacity to sustain simultaneous attacks, the recent Baga massacre and the capture of a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the military barracks  there points to a trend of violent escalation. The use of female suicide bombers also demnstrates the insurgents’ ability to innovate.

The Nigerian government’s continuous trial of its soldiers for mutiny and other related offences does not help matters. Over 200 soldiers have been court martialed with several on death row.  A recent statement credited to the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki calling the soldiers on the battleground “cowards” points to the frustration of the government in curbing the insurgency and reaffirms its belief that it is not a lack of weaponry making the insurgents win the war, but a lack of motivation from its own soldiers. In January alone, the insurgents captured two military barracks in Baga and Monguno.

As Boko Haram continues to capture more territories, including recent attempts to take over Maiduguri, a foray into government house in Damaturu and incessant attacks on Potiskum, the probability of holding elections in the occupied territories is fast disappearing. The security of electoral materials, safety (and by extension availability) of personnel to be deployed is not the only thing in doubt – more impoertantly, who is going to vote when most of the people have fled the area.

This is an important part of the reasoning that informed INEC’s decision to allow IDPs within the three states to participate in the elections. The Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) distribution is ongoing in the states at the moment with large numbers of PVCs collected by IDPs who are grouped according to local governments in camps. INEC has utilised its powers to create new polling units under the 2010 Electoral Act.

But this plan has its limitations; the most pressing question being whether Boko Haram will allow elections to be held peacefully in these designated centres. A second question is whether the lack of proper identification documents will make it easy for insurgents to infiltrate the camps – the use of suicide bombers making it all the easier for them to attack the designated polling units.

The legitimacy of elections that only take into account IDPs resident in these 3 states is questionable, as IDPs have relocated to several others e.g. Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and Abuja. With figures of between 868,235 according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)  and 1.5 million (bandied around by other stakeholders) the question is how many of these can be captured with INEC limiting participation to the IDPs resident in the 3 insurgency states.

The recently held Yobe State Peoples Democratic Party governorship primaries, which took place in Abuja, generated much outcry over legitimacy – based on the provision of the party’s constitution that stipulates primaries must be held in the state capital. How elections held in or outside the IDP camps will be received by the political gladiators in PDP and APC is also something to watch. However, all relevant stakeholders were duly consulted by INEC during its recent meeting to unveil the modalities on how IDPS shall participate in these elections, but the silence from the main actors leaves much to be desired.

The 1999 constitution, as amended in section 179, provides that to be declared a winner of the presidential office, you must score a majority of the total votes cast at the election and 25 percent of total votes cast in 2/3 of the states, ie 24 of the 36 states of the federation plus FCT, Abuja. The same provision applies for the governorship election as provided in section 134 of constitution, albeit in this instance it applies to local governments. How will these constitutional provisions be interpreted? Will the 25 percent of the 2/3 requirements of votes cast in either states or local governments in relevant instances be inclusive or exclusive of the states/local governments under occupation?

What constituencies will the lawmakers representing both federal and state constituencies  under Boko Haram control represent? Will the new constituency they represent be the people in IDP camps? What is obvious is the 1999 constitution as amended does not envisage the quagmire we are presently in, while the graveyard silence by the political gladiators provides cause for concern in elections as closely run as these.

What is becoming obvious is that lots of issues in this elections will be determined by the courts; how will play out in a country where the doctrine of separation of power is generally unclear, nor is confidence duly reposed in any arm of government?

And finally…

Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has been on strike since the beginning of the year; as a result all pre-electoral matters before the courts could not be determined. I am happy to report that JSUN federal staff have now called off their strike, but it remains ongoing in the State courts. If the strike issue is not resolved before the elections, the implications are better left  unimagined.

 
 

Idayat Hassan is the Director of The Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja.

This article was first published on Nigeria Forum: African Arguments

Peace in northeastern Nigeria requires justice for military crimes not just Boko Haram atrocities

By Blog, latest, NewsNo Comments

One day the Boko Haram insurgency will come to an end. When it does, there will be a painful time of reckoning. But for lasting peace to come to northeastern Nigeria, one important fact must be acknowledged from the start: there are perpetrators and victims on many sides.
After eight and a half years of conflict, no one knows when the guns will fall silent. Government declarations of victory are still routinely followed by the jihadist group committing yet another violent outrage.
Boko Haram is proving hard to defeat. It has survived a split between Abubaker Shekau (the ranting leader seen on the YouTube videos) and a rival faction led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi that is aligned with so-called Islamic State. It has weathered the food shortages that have affected rural communities across Borno State. And it has resisted a sustained offensive by the Nigerian military targeting its strongholds in the Lake Chad region and the Sambisa Forest, further south.
The brutality of Boko Haram – its killings, torture, rapes, and abductions – are well known. But the Nigerian military and a pro-armed forces vigilante group called the Civilian Joint Task Force, or CJTF, are also accused of committing human rights violations – well documented by Amnesty International.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has identified eight possible cases of crimes against humanity in relation to the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. These include six possible cases against Boko Haram and two against the Nigerian security forces. 
There have been various negotiation efforts between the government and elements within Boko Haram. This has involved talking to both factions of the insurgency, and has resulted in the release of two batches of the Chibok school girls.

Justice for whom?

If these negotiations were to go a step further and result in a ceasefire and peace agreement, or if somehow the Nigerian military finally found the skill and commitment to “win” the war – what would peace look like? There would certainly be a demand for accountability and justice, but justice for whom?
The challenge of transitional justice in Nigeria is illustrated by a scoping paper by the Centre for Democracy and Development. It identifies the several categories of victims and perpetrators – and the issue is complicated.
Appearing on both sides of the ledger – as both victims and perpetrators – are the Nigerian military, the CJTF, Boko Haram ex-combatants, government officials, and civilian collaborators.
Within the military, for example, the rank and file see themselves as not only victims of Boko Haram, but also of corrupt government officials and senior officers who have lined their pockets with the resources that should have been spent on fighting the insurgency.
In researching the report, I asked a lot of people in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa what transitional justice should entail on the day peace returns.

Can’t trust Boko Haram

What was clear is that there is a great deal of anger towards Boko Haram. That includes those the government is trying to reintegrate through its Operation Safe Corridor demobilisation programme.
The overwhelming opinion was that all insurgents – even those who have surrendered – should be prosecuted.
It’s a powerful emotion, especially among the displaced. The sentiment commonly heard amounts to this: “we are suffering in IDP camps, with little food and only basic services, while the perpetrators are in a rehabilitation camp, drinking bottled water and sleeping under mosquito nets.”
Many believe the ex-combatants are not at all repentant: they surrendered merely out of hunger, or to save their lives – because they had run afoul of their Boko Haram commander or been out-gunned by the military.
The common denominator was: “Boko Haram can never change, they cannot be trusted.”

Army crimes

The armed forces and the CJTF are also clearly seen as complicit in rights violations and should be held to account, although in this regard opinion is less unified.
Their perceived crimes range from extra-judicial killings, sexual violence, cruel and unlawful detention, to simple theft.
Take the Knifar Movement. This group of displaced women from Bama in northern Borno have organised themselves to fight for the release of their husbands, detained by the military on the alleged grounds they belong to Boko Haram – charges the women deny.
In a petition to a judicial commission on human rights abuses by the military, they named 466 people they alleged were killed by the military in Bama, and another 1,229 currently held in Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. They also accused the military and CJTF of raping women and girls in government-run IDP camps, even releasing a YouTube video to press their case.
Another victims’ group is Jida Dole [Justice by Force]. It comprises Giwa Barracks detainees but also includes Maiduguri residents protesting the military’s conduct at the height of the insurgency, before Boko Haram was expelled from the city.
Most people see justice as holding members of the military and Boko Haram to account, but others are more focused on financial compensation for their material loss.
Others still want the “truth” in a conflict where conspiracy theories are rife. Common questions: Who funds Boko Haram? Are the politicians and the military complicit in the continuation of the war?

The problem with amnesty

Operation Safe Corridor is about to release the second batch of supposedly deradicalised ex-Boko Haram fighters back into the community.
But a good deal of controversy surrounds the programme. Very little work has been done to prepare communities for the returns, and it is unclear under what legal framework it operates.
Granting a blanket amnesty in this insurgency – without taking note of the victims – will make peace and justice more difficult to achieve.
Furthermore, it doesn’t actually prevent the perpetrators from being tried for war crimes under international law. This implies that amnesty is insufficient as the sole transitional justice mechanism.
Instead, groups like the Centre for Democracy and Development want a system that can deal with both perpetrators and survivors responsibly. This would be a welcome development in Nigeria, where historically such issues have been handled in an ad hoc political way – never holistically – with accountability swept under the carpet.
Since the country’s return to democracy in 1999, there have been various attempts to address grievances.
The Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission – popularly known as the Oputa Panel – was set up by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to look into crimes committed between 1966 and 1999.
The commission sat for five years, received over 10,000 submissions, but heard just 200 cases publicly. The glaring omission was that the final report of the panel was never officially released to the public – names were not named; there was no truth, no justice, no real reconciliation.
In addressing the Niger Delta militancy, where youths took up arms to protest exploitation and environmental degradation in the oil-rich region, a blanket amnestywas also adopted as a means of post-conflict peacebuilding.
But experience has shown this is only an interim solution and there is no accountability to the victims. The resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta is proof that impunity stores up trouble.
These lessons must be learnt in the case of northeastern Nigeria.
Ih/oa/ag
Idayat Hassan is the Director, Centre for Democracy and Development based in Abuja

Transitional justice and the insurgency in the North-East

By BlogNo Comments

Transitional justice, simply put, is a form of judicial and/or non-judicial mechanism used to redress situations in which massive human rights abuses have occurred and the justice system might be unable to cope with the large number of people involved. The mechanism, which was developed in the later part of the last century, became necessary due to the escalation of large-scale human rights abuses since World War 11 beginning with the Nuremberg trial of Nazi criminals. Many others have followed since then in countries such as South Africa, Rwanda and Chile. In recent months, the Centre for Democracy and Development and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies have been separately exploring the possibility of setting up a transitional justice scheme to address the alleged massive violations of human rights associated with the Boko Haram insurgency but indications from scoping studies done so far are that people are for retribution and punitive action against perpetrators of atrocities rather than forgiveness, reconciliation and healing.
The principles of transitional Justice are rooted in basic principles and instruments of human rights such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Chatter on Human and Peoples Rights all of which Nigeria is signatory to. Transitional justice framework takes the basic form of criminal prosecution associated with a truth commission approach, forgiveness of criminals under certain conditions, reparation to victims and institutional reforms.
The issue of transitional justice continues to arise in Nigeria because the country has had to confront a series of violent conflicts since gaining independence in 1960. The major conflicts have been; the Nigerian civil war, the Maitatsine and southern Kaduna conflicts, civil disturbances and interventions by security agencies, post election conflicts, Niger Delta militancy and the Boko Haram insurgency. The rapid spread of violent conflicts between pastoralists and sedentary farmers has spread rural banditry to virtually all nooks and corners of the country. The inability of successive administrations to address and adequately manage past conflicts has led to a high level of distrust in government, suspicion and rancour among citizens.
The major attempt at transitional justice in Nigeria was the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission otherwise known as the Oputa Panel, and the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme. There has been Committees of inquiry and reconciliations with reports that were scarcely implemented mainly due to lack of political will. One example was the Judicial Commission that investigated the December 2015 clash between the Military and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The fact of the matter is that so far, Nigeria has not developed a comprehensive Transitional Justice framework for the country.
Since 2009, the Boko Haram insurgency has engaged in large-scale human rights atrocities against both security agencies and the civilian population. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch among others have been documenting these atrocities. Indeed a report by the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC-OTP) had reaffirmed such allegations of reasonable suspicion that Boko Haram and the security forces may have both committed crimes against humanity and war crimes. It was in response to these allegations that the President demanded that the Military set up an Internal Board of Inquiry to investigate the matter. Subsequently, the Presidency established a Panel, which was inaugurated on Friday, August 11th, 2017 to review compliance of the Armed Forces with Human right obligations and rules of engagement especially in local conflicts and insurgency situation.
The Terms of Reference of the Panel are:
(a) To review extant rules of engagement applicable to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the extent of compliance thereto;
(b) To investigate alleged 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 Enforcements) Act and other relevant laws by the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies;
(c) To investigate matters 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 further recommendations in line with these terms of reference as may be deemed necessary.
Stakeholders, affected persons, institutions and interested members of the public have been invited to submit memoranda that will assist the Panel in the discharge of its mandate. The Panel would commence its public sittings in Abuja on Monday 11th September and subsequently tour all the geo-political zones in the country.
To return to the theme of transitional justice, the scoping studies done by both the Centre for Democracy and Development and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies show that communities in the North East are hurting from what they have suffered, and in some areas still suffering, and are focused on seeking justice, which they define as investigating and punishing perpetrators. The majority of respondents in both studies were not ready to consider forgiveness and reconciliation. There is however a large number of Boko Haram insurgents that have been captured and “Operation Safe Corridor” is running a deradicalisation programme for hundreds of ex combatants with the aim of eventually returning these people back to their communities. The response of the communities studied is that they do not want them back. It is important that efforts are made to understand the justification for such an attitude. The pain of the atrocities suffered is so deep and recent that the notion of justice in the popular imagination is punishment for those that have harmed them.
It is difficult to talk about transitional justice without deep pedagogy that the spirit of mass punishment might result in a prolongation of the insurgency thereby leading to more rather than less suffering. At the same time, many communities would be right to pose the question of how the authorities would be sure that the perpetrators of crimes against the people have genuinely changed their beliefs. How do they know that they are just pretending and seeking ways to return to their communities and resume the insurgency later? Assurances and guarantees on these questions are necessary before seeking to return these people to their communities.
There is no universal model of transitional justice and different countries have been able to adopt different models that best fit their circumstances. The insurgency in the North East is perhaps different from the usual political conflicts of the past and therefore requires a careful approach and a lot of resources. Nonetheless, Nigeria can also adopt effective best practices from other countries. This includes a separate component dealing specifically with sexual violence, to take account of the stigma surrounding such violence and the resultant difficulties for survivors of coming forward to report sexual violations. Adopting a multiple transitional justice approach toward the North East reconciliation and rehabilitation process would require taking a number of issues into considerations.
The prosecution of all criminal actors that have committed crimes during the insurgency. One of the concerns of respondents expressed during the research is that almost no one has been successfully prosecuted for their roles in the insurgency so far. Secondly, Nigeria as a country has to consider the establishment of a long and short-term reparation package that would compensate the many victims of the insurgency; the wounded, the displaced and dependents of killed benefactors both from the civilian and the security forces. Moving forward, it is important to start the discussions by developing a transitional justice policy framework for the country.
 
Ibrahim Jibrin is a Senior fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development.

Boko Haram – the fear, the conspiracy theories, and the deepening crisis

By Fact Checks, NewsNo Comments

 
The fear is palpable in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram intensifies its war on civilians. The military’s regular claim that the jihadists are on the run is patently false, and provides no comfort to anyone.
Instead, this is the reality.
– Since January, there have been at least 83 suicide bombings by children – a figure four times higher than last year.
– Of the four roads leading out of Maiduguri, the main city in the northeast, only the Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road is adjudged safe.
– In rural areas, people are not able to venture more than four kilometres out of the main towns in each local government area because of insecurity.
– In Maiduguri’s mosques, people now pray in relay. As one group prays, another keeps watch to guard against suicide bombers.
The death tolls are startling. In the last two months, high-profile Boko Haram raids have included:
– An attack on oil workers and soldiers prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin in which more than 50 reportedly died.
– The shooting and hacking to death of 31 fishermen on two islands in the Lake Chad Basin.
In response to the rising tempo of attacks, acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered the deployment of all his military chiefs to Maiduguri in July. It hasn’t stopped the violence.
The insecurity has undermined farming in the northeast, resulting in serious food shortages in pockets of the region. Boko Haram has taken to seizing food and goods from communities in Damboa, Azir, Mungale, ForFor, Multe, Gumsiri – to mention just a few.
The military are also accused of threatening communities that do not vacate their villages and move to the poorly serviced internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
Those that stay behind risk not only being plundered by Boko Haram, but also the confiscation of their goods and produce by the army, on the grounds that they are in league with the insurgents.
In the Lake Chad Basin in particular, Boko Haram is moving into the traditional fish and bell pepper trade. It not only helps finance their insurgency, but muddies the identification of who is a combatant.
Nowhere seems safe – even Maiduguri. In recent months there have been bomb blasts at the Dalori IDP camp, Maiduguri university, a general hospital, and a major coordinated gun attack on the city itself.

Know your enemy

The military not only appears powerless, but lacks the operational intelligence to thwart the attacks. That lack of awareness – over both the nature of the threat and how to deal with it – led the army’s head of public relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, to accuse parents of “donating” their children to Boko haram as suicide bombers.
The raid by the military on the UN’s headquarters in Maiduguri in August was another example of woeful intelligence. The army said it was conducting a cordon and searchoperation for high-value Boko Haram suspects, and did not know it was entering a UN building because there was no insignia.

But the incident does point to the level of distrust over the work of humanitarian agencies. The word on the street in Maiduguri the morning of the raid was that the leader of one Boko Haram faction, Abubakar Shekau, was in UN House – along with a secret store of ammunition.

Conspiracy theories abound and aid workers are implicated. A common allegation is that they provide food, fuel, and drugs to Boko Haram under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid.
An additional gripe is that what aid is being delivered to the needy is not enough. The World Food Programme suspended food handouts in Borno this week after IDPs in Gubio camp rioted, destroying five vehicles belonging to International Medical Corps. They were protesting, they said, that they had not received rations in two months.
And then there are the grievances over aid agencies not employing enough locals, and that foreign aid workers do not respect local norms and traditions in what is a conservative society.
It’s an unhappy relationship. The overriding perception here is that the surge in aid agencies to the northeast is not what is required – people want security first, and then they can take care of their own needs.

Guarding the guards

But arguably the biggest problem is that the military are far from uniformly trusted to provide that security.
The most enduring conspiracy theory is that behind the eight-year war are conflict entrepreneurs in the military high command and the political class. They are accused of perpetuating the violence to feather their own nests, at the expense of the lives of Nigerian citizens.
Although there has been a series of major weapons purchases, from attack helicopters to an extremely expensive deal for ground-attack planes from the United States, it doesn’t seem to have added to the fighting capability of the military.
The confusion over who’s who is also exemplified by the tension between the army and the vigilante Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). It is the CJTF that has been the military’s eyes and ears, the first responders manning the roadblocks in towns and villages. Armed with little more than traditional weapons, 680 of them have been killed so far in the conflict.
Yet the military distrusts them, believing that within their ranks are Boko Haram Fifth Columnists (which is probably true, along with criminals and other miscreants). But the CJTF see themselves as community defenders. They receive little or no remuneration for their work, and no insurance cover.
The atmosphere of suspicion over the enemy within extends to the tension between IDPs and those who remained in their communities when Boko Haram arrived. As IDPs return to those areas adjudged safe, it’s easy to label those that stayed behind as collaborators, brainwashed by the insurgents’ ideology.
As the counter-insurgency campaign stumbles on, Boko Haram clearly believe it now has the momentum, after being on the ropes last year – driven from all the towns they controlled.
The propaganda war certainly seems to be going their way.
Since the beginning of the year, Shekau has released 11 videos. The more low-key Boko Haram faction led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi (who publicly shuns indiscriminate attacks on civilians) has now stirred and published two videos in the space of a month.
There was once talk of ceasefires and negotiations – that seems very distant right now.
ih/oa/ag
 
Idayat Hassan is the Director Centre for Democracy and Development @Idayathassan

Boko Haram – the fear, the conspiracy theories, and the deepening crisis

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

The fear is palpable in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram intensifies its war on civilians. The military’s regular claim that the jihadists are on the run is patently false, and provides no comfort to anyone.
Instead, this is the reality.
– Since January, there have been at least 83 suicide bombings by children – a figure four times higher than last year.
– Of the four roads leading out of Maiduguri, the main city in the northeast, only the Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road is adjudged safe.
– In rural areas, people are not able to venture more than four kilometres out of the main towns in each local government area because of insecurity.
– In Maiduguri’s mosques, people now pray in relay. As one group prays, another keeps watch to guard against suicide bombers.
The death tolls are startling. In the last two months, high-profile Boko Haram raids have included:
– An attack on oil workers and soldiers prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin in which more than 50 reportedly died.
– The shooting and hacking to death of 31 fishermen on two islands in the Lake Chad Basin.
In response to the rising tempo of attacks, acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered the deployment of all his military chiefs to Maiduguri in July. It hasn’t stopped the violence.
The insecurity has undermined farming in the northeast, resulting in serious food shortages in pockets of the region. Boko Haram has taken to seizing food and goods from communities in Damboa, Azir, Mungale, ForFor, Multe, Gumsiri – to mention just a few.
The military are also accused of threatening communities that do not vacate their villages and move to the poorly serviced internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
Those that stay behind risk not only being plundered by Boko Haram, but also the confiscation of their goods and produce by the army, on the grounds that they are in league with the insurgents.
In the Lake Chad Basin in particular, Boko Haram is moving into the traditional fish and bell pepper trade. It not only helps finance their insurgency, but muddies the identification of who is a combatant.
Nowhere seems safe – even Maiduguri. In recent months there have been bomb blasts at the Dalori IDP camp, Maiduguri university, a general hospital, and a major coordinated gun attack on the city itself.
Know your enemy
The military not only appears powerless, but lacks the operational intelligence to thwart the attacks. That lack of awareness – over both the nature of the threat and how to deal with it – led the army’s head of public relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, to accuse parents of “donating” their children to Boko haram as suicide bombers.
The raid by the military on the UN’s headquarters in Maiduguri in August was another example of woeful intelligence. The army said it was conducting a cordon and search operation for high-value Boko Haram suspects, and did not know it was entering a UN building because there was no insignia.
But the incident does point to the level of distrust over the work of humanitarian agencies. The word on the street in Maiduguri the morning of the raid was that the leader of one Boko Haram faction, Abubakar Shekau, was in UN House – along with a secret store of ammunition.

Conspiracy theories abound and aid workers are implicated. A common allegation is that they provide food, fuel, and drugs to Boko Haram under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid.
An additional gripe is that what aid is being delivered to the needy is not enough. The World Food Programme suspended food handouts in Borno this week after IDPs inGubio camp rioted, destroying five vehicles belonging to International Medical Corps. They were protesting, they said, that they had not received rations in two months.
And then there are the grievances over aid agencies not employing enough locals, and that foreign aid workers do not respect local norms and traditions in what is a conservative society.
It’s an unhappy relationship. The overriding perception here is that the surge in aid agencies to the northeast is not what is required – people want security first, and then they can take care of their own needs.

Guarding the guards

But arguably the biggest problem is that the military are far from uniformly trusted to provide that security.
The most enduring conspiracy theory is that behind the eight-year war are conflict entrepreneurs in the military high command and the political class. They are accused of perpetuating the violence to feather their own nests, at the expense of the lives of Nigerian citizens.
Although there has been a series of major weapons purchases, from attack helicopters to an extremely expensive deal for ground-attack planes from the United States, it doesn’t seem to have added to the fighting capability of the military.
The confusion over who’s who is also exemplified by the tension between the army and the vigilante Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). It is the CJTF that has been the military’s eyes and ears, the first responders manning the roadblocks in towns and villages. Armed with little more than traditional weapons, 680 of them have been killed so far in the conflict.
Yet the military distrusts them, believing that within their ranks are Boko Haram Fifth Columnists (which is probably true, along with criminals and other miscreants). But the CJTF see themselves as community defenders. They receive little or no remuneration for their work, and no insurance cover.
The atmosphere of suspicion over the enemy within extends to the tension between IDPs and those who remained in their communities when Boko Haram arrived. As IDPs return to those areas adjudged safe, it’s easy to label those that stayed behind as collaborators, brainwashed by the insurgents’ ideology.
As the counter-insurgency campaign stumbles on, Boko Haram clearly believe it now has the momentum, after being on the ropes last year – driven from all the towns they controlled.
The propaganda war certainly seems to be going their way.
Since the beginning of the year, Shekau has released 11 videos. The more low-key Boko Haram faction led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi (who publicly shuns indiscriminate attacks on civilians) has now stirred and published two videos in the space of a month.
There was once talk of ceasefires and negotiations – that seems very distant right now.
ih/oa/ag
TOP PHOTO: Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau