Tackling Insurgency Requires An Holistic Approach – Ijide

wilson ijide on insurgencyA Psychologist believes an holistic approach would be more productive as Nigeria battles to resolve its security challenges.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Industrial Organisational Psychologist, (Rtd) Colonel Wilson Ijide, said that Nigeria still needs to better understand the true nature of the Boko Haram insurgency.

“When it started, it was like child’s play; people thought it was something that could wash away; either by abuses, sentiments and other kinds of emotions.

“When you look at it from that perspective, I will tell you that it’s an ideology; insurgency is based on ideology; there is a motive.

“Until you tackle and remove the motive, it is likely to resurface; no matter how you attack them, new ones could also come up.

“So, we must have a broad and holistic picture of the kind of challenge this country is facing so that we can deal with it more decisively and comprehensively,” he said.

Mr Ijide spoke extensively on the issue of insurgency from the psychological point of view.

He said, “Research has been done in the past in the area of media operations, especially in psychological warfare, you research into the nature of these people which enables you come up with a programme on how to re-educate and re-orientate the people.

“Boko Haram started with Muhammed Yusuf, who preached an ideology, saying Nigerian states are corrupt that we needed an Islamic State which means his ideology has become an engine which has been able to galvanise a lot of people to accept it.

“Looking at it from the religious angle, they turned the doctrine of martyrdom around, which states that people will give their lives for what they believe in, but Boko Haram insurgency deals with the suicide bomber killing himself and other people.

“There are two broad strategies in dealing with insurgency; de-escalation and containment institute.

“The containment institute is the military strategy and the strategies of other contingencies put in place; road block, check points and getting information on where they hide their arms.

“While the de-escalation strategy has to do with other broad strategies; a commission of strategies like diplomatic, economic and informational;which I call psychological operations.

“With the economic strategy, you identify the financial base of insurgency. I wonder why we have not hit the financial base of insurgency in the past six years.

“As long as the government continue to fund the insurgents, they will have the power to strike and choose the time they want to strike as well as the location.”

Mr Ijide is, however, optimistic that if the government puts more efforts in finding a lasting solution to the problem of insurgency, it could be solved.

“We, the military were trained in that extent, but in this kind of war, you need more than the military knowledge of identification, the population itself should have that ability.

“I think by now, we should have fliers that come from security forces that will educate civilians on terrorism,” he said, adding that the recent attack of the terrorists is like “a statement that we are still here, not only that, but we can also envelope you. They struck at Nyanya and Kuje, which is like striking in the north and south to inform Nigerians that they are still around and that they have the capability to do that.

“They will always do that, but we must not be scared.”.

 

Teenage Suicide Bombers

Mr Ijide also shared his views on the terrorists’ act of making use of children.

He noted, “Children are very vulnerable and easy to turn around. There are different ways insurgents make use of vulnerable groups; they may either tell you that is the way to ply to make your life better or they (the children) may not know what they are carrying.”

The Psychologist however, said that “to identify vulnerable groups you need data; you get data from the incidents taking place”.

Recommendations

In his recommendations, the Psychologist said that Nigeria needs strong and determined citizens who are dedicated and committed and would say, “we will never succumb”.

“I get frustrated when the government keeps telling Nigerians that they will name the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists.

“We want to hear you name them, what are the legal bottlenecks that prevent government from naming people who are suspects”, he questioned.

On the possibility of ending insurgency soon, Mr Ijide warned that it could be wrong for Nigerians to think that they “could end insurgency in a day or two”.

He suggested that the Federal Government should convene a committee of experts to properly come out with details of what should be the specific response of every stakeholder including the citizenry to the menace.

“The National Security Architecture is supposed to be very effective. The architecture is based on security committees, starting with the Local Government, State Government and Federal Government.

He advised Local Government Chairmen to call security meetings on a monthly basis and at other occasions when members suggest there is something to be discussed urgently.

Mr Ijide also sent condolence messages to the families of the Nyanya bomb blast victims.

“Let me express my deep condolence and sincere sympathy to all victims of various suicide attacks and most especially, the one that happened in Nyanya and Kuje.

” I know the families are going through difficult times”, he said.

Trial Of Nyanya Bombing Suspects Begins In Abuja

NyanyaTrial of Aminu Ogwuche and five others accused of complicity in the multiple explosions that killed scores of people in Nyanya, a satellite town in Abuja has opened at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The trial started with an initial hitch as to the modality of shielding the accused person from public view.

However, the matter was eventually resolved and the first prosecution witness, identified as an investigative officer took the witness stand to give his testimony in the case.

The prosecution witness told the court how the six accused persons were arrested and taken into custody.

He also tried to draw the attention of the court to a deportation order for the first accused person, Aminu Ogwuche in 2011, which was over ruled by the judge because of his inability to produce the said document in court.

The lawyer to Ogwuche had opposed his testimony on the ground that it will be prejudicial to the case and the fact that in law the accused cannot testify orally about a document not tendered in court.

This argument was rejected by the prosecution but Justice Ahmed Mohammed agreed with the defence.

Over 70 people were killed and several others were injured in the bomb blast at Nyanya Motor Park in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on April 14, 2014.

The High Court granted the request of the government to allow witnesses in the trial of the suspects to give their testimonies using masks.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the motion filed by the prosecution to shield his witnesses from the public for security reasons.

Nyanya Bombing: Fresh Application Stalls Ogwuche’s Trial

Nyanya bomb blast OgwucheThe trial of Aminu Ogwuche and six other accused persons suspected of masterminding the Nyanya bomb blast which claimed 75 lives on April 14, 2014, stalled on Wednesday, following a fresh application filed by the prosecutor.

The prosecutor in the application, sought to vary an earlier order of the court.

The seven accused persons, who are standing trial before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on a seven-count charge bordering on terrorism, are Aminu Ogwuche, Ahmad Abubakar, Mohammed Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu, Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecutor informed the court of his application, seeking to vary the order of the court on the shielding of prosecution witnesses.

The application was challenged by the defence counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji, who accused the prosecutor of deliberately frustrating the trial.

Following the fresh application, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the hearing of the application and the commencement of trial for May 11 and 12.

On February 6, the arraignment of Ogwuche and the other accused persons was also stalled, following the absence of a counsel to represent some of the accused persons.

One year ago, a bomb blast occurred at Nyanya Motor Park, leaving several persons dead. Two weeks after the April 14 blast another explosion occurred near the park also leaving several persons dead.

After the blasts, Ogwuche was said to have escaped to Sudan, but was arrested and brought back to Nigeria.

 

Terrorism: Alleged Nyanya Bombers Plead Not Guilty

NyanyaThe alleged mastermind of the April 14 bomb blast at a motor park in Nyanya, a satellite town in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Aminu Ogwuche and five other accused persons have pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism.

After three adjournments and failure to arraign the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blast, the accused persons finally took their plea on Friday, March 6.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, non-disclosure of information about a terrorist act and terrorism, all punishable under the Terrorism Act.

The eight count charge, which borders on conspiracy to commit terrorism and terrorism led to the destruction of properties, injuries and the loss of about 78 lives in Nyanya.

After taking their pleas, all the accused persons, through their lawyers, applied to the court for their clients to be transferred to the Kuje Medium Prison.

According to the lawyers, having taken their plea, they were no longer suspects, but accused persons and should be kept in the prison.

The Prosecution opposed the application on the ground that Terrorism Act is different from other criminal acts and the increasing cases of jail break necessitates that the accused persons be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services.

In a short ruling, the Judge agreed with the prosecution and remanded the accused persons in the custody of the Department of State Services.

The court said that Section 27 of the Terrorism Act empowers a prosecution to apply for 90 days to remand an accused person and can renew the application.

The case was adjourned to March 17 for trial.

Ogwuche’s Demand: Attorney-General To Brief Court On Detention Legality

Court_JusticeThe Federal High Court in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, has invited the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, to address it on the legality of section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

At the briefing which will hold on December 18, the Attorney-General will explain to the court the section 27 of the Act which allows for prolonged detention of a suspect in relation to section 35[4] of the Nigerian Constitution which stipulates that a suspect must be arraigned within two months of detention.

The invitation of the court is a fallout of arguments between the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blast, Mr Aminu Ogwuche and the Department of State Services (DSS) on the legality or otherwise of section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

While the Department of State Services argues that it has not breached the constitution, having obtained an Order of the Court to detain Mr Ogwuche, pending the conclusion of its investigation Mr Ogwuche has asked the court to declare his detention null and void as it relates with section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

He claimed that the Act contravenes section 35[4] of the Nigerian Constitution.

The DSS also had requested that the application by Mr Ogwuche on the breach of his Fundamental Human Rights should be dismissed in its entirety for being frivolous, lacking in merit and an abused of court orders.

The terror suspect, Mr Ogwuche, had on Thursday demanded for 100 million Naira from the Department of State Services (DSS) as damages for unlawful detention.

Ogwuche also demanded a public apology in two national dailies.

In a lawsuit filed for enforcement of his fundamental human rights, Ogwuche through his lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, told the court that his continued detention by the State Security Service was illegal and unconstitutional and asked the court to order his release or his trial.

At the proceedings, Ogwuche’s lawyer urged the court to discountenance section 27 of the Terrorism Act which the DSS was relying on to detain his client.

He argued that the said section was inferior to the constitution which stipulated a time frame within which an accused person should be arraigned.

The Attorney-General’s briefing will help further clear the air on the issues around the section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act and Ogwuche’s demand.

 

IG’s No Road Block Policy Is Helping Boko Haram- Analyst

Emmanuel MokA public affairs analyst, Emmanuel Mok, on Monday blamed the free movement of arms and ammunition used by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria on the removal of road blocks from Nigeria’s high and express ways by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.

“The IG’s policy of no road block; I believe that policy is helping boko haram” because “when they say these arms are coming in from Niger, Chad and Cameroon and from all of these places, I do not believe so” adding that Nigeria is the only “country that has the effective infrastructure to move arms at the scale that Boko Haram is releasing arms”, he said.

“You hear that Boko Haram have weapons and you can have containers that will house that; to drive from Lagos Port down to Borno, no check point anywhere”.

He advocated for the return of road blocks on “strategic roads in the country” insisting that “you need to check vehicles”.

Mr Mok further expressed optimism that neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon have “some kind of security measures in place” and hoped that “they will step it up more to what Nigeria has”.

He also commended the Cameroonian government for declaring war on Boko Haram.

He said despite the decision reached at the Africa Security Summit to deploy troops to rescue the abducted girls from Chibok, Borno State, “it will take some effective planning to make sure that when your troops are out there, they are properly protected and provided for” adding that “I expect that in not more than a week all that should be done”.

He warned that with the presence of international experts in the country to help fight the terrorists, Boko Haram cannot face that, so they will slow down their major activities and disperse themselves within the population.

Lawmakers From Borno Speak Out On Abducted School Girls

School-girls-abductedWe had barely wrapped our heads around last Monday’s bomb blast at a motor park in Nyanya Abuja when news filtered of the abduction of more than two hundred young girls in Chibok Borno state.

The abduction of such high number of young girls in a state under under emergency rule is baffling and what is worse days after the abduction these girls seem to have vanished into thin air.

The security crises in the country have thrown up concerns of human rights violation by security agents and the Boko Haram sect.

Besides human rights violations, the crises have made many refugees in their own country.

The Chairman House Committee on Human Rights Beni Lar, said that the government has the duty of protecting the citizens of the country.

“We have had series of attacks in Nigeria that have claimed lives. Every citizens of the world under the United Nations convention has the right to life, the very basic fundamental right and the Chapter four of the Nigerian constitution gives every Nigerian the right to life,” she said.

She also spoke on how internally displaced persons can seek redress for abuse of their rights.

Away from the security crises in the country, the Federal Government, few weeks back, released the white paper on the report of the presidential committee on restructuring and rationalisation of federal government parastatals, commissions and agencies.

Although the Federal Government rejected some of the recommendations in the Steve Oronsaye report it accepted the recommendations of merging the Nigeria airways management authority (NAMA), Nigeria civil aviation authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria meteorological agency (NIMET)

The Gavel sat down with the Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation Senator, Hope Uzodinma, to get his thoughts on this recommendation.

He said that going by the requirements of various conventions Nigeria had entered into, it would not be possible to merge the regulator and the operator, insisting that the practice internationally is that both agencies would remain autonomous. “That is what is obtainable in all countries. Aviation is regulated globally going by the various conventions and agreements,” he said, explaining that the attainment of CAT1 status came with a condition that Nigeria must have a regulatory body and that there must be legislation.

Security Agencies Seek Road Users’ Understanding Over Abuja Traffic Gridlock

Traffic-Jam-In-AbujaThe Ministry of Defence in Nigeria says the traffic gridlock on Nyanya-Abuja highway experienced by road users is in the overall best interest of the public and necessitated by the emerging security threats.

After a bomb attack last week Monday at Nyanya Motor Park, about 16 kilometres to Abuja, the Federal Capital territory was put on red alert, resulting in the check of vehicles coming into the city from that direction.

The bomb attack left 75 persons dead with over 120 injured.

Islamic sect, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Since the checks began, it takes over three hours before persons coming from that direction can access the city, a development that has generated reactions and complaints from the general public.

In a statement, the spokesman for the Defence Ministry, Major General Chris Olukolade, assured those affected that the measures were not punitive or deliberately meant to inconvenience them. 

“The actions are necessitated by the emerging security threats facing the nation which calls for support and understanding of the populace.

“The security measures will be reviewed as more equipment and additional support are introduced to ease the gridlock,” the statement read.  

 The Ministry further called on the public to bear the temporary measure which it says is in the overall best interest of the public

Be More Vigilant, Uduaghan Tells Nigerians

Emmanuel UduaghanThe Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has asked Nigerians to complement government’s efforts at combating insecurity by being vigilant about strange movements and personalities in their environment.

In his Easter Message, Dr Uduaghan, stressed that the Federal and State Governments were doing their bests to deal with the rising insecurity.

He condemned the Nyanya Motor Park bombing, the Chibok, Borno State students’ abduction and other negative incidents in the country.

The Delta State governor pointed out that the citizenry and parents had tremendous roles to play in stemming the rising insecurity, explaining that there was the compelling need for people to be watchful and vigilant.

At the Easter Sunday Service of the First Baptist Church, Warri, Dr Uduaghan tasked parents to take responsibility towards moulding the character of their children and wards to forestall the tendencies of engaging in criminal activities, as it has been observed that most of the crimes and deviant behaviours of people have their origin traced to the form and nature of values their parents and guardians inculcated in them.

The governor admitted that although Delta State was presently facing the challenge of cattle herdsmen whose activities had prevented some farmers from going to farm, explaining that measures are being put in place to deal with the issue.

He said that a committee had been inaugurated on the movement of cattle rearers in the state to curtail the excesses of herdsmen.

The Governor noted that that of the strange happenings and phenomenon around the world; like the missing Malaysian plane, were indications that human beings were limited in knowledge. “It also shows that there is a supreme being that is above all of us as human beings,” he said.

Nyanya Blast: APC Governors Set Up Trust Fund For Victims

Rochas-OkorochaThe governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are setting up a trust fund to support victims of Monday’s Bomb attack at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Victims of the bomb blast, which claimed 75 lives, are receiving treatment in various hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory.

At the National Hospital in Abuja on Wednesday, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, on behalf of other governors of the political party, announced the establishment of the trust fund.

He condemned the act, saying it is a dastardly act that must be condemned by all Nigerians.

“We have noticed that the increase in blood shedding in our nation is becoming worrisome and as leaders we believe that this is not a time to see what is wrong or who is wrong. It is a time that we must all close ranks to ensure the security of lives and property.

“We have also, out of our concern, decided to raise funds as the APC governors to support the families of the victims of this blast.

“We shall also join forces with other democrats to ensure that this bad story ends as quickly as possible,” Governor Okorocha said.

Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State appealed to Nigerians to team up with security agencies to combat the menace of terrorism in Nigeria.

He advised Nigerians to be observant and vigilant.

“We should not leave the issue of security in the hands of security operatives alone. Security should be everybody’s business. We should be more meticulous, careful and observant of any movement that is not in line with what we see on a day to day basis and report same to the police,” he said.

 

Nyanya Blast: Death Toll Rises To 75

Abuja bombThe death toll of the Nyanya Motor Park bomb explosion that occurred on Monday has increased to 75, the Nigerian Minister of Health has said.

After a visit to various hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory where victims of the bomb blast are receiving treatment, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu said that the government was doing its best to ensure that the victims were well taking care of.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja shortly after visiting four hospitals and the national blood transfusion service, Professor Chukwu said 216 victims were being treated at the expense of the Federal Government.

He assured injured victims that the government would continue to take care of their hospital bills and treatment until they would recover fully.

The Ministry of Health had yesterday put the death toll at 72 while the number of persons injured was 144.

The ministry’s official statement says 71 of these were brought in dead from the site while one severely injured person subsequently died at the National Hospital, Abuja.

During his visit to the scene of the explosion, President Goodluck Jonathan had described the blast as “unnecessary distraction that is pushing the country backward”.

He assured Nigerians that the issue of Boko Haram was temporary and that the country would surely get over it.

Nyanya Blast: Security Agencies Testing Materials Recovered From Scene

Frank-MbahInvestigations into the bomb blast at a Motor Pack in Nyanya, about 16 kilometres from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, is yielding results, as the security agencies have recovered materials that are of ‘high evidential value’ from the scene.

The attack left 72 persons dead and 164 injured.

The Nigeria Police spokesman, Frank Mbah, told Channels Television on Monday that the Police Bomb Disposal Squad was leading the investigation.

“We have recovered quite a lot of materials believed to be of high evidential value from the scene and they are currently being subjected to forensic screening.
“It is not technically and operationally wise to give details of the investigation,” he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient and show understanding, as the security agencies work together to fashion out a way of solving the insecurity challenge.

There has been huge security presence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as they have been put on red alert.

“With the red alert ordered by the Inspector General of Police, security arrangement has been heightened. You will see increased surveillance both covert and overt surveillance of major installations and the vulnerable parts of the FCT.

“We will work together as a group to harden all vulnerable points and provide greater security for all residents of the FCT.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but a terrorist group, the Boko Haram, has carried out similar attacks on villages in the north east.