Interview with the new Emir of Kano Muhammed Sanusi II (AKA Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) about the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.
Key points made by Sanusi:
- Islam “preaches education for all adherents”.
- Marrying young Muslim girls off at a young age is actually a cultural (not Islamic) practice “that is not consistent with the teachings of the (Muslim) religion)”.
- Poverty level in northern Nigeria provides a fertile breeding ground for militancy. Says the same thing happened in the Niger Delta.
- Boko Haram insurgency must be tackled via an economic “Marshall Plan” for northern Nigeria.
- Says insurgency calmed down in Kano because of investment in infrastructure there.
- “As long as people as gainfully employed they are not likely to jump into the bandwagon of insurgency”.
Good article in Africa Confidential about how the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria will affect next year’s presidential election.
One surprise from the infographic map above is that although Adamawa State is under a state of emergency even though the number of deadly attacks in that State are about 25% of the number of attacks in Kano State (which is not under a state of emergency). Also Bauchi state has had 600% more attacks than Adamawa State, and it too is not under a state of emergency.
Click the link below for an excellent interactive map and timeline/summaries (produced by Al-Jazeera) of Boko Haram attacks going back to 2009 when President Yar’Adua was still in power. http://webapps.aljazeera.net/aje/custom/2014/bokoharamtimeline/index.html
Audio interview with journalist Alex Perry who was researched and written about Boko Haram for a long time. Perry alleges that there is no coherent plan to Boko Haram’s attacks, and that it is just violence for the sake of it.
Perry saw a gruesome video of Boko Haram members beheading a hostage and gives his analysis of the groups’s actions.
Good reports on how Boko Haram has infiltrated into Nigeria’s neighbour Cameroon. Boko Haram allegedly take advantage of the huge border between Nigeria and Cameroon to go backwards and forwards between both countries to recruit members and stage attacks.
Locals in Cameroon claim that Boko Haram members quickly bury their dead who are killed in attacks to prevent them from being identified.
One of the most tragic ironies is that thousands of Nigerians have fled from Nigeria into its poorer, smaller, less resourced neighbour Cameroon.
Great interview with former Abia State Governor Uzor Orji Kalu, who is also also a billionaire and one of Nigeria’s richest men. Kalu is a friend of other Nigerian billionaires such as Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga. Kalu has offered to negotiate with Boko Haram and claims the security challenge of Boko Haram could result in Goodluck Jonathan being Nigeria’s last ever president:
“There was a time when news of bombing and terrorism was synonymous to countries like Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. Nigeria is now at that point. We are now like those countries. This is what we have become. If care is not taken, Goodluck Jonathan would be the last president we’ve had in this country.”
This is a video clip of Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh where he said the military knows where the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls are being held. Badeh was addressing a live crowd of demonstrators in Abuja. Excerpts from what he said:
“The good for the girls is we know where they are but we cannot tell you. We cannot come and tell you military secrets here. Just leave us alone – we are working. We will get the girls back…We have Al Qaida in west Africa. I believe it 100%… People from outside Nigeria are in this war. They are fighting us. They wants to destablise our country, and some people in this country are standing with the forces of darkness. No! We must salvage our country.”
Survivors of Boko Haram attacks give terrifying testimony of their ordeal. One of them is Adamu Habila, who survived a Boko Haram attack and being shot in the head. Adamu was shot for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
The second survivor is 15 year old Deborah Peter from Chibok. She survived a Boko Haram attack on her home in Chibok. Her father (a pastor) and brother were attacked in front of her in her home.
The Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction and forced conversions to Islam are not new. Boko Haram has been kidnapping young women and girls as “slave brides” for some time and forcing them to convert to Islam. Thus the “conversion video” that Boko Haram released last week should be seen as part of its normal modus operandi rather than a new tactic.
Economist article on the latest government and army proposals to fight Boko Haram. The government seems to be trying everything: military force, negotiations with Boko Haram, an amnesty, and finally – a long overdue campaign to provide counselling to Boko Haram members and get Imams to give them non-violent interpretations of the Koran.
Nigeria’s National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki outlines the government’s new ideas for combating Boko Haram. The plan focuses on economic development and job creation, as a means of drying up poverty and recruits for Boko Haram.