Tuesday, 21 October 2014

CLEEN FOUNDATION ORGANISES TRAINING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN NIGERIA




The CLEEN Foundation in partnership with the British High Commission in Nigeria has opened a series of training workshops for Human Rights’ Defenders from North East Nigeria in Abuja. The training commenced on Monday 20th October 2014 with a first batch of about 40 participants and will continue through the week with two subsequent batches of trainees. The goal of the training workshop is to build the capacity of 120 human right advocates to better support human right protection and defense initiatives in their communities. The training is imperative in the face of human right and security challenges in North East, Nigeria.

This training is coming after an earlier mapping study through which we identified human rights defenders in North East. The feedback from the identified human rights advocates highlighted the need for training and therefore informed the training workshop today. The series of the two-day workshop is being facilitated by a team of local and international facilitators and supported by the staff of the CLEEN Foundation.

At the end of the training, participants would return to their different organizations and communities better informed and educated on modules such as “Understanding and Analyzing Human Rights”, “Data Collection and Advocacy”, “Report Writing and Documentation” as well as “Storage and Litigation of Human Rights Abuses”. The training workshops will be followed up with a mentoring program for the trainees to assist them further refine their skills and identify entry points for engagement in their communities. The evaluation of this training and mentorship will help to refine the framing of our future activities as we look forward to sustained commitment and increase awareness on the defense of human right in Nigeria with particular emphasis on the North East geopolitical zone.

The CLEEN Foundation is a national NGO aimed at improving of public safety, security and justice in Nigeria. This we do through empirical studies, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes in partnership with government agencies, organized private sector and civil society groups. The British High Commission in Nigeria is a dependable and supportive partner in the efforts to promote access to justice, security and the protection of human rights in Nigeria. The CLEEN Foundation is honoured for this strategic partnership and looks forward to stronger collaborations in the future.

For more information visit cleen@cleen.org

Signed,

‘Kemi Okenyodo
Executive Director
CLEEN Foundation

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

ADAMAWA STATE: Election Security Threat Assessment



Key Risk Factors:
·          Nearly half of the state (mostly in northern and central parts) is perceived to be insecure either due to insurgency and activities of restive youths that are thugs.
·          From experience of the nature of insurgency in the northeast, there may be infiltration of Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps in the state by insurgents who may already be disguising in these camps as IDPs.
·         The heavy security presence in the state capital Yola appears to have impacted on the civilian population.




Key Mitigating Factors:
·          Security forces should increase their monitoring and surveillance of all interested parties in the State;
·          The activities of the State House of Assembly should be closely monitored too because of the recent trend of impeachment processes;
·          The IDP camps should be fully secured to ensure that they are not infiltrated by insurgents, thugs or hoodlums; and
·         Security forces should take due care to ensure that they do not provoke the local population through overzealous acts of some of its officers.




Introduction
Consequent upon the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako in on 11th June 2014, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled October 11th 2014 as the date for the by-election for governorship election in Adamawa State. The by-election is of significance in three main respects as it will (i) serve to prove whether INEC can consolidate on the success recorded in the recently held Osun State governorship election (ii) test the capacity of security agencies involved the conduct of election; and more importantly (iii) serve as a litmus test for the conduct of 2105 elections in the three states of the northeast currently under emergency rule.



Brief History of Adamawa State
Adamawa State was created on 27th August 1991 by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida when the defunct Gongola State was split into Adamawa and Taraba States. Adamawa State is bounded in the north by Borno State, in the east by Gombe and Taraba States, and in the south by Taraba. The state which covers an area of 38,823 km2 has total population of 3,178,950 in 2006 and is administratively divided into 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Development Areas (DAs). The DAs were created by the state government to further spread development to the rural areas.  Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in the state, mostly practiced at subsistence level. Politically, the state is divided into three senatorial zones – Adamawa north, central and south, and 21 state constituencies in the state House of Assembly. INEC had registered 1,529,636 voters for the October 11 bye-election in the state.





The senatorial zones and their composition are:
Senatorial Zone
                            LGAs
Total Population
Adamawa North (A)
Madagali, Maiha, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South
682,026
Adamawa Central (B)
Demsa, Ganye, Guyuk, Jada, Lamurde, Mayo-Belwa, Numan, Shelleng, Toungo
1,249,580
Adamawa South (C)
Fufore, Girei, Gombi, Hong, Song, Yola North, Yola South
1,247,344

Adamawa state is culturally diverse, being home to about 80 different ethnic groups, with Fulani being predominant. Fulfulde (language of the Fulani) is widely spoken by majority of the people in the state due largely to the hegemonic role played by the Fulani rulers in the aftermath of the Fulani Jihad by Usman Danfodio in the 19th Century and subsequent developments. Consequently, a traditional system of administration being relic of the former colonial Native Authority system exists headed by the Lamido Adamawa as the Chairman, Council of Chiefs.  Other emirates also exist that roughly fit into the boundaries of the major ethnic groups that make up the state. The traditional rulers though significant in local administration have no clearly defined constitutional role and are supposed to be non partisan

Political Developments in Adamawa
Since its creation in 1991, Adamawa State was administered by eight governors, four of them military administrators. The first civilian governor of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Saleh Michika was elected on the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC). Michika governed the state from 2nd January 1992 – 17th November, 1993 in opposition to the predominant Social Democratic Party that won the June 12 1993 presidential elections that was annulled. After years of military interregnum, Boni Haruna of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled from 29th May 1999 – 29th April 2007, a period that launched Adamawa into the mainstream of national politics for being in the ruling party. Murtala Nyako continued to extend the PDP rule from 29th May 2007 – 26th February, 2008; and 29th April 2008 – 15th July, 2014. Nyako’s rule was briefly punctuated by a tribunal judgment that annulled the election which paved way for James Barka (26th February, 2008 – 29th April, 2008) as Acting Governor. Murtala Nyako’s second term was also briefly punctuated when Alhaji Umaru Fintiri became the Acting Governor from 27th January, 2012 to 8th February, 2012. The recent defection of Governor Nyako to the All Progressives Congress in November 2013 and developments thereafter led to his impeachment on 15th July 2014 and subsequent emergence of Alhaji Umaru Fintiri, erstwhile speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly as Acting Governor for the second time. A Federal High Court ruled on 8th October 2014 in Abuja that Nyako’s former deputy Bala James Ngilari who never decamped to the APC did not resign his appointment. Ngilari was immediately sworn in as governor to complete the remaining period. 
From these developments, a number of important lessons could be discerned in the politics of Adamawa State which is characterized by (i) keen contest between political parties e.g. the annulment of Nyako’s election and the conduct of fresh elections thereafter, (ii) intra party squabbles that is characterized by poor relations between the legislature and executive leading to Governor Nyako’s impeachment on July 15th 2014, and (iii) power swing towards and away from the central government evidenced by the state being controlled even if briefly by NRC and APC (opposition parties) and PDP (ruling party) contrary to the situation in neighbouring states like Bauchi and Taraba that have consistently been politically identified with the central government.
The swearing-in of Bala Ngilari as the governor of Adamawa, no doubt unexpectedly came with new challenges namely, the cancellation of the governorship bye-election in the State. The APC believes that this development was manipulated by the ruling PDP for fear of defeat and so the swearing-in of Bala Ngilari as governor only amounts to postponing the possibility of APC taking back the State in February 2015.
Another challenge is the perceived disquiet within the PDP between the supporters of Ngilari the new governor and the former acting governor Ahmadu Fintiri who has already filed an appeal.  Both parties are from the same local government area, Madagali however Ngilari is a Christain while Fintiri is a Muslim. This could introduce a religious dimension to intra party politics of PDP in the State.

New Governor of Adamawa State: Bala James Ngilari
Barrister Ngilari was until his coming to politics a respected lawyer and a successful business man in the northeast. Ngilari served as deputy governor to the former governor Murtala Nyako but unlike his governor,  he never defected to the APC. His emergence as the new governor is likely to be contested by his fellow party men if he shows interest in becoming governor of Adamawa in 2015








Synthesis of security threats
In the aftermath of the cancellation of the proposed bye-election in Adamawa, the following threats are likely to emerge
·         Nearly half of the state (mostly in northern and central parts) is perceived to be insecure either due to insurgency and activities of restive youths that are thugs.
·         From experience of the nature of insurgency in the northeast, there may be infiltration of Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps in the state by insurgents who may already be disguising in these camps as IDPs.
·         There is the perceived feeling that the bye-election was cancelled by the national PDP for fear of defeat.
·         The heavy security presence in the state capital Yola appears to have impacted on the civilian population there was a report of an eight year old pupil that was shot by a stray bullet while in school.
Potential Flashpoints
The following areas are considered volatile in Adamawa State
·         The entire Madagali local government area where insurgency is most intense shares  borders with Gwoza local government area of Borno State;
·         Michika local government area which is close to Madagali;
·         Mubi North and South local government areas due to threats by insurgents;
·         Maiha due to fear of insurgency;
·         Jimeta (Yola North) due to presence of IDPs and restive youths who are thugs; and
·         Girei due to same reasons as Jimeta.
Recommendations
·         Security forces should increase their monitoring and surveillance of all interested parties in the State;
·         The activities of the State House of Assembly should be closely monitored too because of the recent trend of impeachment processes;
·         Communities hosting IDPs and the IDP camps should be fully secured to ensure that they are not infiltrated by insurgents, thugs or hoodlums; and
·         Security forces should take due care to ensure that they do not provoke the local population through overzealous acts of some of its officers.

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