News / Africa

Hundreds Flee as Violence Rages on in Northern Nigeria

Multimedia

Audio
Douglas Mpuga

There are reports of a gun battle between unknown assailants and police in the town of Potiskum in northeastern Nigeria. The fighting is reportedly around a police station and other sections of the town in Yobe State, with unconfirmed reports of casualties.

Potiskum is among 15 regions in northern Nigeria where President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency last week after days of deadly violence.

Saturday's outburst follows two days of attacks when gunmen killed at least 20 people in northeastern Nigeria.

“There has been consistent gun battles between the law enforcement agencies and the [militant Islamic] Boko Haram sect somewhere in Potiskum,” said Dr. Kabir Mato, a professor of political science at the University of Abuja.

“From the information we have, the battle has been raging for some hours now,” he said.

Mato noted that the declaration of the state of emergency may not solve the problem in northeastern Nigeria. “I think there is a serious misconception of the very magnitude of this crisis by the highest security/political echelons in this country.”

If the declaration of emergency means enforcing security measures, he said, “then the developments in Potiskum, Yobe State, and some other parts of the country” show that the move is not serving its purpose.

Mato said neither the security agencies nor the state in Abuja understand the nature of the crisis, which he noted is concentrated in the northeastern part of the country and not all of northern Nigeria. “The fundamental issue is the misplacement of priorities on the part of the security agencies and the national political leadership.”

He attributed the cause of the violence to socio-economic issues and the hopelessness felt by large numbers of youths.

Nigeria, he said, is a country bedeviled by tremendous economic hardships, illiteracy, backwardness, want and apathy, and a population growing at an alarming rate. “The entire social infrastructure such as roads, schools, electricity has been in decline for a very long time.”

As a result, he added, “a lot of young people have not found purpose in existence.”

Rampant corruption, Mato added, has resulted in the inability of the state to properly invest public wealth in infrastructure that will make life, and economic activity, easier. As a result, the public becomes disenchanted and withdraws support from the government.

“If a frantic social effort is not put [in place] in terms of more progressive social policies that will address the concerns of the youth, the crisis will remain.”

Mato said “basically the issue has more to do with the basic economic structure of society. I don’t see it as religious. In my view, it’s economic.”

By Saturday hundreds of people were reportedly fleeing areas of north-eastern Nigeria, after a wave of violence apparently targeting Christian communities.

At least 29 people have been killed in four attacks in the state of Adamawa on Friday night and Saturday morning.

The Islamist Boko Haram group has claimed responsibility.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid