News / Africa

Nigeria Group Meets Thursday Over States of Emergency

Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
Peter Clottey
The Nigeria’s Northern Elders Forum (NEF) plans to meet Thursday to review a strategy toward the state of emergency recently declared in three northern states by President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Jonathan recently declared states of emergency in three northern states following an upsurge in violence carried out by the militant sect, Boko Haram.

Forum spokesman Ango Abdullahi says the government did not consult the northern elders before declaring the states of emergency, despite seeking the group’s help to resolve the country’s internal security crisis.

“The proclamation of the state of emergency came to us as a surprise because of the way it came about soon after a change of policy and strategy, which incorporated dialogue and reconciliation,” said Abdullahi. “We thought the proclamation was ill-advised and ill-timed because if really the government was serious about reconciliation and dialogue he won’t declare war on his on people.”

The elders have condemned the states of emergency as a declaration of war with residents of the country’s north. The government denies the accusation.

“There is no reason why President Jonathan will declare war on any part of this country,” said Doyin Okupe, senior adviser to President Jonathan. “If there is anything that has been declared, it is a war against the insurgents, the rebels and the terrorists that have engaged in mindless killings of Nigerians, bombings of religious places of worship and institutions and killings of security agents.”

Abdullahi says the elders will also meet with the forum’s legal team, which has been gathering evidence about the recent killing of civilians at Baga.

“They are working hard to ensure that our facts, evidence and so on, are sufficient on ground for us to be able to bring those that have been responsible for human rights violations, including criminal activities over this period,” said Abdullahi.

The NEF wants to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after accusing Nigeria’s government of human rights abuses.

Abdullahi says the government is to blame for the growing security crisis in parts of the country.

“I don’t think anybody can convince me that Boko Haram has killed more people than the Nigeria military and the police as at this point in time. Yes, the government is mandated to protect life and property, but in doing so the government must not be seen to be the one that is killing more people than the insurgents that they are trying to attack,” said Abdullahi.
 
Some human rights groups have accused the military of using excessive force. Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces. 

The government has denied security agents are to blame for the security crisis.
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEF
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEFi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

Border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared their stories More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Richard Bagudu
May 30, 2013 7:33 PM
Boko Haram has murdered more than 3,000 Nigerians since 2009. They bomb churches, police stations, market and recreational places. They slaughter innocent Nigerians, young and old, male and female in cold blood. This group of clowns that describe itself as Northern Elders Forum looked on, made no meaningful efforts to stop this madness; and possibly encouraged the pogrom with their ignoble silence. The criminals declared war on Nigeria since 3 years now. The Forum had all this time to reign on the misguided children, brothers and followers of its members who have turned monsters thereby avoiding this belated state of emergency, but they chose to do nothing. Now, they complain about the state of emergency. Who do they think they are fooling?
However, I agree with the Forum on one point, namely: that the Federal Government has been too slow and indecisive in handling these terrorists and rebels. I refuse to believe that there are no intelligence implicating or linking some highly placed Nigerians with the criminal activities of Boko Haram. To believe that is to write-off the security agencies as good-for-nothing. I would hesitate to do so.
The state of emergency should have been declared years ago. And if you ask me, it should have been total, suspending the powers and functions of the so-called elected political office holders of the States affected because they have proved incapable of governing their own States and ensuring the safety of their own people. Did I hear you say that is the responsibility of the Federal Government? The Federal Government should do whatever it takes, within the limit of the law, to ensure the safety of Nigerians not only in the three States that have been made ungovernable by these terrorists, but in the country as a whole.

by: Nwabuisi ifeanyi from: awka
May 30, 2013 12:38 PM
Please help me to extend my message to this so called Nigeria’s Northern Elders Forum (NEF), that they are fool and have nothing to offer, that the worst to happen is separation wish i personally will be glad to witness

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs