News / Africa

    Nigerian Elders Forum Demands Replacement of Force Fighting Radical Islamists

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Dr. Bulama Mali Gubio, spokesman for the “Elders Forum” in northern Borno State

    Peter Clottey

    In Nigeria, a leading member of the “Elders Forum” in northern Borno State has expressed concern about a government-backed unit formed to stop violence by the Islamic sect Boko Haram.

    According to the Nigeria Tribune newspaper, the federal government recently set up the Special Joint Military Task Force with its headquarters in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

    The group includes elements of the army, navy, air force, state security and police.

    Spokesman Bulama Mali Gubio said the force is ineffective. His group wants it replaced by what he described as seasoned and well-trained police officers. Nigeria’s military makes up most of the task force.

    “We are not satisfied with the way and manner they are conducting the operation they are carrying out,” said Gubio. “Instead of calming down the situation and bringing it under control, the conflict has escalated.  People are fleeing the city and becoming refugees.”

    “So many people have died,” he continued, “so, if they are not going to bring any solution to the situation, we want them to leave, so that they can be replaced by experienced well trained police officers who have been to peacekeeping in other countries of the world.”

    Major General Jack Nwaogbo, the head of the joint task force, denies his group is to blame. He said soldiers from the unit have been defending themselves from intensified Boko Haram bomb attacks aimed at them.

    Gubio said the tactics deployed by the joint task force seem to have been targeting ordinary civilians instead of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram. He said the Elders Forum has informed President Goodluck Jonathan about their concerns.

    “Mr. President is very much aware of what is happening. Our lawmakers; our senators, members of the House of Representatives and other senior personnel of the state have gone to see him and… what the elders have discussed has also been communicated to Mr. President,” said Gubio.

    Boko Haram is blamed for a series of deadly bomb attacks and ambushes that have caused an exodus from the capital of Borno State in recent days.

    The University of Maiduguri shut down last Monday, and officials say it will remain closed until the security situation improves. They say the university received a letter from the Boko Haram sect threatening to attack the campus.

    Residents say thousands of people are piling into cars and trucks to leave the city.

    Boko Haram wants to impose strict Islamic law across the north, and it rejects Nigeria's constitution and federal government.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora