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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

“.The Nigerian Army University Biu, (NAUB) in Borno State was established as a means to explore a non-kenetic approach in the service operations against insurgency”…Lagbaja, Lt-Gen.

By: A. G. Abubakar,*

The philosophy that guided the establishment of the NAUB was aptly captured by the above statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Ge T. Lagbaja during the maiden graduation of about 417 students of the University in 2023. The assertion by the COAS underscores the difference between a formal military academy like the NDA and a conventional University with a military bend.

It recognises the fact that a “military” exists in a larger society that calls for a “strategic” relationship as a bulwark towards sustainable peace and stability. Thus, while the Academy produces combatants along with requisite hardware, the associate University deals with critical non-kenetic matters of “interdisciplinary academic field, centered on the study of peace and conflict strategies and often devoting special attention to the relationship between military history, international politics, geostrategy, international diplomacy, international economics and military power”, among others. That’s why in the USA all the major arms of military have both specialised academies and Universities in tow.

The famous ones being the US Military Academy at West Point and The US Army University (online), West Virginia. China has more than half a dozen of them under a “policy of leveraging the civilian sector to maximise Military power (known as ‘Military-civilian fusion’)”. India established one in Haryana in 2013. Pakistan and indeed many nations concerned with sustainable national security, operate the two systems concurrently. It’s therefore strange the the current Administration would consider diminishing this global best practice.
The strategic location of NAUB, provides government the ample opportunities to even undertake studies as regards the often prenial frosty relationship between Nigeria as an English speaking country with its three French speaking neighbours of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

The trio share boarders with Borno State, the host state of NAUB. Cross border crimes and illicit weapons have largely fuelled the insurgency in the North East, compounded by dearth of empirical and/or actionable intelligence information from communities in the region.

An Army University could play a decisive role in such cases. The swash of land from Biu, Southern Borno to Cameroon via Garkida, Gombi and Mubi to the East and also through Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza into far north Cameroon enroute Chad had no specialised security-biased tertiary institution like the NAUB. Furthermore, at the time the institution was established, it filled a geopolitical void in Borno State.

Despite the existence of many tertiary institutions in the state such as the Unimaid, the Teaching Hospital, a Polytechnic, College of Agriculture, College of Health Technology, for political reasons the state government didn’t deem it fit to site the Borno State University in the South, where citizens have been yearning for more educational opportunities.
The people’s frustration with this inequitable development was addressed by the arrival of the NAUB. The University has thus, since been seen as a balancing act. The NAUB which is now underway threat has a fundamental role to play in terms of stability in the state, the region and even internationally as a Central Africa security study center.

While calling on Government to consider the NAUB strategic context and save the institution on its own merit, the Borno State Governor Zulum, his Deputy Kadafur, Senator Ndume, Hon. Betara, Haske, Jaha, Balami should impress upon the Federal Government to let NAUB be. They should deem it Honourable to lay the bare facts once more before the government.

The nation stands to gain more in the long run more than the short term resources they want to save. There is no bad education but there could be bad decisions. Let the latter be avoided.
By A. G. Abubakar,
agbarewa@gmail.com

CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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The Truth Alliance Releases “Unveiling the Truth of Boko Haram,” Audio Series of Insurgency in Northeast

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The Truth Alliance Releases “Unveiling the Truth of Boko Haram,” Audio Series of Insurgency in Northeast

By: Michael Mike

The newly formed coalition of civil society organisations called ‘The Truth Alliance’, dedicated to shedding light on the truth behind the reality of life inside and outside Boko Haram, has released a gripping three-part audio series called “Unveiling the Truth of Boko Haram” to coincide with the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the kidnapping of the Chibok Girls in Northeast, Nigeria.

According to a statement on Sunday, “Boko Haram’s presence in Nigeria has had far reaching impact on the peace and stability of the region, leading to the destruction of families and communities, leaving many people to reside in IDP camps. Each person has their own story to tell of the way they were manipulated to join and how once in, their lives, and those of their families, were destroyed as a result. Others tell the story of how they became innocent victims to Boko Haram’s destructive path.

“Through this evocative series, each story reveals the truth behind the way each were manipulated, lied to and impacted, telling others not to fall into their trap.

“Each story delves into the harrowing experiences of those affected by Boko Haram’s atrocities, including Islamic clerics seen from the perspective of those who were once involved or impacted by Boko Haram. Among the stories featured is that of Bukar Bukar, a survivor who, in 2015, fell victim to the brutality of armed assailants and now resides in an IDP camp.”

The statement said in this series Bukar Bukar revealed that following the initial attack on their village: “The northern part of our village is a bush and Boko Haram came through it to have a battle with the military until the next morning, when they arrested some of our youth. Ever since then, I said that we were not going to do any farming activity because members of Boko Haram were killed. Boko Haram are like Camels; they don’t forget things that are done to them easily. 1000 military personnel were sent to us but after a while they became a little less than 100”.

Other stories in the series will include that of Modu Mustapha, a farmer and father of seven children who escaped Boko Haram twice: Shown exclusively on the Truth Alliance’s YouTube channel and across various social media platforms, audiences worldwide are invited to bear witness to the untold truths of life inside and outside Boko Haram in Nigeria.

According to the statement, The Truth Alliance is committed to unmasking the truth behind violent and extremist groups and empowering communities to resist tyranny and violence. Through education, outreach, and collaboration, the Truth Alliance strives to build a safer, more resilient society for all.

In a campaign tagged ‘Time to Tell the Truth’, the Truth Alliance has come together to expose the truth behind how violent extremist groups draw young people into their ranks. Their message is simple: These groups manipulate, they deceive, they control, they kill, they kidnap, they destroy, and their movement as well as ideology is inherently weak.

The Truth Alliance Releases “Unveiling the Truth of Boko Haram,” Audio Series of Insurgency in Northeast

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Nigeria, Cameroon Sign MoU to Fight Trans-border Wildlife Trade, Others

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Nigeria, Cameroon Sign MoU to Fight Trans-border Wildlife Trade, Others

By: Michael Mike

The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with neighbouring Cameroon to both collaborate to fight against transborder wildlife trade, and promote ecosystem conservation and management of forestry and wildlife resources.

The agreement was signed in Abuja on Friday by the Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas and Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU (Cooperation Framework Agreement on Trans boundary Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forestry and Wildlife Resources), the Nigeria’s Minister said the agreement symbolizes a milestone and provides a platform for the establishment of a joint transboundary management framework.

He explained that the implementation of the agreement aims to supervise and coordinate identified areas of cooperation, ensure special protocols are consistent with identified areas of cooperation, collaborate in the implementation of common transboundary programmes, and develop the institutional and mobilisation of funds for the implementation of common transboundary programmes.

The Minister said: “Apart from the global phenomenon of climate change and environmental challenges, social factors including over-population, poverty, food insecurity have continued to immerse these resources to the brink of extinction. While this is going on, transboundary criminality such as illegal logging, poaching and wildlife trafficking have further aggravated the trend and seem to have vindicated the reverberating but appalling warning revealed in the landmark Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 2019 Global Assessment Report that about one million species are threatened with extinction, and many within decades.

“With our common border spanning over 1,500 km, halting and reversing the unsavoury trend cannot be achieved by the political will and commitment in a country alone but more promising is the adoption of bilateral and multilateral approaches particularly when considering the continuum and migratory nature of these resources against the backdrop of the complexities of their transboundary management and conservation.

“To that extent, the event of today is of great significance as it does not only underscore the commitment of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present Government to collaborate with Cameroon to manage and conserve our shared natural resources but also demonstrates the importance of bilateral cooperation in tackling global challenges. So, this agreement can be said to be galvanised by this long history and an apt response to international commitments undertaken by the parties.

“It symbolises a milestone and provides a platform for the establishment of a joint transboundary management framework, which will facilitate cooperation and coordination between our countries on matters relating to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources. This framework will be instrumental in ensuring the effective conservation and sustainable management of our forests and wildlife resources, which are critical to our ecosystem services, livelihoods, and sustainable development.

“This agreement will further facilitate the development and implementation of joint programmes and projects for the conservation and sustainable management of transboundary ecosystems, and also foster the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and best practices between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon.”

On his part, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Cameroon, Jules Doret Ndongo assured that Cameroon would do everything possible to implement the agreement.

He said, “The over-exploitation of forestry resources and poaching, especially cross-border poaching, are serious threats to the sustainable management of our natural resources and constitute thus one of the causes of climate change.

“Given its importance, I hereby urge all parties involved in this process to be more committed in the implementation of this instrument.Rest assured that the government of Cameroon will endeavor to do everything possible at a level to implement this agreement” He said.

In his remarks, Head of Environment and Climate Change Division, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Bernard Koffi, represented by ECOWAS advisor, Adewale Adeleke said, “This is one agreement ECOWAS has been looking forward to, we need to cooperate with each other, we need to share experiences and work together both legally and with communities to safe guard the resources of both counties.”

Nigeria, Cameroon Sign MoU to Fight Trans-border Wildlife Trade, Others

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Military to Partner Ministry of Environment to Preserve Nigeria’s Forest, Wildlife

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Military to Partner Ministry of Environment to Preserve Nigeria’s Forest, Wildlife

By: Michael Mike

The military and the Ministry of Environment have agreed to partner in the protection and preservation of the nation’s forests and wildlife.

The agreement was reached on Wednesday during a visit of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa and his team to the Ministry of Environment in Abuja.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal said the partnership will foster the attainment of the country’s environmental goals and climate action.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)‘s Organised Crime Threat Assessment for Nigeria for 2023 has found that Nigeria is a key transit hub and consolidation point for various forms of illegal trade in wildlife and forest products, especially for pangolin, ivory, and rosewood.

The UNODC had decried that there were more than 1,000 records between 2011 and 2020 that indicate Nigeria as a source, transit, or destination country.

The FG had also lamented that Nigeria’s forest cover is diminishing and that at present only about three per cent of Nigeria’s forest cover remains, instead of acceptable 25 per cent.

Lawal during the meeting with the CDS said: “For the first time in Nigeria, it has been observed that from February till date, the weather has been very hot, which shows that there is a very serious climate change in Nigeria. We need to take care of our environment because that is where we live.

“I believe that we need your support in achieving that. We need your strong support in the area of forest protection. The forest cover in Nigeria is about three per cent now. So, we need to move to stop illegal wood logging and the exportation of wood.

“Secondly, we have the issue of illegal poaching of wildlife. Recently there was the killing of two elephants in Borno state, and we have only a few in the country, in Nigeria, we have less than 200 of them. We are also confronted with the issue of poaching of pangolins. So, we need your support to protect the wildlife.

“We also look at the issue of turning wastes into wealth. We have a lot of waste in the country, so we are trying to create a circular economy around it. We are trying to create employment, energy around wastes.”

The minister noted that a roadmap for the circular economy has been developed to guide Nigeria’s transition to a circular economy.

On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff said efforts are being made to address illegal oil bunkering, and soot in the country.

He promised that: “We will continue to do our best to protect the environment because it’s a running battle. So, we are here as part of the efforts to ensure that we develop synergy and have a better understanding for the good of the country.

“The environment is everything because without it, there can’t be humans and it is critical for us at the Armed Forces, especially in the aspect of security. Now we have seen the effects of climate change all over and how it’s affecting lives and we need to innovate ways of tackling climate change.

“I want to assure you that the Armed Forces is ready to support you because working together as a team is better.”

He decried that criminals, bandits, and other non-state actors take advantage of the forests to carry out heinous crimes.”

He admitted that: “We can partner to ensure the security of those places and tell you that we are ready to give you all the support. We will ensure that our forests remain very viable.”

Military to Partner Ministry of Environment to Preserve Nigeria’s Forest, Wildlife

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