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ECOWAS Needs to be Kept Intact to Fight Threat of Terrorism in West Africa, Insists Kofi Annan Institute

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ECOWAS Needs to be Kept Intact to Fight Threat of Terrorism in West Africa, Insists Kofi Annan Institute

By: Michael Mike

The Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Maj.-Gen. Richard Gyane has said that should dissatisfied members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) allowed to exit the economic bloc, the growing terrorism in the subregion may become more difficult to manage.

He also said the threat of terrorism has made it imperative to build the capacity of women and youth to tackle the menace in the subregion

Gyane raise the alarm at the opening ceremony of a Mobile Training course on Women, Youth, and Violent Extremism and Terrorism, organised by KAIPTC in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, on Monday in Abuja.

According to Gyane, the training aims at building the capacities of women and youth in Nigeria to be more resilient against the threat of Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET).

Gyane while explaining that ECOWAS has done remarkably well in tackling the threat of terrorist group, insisted that to squarely deal with the threats of extremists and terrorists, a multi-faceted approach is needed with everyone contributing in the mix.

He said that it would be more difficult to tackle terrorism should the Sahel state allowed to exit ECOWAS since terrorism groups are more pronounce in the Sahelian states, they would have easy passage into other parts of the subregion as collaboration to wage war against them would be severely affected.

He explained that heavy-handed tactics by security forces have sown distrust among and within local communities in some countries, making women and youth more vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by terrorists.

The commandant said that terrorist groups exploited latent ethnic animosities, mistrust of security forces, and the absence of state presence in certain parts of the littoral countries to enhance their agenda.

He explained that the training developed by KAIPTC for women and youth, which was the sixth edition, would equip the beneficiaries with requisite knowledge skills and resilience against VET.

He said: “As we gather here today, it is clear that VET continues to escalate at an alarming rate in coastal states of West Africa.

“This is terrifying for citizens, especially women, youth, and children, although what we see is just the tip of the iceberg.

“As such, there is a need for partners to remain committed in this fight against VET by building the resilience of their main targets (women, youth, and vulnerable communities), to prevent and counter the recruitment processes of these VET groups.

“It is obvious that there is a critical need to build the resilience and capacity of women and youth to also support the efforts of security practitioners in achieving this unity of purpose.

“KAIPTC collaborates with its key and strategic partners to organise VET-related courses both at the centre and as Mobile Training Teams (MTTs), because the fight against VET is not only for security practitioners but for all,” he said.

Gyane said that as security responses to the threat of VET ramped up, the ability of governments in the littoral countries to avoid the mistakes of their counterparts in the Sahel (Mali and Burkina Faso) was critical.

He explained that KAIPTC preferred to teach participants through collaborative problem-based learning methodology and based on peer learning.

Gyane urged them to be actively involved in the training and offering informed suggestions to address the VET threat regionally.

The Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Dr Joseph Ochogwu, who declared the training opened, said the institute was glad to identify with KAIPTC, adding that the strategic course was timely.

Ochogwu said that women and youth were the worst hit by the menace of violent extremism and terrorism particularly due to their high level of vulnerability.

“My presence here today to join forces with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and Norwegian Government in the swift conduct of this strategic Course, is a testament of our resolve to achieving a nation and continent devoid of violent extremism and terrorism.

“It is my earnest belief and the belief of the entire team at IPCR that working together, we can create a safer and more secure future for our nation and the entire West African region.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this five-day event will achieve its overarching goals of equipping the participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to combat Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Nigeria, Sahel Region and Africa as a whole,” the IPCR DG said.

He added that the array of experienced resource persons participating in the course was proof that all stakeholders were determined to stamp out VET for regional stability, integration, sustainable development and global peace.

ECOWAS Needs to be Kept Intact to Fight Threat of Terrorism in West Africa, Insists Kofi Annan Institute

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

By: Yahaya Wakili

Gadodomasun Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, has appealed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene in the construction of the Potiskum modern market.

“I will not forget the first tenure of His Excellency. During his campaign, we went round all of Yobe State, rural and urban, and he made promises to the people of Potiskum town, a modern market, because Potiskum is a center of commercial business in Yobe State. And by the grace of God, His Excellency has fulfilled his campaign promises.

Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, who is also the former chairman of the NARTO Potiskum local government chapter, made the call in Potiskum while speaking to Newsmen on the one year of the second tenure of His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON.

Abdullahi Garba Alele further said that His Excellency Governor Buni laid the foundation stone for the construction of modern markets in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Geidam, and Buni Yadi, and by the grace of God, all these modern markets have been completed and commissioning, and people have occupied them and businesses have raked off inside.

“But our own for Potiskum town, which has the longest history in business with a high population of people, businessmen, and farmers, but up to now this modern market has not been completed, the work has stopped as a result of what we don’t know, the contractor has abandoned the work. Therefore, we use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene and call on contractors to resume work on site.” Alele said.

The former NARTO chairman said that in the history of Potiskum, God blessed Potiskum with transports, because in the 774 local government councils that we have in the country, there is no local government that has transporters like Potiskum. We thank God, and we thank His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni for considering this thing critically. He constructed us a trailer park in Potiskum, and we thank him a lot.

“But I am assured to His Excellency that this project has stopped. Therefore, we appeal to His Excellency to intervene in this matter to complete these two projects before the end of his three years in office, so that people can benefit from this development. He prayed to Almighty Allah, and as His Excellency completed his five years successfully, we also prayed to Almighty Allah to guide and help him complete the remaining three years successfully.

Gadodomasun also commands His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, and Chairman Yobe State Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa CFR, in his efforts to unite the people and the traditional rulers in Yobe State, and also prays to Almighty Allah (SWT) to give him health. He also prays to Almighty Allah to long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, long live Yobe State, and long live Potiskum local government.

Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Yobe North Senatorial District, has today met with the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, MON, and his team to discuss the implementation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by him on his official page, which was made available to newsmen in Damaturu,.

The DICON Act, which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in November 2023, is a major step towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce their own equipment and reduce dependence on imports.

During the meeting, the minister of state for defense briefed me on the progress made so far on the implementation of the DICON Act.

“I commended the minister, members of his team, and other stakeholders present for the swift action taken to implement the DICON Act. I emphasized the urgent need to make DICON a catalyst for the industrialization of the defense sector in Nigeria.

The President of the 9th Senate pledged that the Senate Committee on Defense, which I chair, will continue to provide legislative support and oversight to ensure the successful implementation of the DICON Act. We believe that a vibrant and self-sustaining defense industry is essential for the security and prosperity of our nation.

Senator Ahmed Lawan also seized the opportunity to inform the minister and his team that the Senate Committee on Defense will embark on a familiarization tour of the ministry next week.

He urged the minister to leverage the expertise of Nigerian engineers, scientists, and manufacturers in the development of indigenous weapons and equipment. This will not only boost our national pride but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The DICON Act has the potential to transform the defense sector in Nigeria. By working together—the Senate, the Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders—we can make this transformation a reality.

Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

By: Michael Mike

A delegation, to be led by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in UK, will visit the Management of Teesside University to intervene on the allegations of unfair and unjust deportation order served on some Nigerian students, in the middle of their studies .

The decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting held between Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Representative of the Nigerian High Commission UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, President, Nigerian Students Union UK, Mr Yemi Soile, and many of the affected students at the meeting on Sunday.

The affected students passionately narrated their ordeal and were optimistic of a positive intervention.

During the meeting , Chairman NIDCOM appealed to the students to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while appealing to the University to treat the students with justice and fairness. Ambassador Okeke spoke in the same vein.

On May 22, some students of Teesside University from Nigeria staged a protest following the directives by the University authorities for them to leave UK on the allegations that some of the students defaulted in paying their school fees.

FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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