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Coalition Counters Ex-US Envoy’s Article On Security Situation In Northern Nigeria




The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) has rubbished an article by former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell wherein he predicted no end in sight for the country’s security challenges, particularly in the north.

Campbell, an envoy to Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 through a piece titled ‘Darkness in Northern Nigeria’ said: “with the growth of militias, the Nigerian state is losing an attribute of sovereignty”.

The article was first published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a New York-based supposed nonprofit think-tank criticised for its biased stance on Nigeria.

However, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Julius Idoko, on Thursday, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement said Campbell’s position was “uninformed”, adding that Nigeria is “almost out of darkness”.

The coalition said it came to this conclusion after undertaking on an assessment tour of the 19 states in the north.

It noted that in the North-central, for example, armed robbery, highway robbery and kidnapping have drastically reduced while the launch of the Operation Sahel Sanity has quelled banditry in the Northwest.

According to the coalition, the presence of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T.Y Buratai in the Northeast has rubbed off on the troops and adversely on the insurgents.

After all its analysis, the group, therefore, concluded that the evils of terrorism, insurgency and banditry pervading the North will soon be a thing of the past.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition of Nigeria Movement, (CNM) concerned about the security situation in Nigeria especially in the 19 states the northern part of the country, decided to undertake an assessment tour of the region with the view to understanding the depth of the problems, the factors responsible and what can be done to remedy the situation.

Our observers were in the three geopolitical zones of the North, namely, Northeast, Northwest and Northcentral Nigeria and covered all the 19 states.

The Northeast which is the worst challenge in terms of security, as we all know, has six states namely, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe while the Northwest has seven states and the Northcentral six.

Our survey indicated that the zones have their peculiar problems in terms of the nature of the security challenges, the depth and differences in approach while they commonly share other aspects of the concern.

In all the zones, the Federal Government has mobilized security agencies in the bid to put an end to the challenges while various strategies have also been deployed by each of the agencies.

We noted that some of the strategies deployed by some of the agencies have failed to yield the desired results but that others have worked tremendously changing situation while bringing relief and succour to the people.

The security agencies involved have mainly been the Nigerian Army, Airforce, Navy, the Department of State Security, DSS, the  Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and others.

This appraisal captures the combined efforts of these agencies in each the zones and what has been achieved though there are special cases when specific agencies and strategies did the magic.


The general problem of insecurity that pervades the Nigerian landscape also finds space in the Northcentral part of the country.

These include armed robbery, highway robbery, kidnapping and attacks on communities.

But the region is peculiar for farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling, highway robbery and hostage-taking for ransom.

In Niger, Benue and Plateau, several lives have been lost in communities through these clashes.

But there has been a spike in criminal activities in Niger State with the regrouping of a particular religious sect, raids and communities and kidnappings.

Lately, too, states like Kogi and Nasarawa began to experience spikes in security issues like kidnapping and highway robbery.

Our observations indicated that the Federal Government of Nigeria responded to these threats by sending troops to the zone through various operational codes like Exercise Ayam Akpatuma, Operation CROCODILE Smile and other coordinated efforts which turned around the security situation in the zone.

Our observers were told by affected communities in Benue and Plateau states that the presence of troops has helped stem the level of insecurity around them.

They told our observers that it was the coming of troops to their communities that caused bandits mounting road books and killing people to flee.

They said troops also stopped the rustling of cows, made arrests and returned many cows to their owners which eased the tension in the area.

People in the zone also confirmed that the politicization of the herders – farmers clashes also stopped.

Criminals elements operating in parts of Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa under the guise of a religious sect have also been dislodged and those they held captive freed by Nigerian troops.


We received reports and later confirmed that some criminal gangs from neighbouring countries usually cross the borders on the Northwest mainly through Kastina, Sokoto and Zamfara States to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

These bandits would ride on motorcycles,  attack communities in the night, shoot and kill some, dispossess villagers of their belongings and withdraw to their cocoons before dawn.

There were also confirmed reports that the ranks of the bandits were swollen by run-away insurgents from the Northeast.

All of a sudden, the mining fields on Zamfara became death traps due to the activities of these criminals while many communities in Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna could no longer sleep with their eyes closed.

The recent additions to the banditry and wave of terrorism included raiding schools and taking student hostage for ransom.

The most provocative was the abduction of over 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State.

The Kaduna- Abuja highway also became notorious for the rate of killings and abductions of travellers.

The Federal Government acted swiftly before things would get out of hand and beckoned to the military and other security agencies to focus on the area.

With constant ground and air bombardment of criminal hideouts, residents have been living in peace.

Scores of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have returned to their homes to engage in businesses like trading and farming.

The Kaduna- Abuja High Way which used to be notorious for kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers were also liberated by troops that people can now travel safely

With constant ground and air bombardment of criminal hideouts, residents have been living in peace.

Scores of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have returned to their homes to engage in businesses like trading and farming.

The launch of Exercise Sahel Sanity by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai also proved to be a wise move.

Within a month after the launch of the Exercise, troops combed the bushes and smoked out the bandits. They freed many hostages that were held hostage and arrested many of the criminals, their informants and collaborators.

The Exercise ensured the recovery of 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams and the arrest of 33 suspected bandits arrested. Seven AK47 Riffles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns were also captured while 17 kidnapped victims were rescued.

No sooner than these results began to show than the people of the Zone began to heave sighs of relief as the nightmare of night attacks and frequent raids on communities stopped.

What would have been an embarrassing situation for the Government and people of Nigeria was turned into a blessing when the army rescued 342 boys who were abducted at a secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State without casualty.


The Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist groups have through terrorists and other criminal activities destabilised the North-East of Nigeria.

It is said that since 2009 when the Boko  Haram started, the groups have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced about 2.5 million people.

At a time, the North-East was experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis which left about 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

Terrorists were taking over Nigerian territories and hoisting their flags and completely sacking the Local Government authorities.

But the President Muhammadu Buhari led government we were able to establish has through the security agencies, been able to halt the descent towards anarchy and restore hope to the people.

The government made significant military gains, reducing the number of Boko Haram attributed deaths from more than 5,000 in 2015 to hundreds in 2020.

The presence of the chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, at the battlefield was also of great positive effects as it kept the troops pushing harder until they penetrated the fortresses of the insurgents and subdued them in their numbers and it has been series of victories for the armed forces.

At a time the heat was so much on the Boko Haram that their leader, Abubakar  Shekau was heard in an audiotape begging for mercy.

Nigeria troops have continued to dominate the area foiling every attempt by the insurgents to relaunch their operations.

We can confirm that Nigeria has not lost any territory to the terrorists since they were recaptured by troops.


With what we’ve observed as a group, we can beat our chests and say that the evils of terrorism, insurgency and banditry pervading the North will soon be a thing of the past.

There is hope that Nigeria is coming out of the darkness it has found itself in some years back.

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Gunmen Kill Five Police Officers, Two Civilians In Rivers




Gunmen have killed at least five policemen and two civilians in Rivers State.

The attack which occurred on Friday night was launched at a police station in Rumuji community, Emohua LGA, and a police checkpoint, known as C4i at the entrance of Emohua from Port Harcourt.

Emohua is a Local Government Area along the East-West road, connecting Rivers and Bayelsa state.

During the attack security vehicles were also burnt.

In another attack, a police station in Elimgbu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area was attacked and three police officers were said to be beheaded.

One of the officers who was beheaded had his head taken away by the gunmen.

Although the Police are yet to confirm the attacks, a youth leader in the Local Government Area, residents of the communities confirmed the incidents to Channels Television.

This attack comes less than one month after gunmen killed three customs officers, five soldiers, and some police officers at different security formations in Ikwerre and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas.

The attacks in April prompted Governor Nyesom wike to impose a nighttime curfew at various entry and exit points of Rivers State between 8 pm and 6 am, and restriction of movement within the state from 10 pm to 6 am.

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We Didn’t Bathe for 56 Days in Kidnappers’ Den –Freed Afaka Students




It was jubilation galore as 27 kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna were reunited with their families after 56 days in captivity.

Tears of joy flowed freely from both parents and their children. At about 3pm, the entire premises of the college, located along the Kaduna International Airport, opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy, erupted in jubilation as the students were being escorted by heavily-armed policemen in company with the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, and the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri.

Narrating their ordeal in the kidnappers’ den, one of the freed students, Zakariya Magaji, described the kidnappers’ den as hell, saying he would never wish the experience for his enemies.

“The bandits need prayers. All that we have to do is to pray for them for God to touch their hearts. As for me, I have forgiven them for whatever we went through in their hands. The experience was hell.”

A female student, Sarah Sunday, said she and her colleagues were subjected to all sorts of dehumanising conditions, including not being allowed to take a bath while in the bandits’ den.

Sunday said, “A lot of things happened while we were there. We were subjected to hunger. We were subjected to trekking and all sorts of dehumanising experiences. We were insulted but thankfully, they did not molest or kill any of us. They only beat us on the first day when they did a video of us.”

Asked if they were fed at all, Sunday said, “The boys used to go and fetch water for us to cook. We cooked tuwo with miyan kuka, and tuwo with dry okra. We only cooked rice once, and we cooked spaghetti once too.”

When asked whether the abductors used to leave them to go out for other operations, Sarah said, “Yes, they used to go out, but they always left some of their armed members to stay with us.

“Even our male colleagues who used to go and fetch water were always escorted to the stream by gang members bearing AK-47 rifles.

“Our living condition in the jungle was very bad. We never had a bath. We were exposed to the rain. Athough there was a hut that we always ran to hide whenever it was raining, still there was no escaping the rain because the hut was poorly built. But we have forgiven our kidnappers. And we pray that God will give them the chance to change for the better.”

‘Bandits said our abduction was to get govt’s attention

Also speaking, a freed student, Pamela Ibrahim, said the bandits said their grouse was with the government and vowed to unleash hell on Kaduna State.

Ibrahim said, “Before they released us, the kidnappers told us that they didn’t have anything against us (students). They said they kidnapped us because they needed the government to settle things with them and that they also wanted to be educated like other Nigerians. They need work and houses too.

“They said if the government doesn’t settle with them, they would continue to make sure that Kaduna State is unsafe. They said they meant it. Some of them are Nigerians, others are foreigners. They spoke mainly Fulani (language) and Hausa.

“There was an old man among them who prevented others from harassing us and anytime he was not around, we were beaten and insulted.”

In a jubilant mood, one of the parents, Ibrahim Hassan, said he was glad that his daughter was freed few days to her elder sister’s wedding.

Hassan said, “I was confused; my life was miserable throughout the time my daughter was with the kidnappers. I only depended on God.

“When I heard that some of the students of Greenfield University were killed, I became sad thinking that I would never see my daughter again but when I learnt they had been released, my joy knew no bounds, especially as her elder sister’s wedding comes up in Zaria tomorrow (Saturday). It is double joy for me.”

Another parent, Mr Friday Sanni, said before he could allow his two daughters – Victory and Rejoice – to return to the college, he must be assured of adequate security in the school.

Sanni said, “The truth remains that if my children must come back here, I must be sure that there is a serious security structure on the ground, that this kind of incident will not happen again.

“If in few months’ time nothing serious is on the ground, I will move my children out, because they are too dear to me.

“The first one will be 20 years old by September while the second one will be 18 by November. They are too dear to me to lose and I will not want this kind of experience again. I have never experienced this kind of situation before in my life.”

Speaking, the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, said the freed students had undergone medical tests and were fit to be reunited with their parents.

“As we speak, the victims are all clinically stable,” he said.

He urged the students not to allow their ordeal to discourage them from pursuing their education.

Speaking on the process leading to their release, Muri said, “The federal and the state governments as well as the acting Inspector-General of Police, the state police command, the military and other sister security agencies adopted the best modus operandi at our disposal and 10 of the students were first released on April 5 and 8 in two batches.

“With this sustained effort, the remaining 27 kidnapped students were subsequently released to the command on May 5, at about 4.10pm without any casualty.”

The police commissioner said concerted efforts were being made to also secure the release of the abducted students of Greenfield University, who had been in captivity since April 20.

The Provost of the college, Dr Muhammad Bello, who received the students, appreciated all those involved in the process to get the students released.

“You should not be discouraged from pursuing your dreams,” Bello told the students.

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Food Security: AFAN Set to Commence Court Action Against Agric Minister




The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has initiated legal proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono over his stance to destabilise the body’s internal democracy structure and impede farmers efforts at working harmoniously with the federal government in attaining food security.

In a release signed by the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the umbrella body of farmers in the country, Salisu Mukhtar, the body noted that the undue interference of the minister, rooted in vendetta by insistently recognising an illegal faction, was at cross-purposes with its constitution and counter-intuitive to the rule of law.

“Upon the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono as HMA, who was once removed as acting Chairman of AFAN Kano State chapter in 2007 for misappropriating fertilizer, the undue interference in AFAN activities began.”
According to the body, AFAN being an NGO is not a department in FMARD and cannot be controlled or destroyed by any individual no matter how highly placed.

“Actions of the HMA which have become a mockery of the law include recognising an unconstitutional and illegitimate leadership faction of the association by playing host to them in his office on several occasions and accepting invitations by them in the full glare of the public, in spite of knowledge of the pending court case.

“This polarising act by a minister representing a constitutionally recognised administration of President Buhari, is undoubtedly antithetical to the rule of law and democratic norms, which are the bedrock of the administration he is serving under,” Murktar said.

The association is asking that the matter which is in Court 9 of the Federal High Court (FHC) before Justice Taiwo Taiwo should be allowed to be resolved, especially by the Plaintiffs who filed the suit in the first place.
“The minister’s actions are directly inimical to the economic progress of the sector which is also hinged on the leadership stability of the private sector stakeholders which AFAN represents.

“Farmers as an extension of the national polity, who participated in and voted overwhelmingly for this administration, are irked by the actions of the minister, which is inadvertently truncating the association’s efforts at enjoying internal democracy nationwide.

“To act in any way by the minister, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer or the Plaintiffs themselves, before the determination of the suit is lawless and adjudged a contempt of court.

“Justice must be allowed to take its course if AFAN is to continue to exist as the apex body of all farmer-associations by whatever name called in Nigeria,” Murktar said.

The body stated that AFAN was registered in 2005 by the CAC with reg: 18160 and three registered Trustees namely Murtala Nyako, Dr Shettima Mustafa and Chief Femi Coker as the apex body of all farmer-associations by whatever name called in Nigeria.

Murktar explained that: “President Olusegun Obasanjo advised then that Murtala Nyako should head the management of AFAN as National President and the duo of Chief Femi Coker and Shettima Mustafa to be deputies 1 and 2 respectively pending general election.

“All other officers were appointed as interim management members in the same manner.
“AFAN elections did not hold until after Abdullahi Adamu former governor of Nasarawa State became the President.

“The elections from the Wards of 774 LGAs to the 36 states plus FCT took nearly two years to be concluded.

“The National Election was conducted in 2014 and the elected Executives duly inaugurated.
“From this point on AFAN began to be recognized as the umbrella of all farmer-associations in Nigeria guided by its constitution as an NGO.”

AFAN on the 6th of May, 2021, served the minister a pre-action notice through their attorney A.O Okeya and Associates for legal actions against his person, for unduly interfering and recognising the Mr Faruk Rabiu faction in the capacity of leaders of the association.

The pre-action notice accused Rabiu’s faction of circulating letters to AFAN state chairmen across the 36 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, under the directive of the minister asking them to purchase inputs supplied by the ministry through them at exorbitant prices.

According to the association’s attorney: “We were informed that on the 26th of April, 2021, the said Faruk Mudi through his Counsel M.M Bakari Esq, wrote a letter to your office intimating you about an election conducted by them, which you directed the Permanent Secretary of your ministry to advise all agencies to recognise this illegal faction, knowing fully well that there is a pending matter at the Federal High Court 9 Abuja.”

“From the above, we demand that you desist from dealing, transacting, aiding and encouraging Faruk Mudi & Co to stop using your office to perpetrate injustice, as the leadership tussle is before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Take notice therefore that this is a pre-action notice, as we shall seek redress in the law court and demand for damages against your person for aiding Faruk Mudi & Co to defraud AFAN members. You are warned.”

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