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By Eric G. Berman, Guest Blogger A year ago on this platform I raised a concern that the two main Boko Haram factions secured considerable lethal materiel from attacks on regional security forces. That the dynamic existed and was worth further investigation was clear; the scale and scope of the problem less so. A new report shows that the quantities of lethal materiel seized from these state stockpiles are astonishingly high, and the range of weapon systems lost is...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger For the third time in only five months, violence has facilitated a transfer of power in West Africa, with Guinea, Mali (twice in the past thirteen months), and Chad seeing new leaders rise from their respective militaries. West Africa’s post-colonial history has been punctuated by coups. But, especially after regional powerhouse Nigeria moved from military to civilian rule in 1999, there was a strong sense that the days of...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger The Nigerian Embassy in Moscow announced last week the signing of a legal framework agreement that would provide for Russia to supply Nigeria with military equipment and training. The Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation also provides for “after-sales services, training of personnel in respective educational establishments, and technology transfer.” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly raised the possibility of such an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019. Media sees the agreement as related to U.S....

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The Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a sustained attack on media freedom in Nigeria. By Nkasi Wodu, Guest Columnist and Blogger   In recent months, Koo, Twitter’s Indian rival, has begun advertising to Nigerians with the support of a powerful brand ambassador: President Muhammadu Buhari. The endorsement comes more than two months after Buhari banned Twitter from Nigeria, in response to the social media company deleting a controversial tweet from Buhari threatening violence against supporters of a...

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Widespread compliance with a stay-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra could indicate either strong support for the separatist group or fear of going against it.   By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has ordered residents of Nigeria’s South East region—largely Igbo-dominated areas of former Biafra, the breakaway territory that tried and failed to establish an independent state during the 1967-70 civil war—to stay at home every Monday until...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger   On June 9, following a closed-door meeting, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) issued a public statement that the Igbo-dominated southeast should be allowed to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria if it was necessary to avoid a civil war. NEF spokesman Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said “the Forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger   The Nigerian government has launched Operation Restore Peace, designed to destroy the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group in support of independence for the former breakaway Republic of Biafra, and its security wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN). According to Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba, the security services are not to be constrained by human rights considerations. In comments reported in the Nigerian media, he said: “Don’t...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s May 11 meeting with the military service chiefs and the inspector general of police, Nigerian military sources confirmed that some troops were being moved from Borno State, where they have been engaged with Boko Haram and other jihadis, to the South East, to counter “bandits” and the regional separatist organization, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), along with its security force, the Eastern Security Network (ESN)....

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger   In another sign of elite alarm over the deterioration of security in Nigeria, representatives from fifteen of the seventeen southern states—hailing from the South West, South South, and South East geopolitical zones—met virtually on May 4 and again on May 11 for an in-person meeting in Asaba, Delta State to “harmonise their positions.” (Representatives from Osun and Cross River states were absent from the in-person meeting, though Osun State’s governor was present at the virtual meeting.)...

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By John Campbell, Guest Columnist and Blogger   According to Nigerian media, the Federal Ministry of Aviation has directed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to increase airport security. Specific reference is made to the airports at Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, and Maiduguri, with reports of an increased presence of Nigerian military personnel. (The Nigerian army has already assumed responsibility for security at the airports in northern Nigeria.) Of the airports cited, all but Lagos...

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