Security and Conflicts

A Innocent Beginning

In 2002 Muhammed Yusuf created a religious complex that had an Islamic school and a mosque in Maiduguri, the capital of the northeastern state of Borno. Not many could have envisaged that the establishment would turn-out to be a shrouded cradle for Nigeria’s future nightmare.The school was particularly popular with poor Muslim families from across Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. It wasn’t the first time such a religious complex had been established in Nigeria, but its teaching

Nigeria cattle crisis: how drought and urbanisation led to deadly land grabs

In February last year, Sunday Ikenna’s fields were green and lush. Then, one evening, a herd of cattle led into the farm by roving pastoralists crushed, ate, and uprooted the crops.

“I lost everything. The situation was sorrowful, watching another human being destroy your farm,” says Ikenna, a father of 10 who farms in Ukpabi-Nimbo in Enugu state, southern Nigeria. “I farmed a smaller portion this year because I am still scared of another invasion.”

Ikenna’s experience is not an isolated event

In Nigeria, a new crisis deadlier than Boko Haram is rising

In Nigeria’s northwest region, each emerging morning is met with echoes of tragedies.

Men and women and children clutch their radios in wooden decks at the threshold of their huts to hear the news of attacks and neighbours who died. Some days, smokes of burnt houses in far-flung villages will float into the clouds until droplets of the spring rain smother their charred ruins. When the deaths come in this country, which hasn’t known the pleasure of peace for decades, people typically try to abso

Nigeria's kidnapping cartels thrive in the absence of governance

On March 13, Muhammed Usman took a bus from from Gusau, the capital city of Nigeria's north-west state of Zamfara, to see his family in Dangulbi, a small farming community about 50 kilometres away.

Half an hour into the trip, the bus came under a heavy fire. A fully armed gang of 18 members shot at the travellers from the front and rear end of the vehicle for several minutes. Usman grabbed a child who sat next to him and crouched down beneath the seat, covering him with his body.

As the gunfir

The brave women fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria

More than 100 women are working with security agents in Borno state to thwart Boko Haram attacks.

Maiduguri, Nigeria – Boko Haram killed the two most important people in Komi Kaje’s life within two days.

In November 2015, Komi Akaji, her 46-year-old brother, was shot dead by Boko Haram fighters.

“There were seven students killed. When I got there, I saw he was shot twice in the head,” Kaje said.

The days of mourning followed according to tradition. Kaje was broken but Peter Adam, her 35-year

Nigerians mourn triple suicide attack involving girls

Two young girls among three suicide bombers who killed at least 20 in attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria.

Mandarari, Nigeria – Mohammed Bomboi is in shock and mourning as he sits in a raffia hut less than a metre from where his friend was killed by one of three suicide bombers.

Local officials say 20 people died in this small fishing and farming village, though emergency workers in Borno state put the death toll at 30. Villagers say between 21-25 died.

“We were resting on that mat in

Nigeria farmers form vigilante groups to confront bandits

Amid lack of government support, farmers in Zamfara state say they live in fear due to impending attacks from bandits.

Moriki, Nigeria – When bandits attacked Moriki – a small farming community in Nigeria‘s northwestern state of Zamfara – last year and killed 25 villagers, Shamsu Musa did not weep. He stood beside their graves, feeling the weight of Moriki’s sorrow on his shoulders.

Few days after, he surveyed the hills and plain of Moriki – wondering over what will happen to the little kids,

Organised crime kills more civilians in Nigeria than Boko Haram

On the morning of April 6, the sunlight was low and the cloudy skies glowed intensely above Nigeria's northwestern city of Kaduna. Hussein Suleiman, dressed in a striped shirt, fitted dark trousers and black sneakers with a touch of white, scurried through the crowd gathered at Green Park, near the commercial neighbourhood Ahmadu Bello Way.

Suleiman, a co-convener of the March for Zamfara, in Kaduna state, Nigeria, was leading a protest in which thousands of Nigerians – wearing red and black wi

Real estate prices soared as Boko Haram waged war in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Can anything good come out of the Boko Haram insurgency?

“Yes,” says 43-year-old Usman Almad, Maiduguri based realtor, his voice clear and assured.

“After every war, there are a lot of good things that come out of it. The war brought out the best in the economy. It was an eye-opener to the true economic potentials of Borno state.”

In the early days of the Boko Haram insurgency, Almad worked as a broker for rental properties. He then bought and resold lands, making what he

Ignoring death threats, Nigerian radio station resolutely informs people

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — One evening in early August, Abdulrahim Abdullahi sat inside the transmission room of Dandal Kura Radio International. His face was almost buried in the audio mixer as he tried to fix an occasional glitch in the studio microphone.

“It’s fine now,” he said, signalling to Amina Abbagana.

Abbagana is one of the presenters at the radio station located in Maiduguri, the largest city in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State.

“This is Dandal Kura Radio International. The voice of t

Boko Haram victims fight psychological trauma

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — In a vacant room, silent and blurred, 40-year-old Sule Hauwa faced a lay counsellor. She tried to explain the cycles of attacks she faced from the Boko Haram insurgents, her voice falling low and her eyes welling up with tears.

“Since this happened, I have not been sleeping. I’ve always been crying because of this pain and things that happened to my family,” she said, while Kaye Cletus, the counsellor who works at Neem Foundation, listened.

“Mama, everything is fine. Toget

Boko Haram, IDP returns and political calculations in Nigeria

Why are IDPs being urged to return to unsafe areas in Nigeria’s northeast?

On June 17, the Nigerian army announced that 2,000 internally displaced people were to go back home to the district of Guzamala in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. This was made possible by “the achievements recorded by the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole”, an army spokesperson declared.

The announcement followed Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai’s call on internally displaced people (IDPs) to return t

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