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Civilian protection key in counter insurgency operations – Ojukwu

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Civilian protection key in counter insurgency operations – Ojukwu

By Yakubu Uba Yola 27/6/2019

Civilian protection has been described as key issue in the

ongoing counter insurgency operations in the

North East.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights

Commission (NHRC),  Tony Ojukwu Esq made this known in Yola

during a two-day training on mainstreaming human rights and

humanitarian principles and civilian protection into counter

insurgency operations in the North East.

According to a press statement by the Assistant Director, Public

Affairs, Fatimah Agwai Muhammad, the training which is an

annual capacity building for the military, was put together by the

NHRC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR).

Ojukwu who was represented by the Commission’s Director of

the Department of Women, Children and Vulnerable groups, Mr.

Harry Ogwuche Obe, said that contrary to the belief of most

people, the troops also need human rights protection as much

as the civilian population.

“The rights of the officers and men of the Nigerian military are

just as important as the that of the Civilian population and must

be respected,” he said.

The Rights Commission’s Boss said the successes recorded in

counter insurgency operations in the North East must be

sustained, adding that there was need for government to do

more in the area of providing the military with the necessary

resources that would motivate them to achieve more successes

in the fight against insurgency.

“The military need the best available equipment to protect them

while in the front lines because when the military fail, the

consequence is that people lose their lives and properties to

insurgents”.

The Human Rights CEO further stated that following series of

engagements with the military at different levels, and with the

establishment of human rights desks in military commands

across the country, “the military is desirous of

working within human rights laws as we record less cases of

human rights violations perpetrated by them presently, as

compared to when the insurgency started”.

He said the Commission’s way of supporting the fight against

insurgency is by organizing such training  to build

capacity so that the would be more confident and operate by the

highest standards required in the counter in their operations

The representative of the UNHCR Country Rep at the event, Mr.

Mohamed TejanCole, who doubles as the Head of UNHCR Field

Office in Yola, said the 2019UNHCR Global trend report

indicated  that Nigeria presently has 1.7million displaced IDPs in

the States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

“This means more humanitarian problems but what is paramount

to us as humanitarian workers is the protection of this large

population of vulnerable groups”.

The representative of the military, Flight Lieutenant Abara Agbo,

said one of the objectives of the armed forces is to keep Nigeria

as one, therefore troops should not allow the attitude of the

enemy to cause disunity among them.

“The reason why we are called professionals is because we are

trained, we should strive to use this training and professionalism

in responding to crisis situations”.

While promising to further step down the training in their various

formations, the participants  expressed delight at the

opportunity to learn new ideas, saying it would positively impact

on their operations in the frontline.

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Taimako, CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building

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Taimako,_CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building

By Baba Saleh, Damaturu

Taimako Community Development Initiative in conjunction with European Union, British Council Managing Conflict programme in the Northeast have engaged 150 youths in lesson sharing workshop on peace building.

Speaking at the workshop in Damaturu the Executive Director Taimako_CDI Gambo Garba Muhammad disclosed that the training was aimed at increasing the knowledge of the youths on conflict management and peace promotion.

He said the project was to support implementation of initiatives that will address local drivers of conflict such as drug abuse, sexual and gender based violence and other form of anti social behaviour.

Under same project, he said about 7 dialogue sessions were earlier held in the three targeted LGA’s of Bade, Damaturu and Geidam all aimed at shaping the minds of the youths to shun any form violence and avoid been recruited by the insurgents.

In their separate remarks at the occasion the Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashimi II represented by the village head of Gwange, Alhaji Muhammad Ramat and The state commissioner of police Yahaya Sahabo Abubakar thanked Taimako_CDI for carrying the youths from both genders on peace building inititives.

The commissioner of women affairs represented by the Deputy Director Human resource, Zanna Bura Aji Baitu has charged the participants to keep to the lessons learnt and continue to strive for peaceful coexistance in all their dealings.

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BOSG Reintroduces Common Entrance Examination Before Gaining Admission to JSS 1

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BOSG reintroduces common entrance Examination before gaining admission to JSS1

.‘No common entrance, no JSS 1- Governor Zulum

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Borno state government has directed for the immediate reintroduction be of Common Entrance Examination to primary six pupils, before proceeding to Junior Secondary schools across the state.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state who disclosed this while having a meeting with the Principals of 84 secondary schools in the state which held at the Multi Purpose Hall of the Government House, Maiduguri said ‘no common entrance no JSS 1 “.

Governor Zulum also directed the enforcement of a qualifying policy that henceforth, only pupils who pass the examination by securing a cut-off mark, should be eligible for admission into the first year of junior secondary schools (JSS 1), as against giving admissions to all pupils regardless of common entrance criteria.

The governor also directed that school authorities must henceforth take all qualifying and promotional examinations seriously as Government will monitor all conducts

During the meeting with the 84 principals of all public secondary schools in the State, Governor Zulum conditioned them to be honest in telling him the realities of challenges in the system, rather than cover-up for fear of victimization.

The Governor,is, who is also a university professor himself, gave the condition in his opening remarks said “I have been to several schools, and each time I asked, some of you principals found it difficult to explain the problems in your schools. I was later made to understand that if you tell me truth, you would either be transferred somewhere you wouldn’t like, or somehow be victimized. Please I beg all of you to tell me the truth. Let us tell ourselves the truth so that we can improve Borno’s public education from where we are now.”

“I am pleading with you to please be upright, be honest. Education is the bedrock of any development. Without functional educational system, we shall continue to experience this Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. Look at the kind of students we are graduating from our public secondary schools, most of them do not qualify for admission into universities, even those who get admitted find it very difficult to cope. I assure you that telling me the truth will not lead to anything happening to any of you by God’s grace” Zulum told the principals.

The Governor who went down memory lane to remind the principals of glorious days, and the need for all stakeholders to regain quality in public school system said ““I can recall that twenty years ago, principals were not willing to even become permanent secretaries because of job satisfaction. Today, that satisfaction is longer there. There is general decline in the standard of education in public institutions all over the country.”.

“There is the lack of qualified teachers, inadequate teaching facilities, poor maintenance culture, general decay of infrastructure, Government’s inability to ensure monitoring and evaluation, centralized control by the Ministry, unnecessary bureaucracy, and irregular training and retraining of teachers and other essential staff. There is poor data management and indiscipline amongst the major problems affecting the public school system” Zulum enumerated.

The Governor assured that measures will continually be adopted to improve the training and welfare of teachers and administrators of public school system to motivate high performance while supervision will be drastically changed for the purpose of punishing those unready to change.

After the Governor’s remark, the principals took turns to voice out problems of the 84 secondary schools across Borno’s 27 local government areas.

Most of the principals complained about poor quality of primary school graduates who come into secondary schools without strong foundation. They urged the Governor to critically look into reintroduction of common entrance examination at primary six levels, which should be yardstick for admission into secondary schools.

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Malaria MSF Treats 3,287 Children in Borno in July, August, September

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Malaria, MSF Treats 3,287 children in Borno in July, August, September

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Medicine Sans Frontières popularly known as Doctors without Borders has said in it’s efforts roll back malaria in Borno state it has treated 3, 287 under 25 years children in Maiduguri in the months of July, August and September 2020.

The MSF in a statement issued by it’s Field Communication Officer, AbdulKareem Yakubu said ” It Is the malaria peak season in Borno, north-east Nigeria, and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Gwange district in Maiduguri, treats children under –15 years for this serious disease. While in June we admitted 14 patients, that number rose to 126 in July, 846 in August and 1,898 in September, which shows the high prevalence of malaria in this part of Nigeria”.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an independent international humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare in more than 60 countries around the world.

According to the MSF “Malaria is a deadly disease if not treated properly, so MSF teams are working on raising awareness of the local population, to bring their children ASAP to the hospital if they show any of the symptoms. During 2020, we have distributed 5,938 mosquito nets to all the patients who are admitted to the hospital, by that working on prevention of malaria in Borno state.”

“Aside from malaria, in Gwange we treat children for malnutrition, measles and other diseases. During 2020, we have admitted 5,938 patients to our hospital, all of them being children aged from one month to 15 years”, the communication added.

He said ‘as everywhere, MSF in Gwange, Maiduguri, offers completely free of charge medical care including free intensive paediatric care.”

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