Monday 13 December 2021


 The title of this Blog post was the theme of a national discourse in Abuja on the 1st of December 2021. The parley was the brainchild of the 'National Prosperity Movement' (NPM). Prof. Attaghiru Jega (former Chairman of INEC), delivered the keynote address, where he traced the history of Nigeria's federalism and zeroed in on the 1957 McPherson Constitution as the very first truly federalist one. Jega noted the following:

*Nigeria has a distorted/dysfunctional form of federalism, which ought to be reversed.

*There are certain threats to national unity which include ethno-religious and promordial identities, hate speech, misinformation & fake news, lopsided citizenship rights, dangerous and genocidal narratives about e.g. the farmer-herder crisis/the BH insurgency and irredentist militancy.

*Governance at the federal, state and local government levels leaves much to be desired.

*Nigeria is hurting and craving for a better political recruitment process.

Jega recommended the following:

*Communities should uphold and protect the rule of law and citizenship rights: All citizens should have equal rights wherever they reside. A clause may be entrenched in the Constitution, stipulating the qualification for residency.

*There should be focused and targeted programmes of socialisation in schools to instill core values in the students. The content of the 'Civics' curriculum needs to be stepped up. There should also be citizenship and leadership training programmes.

                                                      Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the event

Other speakers were: Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Governor of Ekiti state), Prof. Bayo Olukoshi (Director of Africa & West Asia of the International Institute forDemocracy & Electoral Assistance - IDEA), Dr. Amina Salihu (Senior Programme Officer, McArthur Foundation), Ms. Ene Ede (Gender Activist/VAPP Coordinator, FCT), Dr. Nwosu, Prof. Jideofor Adibe.

In my intervention, I talked about the need to effectively include vulnerable groups like women, PLWDs, etc in the governance process. Safe spaces should be provided for them because the playing field is not level. I also said that the indigene today was the migrant yesterday. Both indigenes and settlers are citizens of Nigeria. Therefore the issue of citizenship rights needs to be further interrogated...

                       L-R: Prof. Bayo Olukoshi (Director IDEA - Africa & West Asia) & Dayo.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi said there's nothing heroic in dying for a cause dialogue can fix. It's better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. No country was created as a united entity at the outset. Most countries are forms of mergers and acquisitions like Nigeria. Initial conditions are never perfect. Disunity is not a fatalistic condition. In the face of challenges, we must put the issues that affect us in better perspective. Unity  benefits from horizontal and vertical solidarity. Solidarity should not sideline professionalism, inter-group or inter-generational cohesion. Fayemi then launched 'The Nigeria Agenda for Unity, Prosperity & Equity'. He gave a red card to all negative agenda in order to stabilise Nigeria on an even keel.

What can I say? If we could all start over, we could indeed have a relatively united Nigeria...

Tuesday 23 November 2021


On the 22nd of November 2021, the 9th Summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission was held at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. At least twenty First Ladies across Africa were present, while others were represented. I was there live! It is indeed heart-warming that the First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Mohammed-Buhari is hosting the meeting at this critical time when many African countries, including Nigeria are in turmoil as a result of insecurity resulting from insurgency, farmer-herder crisis, kidnapping, criminality, rural banditry, etc

Photo above L-R: Ms. Ene Ede (VAPP Coordinator FCT), Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Minister of Information)
                               Photo above: Some dignitaries @ the event. Dayo is 5th from left

It is instructive that the President in his speech at the occasion said that 'women are well placed in the society to evolve strategies for mitigating conflict because they know where the shoe pinches - women and children are usually the greatest casualties of conflict/war...' At the post-summit dinner, funds were raised for a brand new edifice to house AFLPM in Abuja. We all look forward to the communique which would summarise the First Ladies' suggestions. Lest I forget, congratulations to Nigeria's First Lady for being elected the next President of the AFLPM...


Saturday 30 October 2021


 'Climate change (CC) as a security threat in Nigeria' was the subject matter for discourse at Sandralia Hotel, Abuja between the 27th and 28th of October 2021. The parley was hosted by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with Coalition for Socio-Ecological Transformation (COSET). The meeting is a prelude to COP 26 - 26th iteration of UN CC Conference of the Parties holding in Glasgow between 31st October & 12th November 2021. The sub-themes were:

*Assessing CC & armed conflict 

*Gender, youth & CC

*CC & food sovereignty 

*CC & human security (HS) 

*State & non-state actors' responses to CC & security

                                                               Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

*Dr. Daniel Mann - Resident Representative, FES
*Prof. A. N. Gambo - VC Karl Kumm University, Vom 
*Rinmicit Aboki - Climate Change Specialist
*Rev. Fr. Edward Obi - Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt
*Oseloka Obaze - MD Selonnes Consult, Awka
*Dr. Aliyu Barau - Bayero University, Kano
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Conflict Transformation Strategist, Abuja
*Olumide Idowu - Youth Focal Point @ UNDP Small Grants Programme
*Samuel Wakdok - Economist & Fiscal Sector Researcher
*Ken Henshaw - ED, We The People, Port Harcourt
*Evelyn Ugbe - Head Partnerships/Grants, Women Environment Programme
*Dr. Suwaiba Said Ahmad - Bayero University, Kano
*Titilope Ngozi Akosa - ED, 21st Century Issues
*Dr. Idris Ali 
*Dr. Lohna Bonkat-Jonathan - National Institute for Legislative & Democratic Studies, NASS
*Florence Ibok Abasi - Programme Manager, Stakeholder Democracy Network 
*Dr. Elizabeth Aishatu-Bature - Nigeria Defence Academy
*Chinma George - Environmental & Climate Change Specialist
*Tijah Bolton - Head of Programmes, Policy Alert
*Dr. Sunday Adejoh - Nigeria Defence Academy
*Salaudeen Hashim - Conflict Advisor, CISLAC 
*Dr. Ejike Madu

                   L-R: Dr. Ejike Madu, Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Prof. Gambo

Issues of concern were:

*The contribution of the fast shrinking Lake Chad to insecurity.
*The 'new' AK-47-carrying herders in contrast with peace loving herders of yore who lived in harmony with sedentary farmers.
*Enhancing community resilience in the face of CC-induced conflict.
*Un-governed spaces as fertile ground for CC-induced conflict.
*Human-induced environmental degradation.
*The fact that when very old and relatively young trees are felled, unwanted carbon dioxide is released into the air.
*The uncomfortable intersection between CC, environmental degradation & conflict.
*How to transcend from negative to positive peace in affected communities.
*Restoration of indigenous trees through irrigation-free concepts.
*How to mainstream climate-smart agriculture through R&D - e.g. hydroponics, etc
*Interrogating the intersection between the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) & the Great Green Wall (GGW).
*UN 'RED' is donor driven and he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Therefore donor-dependent NGOs/CBOs sometimes engage in 'research' and 'advocacy' that's irrelevant to their communities.
*Environmental matters remain on the exclusive list. The Constitution needs to be amended to embrace the 'democratisation' of intervention in the environment, so that states and local governments would have a grater say/stake.
*Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the environmental sector.
*Conversion of salt water to fresh water.
*Damage caused by soot in Port Harcourt.
*Effective use of indigenous & local knowledge (ILK) in the environmental sector.
*The vexed issue of limited access to land because of insecurity.
*CC is a problem multiplier: force migration, affects women and men differently, feminisation of poverty, flooding, health challenges for women via CC: e.g. early menopause.
*River Benue drying up.
*More action required on 'NAP on CC'.
*Minimising carbon footprint.
*How to make more 'Keke Napep(s)' use solar energy.
*Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of CC.
*Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a result of CC
*High warming rates in semi-arid regions: Number of infectious diseases expected to rise.
*Human security dimensions of CC - health, education, etc
*Food Sovereignty (FSo) vs Food Security (FSe). FSe does not necessarily guarantee FSo. This is because you may have enough food to put in your mouth to put hunger at bay - FSe. But is the food nutritious and do you have choice as expected in FSo? For example, Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) in the Military is highly nutritious, containing all the necessary vitamins and minerals - FSo?
*Artesanal/Illegal oil refining and CC.
*Mapping conflict as a result of CC.
*Peace Journalism/Conflict Reporting as regards CC.
*Negative effect of policy somersault in the environmental realm.
*Importance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for all projects.
*Wanted: National Resiliency Policy (NRP).
*Ecological Fund & corruption.
*Need for a multi-disciplinary approach in the environmental sector.
*State actors vs non-state actors in the environmental sector.

Some recommendations:

*ADR needs to be more rigorously deployed in the environmental sector.
*The Lake Chad should be 're-hydrated'.
*The farmer-herder crisis is CC-induced. Ethno-religious interference should be minimised.
*Environment should be expunged from the exclusive list in the Constitution.
*The Land Use Act (LUA) should be re-evaluated.
*There should be more government presence in currently un-governed spaces.
*Indigene-settler issue should become a Constitutional matter.
*Climate-smart agriculture should be encouraged.
*The GGW should be interrogated alongside the NLTP.
*Technology fo converting salt water into fresh water needed.

The above recommendations are not comprehensive. The conversation continues...

                                                             The conference banner...

20th January 2022


It's only logical that FES holds a post-COP 26 meeting, having held a pre-meeting in November 2021. The meeting held on the 20th of January was a mini post-COP 26 analysis.

Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Daniel Mann - Resident Representative FES
*Dr. (Mrs) Abiola Awe - Director, Dept.of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist, Abuja/
*Priscilla Achakpa -
*Rev. Fr. Obi Edward - 
*Ken Henshaw - 
*Cadmus Atake Enade
*Tito Uzomah/Chinma George/Zainab Yunusa/Olumide Idowu/Rinmicit Aboki/Anne-Marie A - Told their stories from COP26
*Titi Akosa - ED 21st Century Issues
*Hauwa Mustapha - 
*Seyi Adebote

The COP26 analysis was approached from many angles: Gender, government, capitalism, labour, Africa, Nigeria, etc. There are disappointments for civil society in COP26. Market mechanism will not solve the climate challenge. Net-zero postulations defer actions, they are simply functional stipulations. It was an exclusionary conference, only two delegates per Mission allowed. We need to phase out fissil fuel in Africa. But how can we do this when many countries, including Nigeria depend on it for survival? Climate change of people more desirable than COP26?

We need more nature-based solutions and indigenous knowledge (IK) to CC. Other issues raised: Agro-electricity is useful, how realistic are binding global emission levels?, how can countries in the global south flourish in spite of CC?, CoSET should champion a Nigerian corps.

Stories/experiences from COP26:

-Difficult to get accreditation.
-Financing for action panel sessions inaccessible.
-Poor organisation of Nigeria's team/youth working groups.
-Youths need training in Negotiation.
-Financial commitments from UK, Canada sometime not fulfilled. We need to strategise about how to access these funds.
-From COP27, Nigeria should showcase relevant innovation like other countries.
-Many participants were quite intrigued by the side events.

Titi Akosa brilliantly 'unpacked' Article 6 for the audience.

Discussion in the 'alternative space'. What caused CC in the first place? The market. Therefore, can market solutions effectively tackle CC challenges? The private sector (PS) says 'no free money for loss & damage'. Is the 1.5 degreesC benchmark scientifically based? The PS is sometimes more powerful than government. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Agreement. Africa has less than 3% of the emission. G7 has 97%. PS has introduced 'trading in pollution'. This is a 'false' solution. The PS is creating projects in Africa that would absorb their emissions (carbon capture & storage/de-engineering).

There are number of engagements under Article 6:

-Voluntary engagements - Internationally Transferred Migration Actions (ITMAs)
-Nationally determined contributions (NDCs0
-Common But Differentiated Responsibilities - CBDR

How does Nigeria benefit from Art 6?

-In any project, take care of the human beings, first. 
-Pursue the provision of clean energy vigorously.
-Get the emission reduction certificate that can be traded.
-Think about very BIG projects.
-Divest from fossil fuel.
-Think out of the box.
-Invest more in clean energy.

The 'Just Transition (JT) Declaration'

It started in the 1990s in North America. Coal was to be phased out because of environmental pollution. The workers worried about suddenly losing their jobs. Workers insisted on a gradual transition process which would ensure they don't get suddenly thrown into the labour market. Workers re-trained and formed the Global Workers' Unions (GWUs). Workers ensured social protection was on the cards for them. Then came the Movement for Just Transition in Brazil, etc. There was also Climate Action for Jobs Initiative (CAJI).

Nation-states might not be committed to commitment. Some countries promised $100b annually for the mitigation of CC. JT should be included in the NDC. 

Youth engagement

There have been two youth engagements since 2017. For improved involvement of the youth in climate change matters, we need more data collection, training and innovation. In mid-2020, there was meaningful engagement of young people - Zoom consultation: 300 young people constituted 8 working groups. his was structural engagement of young people with government. Other areas of need for the youth are:

-Inter-generational transfer of knowledge.
-Get to understand the internal and external politics of CC.
-Get involved in cross-border exchanges.
-Nexus between the environment & the economy.
-People should have a conscience about environmental challenges.
-Mentoring needed.
-Tokenism not good enough for the youth.
-The youth should use social media positively to call attention to CC.
-Shadow reporting on CC issues in Nigeria.
-There should be knowledge sharing.
-Implementation of solutions should be localised.
-Could technology for mitigating CC be transferred? I think not.
-There should be accountability.
-Intensive research needed.

In the words of Chkwuma Nwokolo, 'One day, we would rather die than destroy the lives of our children'.

Priority areas for Nigeria/Africa towards COP27

-Key into ECOWAS and Africa's position on CC.
-Ensure complete consideration of some issues e.g. Article 6.
-Explore technology transfer and Indigenous Knowledge (IK).
-Monitor whether countries that pledged $100b annually have delivered.
-Issues around 'loss & damage'.
-Gender issues. Gender focal persons should be strengthened.
-Capacity building should be intensified.
-Response mechanisms to CC should be localised and fit for purpose...
-Interrogate the fact that the results of COP are far slower than the pace of CC.
-Mobilise positions for CSOs and communities for COP27.
-Examine the peculiar impact of CC on women.
-We should be more critical about concepts from the West e.g. net-zero (offset). What does net-zero mean in practical terms for Africa?
-Be mindful of the effect of CC on farmer-herder crisis, drought, asymmetry of structures between Africa and the West.
-We should re-appropriate the logic of collective action by Africans.
-Note that from 2025, international extractive industries can no longer come to Africa to do business, because many countries would insist on 'paying before playing'.
-African leaders should understand the enormity of the CC problem.
-There should be adequate compensations for communities affected by the activities of the 'market'.
-Review of pollution-enabling laws...

The conversation continues...




Wednesday 22 September 2021


It was more than a mere coincidence that Oxfam Nigeria via the Voice Project awarded grants to selected awardees on the 21st of September 2021, which is also International Peace Day (IPD). The theme for this year's IPD is 'Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world'. It is instructive  that Oxfam awarded grants in various categories to promote equity, inclusivity, sustainability, social engineering/cohesion, democratic ideals, expansion of the civic space, etc. At the event, there were representatives from the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Correctional Service, National Orientation Agency (NOA), many NGOs and Special guests. 

This was the media event for the 2020/2021 Voice Grantees inception. It was the very first time the media would be invited to witness the formal award of grants to 'Right-holders' (Oxfam's euphemism for grantees). Before now, similar events were held to commemorate the successful completion of projects by Right-holders. See for example I was a special guest at the media parley. Oxfam Nigeria has doled out more than 4 million Euros to Right-holders in the past five years.

                                  Pelemo Nyajo, the Poet from 'The Street Project'

For me, the star of the show was Pelemo Nyajo a talented Poet living with disability from the stable of 'The Street Project', who set the stage with the 'soulful' rendition of her audacious poem titled 'My People', which is social satire, highlighting injustice via Police brutality, rights abuses, extortion, unequal access to social goods and services, etc. Let's take a sneak peek into Pelemo's mind via a few lines from her poem:

My People, My People by Pelemo Nyajo

My people, my people. 

After I heard about the snake that swallowed millions of Naira, 

I didn't believe there would be any greater show of tragi-comedy in Nigeria.

Nollywood hasn't failed, neither have the producers, but they have a superior

The Nigerian government, or should I say the government of UAR?

And they are at it again, teaching us that being born into Africa's giant means war.

Our bodies were crafted as defense in the fences of our mothers' wombs.

How could we hear that people died, holding the Nigerian flag, upholding their own nation?

They went six feet under...

Indeed, we are making history with stories that may never get into history textbooks... 

                                 Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa speaking at the event

The Voice Project grants are in three major categories: *Influencer, *Sudden Opportunity (SO) & *Innovation/Learning (IL). The projects in the influencer category seek to effect positive change in social behaviour. Sudden Opportunity projects seek to take advantage of spontaneous social eruption for desirable and enduring paradigm shift in citizen engagement with the governance process. Innovation/Learning seeks to take cues from the influencer and SO categories by processing lessons learnt from processes undergone and adapting same for social cohesion, going forward.

           Mrs. Ijeoma Okwor (Coordinator of the Voice Project), making her presentation

What then are the goals, why give out these grants? Right-holders' organisations/groups are empowered to use their influencing capacity to push for their voices to be heard, respected and included. Consequently, empowered Right-holders are able to express their views and demand their rights for response and inclusive governance/society. From Ijeoma Okwor's presentation, I garnered the following:

8 grants were awarded in the Influencer category:

1) Street Project Foundation: 'Artvocacy' project for 12 months @ 140,000 Euros.

2) Public & Private Development Centre (PPDC): Inclusive governance through civic engagement for 18 months @ 99,000 Euros.

3) Centre for Citizens with Disability: Justice & political participation for PWDs for 24 months @ 81,437 Euros.

4) Network of Youths for Sustainable Initiatives: Promoting accountability and greater participation of youths in governance for 20 months.

5) Carmalite Prisoners' Interest Organisation: 'Polrite 23' to ensure that inmates vote in the 2023 elections @ 86,093 Euros.

6) Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation & Empowerment: 'Access for All' to stop discrimination against PWDs in the aviation sector @ 54,610 Euros.

7) Connected Development (CODE): 'SABI' - Men as advocates against GBV for 18 months @ 142,453 Euros.

8) YIAGA Africa Initiative: 'Run to Win' - Supporting young people with competence to run for elections for 18 months @ 140,049 Euros.

In the SO category, 6 NGOs were awarded grants to interrogate various aspects of the EndSARS protest. Under the Innovation/Learning category, COGNITO Studio & NINE: 'Connecting Voices in Nigeria' to facilitate, motivate and support grantees' linking & Learning (LL) activities in Nigeria @ 249,895 Euros. Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance: 'Celebrating inclusion in Nigeria' for 24 months @ 107,937 Euros. The outstanding grants for 2021 are the Voice Empowerment & Accelerator grants. To track these projects, see

Wow! This was the first time Oxfam was inviting the media to witness the grantees' inception where the amounts doled out to each of them was announced. Speakers at the event admonished the Right-holders to be good ambassadors of their various organisations by ensuring that the principles of transparency and accountability are strictly adhered to. In my speech, I emphasised that Oxfam should be even more diligent in monitoring and evaluating the Right-holders so that the aims of the various projects are accomplished.

For the next grant season, I expect an avalanche of applications since the public now knows how much was doled out this season. I can assure the impending applicants that the selection process at Oxfam is rigorous to say the least. But with the youth bulge and high rate of unemployment and hunger in the country, many citizens, both old and young would give the submission of proposals a shot. I commend Qxfam and her partners for this laudable concept of engendering social engineering via system relevant projects for positive change in our clime... Bravo!

                             Pelemo Nyajo, The Poet, being interviewed by the media


Wednesday 1 September 2021


On the 31st of August 2021, the Adamawa Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations (AFFAHR) held its inaugural meeting at Alheri Royal Hotel, Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa state, Nigeria. I was a major stakeholder at the event, where I shared useful lessons learnt from the Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN) with participants. AFFAHR is an off-shoot of Contributing to the Mitigation of Conflict over Natural Resources between Farmer & Herder Communities in Adamawa State (COMITAS). COMITAS is funded by the European Union, while AFFAHR is jointly managed by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), International Office of Migration (IOM) & Mercy Corps.

                                                       Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the venue

Some of the participants are:

*Sher Nawaz - Country Director, SFCG

*Amos Nderi - Programme Manager, COMITAS

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Conflict Transformation Strategist/FFARN Member

*Nathaniel Awuapila - CEO CORAFID/FFARN Member

*Ms. Toyin Falade - FFARN Member

*Dr. Joseph Gimba - FFARN Member

*Prof. Ibrahim Vahyala - Modibo Adamawa University, Yola

*Chief Philemon Godi - Bachama Traditional Council/Wakili Nuruam

*Prof. Kalep Filli - Modibo Adamawa University, Yola

*Prof. Augustine Ndaghu - Modibo Adamawa University, Yola

*Ismail Modibo - Muslim Council, Adamawa state

*Prof. A. Voh - Adamawa state Livestock Transformation Office (SATO)/NLTP Yola

*DCP Vungmoh Kwaimo - Nigeria Police Force

                                          L-R: Sher Nawaz (Country Director, SFCG) & Dayo

The duration of the programme is 18 months. It is worthy of note that Adamawa state is one of the domains where the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) of the Federal Government is being piloted. The implication of this is that the NLTP and AFFAHR are being implemented simultaneously in Adamawa state! For me, that's a good thing because both projects can learn from and complement each other.

The beauty of AFFAHR  and NLTP is that they are both multi-stakeholder projects with the ultimate aim of promoting peace in communities. Both projects adopt a bottom-up approach. AFFAHR is already working with the Adamawa state Peace-Grazing Reserve & Social Integration Commission. The Gogoshi and other grazing reserves are being re-visited. Transhumance livestock routes would be assessed.

Issues of disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation & re-integration (DDRR) of armed elements in the crisis would be addressed. Compensation for aggrieved parties would also be sorted out. The presence and capacity of security agencies to manage crisis would also be addressed. Would it then be possible to break cattle rustling cartels? Time will tell. What about the re-building of infrastructure? 

There is only so much that can be achieved within an 18 month time frame that the AFFAHR project is allotted. But the beauty of the endeavour is that AFFAHR hit the ground running. With the buy-in of the state, LGAs, influential individuals, CSOs/CBOs, academics, practitioners, etc. the sky is not the limit for the AFFAHR project...  

Friday 27 August 2021


'Ethnic profiling (EP) & the challenges of inclusion in Nigeria' was the topic for discussion at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on the 24th of August 2021. Many related aspects of the subject matter were put on the table viz; *Importance of stating all sides of the story *Narratives around EP *The nation-state labeled Nigeria *Cultural stereotyping *Lessons from the civil war *The Igbo/Yoruba/Hausa etc. question *Federalism & restructuring *The leadership question *Ethnic militancy & insurgency *Ethno-religious conflicts *Citizenship & indigeneity *Pastoralist/Farmer conflicts & the land question.

                                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the parley

Some of the participants at the parley are:

*Amb. Zango Abdu - Country Manager, USIP Nigeria
*Amb. Fatima Balla - NWG, USIP Nigeria
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist
*Dr. Usman Bugaje - Moderator
*Mallam Ibrahim Muazzam - Paper presenter
*Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim - Senior Fellow, CDD
*Dr. Chris Kwaja - USIP
*Ms. Idayat Hassan - Director, CDD
*Ms. Okonyedo - Director Partners West Africa

                           Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa listening to Dr. Usman Bugaje (Moderator)

In my intervention, I called attention to the fact that the concept of 'Implicit Bias' (IB) could be at the centre, and indeed a major propeller of ethnic profiling. I acknowledged Mark Brian Baer (Lawyer/Mediator), based in the USA, as a major proponent of the concept of IB. Thanks, Mark for always putting IB on the front burner. Besides, in the conflict transformation spectrum, while trying to resolve issues around ethnic profiling, Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, Med-Arb, etc. could also be useful.

I called attention to two publications by the Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR) - 'Dialogue on citizenship in Nigeria' & 'Strategic Conflict Assessment of Nigeria' which could be added to the literature review. The many Policy Briefs of the Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN) are also relevant here.

In lieu of a conclusion, the following were noted:

*Democracy is a dynamic process.
*Conflict is not always negative, it could be positive.
*The conflict transformation process could be long and arduous.
*Life after violence entails the deployment of ADR mechanisms - Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, etc.
*Intra-state conflicts are peculiar and the dynamics of same should be taken cognisance of.
*There should be a bottom-up approach to conflict transformation and indeed development.
*Transformation of pastoralist-farmer conflicts should take cognisance of the work of the 'Peace Committees' set up in some states, e.g. Kaduna.
*There's the need for a more robust understanding of resource-based conflicts.
*The seasonal and off-season movement of cattle should be monitored.
*In all conflicts, the human rights of all citizens should be protected.
*Ethnic profiling should be tackled at the most basic levels - the home/school.
*We need to gather more empirical data on ethnic profiling.

The discourse continues on ethnic profiling remains inexhaustible...


Friday 6 August 2021


Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) was host to academics, practitioners, security agencies, etc. at the conference on 'Gaps in security sector reform & governance: Possible contributions of CSOs & non-traditional security actors'. The conference was held in Abuja between the 28th and 29th of July, 2021. Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Daniel Mann - FES Resident Representative

*Brig-Gen Saleh Bala - White Ink Institute for Strategy, Education & Research (WISER)

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Conflict Transformation Strategist, Abuja

*Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo - CEO, NextierSPD, Abuja

*Dr. Iro Aghedo - Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan

*Dr. Wilson Ijide - Institute of Security Studies, University of Ibadan

*Dr. (Col) Ademola Lawal - Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD)

*Dr. Julie Sanda - National Defense College (NDC), Abuja

*Prof. E.R. Aiyede - University of Ibadan

*Dr. Freedom Onuoha - University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)

*Mrs. Bukola Adelehin - UN Women

                                    Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the venue of the conference

The major sub-themes were:

*Nigeria's security architecture for the future

*Non-state security sector in Nigeria: Trends & challenges

*Inclusive participation in Nigeria's security sector: trends & opportunities

*Institutional capacity of Nigeria's security sector

*Policing, police & the feasibility of their reform in Nigeria

*Towards an accountable security sector in Nigeria

My major intervention was during the session on 'Institutional capacity & capability of Nigeria's security sector'. I agreed with the author, Dr. Wilson Ijide that: 

*Ability predicts performance

*Under-performance leads to systemic failure

*Comprehensive reform requires capacity/capacity building, good governance, etc.

*Capacity & capability are affected by insufficient funding, workforce challenges, obsolete equipment, corruption, poor security sector governance, over-centralisation of the security sector, over-lapping agency functions, etc

As a result, I suggested that we need a broad-based SSR that embraces professionalism, effective and efficient legislative oversight, synergistic relationship between state police-LG police-community police-traditional security actors-NGOs, etc. Such a beneficial relationship would propel the gathering of credible local intelligence, which would form the basis of Early Warning and possibly Early Response (EWER). There should also be some affiliation between specific groups like Amotekun (SW Nigeria) and Ebubeagu (SE Nigeria) and Community Police.

I also advised that there should be the strategic deployment of relevant Artificial Intelligence (AI), beyond drones, for effective Community Policing. Besides, the various types of security challenges like kidnapping, terrorism, rural banditry, etc. need to be unpacked for thorough analysis. There should be less talk and more action by the security agencies. For example, it is unnecessary to announce the types of equipment newly acquired to fight terrorists. Let the results tell us how effective the security agencies have been at decimating the ranks of the terrorists...

There should be adequate training in conflict reporting so that such reportage does not fuel more conflict. While looking into the gaps in the security sector in Nigeria, we need to pay close attention to what's happening in the Lake Chad region where the other three countries - Niger, Chad & Cameroun are neck deep in similar security challenges...

                                                Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa beside FES's  'stand'

Related Links

*Security & civic affairs




The United States Institute for Peace (USIP) report titled: 'Civilian-led governance & security in the Lake Chad Basin' was dissected in Abuja on the 27th of July, 2021 by a select group which included me. The meeting was hosted by the USIP Country Director. Some of the participants are:

*Amb. Abdu Zango - USIP Country Director

*Amb. Mamman Nuhu - Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC)

*Dr. Usman Bugaje - Covener, Arewa Research & Development Project (ARDP)

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola

*Brig-Gen Saleh Bala - White Ink Institute for Strategy, Education & Research (WISER)

*Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim - Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)

Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

The parley focused on three major areas:

The implications of: 

*Boko Haram's collaboration with criminal banditry in NW Nigeria. This is similar to the Sahel three-frontier zone between the borders of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali for the LCBC and countries involved in defeating the BH insurgency.

*ISWAP consolidating joint forces with BH following the death of former leader, Shekau and attempts to end the insurgency.

*The death of Chadian President, Idris Deby, non-constitutional take-over by his son, Mohama Deby and the war against insurgency in the Lake Chad Region. We note here that Mohama's mother is from another tribe and he had been controlling the Elite Guard for long time before his father's death.

In my intervention, I was in sync with the recommendation in the USIP report that a Public Protection Service Commission (PPSC) should be set up to coordinate a unified inter-agency cooperation between the NPF, NSCDC, NIS, CJTF and non-state actors in the security sector. Such collaboration should embrace community policing. Besides, I noted that defeating insurgents is not an end in itself. Beyond insurgency, a new era of intensive and inclusive peace-building process should commence, which would take care IDPs, women and children, PLWDs, etc.

I noted that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics for peaceful purposes should be examined with a view to employing same to locate remnants of insurgents, conduct aerial view of targeted areas, ensure adequate perimeter fencing, etc. In the same vein, DDRR should not be executed in a shoddy manner. The 'safe corridor' for repentant insurgents should be indeed safe for citizens in ungoverned spaces. Former insurgents should not be hastily unleashed on their home communities.

The setting of the meeting. Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa (backing the camera). Opposite her is Amb. Mamman Nuhu (Executive Secretary, LCBC)

Many participants noted that since 2009, the conflict in NE Nigeria has resulted in the deaths of approximately 35,000 people. According to the UNDP, the conflict could claim 1.1 million lives in Nigeria alone. The BH insurgency cuts across the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad, creating a regional conflict in the LCB. The LCBC has developed a comprehensive study with the support of the AU, titled 'Regional strategy for the stabilisation, recovery & resilience of the BH-affected areas of the LCB'.

The study establishes a common approach and inclusion framework for all stakeholders to support a timely, coordinated and effective transition from stabilisation to early recovery and resumption of the stalled development process in the zone. According to Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, the strategy was put together in anticipation of the expected success of the MJTF to quickly defeat the insurgents. But the insurgency has endured for the past 12 years, and appears to be in no hurry to be completely defeated.

Over the years, two BH factions have emerged - Ansaru & ISWAP. Amb. Mamman Nuhu said that in the past one year, however, the ISWAP faction has gained strength. There has been a dramatic turn with the death of Shekau, leader of Ansaru. It's important to note that the ISWAP faction, unlike Shekau's does not attack and kill members of the community. For some time now, the ISWAP faction has been imposing taxes on the communities they have control over, and offering them protection in return!
The implication of ISWAP's approach is that farmers, herders, fishermen, etc. are attracted because they appreciate the protection provided. Note that the four states in the LCB are not able to provide such protection.

The BH insurgents have been collaborating with criminal bandits in NW Nigeria, especially in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger. Some bandits have been converted to ideologically focused terrorists. With the death of Idris Deby, the 68 year old 'warrior president' of Chad, his 37 year old son, Mahamat, took over power in disobedience of the Constitutional order of secession. Jibrin Ibrahim believes that under pressure, Mahamat is likely to prioritise regime protection above help for neighbours (including Nigeria).

The near consensus at the parley was that we need to move away from focusing solely on the shrinking Lake Chad to strategies for conflict transformation in the region. Besides, the Lake Chad Basin Commission Report (LCBCR) and the Buhari Plan could provide the needed starting point in this positive direction. Do you share the palpable optimism of these panelists?... 

Related Links

*Islamic state determined expansion into Lake Chad Basin

*Islamic state wants to set up 4 caliphates in Borno state to oversee activities in the Lake Chad Basin & beyond

Tuesday 29 June 2021


On the 23rd of June 2021 in Abuja, NextierSPD held a hybrid conference tagged 'Getting big things done: Improving the effectiveness of cross-over professionals in government'. I was a stakeholder at the event. The parley began with the paper presentation: 'Public service reforms: Unlocking the gridlock' by Osita Chidoka (Former Minister, Aviation). Then came an overview of the findings as regards efficiency in the public service by Patrick Okigbo III, Founding Partner, NextierSPD.

                                                               Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa 

There were two panels. Panel 1 was 'Understanding the Public Service' moderated by Dapo Oyewole (Senior Yale World Fellow & Special Adviser to Speaker, House of Representatives). The speakers were: Prof. Tunji Olaopa (Executive Vice Chairman, Ibadan School of Government & Public Policy); Nabila Aguele (Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning); Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami (Executive Director BAOBAB) & Dr. Joe Abah (Executive Director, DAI, Nigeria). The gist of the conversation was that public service as it is needs to be properly understood before any meaningful 'reformist' agenda can be effective and efficient.

The panelists in the second session were: Dr. Shamsudeen Usman (Former Minister, National Planning), Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru (Former CEO FIRS), Engr. Umar Bindir (Agricultural Engineer & Former SSG, Adamawa state) & Bunmi Onabanjo-Kuku (Executive Director/Partner Advisory @ Ernst & Young). Dr. Usman said in spite of the fact that public officers and even Ministers detested the reforms he introduced, he stuck to his guns. This was possible because he had the support of his principal. Each  Minister was made to sign a 'Performance Charter'. There was initial resistance, but they came around eventually.

Mrs. Ifueko Okaru, former boss of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), informed the audience that she spent the first six months 'studying the system'. She did not bring along any external 'Special Assistants'. She sourced the needed 'Assistants' from within the system after six months in office. This made for less resistance to her and by extension a more amicable work environment. Engr. Umar Bindir informed us that COPs should not come into government looking down on public officers. That would be a recipe for failure. Respect those you meet on ground, while not compromising your principles. 

On the whole, it was clear from the discourse that the rookie COP needs to tread softly, understand the system, imbibe humility and learn from public officers with years of experience in the saddle. Caution: Whatever you do, never compromise your integrity...   


Monday 28 June 2021


The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 was again x-rayed in Abuja on 21st June 2021. The meeting was a hybrid one with participants in the hall at Treasure Suites & Conferences while others joined us via Zoom. Dr. Amina Salihu, Senior Programme Officer, McArthur Foundation set the tone with a comprehensive review of the proposed amendments to the document. Her submission elicited reviews from the audience.

Dorothy Njemanze, Founder, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, mentioned the fact that the landmark judgement by the ECOWAS Court in 2017 in her favour against the Federal Government of Nigeria  affirmed the violation of the Maputo Protocol. Dorothy and two others won N6m each, a total of N18m. None of the plaintiffs has received the said compensation for illegal detention and harassment by Security Agents to date. 

See for example, See also Dorothy Njemanze & 3 others vs FGN - Suit No: ECW/CCJ/APP/17/4; Judgement No: ECW/CCJ/JUD/08/17. See also ECOWAS Court awards N90m in damages to Nigeria Air Force woman for rape...;  

Photo L-R: Ms. Ene Ede (VAPP Coordinator FCT), Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Charles Angelo (Director Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs - FMHAMSI) & Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami (ED BAOBAB)

In my intervention, I urged the state governments apart from the 21 that have ratified/domesticated the Act to follow suite and do the same. Priscilla Usibiofo, a gender activist, was of the view that victim protection and the stigma attached to rape remain 'big' issues. For Ms.Ene Ede, VAPP Coordinator FCT, all hands must be on deck to stem the tide of violence against persons in the country.

Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Ms. Ene Ede, Ms. Priscilla Usibiofo (Gender activist), Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami

I believe that continuous refining of the contents of the VAPP Act in line with current realities, would lead us in a positive direction...  

Related Links

*To break the cycle of violence, we must address the root causes, i.e. the reasons people fight

*VAPP Law: Bauchi government launches N3.7b costed action plan

*The other pandemic: Rape & sexual violence in conflict

Friday 4 June 2021


Concerned Women Against Drug Abuse (CONWADA), is an off-shoot of the NGO, Women, Youth & Children Care Organisation (WYCCO), founded by Barr. (Dr) Mrs. Farida Waziri, OFR (Former Chairman of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission - EFCC). I am a valued member of CONWADA, which paid a courtesy call on the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Rtd. Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (Former Military Administrator of both Borno and Lagos States on the 2nd of June 2021, ahead of the 26th June International Day Against Drug Abuse.

 I recall that I was the Head of Department of Political Science, Lagos State University (LASU) when General Marwa was appointed Military Administrator of Lagos State in the 1990s. We were all very excited, and he did not disappoint. 'Keke Marwa', has been replicated in many parts of Nigeria. 'Operation Sweep' rid Lagos of criminal elements under his watch. As Military Administrator and by extension Visitor to LASU, Gen. Marwa initiated far-reaching reforms that put the University on the path to greatness. Am I digressing? That is what happens when you are discussing a high achiever like Brig-Gen Buba Marwa. You cannot but remember his antecedents. 

The same vigour and astuteness he was known for in his earlier endeavours has been replicated at the NDLEA in just four months of his assumption of office - N90bn worth of drugs has been seized! This impressive feat was high in the consciousness of members of CONWADA when they visited the NDLEA boss.

L-R: Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (Chairman NDLEA), Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Dr. Ngozi Madubuike (Director, Drug Demand Reduction/Rehabilitation, NDLEA), Barr. Dr. Mrs. Farida Waziri (Fmr. Chairman EFCC & Founder WYCCO/CONWADA)

Concerned women and indeed mothers both within and outside WYCCO/CONWADA are aware of the extensive damage done to the lives of young (and not so young) men and women by the consumption of illicit drugs. There is a nexus between the consumption of hard drugs and criminality. Insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists, ritual murderers, etc commit all these heinous crimes under the influence of psychotic substances. The new Czar on the bloc, Brig-Gen Marwa is mopping up these dangerous drugs at source before they get into the hands of the end users who are destroyed by same! Kudos. Many lives and families have been wrecked by hard drugs.

L-R: 3rd left - Dr. Farida Waziri, Brig-Gen (Rtd.) Buba Marwa, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami

In her speech, Barr. Farida Waziri emphasised the fact that the youth bulge, unemployed and unemployable graduates of various institutions constitute a critical mass of individuals that could be used to foment mayhem in our clime. As they say, 'The idle hand is the devil's workshop'. She said CONWADA was ready to partner with NDLEA for the celebration of the 'International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking 2021' and that modalities had been put in place to enable families and individuals that have struggled or are struggling with drug abuse to tell their heart-rending stories. Mrs. Waziri noted that as at December 2020, there were 170 Universities churning out graduates into the job market. But where are the jobs? Besides, are the graduates equipped for the job market of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Brig-Gen Marwa responded by commending WYCCO/CONWADA for the visit. He said Kano state government is already testing potential political office holders for drugs/drug addiction. He says such drug tests should be carried out for persons at all levels - even potential national office holders! He also suggested that potential couples should be tested for drugs before being allowed to marry. We don't want drug addicts as parents or abusive spouses. Nigeria is indeed facing a drug epidemic that is disabling young men and women in their prime.

Besides, Gen Marwa said money realised from hard drugs is used to fund criminal activities. The President is committed to ridding Nigeria of hard drugs. He warmly welcomed the advocacy against illicit drugs by WYCCO/CONWADA. He charged his guests with the task of continuing to emphasise the role of good parenting and indeed the home front in the fight against the trafficking and consumption of hard drugs. Besides, the stigmatisation of women who are addicts should be discouraged. They need to be encouraged to come forward and access treatment.

The meeting ended on the convivial note of a symbiotic relationship between WYCCO/CONWADA and NDLEA going forward...

L-R: Barr. Farida Waziri, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salako

Related Links

*NDLEA arrests woman with wraps of cocaine tucked in her private part

*Cocaine diguised ascharcoal worth up to $41m seized by Police in the US 



Saturday 17 April 2021


The title of this Blog post aptly describes what transpired at the fifth anniversary of the 'Voice' Project anchored by OXFAM. The Voice Project is aimed at amplifying the voices of those excluded in the society like People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs), the aged, ethnic minorities, indigenous groups, inmates in Correctional Centres, etc. The project was conceived in the Netherlands. I was a special guest of OXFAM Nigeria in Abuja on the 7th of April, 2021 at the celebration where activities in nine other countries in Asia, East Africa and West Africa were syndicated via Zoom! The focus this year was on persons with speech difficulties. Experiences of persons born with Downs Syndrome, etc who have struggled to improve themselves via the Voice Project were shared across many countries. To say the least, the stories were very inspiring. #oxfam #thevoiceproject #inclisivity #socialcohesion #fifthanniversary #plwds #women #correctionalcentres #theaged #ethnicminorities #indigenousgroups #nigeria #westafrica #eastafrica #asia thenetherlands

Photo L-R: Mrs. Ramatu Umar-Bako (Head of Influencing & Public Engagement) & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

                                                               Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Shall we now trace the metamorphosis of the Voice Project in Nigeria? A validation workshop was held 14th October, 2016, where PLWDs, the Aged, Ethnic minorities & Groups of women were identified as targets. The baseline study then exposed the needs of the identified marginalised groups as:

*Improved access to social services, especially health and education.
*Improved access to resources, e.g. employment.
*Safe spaces for political participation and active citizenship.

             Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Ijeoma Okwor (Programme Coordinator)

According to Ijeoma Okwor (Progarmme Coordinator), fifty communities in Custodial Centres, slums, Universities, etc. were reached across Nigeria. The 'outreach' has birthed the following:

*CAPIO: Voice/gender-sensitive training as a compulsory course for every Correctional Officer in order to ensure dignified treatment for female inmates. A gender-sensitive manual has been developed and adopted by all Correctional Centres.
*A Sign Language Glossary has been developed and adopted by the FCT PHC Board & the National Commission on PLWDs as a tool to support women with hearing impairment to enable them access healthcare in Nigeria. The pilot project is in the FCT.
*Two women included in the Traditional Rulers (Igwe in Council) of Umuode Town in Enugu State! This is a feat in a patriarchal society like Nigeria. 
*A fully equipped and operational cybercafe at the Vocational Centre for the Blind in in Jos, Plateau State.
*Youth Ambassadors transforming lives through art locally and at international fora. A viable example is 'The Street Project' (TSP) which gave a good account of itself at the anniversary celebration. TSP's dance drama/spoken word/skit/songs etc depicted the plight of the aged, disabled, females in Custodial Centres, etc. to the admiration of the audience.
*Affordable sanitary pads produced by female inmates in Suleja Custodial Centre in collaboration with returned female citizens.
*The Voice Project has addressed societal issues like sex for grades, open governance, digital space and freedom of speech.
*Adolescent advocates raised in two Secondary Schools in Agege, Lagos State.
*Movie titled 'Yes We Can' premiered. It is a documentary on persons with learning difficulties. 
*A Cooperative of women farmers strengthened to secure their own land for farming in Shepwan, Plateau State.
*Walking the talk of diversity, equity & inclusion in Higher Education
*Young, indigenous Gbagyi youth coordinated to engage in sports, arts and crafts.
*Ethnic minorities in Lagos State who are also PLWDs empowered with para-legal skills to engage the government and provide legal support, including bail negotiations for communities.
*The 'Voices of Freedom' platform enables young people express themselves.
*Safe spaces and knowledge hubs created to empower youth/women with disabilities & exploited/abused persons.

Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Emmanuel Oladele (Linking, Learning & Amplifier Officer)

Incredible! So much achieved by OXFAM's The Voice Project in the first five years. Like Oliver Twist, we expect so much more in the next five years. My message to the effective and efficient OXFAM team and their partners: keep striving for excellence, aim at breaking your record - your best is yet to come. Happy anniversary!

     Photo L-R: Madam Chinwe (Director Special Duties, NOA) & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Related Links

*It's time to re-imagine Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
*Inclusivity begins during the hiring process. Here'show to do it
*How to foster diversity, equity & inclusion in a remote-work world
*Language matters in trans-disciplinarity
*Covid-19 as the 'inequality virus'? Can internationalisation promote inclusion and social justice


Sunday 31 January 2021


On the 29th of  January 2021, a dissemination workshop convened by NextierSPD dissected the outcome of the research: 'Assessing community resilience & peace-building initiatives in north-east Nigeria'. The research was conducted by Prof. Patricia Donli, Prof. D. Dlakwa, Dr. Chris Kwaja Some of those present are:

*Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo - Partner/CEO NextierSPD

*Prof. Patricia Donli - University of Maiduguri

*Prof. D. Dlakwa - University of Maiduguri

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Member, UN Working Group on the Use of Merceneries

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert, Abuja

*Dr. Ukoha Ukiwo - Technical Lead, MCN Programme

Eight communities in each of the two states - Borno & Adamawa were understudied. The aim was to find out the factors that made communities resilient in-spite of insurgency. The qualitative methodology entailed FGDs, KIIs, etc The samples were inclusive of youth, women and PLWDs.

                                                              Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Coping strategies:

*Many women and youth have emerged heads of households, decision makers and leaders in communities in order to fill the vacuum created by slain bonafide household heads!

*Kanuris and Hausas agree to live together in peace.

*Churches and mosques preach against insurgency.

*Community early warning strategies (EWS) have been extensively developed.

*Informal stakeholder mapping of residents.

*Change of vocation when farmers can no longer farm. New endeavours: auto mechanic, trading, knitting of men's caps, welding, masonry, tailoring, washing of clients' clothes, etc.

*NGOs create empowerment programmes for the citizenry.

*Communities adopt the spirit of forgiveness as a 'balm'. This trend of thought is amplified by clerics.

*Un-channeled energy of youth directed to sports, weddings, etc

*Civilian JTF and hunters use charms to fortify themselves.

*Security agents are bribed to facilitate easy passage of goods and services.

*Unprecedented synergy between communities and NGOs.


*Influx of SALWs because Borno, for example, is bordered by Chad, Niger, etc. Borno is also at the border of Yobe, Gombe & Adamawa (in Nigeria). The borders remain porous.

*High incidence of SGBV due to displacement. Security forces and humanitarian workers are implicated in the SGBV epidemic!

*Female heads of households involved in survival sex.

*Children heading households and other 'un-accompanied children become thieves, carry teenage pregnancies, get infected with STIs/HIV & AIDS, become drug addicts, continually have cholera because of contaminated water and food.

*Lack of access to farmland implies that there could be food insecurity. Insurgents make it difficult for farmers to farm and harvest their crops in peace.

*Extortion by security agents.

*Improper coordination by security outfits.

*Lack of funds and logistics for local Vigilante groups.

*High incidence of mental illness for women and other vulnerable groups.

*Rising abject poverty in view of the high level of collateral damage and evasive socio-economic life.

*Fish trade in Baga, Borno state banned. The new fish source is Hadeija in Jigawa state. The fish trade seems to have been taken over by the Military! The price of fish has become exorbitant as a result of the powerful middlemen and the longer route to access fish.


Comprise the following: Research (areas to carry forward);Programmatic pillar (intervention) & Policy pillar (how we can engage the people with policy makers). All recommendations should target the people.

*DDRR. Sensitisation of the public is necessary while engaging communities. Beyond the use of radio and the internet, traditional/religious leaders should be involved.

*There should be a coordinated approach to humanitarian intervention. Borno state should not remain a 'tourist site' for every international actor!

*There should be cooperation rather than competition among intervening actors. The faulty perception of one another should cease for progress to be made.

*Women, and indeed more women's associations should be involved in every area of the peace-building process. This is in consonance with WPS, UNSCR 1325. The He for She campaign is relevant here.There should be more women in community governance. For example, there is no woman in the Borno State Security Council!

*Intensify peace-building cultural activities- Sports for peace/Dancing competitions/Peace rallies, etc.

*Disaster response should be stepped up. See for example, NE Development Commission & the 2001 National Disaster Development Plan.

*Set agenda for new Service Chiefs.

The bottom line is that the citizens need to be commended for their resilience in-spite of insurgency.  Government at the local, state and federal levels should ensure that such resilience is sustainable...

Related Links

*De-radicalised BH members still not genuinely accepted by locals

*Understanding BH's past, present & trajectory by M. Nwankpa (eds)

*Terrorist attraction

*The Zamfara Model for curbing banditry in Nigeria is the dismal tunnel to self-destruction

*Living with enemies: How localcommunities in Nigeria are evolving 'symbiotic' relationships with bandits in NW & NC Nigeria    https;//

*With guns you can kill terrorists. With education, you can kill terrorism   #StandWithMalala   https;//

*The complex effects of counter-terrorism policies on Mediation    the

*Nigeria: Conflict trends 

*How insecurity affects the lives of everyone in the Niger Delta




The 28th of February saw me glued to my seat at the conference convened by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with NextierSPD and Young Professionals in Policy & Development. The parley was to examine the implications of the closing and re-opening of Nigeria's borders. Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Daniel Mann - Country Director, FES

*Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo - Partner/CEO NextierSPD

*Prof. William Fawole -Keynote Speaker

*Ms. Raheemat Momodu - ECOWAS

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adamawa University

*Dr. Efem Ubi - Discussant

                                                Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the conference

Prof. William Fawole set the tone for the discourse with his insightful paper: 'People vs policy - Border opening in Nigeria: Implications & effects'. He noted that Nigeria has one of the most extensive borders in Africa, making it exceedingly difficult to effectively patrol. Quoting Prof. Wole Soyinka (Nigeria's Nobel laureate), 'Boundaries sliced the same ethnic group into different countries'. He then wondered whether there were any substantive gains from the border closure. His verdict was that he doubted if there were any positive gains. 

Nigeria has been dubbed one of the most dangerous nations on the planet! Nigeria has consistently under-funded foreign policy. The foreign policy budget is number 15 on the budget allocation list! Fawole asserted that our neighbours are bitter that Nigeria's internal insecurity problems are causing them harm. Nigeria needs more 'skillful diplomacy' in this regard. The Rice Millers' Association says since the opening of the borders, there has been an unprecedented influx of rice at the borders - millions of bags of rice are off-loaded daily. This situation has made nonsense of the plan to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production.

                                     L-R: Dr. Daniel Mann (Country Director, FES) & Dayo

Closer monitoring of the origin of goods is germane, if Nigeria is to effectively police her borders. Corruption seems to have hindered positive outcomes in this regard. The paradox that's rather inexplicable is that insecurity was at a higher level during the border closure! 

In my intervention, I pointed out the fact that Nigeria needs value added to all her export, starting with oil, in order to get higher value for her commodities. I also said that policy somersault is the bane of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria. No investor wants to put her/his money in a country where policies change like underwear! No investor wants to lose hard earned money in an economically unstable clime!

What then is to be done?

*Nigeria should assess the global value chain and appropriately fit herself in for maximum returns on investment.

*Policies are not miracles, they require deliberate action. We should put appropriate policies in place, while refraining from changing them at the drop of the hat.

*We should be aware that borders could be conceptualised in a dual fashion - Physical borders (as indicated in maps) and imaginary borders, when we take cognisance of our kith and kin on the other side of our borders - in neighbouring countries.

*Although population is often said to be an economic asset, a poor citizenry, like Nigeria's may be an economic liability!

*Regional integration at the sub-regional level, via ECOWAS, should remain of concern to Nigeria. But Nigeria should stop carrying the burden of ECOWAS. Each member state should contribute equally!

The final verdict was that there were no significant benefits from the border closure. We are watching out for the benefits of the re-opening of the borders.  

Related Links

*The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to support/boost intra-African trade

*Buhari: Border closure failed to stop smuggling of illegal arms into Nigeria

*Tightening loose grip: Border control in Nigeria 


Sunday 17 January 2021


Between the 14th & 15th of January, 2021, the Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN), held its inaugural meeting for the year. FFARN is a forum where academics and practitioners exchange ideas on the farmer-herder crisis with a view to transforming the conflict to more manageable forms. Effort is also geared towards influencing relevant policies that could assuage the effect of the conflict on the populace.

The following are related Blog posts by me:

*Forum on farmer-herder relations in Nigeria (FFARN)

*Socio-ecological analysis of the farmer-herder crisis

*Farmer-herder relations in the Lake Chad and Western Sahel

*Mediating natural resource conflicts in Africa

*Gender inclusive response to the farmer-herder crisis

*Best practices forresolving the farmer-herder crisis

*Emerging trends & dynamics in the farmer-herder crisis 

Since the Covid-19 lock-down in the country last year, this is the first face-to-face meeting in almost a year! FFARN has however had many meetings via Zoom & Google Meet during the seeming 'hiatus'. Members of FFARN were excited to see one another after such a long time. There was loud exchange of banters and we had animated and fruitful discussions during the caucus meetings and the plenary sessions...

                                        Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa on the first day of the meeting

The online meetings held earlier were assessed and the impact/influence of the work of FFARN on the farmer-herder crisis was evaluated. I facilitated the session on the impact of FFARN. Some of the areas where FFARN has influence are as follows:

*The collaboration between scholars and practitioners has endured.

*The media summit held by FFARN has framed public opinion on the crisis in a more positive light.

*Many publications (Policy Briefs, Occasional Papers,' Explainers', Press Releases etc.) have been published under the auspices of FFARN.

*FFARN's Mentorship Programme for M.Sc & Ph.D students working on the farmer-herder crisis has produced highly rated theses that are the envy of the mentees' peers.

*Numerous publications on the farmer-herder crisis have emanated from scholars and practitioners in FFARN.

*FFARN memebers have been invited to speak at local and international fora - US Congress/British Parliament/ECOWAS/UNOWAS/AU...

*Some of FFARN's Policy Briefs have constituted Early Warning Signals (EWS) for farmer-herder conflicts in various parts of Nigeria, West Africa and indeed the Sahel.

*FFARN's evidence-based research has attracted global attention.

*FFARN's work has opened vistas for inter-agency collaboration with many organisations - CORAFID, IPSS, University of Ilorin, etc.

*FFARN regional convening has called attention to the fact that the farmer-herder crisis is a trans-national challenge.

*FFARN views all issues in the farmer-herder crisis in an unbiased and states-manly manner.

*Stakeholder Mapping by FFARN has led to strategic partnerships - Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), LG Chairmen, Office of the VP, Office of the Head of Service, etc.

*Security outfits like the NSCDD (which is a member of FFARN), now factor in the community-centred approach into programming.

*Many practitioners, by virtue of their association with academics via FFARN, now publish their experiences in the field!

                                      Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa on the 2nd day of the meeting

The foregoing shows that FFARN has garnered considerable influence since its first meeting in August 2017. In view of the fact that the funding which has aided its operations from inception (provided by SFCG) is fast running out, members tinkered with the idea of registering FFARN with the CAC as an independent organisation. This is because FFARN has been evolving organically and at this stage of its evolution we need to re-think the structure, criteria for membership, etc. I am humbled by my nomination as a member of the Committee to come up with the specific modalities for the evolution of FFARN.

                        L-R: Nathaniel Awuapila (ED, CORAFID) & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

I see FFARN evolving into an international NGO, globally acknowledged, in the next few years. I'm sure all FFARN members share my optimism... 

Related Links

*Forests that kill & destroy: Rural banditry in Northern Nigeria by Jibrin Ibrahim
*Ekiti, Ondo, deploy Amotekun in forests, boundaries against herdsmen
*Open grazing is not sustainable BUT can ranching be for now? by Jibrin Ibrahim
*Poisons in red meat, Sunday Igboho, herders & national security by Femi Kusa
*Northern Elders' Forum (NEF): Groups,persons fueling farmer-herder crisis
*West Africa Transitional Justice mechanisms need bottom-up approach
*G5 Sahel: N'Djemena Summit should re-define France-Sahel cooperation
*A different kind of land management: Let the cows stump via 'regenerative grazing'
*Towards a more sustainable future for the Sahel region
*Why the US counter-terrorism strategy in the Sahel keeps failing
*Our lives in exile: Ogun state families displaced by herdsmen speak from Benin Republic
*Farmer-herder conflict in Northern Nigeria: Trends, dynamics and gender perspectives
*Myetti Allah/MACBAN: North can't ignore South's decision to ban open grazing (in the South)
*It's easy to say 'Ban open grazing': The challenge is transition to a new system of livestock products by Jibrin Ibrahim (28th August 2021)
*The virtues of open grazing in Nigeria by Junaidu Maina