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