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‘Violence in north-east caused by government neglect’

‘Violence in north-east caused by government neglect’
January 30
13:00 2021

Patricia Donli, a professor at the University of Maiduguri, says the insurgency in the north-east is caused by government neglect.

She made this statement at a project dissemination workshop organised by Nextier Security, Peace and Development (Nextier SPD) in Abuja.

The workshop themed, ‘Entrenching Peace; Assessing Community Resilience and Peace Initiative in North East Nigeria’ was organised in conjunction with Managing Conflict in North-east Nigeria (MCN) and funded by the European Union (EU).

Donli said years of government neglect in the north-east contributed largely to the widespread insurgency in the area.

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She said the insecurity is heightened by porous borders which have made it easy for the inflow of small arms.

She said though Boko Haram no longer have control of communities in Borno state, the communities are still vulnerable to attacks.

“Violence extremism thrive in society  where there is neglect as it is a known fact that the  north east has been neglected for a long period of time on issues of education, governing environment and more,” she said.

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“This violence has degenerated to issues of displacement, striping the people of the affected community of all valuables. They most times flee their Communities with nothing, with most women and vulnerable teenagers becoming bread winners. Also the stigmatising of abducted women in their communities which is becoming a real issue.”

Also speaking, Haruna Dlakwa, a professor at the same university, commended the resilient nature of the women in the conflict stricken communities as they continue to strive in difficult situations.

He said some military personnel who ought to stop the flow of banned products end up trading the products.

“In this conflict situation women who were not use to venturing into business has to do so to be able to fend for their family by venturing into petty business,” he said.

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“As well the Boko Haram spies use this medium also to wage intimidation and spy on the community, as sometimes the nuzzle of their guns are visible, so that the people will have that fear that they are not far away, this is to done to silence them.”

In his remarks, Ndu Nwokolo, partner/chief executive of Nextier SPD, said to sustain peace in the affected communities, government must understand the coping mechanism of the people.

“The resilient strategy they have engaged, cash in on them and use these strategies that are dear to them,” he said.

On his part, Chris Kwaja, a member of the UN working group on the use of mercenaries, reiterated the need to engage the people through various means of sensitisation.

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He called for the inclusion of women in the military leadership, saying their involvement in decision making is crucial in making progress.

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