Monday, 30 January 2012

Boko Haram, Terrorism and Allocations

by Samuel Diminas

This article seeks to address issues raised in the following publications:

A......Re: Sanusi Links Boko Haram to Derivation
Thisdaylive,  By Yemi Adebowale, with agency reports, and Ahamefula Ogbu 
28 Jan 2012.
(1) See comment for live link

B.....Nigerian central bank calls for end to imbalances
Financial Times
By William Wallis
January 26, 2012 5:27 pm
(2) See Comment for live link

In order for us to have a well-rounded opinion on the often-raised issues of derivation, allocation, poverty, deprivation, corruption, militancy, terrorism etc and their relationship in the Nigerian equation, it would be pertinent to review the relevant financial data.

The purpose of this article is to bring to the public discourse, the relevant raw financial data required to reach informed conclusions on the issues.

The Source of all data is from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja. 
Summary of Gross Revenue Allocation by Federation Account Allocation Committee for the Month of August, 2011 Shared in September, 2011
(3) see comment for live link

All the information/data provided below, is also available on the Federal Ministry of Finance website and Office of Accountant-General of the Federation website In addition, you would find on these websites details of the Capital and Recurrent allocations to all arms of Government including Federal Ministries and Agencies. The Budget Office website also contains information about the Budget.


Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Adamawa:          N7.31Billion
Bauchi:               N8.39Billion
Borno:                N9.15Billion
Gombe:              N5.54Billion
Taraba:              N6.73Billion
Yobe:                 N6.64Billion

NE Total allocation received = N43.76b

South East

Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Abia:                        N7.76Billion
Anambra:                 N7.45Billion
Enugu:                     N6.55Billion
Ebonyi:                     N5.39Billion
Imo:                         N8.52Billion

SE Total allocation received = N35.67Billion

North West

Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Jigawa:                        N8.49Billion
Kano:                          N13.56Billion
Katsina:                       N10.04Billion
Kebbi:                          N7.29Billion
Kaduna:                       N9.47Billion
Sokoto:                        N7.75Billion
Zamfara:                      N6.56Billion

NW Total allocation received = N63.16Billion

South West

Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Ekiti:                         N5.67Billion
Lagos:                       N16.27Billion
Ogun:                        N7.16Billion
Ondo:                        N8.76Billion
Osun:                        N7.66Billion
Oyo:                          N9.68Billion

SW Total Allocation: N47.55Billion

North Central

Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Benue:                    N8.20Billion
Kogi:                      N7.41Billion
Kwara:                   N6.03Billion
Nasarawa:              N5.51Billion
Niger:                    N8.80Billion
Plateau:                 N6.84Billion

NC Total Allocation: N42.79Billion

South South

Total Allocations to state, ie State Statutory + State VAT + LGA + LGA VAT

Akwa Ibom:                   N21.76Billion
Bayelsa:                         N15.69Billion
Cross Rivers:                 N6.92Billion
Delta:                            N20.15Billion
Edo:                               N7.75Billion
Rivers:                           N22.28Billion

SS Total Allocation:    N94.55Billion

States with least allocations; in Nbillion.

Ebonyi:             5.39
Nasarawa:         5.51
Gombe:             5.54
Ekiti:                 5.67
Kwara:              6.03
Enugu:              6.55

Total allocation comparison by zone, starting from highest; in Nbillion

SS:          94.55
NW:        63.16
SW:         47.55
NE:         43.76
NC:        42.79
SE:         35.67

The reader is left to his or her own analyses of the data to reach their own conclusions.

The problems with Nigeria are very profound, there are no easy solutions to any of the problems, the sooner the Nigerian leadership as well as the people come to terms that hard and painful decisions are required to set the country on the right part, the better for Nigeria.

These hard decisions would include the dismantling of structures and policies which engender a culture of dependency, a constitutional review which would amend ambivalent and parochial laws, the acceptance of liberty and the freedom of private enterprise over government controlled inefficient management of businesses and important sectors of the economy, as well as a true Federalism which allows each state to be a master of its destiny, be it a desire for Sharia or a desire for state wide consumption subsidy, the center should not be micro-managing every detail of our lives, most govt policies should be left to state decisions while the FG faces the more dauning tasks left to FG's (The US system would make a good model)

The constituent states of Nigeria would need to pull apart a bit in order to save the country, the close central system is responsible for most of the friction and clashing of heads within the polity, it would be important for each state to be responsible for a large percent of their income rather than relying entirely on allocations from the center

On Boko Haram, we have to face the truth; it is more of a result of nurtured religious extremism over the decades that was bound to deteriorate; that is the direction we should be looking to solve the Boko Haram problem.

In a decentralized system, each state would have a more remarkable impact and responsibility to the people; if such a system existed, akin to the US system of Federalism, Boko Haram would more likely have noticed that 12 core northern states are full Sharia practicing states, were the states are mere passengers, little wonder the people do not attach much weight to state laws which in reality should impact more on each individual; the implication is the macabre dance of death to capture the center were all the action lies. We all need freedom from the center; including those at the center today whom would end up being the complaining opposition tomorow.

The structure of the Nigerian system of government, which highlights the center and diminishes the individual states, has been at the heart of the Nigerian problem from 1966 till date; it cannot be sustained for very much longer.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

"IMMORTALIZE MY SON", says Pa E.A. Aderinto

Today, January 17, 2012, Spaces for Change’s (S4C's) volunteer, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri visited the family of Pa E.A. Aderinto, guardian to the deceased Ademola Aderinto who was brutally murdered by the overzealous divisional police officer of the Pen Cinema Police Station , ASP Segun Fabunmi on January 9, 2012. S4C’s information and evidence-gathering visit of sorts opened up important perspectives regarding the character of official responses to the tragic incidents resulting from the nationwide protests and strikes against the removal of fuel subsidies.

Bitter, angry and grief-stricken, Pa Aderinto narrated how he adopted the deceased some years ago, and trained him as a fashion designer. Late Ademola had concluded plans to move into a new apartment in March, in addition to other great plans he had for the year.  Unknown to him, death was lurking around the corner.

The deceased Ademola was fond of reading sports news at the popular newsstand at Yaya Abatan junction in Ogba, Lagos. On that fateful morning of January 9, 2012, he joined a crowd of “free readers’’ who clustered at the junction discussing and analyzing the state of the nation. Hardly did he spend up to 40 minutes when a team of heavily armed police men in a Rapid Response van swerved across the junction, jumped out in a commando style, and started maiming the confused readers.

“Why are you wasting time? FINISH THEM!” bellowed ASP Segun Fabunmi who led the patrol.  Sensing that his subordinates were not complying with his shoot-at-sight directive, he grabbed a rifle from a sergeant among them, and opened fire on the youngsters. Four people were felled by his bullets as the crowd of “analysts” fled in different directions. Ademola died a few minutes later, leaving behind four lucky survivors – Alimi Abubakar, 40; Samuel Ebujo, 23, and Idara Monday, 16 - all of whom sustained with life-threatening injuries.

Staring blankly at the late Ademola’s motorcycle slanting across the wall, he wished that the deceased would stroll in and tease him, as usual, before zooming off. His narratives were punctuated with intermittent sighs and nods of grief. Further aggravating his pain is that no representative of either the state or federal government (the originators of the strike) has made an attempt to visit and condole the family despite the public show of sympathy and crocodile tears shed by political leaders at the state and federal levels.  Except the Ifako Ijaiye local government chairman, Hon Toba Oke, and member of the House of Representatives representing the Ifako Ijaiye constituency – (both of whom graciously paid the survivors’ hospital bills), no single official of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Lagos State Police Command let alone the office of the Inspector General of Police has reached out to the grieving family.  

Spaces for Change visited the three survivors in their homes to gain first-hand information regarding the shootings. Also visited were several eye witnesses who shared their ordeals in the hands of government security agents. Stories of tears and blood rented the air, just as most of them shared fairly uniform accounts of the January 9 incident.

PA Aderinto has only three wishes: he wants the state to provide financial support to Ademola’s parents and siblings who depended on the deceased for their daily sustenance. Secondly, he wants Ademola to be immortalized, preferably by putting up his statue at the Yaya Abatan junction.  Thirdly and most importantly, the family wants the state to ensure that the killer of their beloved son does not go unpunished. Will his wishes ever be granted? Only time will tell!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Young Protesters are Targets of Nigerian Police Killings

Young protesters participating in peaceful demonstrations across the country are targets of reckless shootings and killings by Nigerian security operatives. Since January 1, 2012, most Nigerians, especially the youth are taking part in nationwide demonstrations and protests following the Nigerian government's unpopular decision to end subsidies on premium motor spirit (petrol). Overnight, fuel pump prices monumentally leaped from, from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per liter) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per liter). The costs of food and transportation also doubled in a nation where most live on less than $2 a day.

Ademola Aderinto was felled by police bullets allegedly fired by the divisional police officer (DPO) of Pen Cinema Police Station, Mr. Segun Fabunmi. The killing took place near Yaya Abatan in the Ogba area of Lagos during an attempt by a team of heavily armed police men to disperse a group of young people who were showing solidarity with the ongoing strike action. Three others with him received life-threatening gunshot injuries, and are currently receiving treatment in Nigerian hospitals. 

Reports say Mr. Fabunmi led the patrol team that monitored the location where Ademola was killed. Eye witness accounts further disclosed that Fabunmi opened fire on the unarmed protesters after his subordinates declined to carry out his shoot-at-sight directive.  

Spaces for Change (S4C) could not verify reports claiming that Fabunmi had previously killed sometime ago, and was dismissed from the police force, only to be re-instated six years later.  

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakub Alkali has apologized for the killing of Ademola Aderinto by one of his men at Abatan, Ogba, Lagos.  "The suspect has been arrested and would be prosecuted", the police commissioner said on the state-owned Lagos Television Authority on January 10, 2012. 

In a related development, another unidentified youth was unlawfully killed by police officers at Ibafo, along Lagos Ibadan Expressway, South West Nigeria following a clash between the police and a group of young protesters on January 10, 2012. One man was confirmed dead, while several others sustained severe injuries. The victim was in a 14 seater bus when he was hit a stray bullet fired by one of the police officers shooting indiscriminately. The police took the corpse away immediately, and has declined to make comments to the public regarding the incident.  

Spaces for Change (S4C) welcomes the steps taken by the Lagos State Police Command to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of these young persons, with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book. 

Spaces for Change commiserates with the families of the young Nigerians that were brutally murdered and injured in Lagos by trigger-happy police officers. The group is determined to take steps toward demanding accountability for these killings targeted at young Nigerians. A team of volunteer lawyers are currently gathering useful information/photos/evidence regarding the incident. 

More volunteer young lawyers are wanted. Together, we can make change happen!

Monday, 2 January 2012


    The bombs that went off on  Christmas Day at Madalla in Niger State, in Jos Plateau State and in Damaturu and Potiskum, in Yobe State appear to have many purposes. One was to send a signal that whoever the Boko Haram bombers are, they plan to sustain their terror campaign. Two, the bombs were intended to further expose the vulnerability of the Nigerian State and its citizens, in spite of elaborate security arrangements to ensure a relatively safe Christmas. Three, the bombs may have been intended to trigger widespread conflicts between muslims and christians. The first two objectives obviously succeeded. The third appears to have sought to deepen inter-faith suspicions and hostility, and possibly trigger another round of mayhem involving innocent muslims and christians. So far, both groups have remained largely restrained, although there is justifiable anger among christians, and fear of undeserved reprisals among muslims. Someone, somewhere is attempting to pitch millions of muslims against millions of christians in a war where both will be reluctant combatants, and losers.
          The gruesome images and the pains of the losses and injuries from the Christmas day bombings will shock and offend every civilized person. The deliberate targeting of churches by people who claim that they are avenging the killing of muslims last year will naturally inflame passions, and offend muslims who recognise that their faith does not sanction the taking of innocent lives. The anger and bitterness which is felt across the land over the mass killing of people whose only crime appears to be their faith is only a step away from violence against those suspected as supporters of the killers or those who share their characteristics. The helplessness of the victims in Madallah, in Jos and Potiskum and Damaturu reminds the nation of the victims of Jos, Zonkwa and many other areas and conflicts where innocent people were murdered for their faith alone.
          The disclaimers by prominent muslims traditional rulers and clerics will have some effect in terms of calming nerves, but they will also raise more questions than answers. People will ask what influence these leaders and clerics have over the muslim community they speak for, if they cannot limit or eliminate the threats and the dangers posed by the bombers. The bombers of Christmas day who claim to be Boko Haram say they bombed churches in retaliation against the killing of muslims during last year’s Sallah celebrations in Jos. They claim that neither the Muslim leadership nor the Nigerian state took steps to protect the muslims in Jos or bring their killers to justice. In this manner, they undermine the credibility of muslim leaders and the Nigeria state. A logical question to ask is who is speaking for the Muslim community in Nigeria today? Is it Boko Haram, which both fights the Nigeria state and places bombs which kills innocent christians and muslims alike; or the mainstream leaders who denounce their goals and tactics as un-Islamic? When Boko Haram bomb churches, they expose millions of innocent muslims to retaliatory attacks, which traditional leaders and Muslim clerics cannot prevent, or protect them from. Attacks on muslims far from the theatre of conflicts will trigger more attacks from muslims, and the vicious circle will be complete.
          If the strategy of Boko Haram, or whoever is hiding behind its name and grievances is to bring the Nigerians state to its knees, it could not have found a better tactic than one which touches muslims and christians where they hurt most, and mobilizes them in their largest numbers. No christian will fail to feel anger at the killing of whole families who were just leaving a church service on Christmas day. Their killers will remind the nation that muslims were equally slaughtered at a mosque in Jos a few months ago on Sallah Day, an event which angered all muslims. When the state fails to assume a firm control over the situation by limiting anger after these killings, or apprehending perpetrators, communities will be tempted to take revenge. Muslims have no monopoly over bomb-making know-how, or weapons. They congregate five times daily in millions of mosques across the nation, and are therefore even more vulnerable to attacks. There are millions of muslims in every nook and cranny of the nation, many living in isolation in communities far from their homes. They are exposed, and vulnerable to attack from people who may think their faith alone qualifies them for being murdered.
          At this stage, it is clear that there is a plan to cause massive crises along religious lines in Nigeria. It is time to ask some uncomfortable questions as well. Could the scenario painted by a United State agency of the failure of the Nigerian state be playing out? Is this attempt to push the Nigeria state to fail being engineered by external forces? If so, what are the possible objectives behind the plan? Is there a plan for a relatively crisis-free break-up of the nation, or is the plan simply to cause massive and prolonged crises between and within ethnic and religious groups? Is Nigeria’s considerable oil and gas resource a factor in this attempt; and could some interest out there be targeting exclusive control of this resource by alienating the rest of the nation from it?
          Even more sinister, it is legitimate to ask whether Boko Haram now merely provides a cover for stronger and more sophisticated interest which is fighting targets such as the U.S, Nigerian christians and the Nigerian state, using Nigerian muslims as hostages. Is there some credibility to the suspicion that Al Qa’ida in the Sahel has taken over the local grievances of Boko Haram, and is now fighting for its own agenda, which has little to do with the real interests of Nigerian muslims and other citizens? Or again, is there some credibility to the suspicion that some sinister forces are milking the security situation in our country for financial gains, and are sustaining the current levels of hostility and fear using the cover and modus operandi of Boko Haram?
          Tragically, there appears little effort towards identifying exactly what the nature of the threat is. If there is one, government appears determined only to throw technology and money at it. Hard political and security intelligence is always difficult to come by in conflicts of this nature. Yet, hard intelligence is precisely what the government needs to deal with this major threat, and it has very little time to acquire it. The most imminent and dangerous fallout of the Christmas bombings is that they will raise the levels of fear and anger among most Nigerians. Many christians will be tempted to adopt a simple position which links Boko Haram with all muslims, and will hold all muslims responsible for Boko Haram’s atrocities. Muslims will reject the linkage, and will in turn, claim that they are even more victims of Boko Haram than christians. They will resent their religion being used as cover for un-islamic activities, and will in turn claim that muslims are being killed in many parts of the nation  for being muslims alone, and the Nigerian state is unwilling or unable to bring their killers to justice.
          The most serious threat to the current situation, however, is the possibility that the Nigerian state will lose its credibility as the protector of our collective security. Whoever is behind these bombings and killings has succeeded in casting major doubt in the minds of citizens over the ability of this administration to protect both muslims and christians. If we cannot feel and be protected, we may be tempted to protect ourselves. In a situation where christians and muslims feel threatened by each other, it takes very little to trigger a disastrous chain of events. In these days with so much anger and passion, it is difficult to convince all Nigerians that muslims and christians are all victims of this frightening wave of terror. The plan may be to get them to engage in an unending blood-letting, but it it will be a war without a victory.  If they fight, they will be reluctant warriors. They do not need to fight, it muslim leaders act and show even more openly that Boko Haram is condemnable. They do not need to fight if Christian leaders do not make capital out of the genuine grievances of their flock and urge them into a senseless confrontation. But above all the nation does not need to take up arms against itself if the government and leaders can take bold steps to plug the many gaping holes around our security.
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