The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
President Buhari Fires Nigeria’s Military Leadership as Boko Haram Attacks Continue
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
This week’s snapshot focuses on Nigeria’s ongoing struggle against Boko Haram and the country’s attempts to revitalize efforts against the terrorist organization. On 13JUL15, President Muhammadu Buhari fired the country’s army, navy, air force chiefs; a long expected move given their ties to former President Goodluck Jonathan and the military’s missteps in its war against the Islamic State affiliate. Effects of the change were not immediately apparent, however, as Boko Haram attacks continue daily.
News Summary of events during the week of 13JUL-19JUL
- 13JUL: President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the army, navy and air force chiefs, due to their failure to effectively combat Boko Haram. (AFP)
- 13JUL: President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new commanders including Chief of Defense Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, National Security Advisor Major-General Babagana Monguno, Chief of Defense Intelligence Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan, and Army Chief of Staff Major-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (AFP)
- 13JUL: Seven people have been killed by an explosion at a village market in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Jigawa. (Xinhua)
- 14JUL: At least 43 people were killed after gunmen stormed four villages in northern Nigeria’s restive Borno state. (Xinhua)
- 15JUL: Spokesman Femi Adesina said Buhari will seek help in fighting militants across West Africa when he meets U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday. (Reuters)
- 16JUL: At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured when twin blasts struck a market in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe. (AFP)
- 17JUL: Three girls staged suicide bombings in the city of Damaturu, killing at least 13 people as residents prepared for the Eid festival at the end of Ramadan, police said. (AFP)
- 17JUL: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon condemned the terrorist attacks that killed more than 60 people in northeast Nigeria, and reiterated the UN’s support for the Nigerian government in its fight against terrorism. (Xinhua)
- 19JUL: United States will offer to help Nigeria’s new leader track down billions of dollars in stolen assets and increase U.S. military assistance to fight Islamic militants, U.S. officials said, as Washington seeks to “reset” ties with Africa’s biggest economy. (Reuters)
- 19JUL: Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency says it has raided several properties belonging to the country’s former national security adviser to prevent “treasonable felony”, a charge that can include plotting to overthrow the government. (AFP)
- 19JUL: The New York Times published an Op-Ed about Pres. Buhari’s upcoming White House visit and the potential for a reset for the US-Nigerian relationship. (NYT)
Sample of Twitter handles regarding Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram
- @Ediong – Da Ediong, Editor-in-Chief at TODAY.ng
- @JaliyyahBello – Dr Jaliyyah Bello, Chatham House Member, Lecturer, Activist
- @Gebusites – Sunday Dare, former general editor of two of Nigeria’s weekly newsmagazines, The News and Tempo
- @STWKadaria – Kadaria Ahmed, Host, Straight Talk With Kadaria – a weekly Nigerian current affairs/news program
- @fidelisMbah – Fidelis Mbah, Nigeria Analyst, Media researcher
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram
Mike Ejiofor, Chairman and CEO, Apex Safety & Security Consultants
“The president wants better results in the fight against insurgency; even though I believe he should have taken this decision long before now.”
– Nigerian Leader Fires Military Leadership for Failure to Defeat Boko Haram Insurgents, WSJ, 14JUL15
Michael Clyne, Senior Analyst, Drum Cussac
“Nigeria is battling a number of economic crises, and it’s the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa. Years ago it ranked as one of the top oil exporters to America.”
– Boko Haram Fight Hastens Obama’s Thaw Toward Nigerian Leader, Bloomberg, 17JUL15
Jide Ogunlesi, Lagos-based Political Analyst
“Critics will be silenced when they see these officers perform. I think their appointment will give a fillip and a stronger bite to the fight against terrorism and all forms of banditry.”
– Dozens killed in Boko Haram raids, new military team in place, AFP, 14JUL15
Thomas Hansen, Analyst, Control Risks
“I think it will have a positive impact on the military offensive in the northeast over the next few months because the military from mid-level and up have been awaiting a change in leadership. That has created a ‘wait and see’ situation, which has caused decision-making to suffer. It has likely been one source of distraction for the military. ”
– Nigeria’s president purges defense top brass to take on Boko Haram, Reuters, 13JUL15
Wale Arigbabuwo, Security Analyst
“With their appointments, the new army chiefs will be tasked with the responsibility of routing Boko Haram from the nook and cranny of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.” [Paraphrased]
– Nigerian president fires military chiefs, announces replacements: spokesman, Xinhua, 13JUL15
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram
1. Suicide attack at checkpoint in Nigeria’s Maiduguri kills four
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 13 July 2015
Kano, Nigeria, July 13, 2015 (AFP) – Four people killed were killed on Monday when a suicide bomber hit a military checkpoint on the outskirts of the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, civilian vigilantes told AFP.
The blast happened at about 12:10 pm (1110 GMT) at the Jimtilo checkpoint, as passengers arriving in Maiduguri were being screened, they said.
2. Nigerian president replaces military chiefs as Boko Haram attacks surge
Media: United Press International (UPI)
Byline: Fred Lambert
Date: 14 July 2015
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced the replacement of several military chiefs amid a wave of Boko Haram suicide attacks.
Buhari fired the country’s army, navy, air force and intelligence chiefs, along with its defense staff chief, air marshal and national security adviser, replacing them with merit-based candidates, according to Nigerian media.
3. France: We’ll Work with Nigeria to Crush Boko Haram
Media: This Day (Nigeria)
Byline: Gboyega Akinsanmiâ
Date: 16 July 2015
The Government of France on Wednesday described the operations of Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation, as a real threat not only to Nigeria, but also Africa at large, noting that it would work with Nigeria to crush the group.
Despite the increasing spate of Boko Haram onslaughts mainly in the North-east and Chad, the French government disclosed that more than 50 big French companies had established offices in Lagos, saying more “are still coming.”
4. Suicide Bombers Strike Northeastern Nigeria
Media: Wall Street Journal
Byline: GBENGA AKINGBULE and DREW HINSHAW
Date: 17 July 2015
ABUJA, Nigeria—An elderly woman and a 10-year-old girl blew themselves up at a Muslim prayer gathering in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, in what appeared to be a deadly Boko Haram attack staged days before the Nigerian president’s visits the U.S.
The girl, wearing a flowing white robe, walked into a crowded public square in the city of Damaturu, said Aba Abdullahi, a member of self-defense militia tasked with protecting the area. Muslims had gathered there to mark the end of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting.
5. Buhari appoints Muhammadu as NSCDC boss
Media: National Mirror (Nigeria)
Byline: ROTIMI FADEYI
Date: 18 July 2015
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr. Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu as the new Commandant- General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
A statement issued yesterday by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Muhammadu succeeded Dr. Ade Abolurin, who has retired from service.