Conflict briefing notes: conflict briefing No.33, February 2015

Conflict briefing notes: conflict briefing No.33, February 2015

Attacks by Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati W al Jihad (JAS) persisted in February despite government and military claims that the group had been contained. Recent comments attributed to the Nigerian army command suggest that the military is perplexed by the resilience of JAS and has commenced investigations to ascertain the reasons behind the group's subsistence.

The emergence of the former Borno State Governor, Mr. Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has dominated discourse across political circles in the country. It may be recalled that Ali Modu Sheriff had been linked to JAS by several sources during former President Jonathan's administration. The controversial selection has occasioned rifts within the PDP even as many believe Sheriff's emergence will adversely af fect the party's electoral fortune.

The Supreme Court's dismissal of Senate President Bukola Saraki's appeal to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal from arraigning him has been met with mixed reactions. The apex court upheld an earlier decision by the court of appeal stating that the embattled Senate President must face trial on a 13-count charge of alleged false declaration of assets. Whilst Saraki's supporters allege that the ruling was politically motivated, others have hailed the ruling as indicative of the end to an era of impunity.

The recent dissolution of the Board of Governing Council and the sack of Vice Chancellors of 13 Federal universities in the country is threatening relations between the federal government and the academic community. The decision has been criticised as illegal and at variance with constitutional provisions for the appointment and disengagement of Vice Chancellors in the country. In a related event, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups is reported to have written a protest letter to President Buhari demanding a reversal of the decision even as the federal government has appointed new Vice Chancellors to run the af fairs of the af fected universities.

Fuel shortage persisted across several states in February amidst rising cost of commodities occasioned by the depreciating value of the Naira. Petty crime and communal conflict was also recorded in Plateau, Kano and in the Niger Delta states.

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