In March this year, Nigeria experienced its first democratic power transfer when the incumbent president announced his party had lost at the ballot box. The peaceful transfer of power has brought optimism to Nigeria in the midst of many challenges.
One problem the new government still has to tackle is the Boko Haram-insurgency which has killed thousands of people, and has led maybe as much as two million people flee their homes, villages and cities. The displacement crisis following insecurity in Northern-Nigeria is one of the world's forgotten crisis. In combating Boko Haram the government has launched a military counter-insurgency with mixed results, the government itself being accused by groups such as Amnesty for its brutality. But there are also other non-governmental and governmental attempts to address the issue of radicalization through non-violent means.
In the upcoming seminar two distinguished Nigerians scholars will speak on the topic of radicalization in Nigeria, particularly with a focus on non-violent strategies, but also what consequences the Boko Haram-insurgency has on the Nigerian democracy.
Dr Fatima Akilu has been responsible for setting up what has been called Nigeria’s "soft-approach" against Boko Haram, and was until recently the director in the office of the National Security Adviser responsible for this strategy, which includes a program directed towards schools, prisons and also religious institutions. Professor of political science Jibrin Ibrahim is a senior fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, and has for more then three decades been actively engaged in civil society. Professor Scott Gates will has been working on the efficiency of non-violent strategies and will offer a broader view on the topic.
The seminar is a collaboration between PRIO and The Norwegian Council for Africa (Fellesrådet for Afrika). The seminar is a part of a three day long event, "Spotlight on Nigeria" organised by the Norwegian Council for Africa, for more see www.afrika.no. "