Author: Uzochukwu Margaret Akpa

Author: Uzochukwu Margaret Akpa

Drought Continues to Plague the Horn of Africa

Incessant drought trends in the Horn of Africa are worse than they were in the last 40 years of famine which killed thousands of people and caused an increase in food crisis due to consecutive years of low rainfall. The Horn of Africa region have been faced with climatic shock, low rainfall, and in most cases floods, especially those associated with El Nino and La Nina events. While EL Nino is associated with a warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific, La Nina is associated with a sustained cooling of these same events. However, these events contribute to the record-low rainfall in parts of the Horn of Africa and contributing to food crisis and inflation in these regions. In addition to this effect, the situation is aggravated by uncertainty with grain supplies from the Black Sea. Most third world countries depend on fertilizers and grain from Russia and Ukraine, respectively. For example, Somalia depends on Ukrainian grain, and according to UN reports, 90% of its grain comes from Ukraine. The Ukraine conflict disrupted logistics chains, grain and fertilizers sent as part of the "grain deal" didn’t end up in African countries. What this means for third world countries most especially countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya severely hit by drought would bear the brunt of the global food crisis since they are heavily dependent on Russian fertilizers and Ukrainian grains. Given the joint alert by the Meteorological agencies, the March-May 2023 drought would be more devastating for communities. Tracing back to history, the Horn of Africa has been faced with drought for 40 years, however, the current drought started with the poor performance of the October-December 2020 rains and has deepened subsequently. The drought between March till May would be below normal and unlikely to be above normal. For instance, In Somalia, 1.3 million persons have been internally displaced and 80% were women and children. It has also been proven that the incessant drought is manmade which changed the climate, says a study by the World Weather Attribution group of scientists. Hence, it is misleading to assume or categorically consider rain failure as the consequence of drought faced in these regions. For instance, in 2011-2012 Somalia battled with famine and this was because of conflict. And a region faced with food insecurity, inflation, restricted mobility, and political instability directly or indirectly contributes to drought challenges. Marginalized and underdeveloped regions are more affected as well as regions where indicators are beyond the emergency threshold. Again, Among the people largely affected by the intensifying droughts are the nomadic pastoralists leaving them vulnerable to hasher lands with little or no support from the government. Thousands and millions of people in the Horn of Africa are facing acute hunger for numerous factors ranging from droughts, conflict, and instability within and globally. According to Joyce Kimutai a climate scientist who works with WWA to tease out climate change with the Kenya Meteorological Department, found that 1.2 degrees Celsius (2,2 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler world, which is a combination of low rainfall and evapotranspiration would not have caused drought at all and the drought was exceptional because of climate change. Furthermore, these regions have faced a slow response from traditional donors because of the ongoing military operation. However, as of April 2023, it was reported that drought left about 4.35 million people in the Horn of Africa in need of humanitarian aid, and Somalia is estimated to have lost 43,000 people. For this same reason, the UNHCR refugee agency appealed for US$ 137 million as of February 23, 2023, to provide aid to 3.3 million refugees and internally displaced persons who fled in search of safety. According to the Data published by the UNHCR, over 17 million people have been internally displaced in Ethiopia and Somalia because of drought since last year and more than 180,000 refugees from Somalia and South Sudan crossed into drought-affected regions of Kenya and Ethiopia. The UNHCR reported its plans to provide basic relief materials, cash assistance, and health facilities. It will also work towards strengthening border monitoring and facilitating refugee registration and documentation in collaboration with local authorities. alongside UNHCR, WHO is countering the consequences of malnutrition and assisting affected populations prepare for outbreaks of diseases like cholera, measles, and malaria and providing health services and treatments for chronic infections like HIV, tuberculosis, and mental health services. These drought cases have left women and children vulnerable to child abuse or forced child labor, gender-based violence and have contributed to health challenges. As of 2022, plans were made to assist these regions but however, humanitarian response plans have been underfunded. at the same time last year only 20 percent of food security has been funded till date, in Kenya about 34 percent of the required $139 million for October 2021-March 2022 were met and funding requirements increased to $189 million in April-October 2022. The assistance provided to these regions is limited and for that reason calls for immediate actions to mitigate this crisis. The international emergency response to these crises has regularly been criticized, the late response to droughts, and as a result, the humanitarian community has tried to improve its response capacity, investing in various early warning systems and financial mechanisms for quick release of funds. In addition, weather forecasts in the region have a significant impact on the region in showing how resources should be distributed. Governments on the other hand are unwilling to allocate resources based on forecasts and this to an extent contributes to the deterioration of the already worsened situation in the region. It is not surprising that these regions are consistently hit by droughts and floods in most cases. Without quick measures or humanitarian response to remedy the situation, the region would continually face the same situation.

Mali Raises Russian Flag ousting UN Peacekeepers

Citizens of Mali on Friday 28th April gathered in Mali’s capital Bamako, waving Russian flags in a protest against the inability of UN’s peace keeping mission MINUSMA to resolve the lingering crisis in Mali since its intervention in 2013. The protesters who decried the deplorable situation of the security of lives and property in Mali insisted that UN peacekeepers’ decade-long presence in Mali is no longer required. It could be recalled that the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established by Scarcity Council Resolution 2100 of 25 April, 2013 to support the political process through the creation of favourable conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the citizens in an attempt to stabilize Mali while preparing the state for free all-inclusive peaceful elections. However, the crisis in Mali has continued to grow since after the first coup in 2020. The nation ruled by military junta since then through the help of Russian paramilitary mercenaries has battled armed terrorist groups believed to be associated with the Al-Qaeda and Islamic state organization. The crisis in Mali has its origin from long-existing structural conditions like weak state institutions; observable ineffective governance, poor social cohesion, a strong feeling of Marginalization and negligence of some communities in the Northern part of Mali by the central government, a growing effects of environmental degradation as well as most recent factors of power abase, deteriorating capacity as well as most recent factors of power abase, deteriorating capacity of the national army; increase of internal strife, social instability, high levels of corruption and nepotism. This brought about active terrorist groups like ISIS and JNIM – an AQ-affiliated umbrella group that formed when the Sahara branch of AQIM, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine and the Macina liberation front merged. The jihadists of the al-Qaeda affiliated group for the support for Islam and Muslims (GSIM, JNIM in Arabic) continued to claim responsibility for different terror attacks in Malian capital Bamako and many other parts since then. The growing insurgency spread to neighbouring countries like Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad. These countries formed the G5 Sahel – a joint military force which had Mali’s military as part of it until the stat withdrew its membership in May, 2022. The G5 Sahel whose military aspect is coordinated by the respective countries’ Chiefs of Staff had its operations largely finance by the European Union with the purpose of strengthening the bond between economic development and security and jointly battling the threat of jihadist organizations operating in the area. From the beginning, with the growing concerns of insecurity among neighbouring states it is worthy of note that the international community did not turn blind eyes / deaf ears to the crisis in Mali. While the crisis was heating up around 2012 and 2013, Reuters reported in January 12, 2013 that the prime Minsters of Libya, Algeria and Tunisia agreed to enhance security along their common borders in an attempt to fight the flow of arms and drugs and organised crime in the politically turbulent regions. Before then, the former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi played a leading role in bringing an end to a Tuarey rebellion in Mali and Niger in October 2009, allegedly distributing millions of dollars to the insurgents. However, after the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in October 2011, Thomas Fessy, BBC News West Africa Correspondent wrote in 2012 that the coup in Mali may have had its roots in the fall of Muammar Gaddafi as hundreds of Malian combatants who had fought to defend the late Libyan leader fled back to Mali with weapons and formed the most powerful Tuareg-led rebel group in the known as Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA). The French military intervened in the Mali crisis following an official request by the Malian interim government for French military assistance using operation “Serval” between 11 January, 2013 – 15 July, 2014. The aim of the operation was to oust Islamic militants from the north of Mali. The operation was replaced by “Operation Barkhane”, launched on 1 August, 2014 to fight Islamic fighters in the Sahel. However, these French troop faced a lot of challenges during the 9 years stay in Mali. Many of the soldiers were killed by terrorists. By 17th February, 2022, the BBC news reported that France refused to negotiate a peace deal with Islamist groups; got angered by the decision of the Mali Junta to invite mercenaries from the Russian company Wagner to help in the fight against the jihadist groups. As a result, the French troops involved in the “Operation Barkhane” were withdrawn within six months. The international communities and governments of neighbouring countries became worried that France’s withdrawal from Mali could further destabilize the region; the report says. After the exit of the French troops, Wagner private military company – a Russian paramilitary organization who arrived in Mali in December 2021. The center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in a commentary section, published in February 2, 2022, expressed that Mali’s international partners including United States and numerous European countries condemned the arrival of the Wagner Group in Mali. The commentary said the Malian Junta’s turn to Russia and the Wager Group is intended to shore up its domestic political position rather than to meaningfully address insecurity in the country. With all these factors and events playing out, one would ask, what is the future of Mali? Are there hopes of any successful transition into Civilian rule come February, 2024? The next very pertinent question should be: what is the implications of the protests against United Nations Peacekeepers in Mali? By raising Russian flag during the protest on Friday signifying acceptance of Russia and the Wagner group, what does the future hold for the Malians?

“Power Tussle” as Sudan Military Clashes with the RSF

Political strife and constant clashes over who heads the military welding more control in Sudan have continued to derail the course of transition into civilian rule thereby crushing the hopes of the common citizens who wish to experience a fresh breath of Democracy and freedom from military dominance. On the 15th of April, civil strife broke out in Sudan between the Sudan Army Forces (SAF) led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary group called RSF (Rapid Support Forces) led by Hemedti originally known Hamdan Dagalo in Khartoum and one of the major and immediate causes is the failed attempt to incorporate the Rapid Support forces into the Sudanese army which led the RSF to deploy its forces into the capital without the permission of the army. On the other hand, the Sudanese army was demanding the dissolution of the RSF, and its members integrated into the regular military ranks. As of 17 April, UN reports showed that more than 180 people have been killed, 1,800 injured and UN facilities had been looted and damaged. Sudan in general since independence has had more conflict than any other African region since independence. The transition was to mark the beginning of civilian rule in Sudan which the military refused to carry out. The recent outbreak was a time bomb waiting to explode. It has been brewing since the transition that followed Omar al Bashir’s toppling from his 30-year-old government in 2019. This coup was masterminded by the army and paramilitary and both parties’ intentions were to collaborate to seize power. The power-sharing agreement signed by both entities recognized the RSF as a regular entity affiliated with the armed forces but placed under the direct supervision of a civilian head of state and the agreement as well required the integration of RSF into the army, but the exact time of integration wasn’t negotiated and since then the agreement deepened the distrust between Hemedti and Burhan. The events leading to the signing of the agreements on 17 July 2021 were met with confrontation and tensions between the civilian opposition and the military council over the transitional agreement over who welds power however, this led to violent clashes on 3 June 2021, which led to the death of up to 120 protesters in Khartoum. The killings were met with international leaders condemning the act and AU suspending Sudan’s membership. Hence, the architect of the civil strife can be traced to Bashir’s regime, rather than rebuild the military, he decided to arm local paramilitary groups headed by Hemedti which led to the proliferation of groups such as the RSF which started in Darfur and spread across Sudan. The reason for his actions was because of his fallout with Hassan al-Turabi, Sudan’s leading Islamist over the military failed to stop the assault on Khartoum by the Darfuri rebel Justice and Equality Movement in 2008. Solidifying their stance in the country, Sudan’s parliament passed an Act putting the paramilitaries directly under the office of the president in 2017. Not until 2019, did Bashir’s ruinous policies, corruption, extravagant spending on the defense sector, and too many foreign debts, shortage of supplies like food and medicines drive the country into an economic crisis led to protests that forced Bashir out of power which marked the victory for the Sudanese and at the same time a new beginning of civil strife towards successful transition into the civilian rule. Considering the politics at play, one can describe the fallout of both groups as a “clash of interest”. Since the overthrow of Bashir’s autocratic rule and the signing of the constitutional declaration agreement between the military and the Freedom and Change (FFC) which is an umbrella representing the civilians and armed opposition groups, transferred most powers to the civilian administration. Despite the agreement, Burhan breached the agreement because eventually most significant positions were controlled by the military. According to Alan Boswell a project director at Horn of Africa Nairobi’s report on International Crisis Group, the transitional period was met with army officers seizing power and was bent on preserving and consolidating power and protecting its economic interest, this was evident in the dissolution of the civilian cabinet which was paving way for reforms. These single actions disrupted the transition that was supposed to make way for elections in 2023. It remains unclear what will become of Sudan during this period and of course after the crisis given its economic turmoil, political instability, hunger, and division amongst faction groups. On Friday, one week after the crisis that engulfed Sudan erupted, Sudan’s top military general army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan declared the military’s commitment to a civilian-led government. This pledge was welcomed by mixed feelings from many Sudanese who believe the pledge came from the same person who joined forces with the current rivals to seize power 18 months ago. However, with the growing tension in Sudan coupled with civilians' divided interests, one can argue that the transition to civil rule in the nation may not be in sight. The Sudanese Armed Forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo must come together to resolve and implement the agreement signed in December 2022 thereby stepping away from Sudan's political affairs for a successful transition into civilian government. On the other hand, f the crisis continues, the country would be depriving itself of international funding and support thereby worsening the economic condition of the state, as well as increasing the level of political instability that has hitherto ravaged the nation.

Is China’s Economic Policy in Africa Setting the Stage for Global Order?

China-Africa relationship continues to grow Surpassing the US and becoming the largest trading partner in Africa. China’s Presence has been felt in Africa for decades and majorly becoming an economic partner of sub-Saharan African Countries with its economic activities resulting in an overall increase in trade, foreign direct investment, and aid in Africa. Its foreign direct investment peaked at an all time high from $490 million in 2003 to $43.4 billion in 2020 making China the Africa’s largest investor ahead of the United States. This makes economic analysts wonder if China is setting the pace for a new economic order. Just like the West, China is strategic about its activities and policies for instance in rolling out aid, trade, investment stock, investment growth, and infrastructural financing in airports, dams, roads, etc., as these are the major economic connections between Africa and the world at large. Since the past decade, Chinese loans and contractors reshaped much of the continent’s infrastructure and this has been matched by investments in mines and manufacturing plants, shopping centers, and corner stores. Their activities in Africa made many believe that China is becoming Africa’s most economic partner for instance; According to Afrobarometer, a polling firm on “The pan African Research Network” as of 2017 discovers that 63% of people in 36 African countries consider China to be a positive influence and others fret that it is the “new colonial master.” Its expansion contributed to a shift in public policy from a narrow focus on trade and investment relations to a broad range of development issues, pledging concessional loans to Africa to address a range of issues like climate change, food security, attain Millennium Development Goals, and overcome the epidemic diseases. Its impact is felt in resource-rich economies that benefit from China’s demand for raw materials. “The Economist” special reports on China in Africa, China’s financial assistance shrunk in 2016 diverting focus to trade and investment. Furthermore, one of China’s key initiatives in Africa is The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an infrastructure that intends to connect Asia, Europe, and Africa through a network of ports, trains, motorways, and other infrastructure. Many African countries have joined the initiative to benefit from these investments. However, the European Union and the United States also play a role in African economies creating competition amongst these traditional African donors. The EU and the US economic relationship has been said to be unequal with Africa’s demand to be treated as partners. Their policies since time immemorial focused on trade and investments as well as aid. Not until recent times has the US been strategically pivoting into African in a bid to strengthen its ties given competitions in the continent. In comparison to China, India and the US, Russia is considered a minor player on the continent. Russia supports minor states mostly states that have been internationally shunned like Angola and this, however, gives Russia a significant influence. Currently, Russia has been navigating towards increasing its influence in the continent following global isolation. Most of its investments in Africa focus on trade in resources and promoting nuclear power technology as Alrosa, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rostec and Rosatom which are large Russian companies are situated in African countries. Russia-Africa ties have faced a decline for decades until it gained its major entry and expansion for Russian business and economic strategy given the October 2019 Russia-Africa Summit. Russia’s role during the colonial period was an advantage over other actors in the “new scramble for Africa”. Unlike its counterparts that position themselves economically while indirectly coaxing Africans to live by Western standards of public administration in return for loans. Russia’s presence is felt given its military assistance to African governments to maintain stability and political stance for instance following the events in Libya, the Central African Republic and Mali. Recently, Russia exports about 30% of Russian agricultural exports to Africa and about $14 billion per Russian arms sales to Africa to counter growing instability in Africa. It is imperative to say that China’s influence in Africa cannot be compared to its competitors. Its ties to Africa are drifting towards political, military, and security with the establishment of a military base in Djibouti and gradually spreading into other parts of Africa. One notable thing about China in Africa is the fact that transparency is not one of the characteristics of the Chinese system. It doesn’t produce reports on how its aid is distributed or the actual figures pumped into Africa as financial assistance. Unlike the EU, US, and Russia, China’s policies primarily focus on achieving growth and increasing its reach across the globe. It’s also driven by the state with government intervention in the economy. Nevertheless, its policies have faced criticism for lack of environmental and social standards leading to issues of exploitation and pollution for instance citizens in Ghana were of the opinion that China’s activities affects its environment.

Kamala Harris Visits Africa: A Move to Strengthen US-African Economic Ties

The US vice president kicked off a historic trip to Africa on Sunday 26th March 2023, to strengthen economic ties with African countries. Kamala Harris during her weeklong trip visited Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. She said that the United States is committed towards increasing investments in Africa. In general, America has been working with Africa for decades. It has well established programs like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which grants preferential access to US markets for African products. The US has played a significant role in promoting economic integration and regional trade. Nevertheless, after reaching an all-time high in 2008, U.S. trade with AGOA participants has decreased to almost its pre-AGOA level. In addition, other programs established in Africa include the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Power Africa initiative and foreign aid with billions of dollars in aid each year to support a variety of development projects, such as health, education, and poverty reduction. Until recently, the primary method of the United States employed to further its objectives in Africa is the distribution of assistance. In the wake of the United States absence which intensified during Former President Donald Trump’s administration, ignoring Africa, never visiting the continent and disparaging some African nations in a 2018 meeting as expletive countries therefore creating a gap for other nations in strengthening trade ties in Africa, particularly China. However, Harris’s visit to Africa is majorly aimed at countering China and Russia’s influence in Africa. And, consequently, the growth of investments from these countries and their influence. Harris during her visit pledged $100 billion dollars to four African states to address security, governance, and development issues in the region. Though it is a welcomed development, According to estimates by the African Development Bank, Africa needs at least $100 billion per annum to plug its infrastructure finance deficit and another $50 billion to invest in climate adaptation. The US support is commendable but however unlikely to radically change the continent. It is not new that China has invested heavily into the continent for over a decade, dishing out loans, building infrastructure and even resource developments while Russia on the other hand deployed troops from the Wagner group to aid the government in several African countries. According to the Council of Foreign Relations, “China-Africa trade has soared since 2000, with China surpassing the United States as the largest single trade partner in 2009” with Chinese trade reaching over $250 billion dollars in 2021. On the other hand, the EU in 2019 launched the “African Continental Free Trade Agreement” which aimed at reaching every country in the continent. Some Analysts, however, stated that it could only be possible to reach a continent to continent free trade agreement if only the EU would remedy its asymmetrical trade relationships with African partners. The recent competition between U.S and other nations in Africa has been described as “Scramble for Africa” says Professor Bopkin an economist and professor in finance, a senior lecturer from the University of Ghana, referring back to the 19th century era when African continents were subdivided amongst European Nations leading to the exploitation of African Countries and Colonialism. Basically, the US channels most of its investments in Trade. During the last US-Africa summit in December 2022, the United States mapped out $55 billion to Africa over the next three years, with about $20 billion going into health programs, $15 billion for trade and investment, $1.1 billion for climate adaptation and energy transmission and $358 million for women initiatives. In 2021, the United States involved in a two-way trade and investment deal across Africa worth 83.6 billion in 2021. Majority of the initiatives are intertwined with broader US goals and values in Africa. The US trend towards economic integration in Africa isn’t just about Africa’s interest but an avenue which presents opportunities for the U.S and its firms as well. These initiatives and agreements are largely tied to US values and interest in Africa and future trade pacts are most unlikely to deviate from the previous ones even though the US strives to counteract European, Russian and Chinese influence in Africa. No doubt, the US has contributed to the growth and development of Africa but the U.S at the same time have to start treating Africa not as a subject of geopolitics but as a geopolitical player.

Nigeria elections 2023: incidences of violence, killings, voter suppression across the country

Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, comprising the presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections greeted the citizens and the international community with an unprecedented level of electoral malpractices, incidences of violence, voter suppression, intimidations and varying degrees of physical attacks on voters and electoral officers across the nation.  Everyone conversant with Nigeria’s political history will agree to the postulations of some political analysts who argue that electoral violence and political unrest are not new to Nigerians. Under both military and civilian rule, the country has conducted ten elections that have witness cases of violence from 1979 till date. These analysts argue that Nigeria’s general elections such as the 1983,1993, 2011 and 2019 general elections were mostly characterized by widespread of electoral violence, ranging from physical attacks on voters, voter suppression, and intimidation to carting away of ballot boxes which in turn resulted in disruption of voting process. It is worthy of note that one of the outstanding characteristics of democratic states is periodic elections organized by the state for the purpose of electing leaders that will govern the people. In same societies where “Vox Populi” really represents “Vox Dei”, elections give the citizens the power to determine who represents their interests in the various levels of government. However, in the case of Nigeria’s elections some political analysts, argue that the mandate/choice of the people is usually trampled upon by the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INECS), working under the influence of political parties from the buildup of every election to the polls. Close watchers of political developments in Nigeria, both local and international observers have described the 2023 general elections as having fallen below what could be a standard for free and credible election. Citizens decried cases of widespread electoral violence in some states situated in mostly the southern region and part of Northern region such states as Lagos, Kogi, Borno, Kano, Imo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Ogun, Edo, Delta, and Rivers where there were observable cases of electoral violence to the extent of holding electoral officers hostage. On the 22nd of February 2023, the armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a non-governmental organization specializing in disaggregated conflict data collection, analysis and crisis mapping, published a long monitored impact and dynamics of political violence in Nigeria through the Nigeria Election violence tracker - an interactive resource created in partnership with the Nigeria based centre for Democracy and development (CCD) According to the report, political violence in the build up to the 2023 election is largely in line with the levels observed before the 2019 elections. By Saturday, the 25th February 2023, being the date of Nigeria’s presidential and national assembly elections, Channels Television reported cases where political thugs and armed bandits were seen disrupting voting process in the southern part of Nigeria. According to the report by Channel’s Television, the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, described the situation in Lagos as “an admixture of very peaceful conduct in most parts of the state but we also recorded isolated instances of thuggery”. Idowu confirmed the arrest of some of the thugs who carried out the attacks in those areas. “We were able to stabilize the situation and rescue the INEC Officials” he said. Away from Lagos State, Daily Post Newspaper reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) threatened to cancel the election results of crisis – ridden arrears during the presidential and national assembly elections in Kogi state. The report stated that Dr. Hale Longpet, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja sounded the warning, while reacting to the crisis that erupted in some areas such as Anyigba and Dekina in Kogi East, Mopa in the Kogi West and some parts of Kogi central. He noted that the polls in the affected areas were inconclusive. The guardian newspaper in a story published on the 27th of February 2023, on electoral violence in Rivers State, the Niger Delta Region of southern Nigeria where voters protested alleged manipulation of result, noted that a statement signed by the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, which was made available to the Guardian newspaper in Port Harcourt, observed cases of violence in places like Obio/Akpor, Khana, Eleme, Obigbo, Rumukoro and other areas. The statement also accused the River State Governor- Nyesom Wike, of deploying soldiers and police to intimidate, harass and snatch ballot papers in polling units in his compound in Worji, where it was alleged that the Labour Party was leading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all progressives Congress (APC) with over 323 votes. There were also, reported cases of sporadic shootings and vandalism of commercial vehicles in some parts of the state. Different reports continued to flow around other states such as Imo, Kano, Borno, Nasarawa, Edo and Delta State. In the early hours of Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinibu, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling Party, (APC), as the winner of Saturday’s controversial Presidential election. The declaration generated mixed reactions both in Nigeria and abroad. Some of those reactions came as verbal expressions of dissatisfaction by the citizens with the outcome of the election as well as congratulatory messages to the president-elect. The vanguard, Nigerian Newspaper on March 5, 2023, under the entertainment news section published mixed reactions of some Nigerian entertainers to Tinibu’s victory. The reports of electoral violence, continued during the state governorship and houses of assembly elections across Nigeria three weeks after the presidential elections, with tension growing in Nasarawa, Kaduna, Lagos, Enugu, Abia, Kano, Taraba, and Adamawa states. Voters in these states protested, recurring electoral malpractices, voter suppression and intimidations as well as alleged manipulation of results by INEC to favour perceived interests of some political candidates and their parties. The Cable News Nigeria in a news report on March 20, 2023, described the violence unleashed on voters in some areas dominated by Igbo’s in Lagos during the governorship elections as “a well-planned scheme at voter suppression designed to achieve victory for governing APC.” There were reports of massive thuggery by hooligans attacking and assaulting voters, destroying voting materials and generally disrupting voting process. At the time of filing that report, Cable News observed that neither the Lagos State governor Sanwo Olu nor the president-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinibu had issued any statement to condemn the attacks. Cable News alleged that their silence may have fueled speculations that the state governor and the president-elect were privy to the plans. Reacting to the violent attacks on Igbo voters resident in Lagos State Tinibu’s Spokesman, Bayo Onunuga in a tweet on Saturday night 19th March 2023 hinted what could be described as a warning to the Igbos not to interfere in Lagos Politics. The tweet read: “Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics. Let there be no repeat in 2027.” The tweet went further to say that “Lagos is like Anambra, Imo, any Nigerian state. It is not No Man’s Land, not Federal Capital Territory. It is Yoruba Land. Mind your business.” The Tweet has so far attracted numerous criticisms from well meaning Nigerians.     The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) on Saturday, March 18, 2023 reported cases of electoral violence and inducement of voters by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Party agents in some polling units around Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna state. The report stated that the ICIR had earlier reported how party agents offered money to voters in Bauchi, and Adamawa States. The same thing was observed in some other states like Nasarawa, Kano Enugu, Imo and Abia state where the ruling parties in those states continued to deploy every possible strategy to remain in power. While the dusts raised by the declaration of election results from the presidential elections, national assembly, gubernatorial elections to that of the state houses of assembly elections have continued to grow tension in all the states in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has seen several petitions from the opposition parties, while the candidates that lost the election in different states and at different levels have headed to the courts challenging the election outcomes