Are you fed up with the regular insecurity in Nigeria, AND do you have some questions for a UK Minister about this?

(We’ll help you phrase your question(s) appropriately and put it forward on your behalf)

FAQ

Yes. The UK government has, in responding to various written questions, acknowledged full awareness of the security challenges in Nigeria. HMG often expresses concern and does make condemnation statements about the various atrocities. In 2021, The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing (British High Commissioner to Nigeria since 2018) wrote about her grave concerns stating: The UK government has recognised the insurgency in The North-Eastern geo-political zone of Nigeria as terrorism
The British government does not have direct responsibility for addressing the security crisis in Nigeria as Nigeria is its own independent sovereign state however the UK does have a moral responsibility as a leading nation of the commonwealth, as a fellow independent nation in our inter-connected world which the UK has peaceful and cooperative diplomatic relationships with and as the nation that formed Nigeria by merging together it’s various component parts and put in place the foundational structures upon which it has developed as a nation. In 2018, The UK during the premiership of Prime Minister, Theresa May signed a Defence cooperation partnership arrangement. This agreement has not been rescinded at any time and is therefore in force. On the basis of the above points, it remains appropriate to address the question of the effectiveness of the UK concerning Nigeria’s security challenges. We currently do not have stats from HMG to show how effective the partnership has been but we are writing to HMG to request the stats and we will update here.
The various known Jihadist groups are known to have different localised command structures however they are all tied together by a common purpose and are known to be increasingly cooperating together. The Islamic State which is also referred to as ISIS has various cells and affiliates operating in different parts of the world e.g. ISWAP (Islamic State, West Africa Province), and others not listed.
At the 2nd year review of The Bishop of Truro recommendations in July 2021, 17 out of the 22 recommendations had either been fully implemented or was in the process of being implemented. 4 of the recommendations had not started at all. The Truro review is due for an Independent review of progress at it’s third year anniversary which will be in July 2022

Parliamentary Questions

The UK Government have voiced their concerns and strongly condemned rising insecurity across Nigeria, including the Middle Belt region. They recognise the intercommunal aspect of these violent episodes, as well as the impact they’re having on both Christian and Muslim communities. Religious identity is acknowledged as a cause in some cases; however, the driving factor is thought to stem from resource competition and criminality. These issues have been repeatedly raised with the Nigerian Government, and only recently the UK and Nigeria reaffirmed a defence and security partnership in which both parties agreed on key areas of future cooperation to respond to shared threats.
The UK has urged the Nigerian Government to adopt long-term solutions that seek to address the underlying factors, largely criminality and competition over resources, while promoting human rights for all. In addition, since 2017, £425 million worth of humanitarian aid has supported 1.5 million people in North-East Nigeria. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Lake Chad Basin programme works with the Nigerian military in their response to terrorist groups, as well as broader stabilisation efforts with local communities. In the Middle Belt, efforts are directed toward managing the effects and supporting victims of sexual violence.
Elections in Nigeria are a flashpoint for violence and conflict. It is thus not a surprise to see Nigeria scoring low on Freedom House’s index, indicating that the country is ‘partly free.’ The Presidential elections in 2019 were particularly troubling, with Freedom House concluding it was “...marred by irregularities.” In response, the UK Government has welcomed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, signed on 25th February, which will “…help contribute to free, credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria.” PSJ UK also welcomes this Bill in the hope it will achieve its objectives, although we recognise that these issues are too deep-seated and widespread to be tackled by one Bill.
LORD GOLDSMITH OF RICHMOND PARK -- The UK Government is concerned about rising insecurity across Nigeria and we condemn all incidents of intercommunal violence, including in the Middle Belt. This violence has a devastating impact on both Christian and Muslim communities. While religious identity is a factor in some incidents of intercommunal violence, we assess that the root causes of violence in the Middle Belt frequently relate to resource competition and criminality, as well as historical and ongoing inter-communal grievances. Officials at our High Commission in Abuja met officials from the Niger State Government on 23 February to discuss a range of security matters, including the attacks in Shiroro. We regularly raise insecurity and human rights in Nigeria with the Nigerian Government. The Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean raised rising insecurity and its impact on the Nigerian people with the Vice President, Foreign Minister and several State Governors during her recent visit to Nigeria. She also met faith leaders, civil society and international organisations working in states affected by violence. Earlier this month, at the inaugural dialogue of the UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership, the Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean also held productive discussions with the Nigerian National Security Adviser on the complexity of Nigeria's security situation. At the dialogue, the UK and Nigeria agreed on areas of future cooperation to respond to shared threats, and on our support to Nigeria to tackle a range of security challenges. We continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all.
LORD GOLDSMITH OF RICHMOND PARK -- The UK remains committed to supporting the democratic process in Nigeria, and we continue to stress the importance of free and fair elections ahead of the 2023 presidential race. We warmly welcome the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law on 25 February. We assess that this will help contribute to free, credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria. The UK continues to work with civil society and the Independent National Electoral Commission to strengthen the integrity of elections in Nigeria. On 21 February the Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Vicky Ford MP, met with officials from the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission to discuss the vital role a strong and independent electoral commission will play in delivering credible and transparent 2023 elections. Minister Ford also raised elections with the Vice President during her visit, and expressed the UK Government's wish to see a strong legal framework in place well ahead of elections.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmon Park -- The UK Government is committed to working with Nigeria to respond to the causes and consequences of conflict in Nigeria. At our recent Security and Defence Dialogue, we committed to work together to respond to shared threats, support efforts to respond to rising insecurity in Nigeria, and to promote human rights for all Nigerians. During the Dialogue the Minister for Africa discussed insecurity with National Security Advisor Monguno. In addition, during her recent visit to Nigeria, she held detailed discussions with regional governors and community and religious leaders about the deteriorating security situation across the country and how the UK Government can support the response. In North East Nigeria, we have provided £425 million of humanitarian support since 2017, which has supported up to 1.5 million people. Through our regional Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Lake Chad Basin programme we are also: working with the Nigerian military in support of efforts to respond to the conflict with terrorist groups; supporting stabilisation efforts with local communities; and supporting wider security sector reform. In addition to our work in the North-East, we are also working with communities in the Middle-Belt to help better respond to and manage the effects of violent conflict including supporting the reintegration of victims of conflict and survivors of sexual violence. We continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians and taking action to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond ParkThe Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) The UK Government is concerned by insecurity across Nigeria; this violence is having a devastating impact on affected communities of all faiths and ethnicities. We assess that the principal causes of violence are complex and multifaceted and are often linked to criminality and competition over resources. We continue to urge and support the Nigerian Government to take action to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence and ensure the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief for all. The Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean regularly raises insecurity in Nigeria with the Nigerian Government, including during her visit to Nigeria in February, where she discussed this issue with Foreign Minister Onyeama. During her visit, the Minister held detailed discussions with regional governors, community leaders and religious leaders about the causes of violence. Additionally, on 1 February, the Minister also discussed insecurity with Nigerian National Security Adviser Monguno during the inaugural dialogue of the UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership. We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all.
Mark Spencer Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons The hon. Gentleman is right to draw the House’s attention to the situation in Nigeria. I know that many Members on both sides of the House are concerned about religious persecution, and call it out on a regular basis. I think that it is worthy of debate, and that such a debate would be popular in the House. The hon. Gentleman will have another opportunity to ask about the issue during Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office questions on 26 April, but I think that applying for a debate in the meantime is the right thing to do.
Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) The UK's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF)-funded human rights training on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria will be delivered by the Centre for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC); the British Defence Section (BDS); the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Regional Stabilisation Facility. Figures are only available for 2021-2022; we estimate that over 650 police officers and over 3000 military personnel will receive training from CIVIC, UNDP and BDS by the end of the year. Additional military personnel will receive the ICRC delivered International Humanitarian Law/human rights training, which is integrated into British-military training courses run by Operation Turus.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter