Monday, August 31, 2015

SIC Advices DVLA Drivers On Fake Licence


The Kumasi area manager of SIC Mrs. Dzifa Kwawukume has advised authorities at the Drivers and Vehicle License Authority (DVLA) to implement effective mechanism to avoid the issuing of fake license at the license offices in the country .

She also charged drivers to verify their license at the appropriate license offices to ensure the validity of their license before driving.

“Some drivers are intentionally driving with fake license whiles many others possess fake ones without knowing”. She observed.

She said the process will help ensure smooth process of insurance documentation for claims by clients who are under various motor insurance schemes in the company without any difficult confrontation.

“Most people often present fake documents to secure their insurance claims without knowing they are holding invalid licenses that normally delay their process to claim their money”. She noted.

Mrs. Dzifa gave these advices when speaking in an interview with the media in Kumasi towards the company’s mechanism to ensure effective delivery of services to it noble clients.

According to her, Sic customizes its products for every client the right products for the right person at the right time. The arrays of insurance products packaged and tailored to the varying needs of the public include Motor, Fire, Marine, Property and Pecuniary insurance. Others are Aviation, Engineering, Casualties, Liability and Bonds insurance.

She noted that, “a person who uses or permits another to use a motor vehicle on the road should have a motor insurance policy”, which include Act Only cover, third party fire and theft, third party cover, and comprehensive.

Mrs. Dzifa urged individuals to partner SIC to engage it policies especially the accident, casualties and the property insurance, since, it will cushion their future life for comfort.

SIC insurance company limited, the nation’s preferred largest non-life insurance company in line with its objective to settle legitimate claims promptly, aims to remain it position as best in insurance and other financial services, as it paid over gh¢32.5 million in claims in the year 2014, which represents a fifty-eight per cent (58%) increase compared with the 2013 figure of GH¢20.5million.

She reiterated the company is returning substantial parts of premium mobilized to its customers who suffer one form of lose or another. “Sic insurance remains optimistic in securing its position as the leader in the insurance industry. Despite the challenges that have confronted the company in recent times, sic insurance remains resilient and is poised to offer quality services to its clients nationwide”. She emphasizes.

The company is very focused on delivering on its core mandate and is innovatively looking at new ways of increasing efficiency to improve operations and deliver on its promises to its clients and potential clients alike.




National Childrens Day Marked


Today is National Children’s Day, a day set aside to focus on the work of all actors committed to the rights of children. The National Children’s Day also provides an occasion for Governments, Institutions and Communities to renew their commitments towards improving the challenges of marginalized and particularly vulnerable children.

The theme for this year’s National Children’s Day is “The Role of the Girl Child in the Prevention of Early Marriage. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection finds the theme very appropriate because Child marriage has become a disturbing phenomenon in Ghana. According to the Multiple Indicator Survey of Ghana (2011) about one in four women are married before age 18. In fact, many of the regions of Ghana record very high incidences of child marriage, ranging from 12 â€" 39%.

Child marriage has devastating and long term effects on a girl’s health and education. It also has psychological, emotional, mental, etc. effects on the life and future of girls. It is human rights, gender, health and culture, as well as a development issue. The Government of Ghana therefore considers child marriage as a major hindrance to the development of girls. The theme for the DAY thus presents an opportunity for all girl-child interest actors to double their efforts to end this phenomenon.

In September 2013, Ghana joined 109 countries to co-sponsor a UN resolution [A/HRC/24/L/34] that sought to strengthen efforts to prevent and eliminate child marriage. Civil Society Organizations as well as some international organizations have rallied efforts to bring about an end to this practice. Ghana is increasing its commitment through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to ensure that information on child marriage reaches even the most remote parts of the country through training programmes for key media personnel and public dialogues on the subject.

In this regard, the Ministry has established a Child Marriage Coordinating Unit within its Domestic Violence Secretariat to spearhead the fight against child marriage, in collaboration with other state institutions and NGOs. In July this year, a new Child and Family Welfare Policy was launched to guide the establishment of a new child and family welfare system to better protect children from abuse and exploitation, including child marriage.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection believes, that this year’s celebration of the National Children’s Day will set the tone to chalk up unprecedented success in the fight against child marriage in Ghana.

The Overall objective of the 2015 National Children’s Day is to take urgent steps to prevent early marriage and also to advocate and educate duty bearers and claim holders of the dangers associated with early marriage and to promote their rights and highlight the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. The specific objectives of the celebration of the National Children’s Day are as follows;

  • To involve children in the fight against early and forced marriage
  • To educate the general public on the consequences of early marriage as well as laws prohibiting early marriage. .
  • To empower community members on their role in preventing early and forced marriage in their area of jurisdictions.

To commemorate the day, the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is organizing a number of public awareness programmes on Child Marriage across the country. A forum with children in Bekwai and an interaction with a group of young girls at Marcelle School campus in Kumasi in Ashanti Region are being organized to discuss early Marriage. Similar programmes are being held nationwide, including discussions on radio and television.

The MoGCSP calls on all Ghanaians to join hands with the Government to end child marriage in Ghana. This will ensure that all girls have their dreams come true.




Austria smuggler crackdown as Europe divided over migrant crisis


Vienna (AFP) - The hunt for people smugglers led to a security crackdown and massive tailbacks on Austria's border with Hungary on Monday, as Europe struggled to present a united front on the huge influx of migrants and refugees.

Austria's tightened security followed the discovery of 71 dead migrants, four of them children, in an abandoned lorry near the border with Hungary last week.

Since the checks on vehicles began late on Sunday, more than 200 migrants have been picked up and five suspected people smugglers arrested.

Separately, Austrian police stopped two trains carrying hundreds of refugees, mostly from Syria, that had been allowed leave neighbouring Hungary without visas.

Much-flouted EU rules stipulate that refugees should be processed in the first country they reach, but Hungary says it cannot deal with the influx.

The chaos and piecemeal responses have been reflected across Europe as the continent struggles to cope with the biggest movement of people since World War II, with more than 300,000 arriving this year.

Most are fleeing war, persecution and hardship in the Middle East and Africa, and at least 2,500 have died trying to make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.

Austria has called for EU funding for states refusing to take their share of migrants to be cut, in the latest sign of deepening divisions over the crisis.

Home affairs ministers will meet on September 14 in Brussels in a bid to "strengthen the European response".

"If Europe fails on the question of refugees, if this close link with universal civil rights is broken, then it won't be the Europe we wished for," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.

Her comments mirrored those of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the French port of Calais, who said "too many countries are refusing to play their part. It goes against the European spirit and we can't accept it."

Valls said by early 2016, France would build a new reception camp for migrants in Calais, with the help of five million euros from the European Commission.

- 'Like we are animals' -

Most migrants land in Italy or Greece, then make for the wealthier countries of northern Europe.

"We are in a labyrinth, going from queue to queue, and here in Serbia, the police are shouting at us like we are animals," Samar, 40, from Damascus, told AFP as she waited with her two teenage boys for hours in the sun at a filthy camp in Presevo.

Transit countries in eastern Europe and the Balkans are struggling to cope.

Two weeks ago, Macedonia declared a state of emergency after a surge of people across its border with Greece.

The right-wing government in Hungary, which has seen 50,000 new arrivals this month, has laid razor wire along its border with Serbia to try keep migrants out, and is also building a four-metre (13 feet) fence to be policed by border guards and sniffer dogs.

Criticised by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as a breach of "Europe's common values", it has also proved ineffective, with police saying 3,080 migrants crossed on Saturday, the second-highest daily total.

A Palestinian-Syrian woman, travelling with her four-year-old daughter and other relatives, was unfazed.

"I just don't care who detains me now, I've already seen the worst," she told AFP in Belgrade.

"We were detained by the (Kurdish) People's Protection Units, the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra Front as we travelled westwards towards Turkey. It's a miracle we survived all that."

European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU needs "a way between the chaotic mess symbolised by the dramas in Calais... or the tragedies in the sea or recently in Austria, and drastic actions like those taken by Hungary.

"Europe has to find something between these two extremes," he said.

- Most smugglers escape -

Hungary has arrested four Bulgarians and an Afghan in connection with last week's abandoned truck tragedy. Four of them pleaded not guilty during their first court appearance last week.

Inside the Hungarian-plated truck were the decomposing bodies of 59 men, eight women, a toddler and three young boys, all thought to be Syrians.

Police said they may have been dead for up to two days before the lorry was found with body fluids dripping leaking out of it.

A passer-by told Hungarian news portal Index.hu that he saw the driver running away from the back doors in panic before being picked up and driven away in another car.

Three Syrian children, who were rescued with severe dehydration from another migrant-packed van and taken to hospital, vanished with their parents on Friday, with the families most likely heading to Germany, Austrian police said.




Ghana In Quest For Free, Fair, And Transparent Elections. A Compelling Reason For Electronic Voting


Whiles it is evidently emerging that Ghana's elections and electoral processes have been continually flawed, ever since the era of this fourth republican era, there have been consistent calls for a compilation of a new and fresh database of voters register. Yet, it appears that not only should there be a new register of electors, there is equally a need for an accompanying overhaul of the work and practices of the Ghana Electoral Commission's concept of operational systems.

Whereas the ex-chairman of the Electoral Commission has stated unequivocally by admitting before the Ghana Supreme Court that the voters register is bloated, and also that 56% out of Ghana's population of 25 million is disproportionate, and unconscionable, and therefore a need for it to be purged, it is worrying for a persistent denial, not only by the staff of the Commission, but also by the ruling NDC, claiming that there is nothing wrong with the register, and that all is well with the Commission's operational systems and practices.

The Electoral Commission has apparently shirked its responsibility to the nation, on the basis of the fact that the nation depends on their records for national statistical accuracies and inaccuracies for various calculations. They have been oblivious to whatever repercussions that might befall Ghana out of their capricious biases.

All these notwithstanding, the argument rages on, with the Commission and the NDC on one side, whiles the rest of Ghana, forming the greater majority are on another, placed on an arena where a symbol of "reason and reasonableness" has launched an onslaught on an image of "lack of reason, insulse, and unreasonableness"

Accepted that the current voters register is incurably bloated, hence a need for a fresh one to be compiled under vigilant eagle eyes, if the working mechanisms and practices of the institution of the Electoral Commission and its systems remain the same, not long after one request, there will be another need for another fresh register, as the years pass on, because the filth remains, it will grow and resurface once again. This incidence of circumlocation of misdeeds clearly suggests that the problem is with, and within the institution of the Electoral Commission. It is the EC that has made itself cribbrous, permitting its work, systems organisations, structures and practices to be subjected to controls by ruling officials, and thereby permeation of foreign materials.

It therefore behoves that human as the EC is composed of, hence likely to be venal, if all known and perceived human controlled loopholes that bedeck it are sealed, it will make it closer to perfection, if not perfect. One such suggested solution in reaction to its current state of failures and mistrust, relating to general elections, is an introduction of Electronic Voting (e-voting) and its benefits and advantages, as it is over all other systems of voting, for Ghana's electors, the future of the system, as well as for the credibility and trust for the Commission.

E-voting, after a credible "Ghanaians - only" electoral register is compiled, comes with the following:

E-voting allows for only one vote per each qualified and registered voter, on the day of the polls. Once a person successfully exhausts a voting entitlement at any one specific polling station, the card becomes disabled at all polling stations across the country.

It is flawless, it is foolproof, it is fraud-proof, it is expiditious, and indeed thief-proof.

Results of polls is within hours, if not minutes after polls.

A country like India, with a voters population of over a billion, successfully uses e-voting, and compiles instant results.

E-voting eliminates instances of spoilt ballots.

E-voting is cost effective; meaning, it uses less disposable material, less of human resources, and avoids after polls counting controversies, occasioning mêlée, leading to mob action in extreme situations of suspicions of adulteration with extras misunderstanding.

Students disenfranchisement is a common occurrence during general elections.

The current specifically 7th December slated date for quadriannial voting day needs to be adjusted to make room for students not to be disenfranchised.

Most students, who may have turned 18 years, and over, and duly registered, are usually, on polling day during general elections, seriously preparing for exams. Since examination pressure, most usually transcend and supervene all other social and national activities, including games, unless they are prioritised under compulsion of participation, cause students to refuse to travel back home to cast their vote. Students must either be made to register in close proximity to their campuses of learning, or that polling day for such an important electioneering event should fall clearly away from periods of exams pressure.




African goals floor English giants


Paris (AFP) - A hat-trick of African goals contributed to the dramatic English Premier League defeats of giants Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool at the weekend.

Ghanaian Andre Ayew continued his fairy-tale start at Swansea by equalising, then creating the winner in a 2-1 come-from-behind home triumph over United.

Malian Bakary Sako was involved in both goals as Crystal Palace shocked Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, scoring the first and creating the second.

A stoppage-time goal by Senegalese Diafra Sakho completed a stunning 3-0 West Ham United success at Liverpool.

ENGLAND

ANDRE AYEW (Swansea City)

Ghana midfielder Ayew was his team's inspiration as Swansea came from behind to defeat previously unbeaten Manchester United 2-1 at a raucous Liberty Stadium. The former Marseille player, son of Ghana legend Abedi Pele, equalised with a well-taken 61st-minute header -- his third goal of the campaign -- before creating the winner for Bafetimbi Gomis five minutes later with a glorious pass from the right-hand touchline.

BAKARY SAKO (Crystal Palace)

Following a winning goal against Aston Villa on his debut, Mali forward Sako scored one goal and made another as Crystal Palace claimed a first win at Chelsea since 1982. Sako swept a cross from Congolese Yannick Bolasie past Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the 65th minute and then set up Joel Ward for a headed winner after Radamel Falcao had equalised for the champions.

DIAFRA SAKHO (West Ham United)

Senegal striker Sakho ended a difficult week with a goal as West Ham won 3-0 at Liverpool. Arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of making threats to kill and witness intimidation following an earlier arrest on suspicion of assault, Sakho struck in injury time at Anfield to seal West Ham's first away win over Liverpool in 52 years.

SADIO MANE (Southampton)

Linked to Manchester United in recent weeks, Mane set up the first two goals as Southampton beat Norwich City 3-0 to claim their first win of the campaign. The Senegalese winger set up Graziano Pelle in first-half stoppage time and then teed up Dusan Tadic in the 64th minute, with both goals first-time finishes from low, right-wing crosses.

SPAIN

CEDRIC BAKAMBU (Villarreal)

Democratic Republic of Congo forward Bakambu came off the bench to score his first two goals for Villarreal with two calm finishes from close range to hand the Yellow Submarine their first victory of the season in a 3-1 success over Espanyol.

YOUSSEF EL ARABI, ISAAC SUCCESS (Granada)

Moroccan forward El Arabi converted from the penalty spot before Nigerian Success slotted home a second for Granada as they picked up their first points of the season in a 2-1 win at Getafe.

CARLOS KAMENI (Malaga)

Cameroonian goalkeeper Kameni made a hat-trick of fine saves from Lionel Messi, but his performance couldn't salvage a point for Malaga at the Camp Nou as Barcelona edged a nervy 1-0 win.

ITALY

MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)

Salah produced one of his most useful performances in Serie A, the Egyptian's pace, vision and sheer physical presence giving Roma plenty of options and Juve plenty of problems as the Giallorossi claimed a 2-1 win over the Italian champions at the Stadio Olimpico. He created space, allowing Roma to maintain a high-intensity, attacking game.

SERGE GAKPE (Genoa)

Togolese international Gakpe has taken only two games to score his maiden goal for Genoa, and it seems to be down to him playing a more central role in Gian Pietro Gasperini's attack. Gakpe, who was brilliant throughout, put the match beyond the reach of visiting Verona with a well-taken goal 15 minutes from the end for a 2-0 win.

FRANCE

SOFIANE BOUFAL (Lille)

Moroccan midfielder Boufal was described as "talented" and "effective" by his Lille coach Herve Renard after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 success against Gazelec-Ajaccio. Boufal, Lille's playmaker, ran onto a pass from Djibril Sidibe to dink home a clever finish on 23 minutes.

GIOVANNI SIO (Rennes)

The Ivory Coast forward was in the right place at the right time to add gloss to Rennes' victory over Toulouse with a last-minute goal in a 3-1 victory. Sio tapped home from close range after fine work from Paul-Georges Ntep on the left wing as Rennes moved up to third.

WAHBI KHAZRI (Bordeaux)

The Tunisia attacking midfielder scored the crucial first goal as Bordeaux earned their first win of the season against Nantes 2-0. Khazri combined well with Enzo Crivelli to slot home in first-half time added on. That went some way to saving the Franco-Tunisian's blushes after he saw his terrible attempt at a 'Panenka' penalty easily saved by goalkeeper Remy Riou.

GERMANY

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)

The Gabon striker scored his seventh goal in eight games in all competitions this season as Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin. He enjoyed a simple tap-in on 51 minutes when right-back Matthias Ginter and Japan's Shinji Kagawa combined to set him up.

SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)




The Secret Of The Success Of Kumawuhene Barimah Tweneboah Koduah Revealed


Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, the Omanhene (paramount chief) of Kumawu traditional area, has his success, fame and popularity increasing by leaps and bounds, since his swearing in. How overpowering they seem! Many a person is amazed at his fearlessness that conquers all the artificial, and malevolently spiritual impediments, purposely placed in his way by some callously greedy queen and her bunch of “create, loot and share” accomplices whose behaviour is redolent of the legendary Arabian “Ali Baba and his forty thieves”

For the record and future reference of all and sundry, please note the following. Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, born as John Kwasi Oduro, has found great favour in the eyes of God. When he was in a foetal state in the womb of his mother, God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth and everything therein, knew him. He appointed, and ordained, him, at that very early stage of his human development, to liberate His (God’s) people from the hands of a would-be wicked queen. This queen, disrespectful and avaricious as she would be, would put shackles on her subjects, intimidate and oppress them.

With his appointment as a liberator in God’s own designated time, He (God) bestowed on him His abundance of unconditional favour and glory. Unlike that of biblical Sampson where his favour of being the mightiest of all was conditional; keeping his hair unshaven to maintain that glorious power, that of Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V is boundless hence his success, fame and popularity proceeding at a gallop.

Have there not been instances of spiritual attempts by some malicious opponents on his life? Have these people not taken him far and wide, thus, sought help even in India to see him dead? Yes, they have, according to God’s revelations. However, God reveals to redeem.

I will not disclose any further information as the little hereby divulged to the public, and witnessed by them, is more than enough to give credence to my assertion herein made.

Does the bible not say at Luke 10:19 â€" “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you?” In the same vein, God has given Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, a descendant from the matrilineal lineage of Barimah Tweneboah Koduah I, the originator of the Kumawu Koduah Stool, the power to defeat his enemies. This explains why all the evil machinations of “Ashanti Nana” and his cohorts, including Kumawuhemaa, are faltering at crescendo.

His bragging of being above the laws of the land as witnessed in a YouTube posting titled, “Is there any one man bigger”, coupled with other bold, but empty moves to assert his Overlordship, although criminally, will not withstand the power of God in the form of His glorious blessings upon His chosen one, Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V.

The more his enemies form weapons against him, the more the weapons could not withstand. If God is on his side, who should he fear? Nobody!

My supplications to God have always been, “Please Father God, if it is truly that You have chosen your servant John Kwasi Oduro, now Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, to be Kumawuhene, then who are these human beings trying to prove you wrong; thwarting your efforts and decisions?” Will you wait doing nothing while they claim authority over your servant for doubting-Thomases to question, where is your God?”

The above has always been my simple prayer to God. I believe no matter what the enemies of Kumawuman, in which case the enemies of Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, do, they will never prevail. They will disgracefully lose for the whole world to witness it with their naked eyes or hear it with their own ears.

Lest I forget, Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V and his elders (sub-chiefs) swore the departing traditional oath to the late Kumawu Kontrihene on Thursday 27 August 2015, hours before his internment.

The entire Kumawuman citizens have rallied solidly behind Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, all not by his own might but God’s. This is how God works. God’s promise to one may tarry but it will surely come to pass. This is the case with Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V who has seen loads of scheming against him by Asantehene, Asanteman Council, Kumawuhemaa, Nathan Kofi Boakye and their cohorts, but they have all failed miserably, because no human being has ever contested with God and won. They are now all awash in shame.

On Thursday 27 August 2015, a supposed powerful family member of the late Kontrihene who in complicity with Kumawuhemaa had desired to block Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V from executing his traditional obligations and last respect to Kontrihene, Nana Peprah Koduah IV, became a self-inflicted casualty. This is how God works in a mysterious way to bring about the fulfilment of his promises to individuals, let alone, those he knew and appointed for particular jobs while they were in their mother’s womb.

Who is the alleged casualty? I will not tell you but phone to anyone you know in Kumawu to find out who the person is. It serves him right!

Will the enemies bent on harming Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V or his sub-chiefs learn a lesson from this publication? If anything happens, taking turns for good or bad, I shall not hesitate to inform the public. To know the late Kumawu Kontrihene, please go to YouTube under the title, “Asantehene involves in corruption”. You will see him being jeered at by Asanteman Council.

In God We Trust.

I dedicate this publication to all those wishing the best for Kumawuman. May ye all be sharers of the blessings God has bestowed on his servant, Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V.




BUHARI: In Your Face!


In the height of his very public fallout with then President Jonathan, Gen. Obasanjo wrote in an 18-page open letter that one of his grouse with Jonathan was that the latter had set up himself as the president of only the Ijaws. I wonder how Obasanjo is feeling this morning after Buhari unveiled a kitchen and store-room cabinet of 100% Northern males.

As feared by some people, Buhari has quickly reverted to being a local champion, an unabashed sectional leader and not a broad-minded statesman President.

The true measure of a human being is what he or she does privately, when no one is looking. In other words, without the encumbrance of the dictate of the constitution that stipulates that Ministers must come from all States of the Federation, Buhari has chosen all his core appointments from the Northern part of Nigeria. He’s given a one-finger salute to the entire Southern Nigeria â€" including his APC mates. It would appear his vaunted Party supremacy only applies to Legislative officers.

For a president of a country to openly declare that he would favour only those that massively voted for him to the exclusion of others; you don’t need to look far to know what is really in his heart.

As a national politician, if people reject you, if they are not convinced by you, you should want to know why. Then you build bridges and begin to cultivate friendship, making necessary amends where possible. You do not go out of your way to emphasize parochialism, reinforcing their original fears.

What irks is that no attempt at all was made to even pretend to be inclusive. The core appointments that Buhari has to make without worrying about Federal Character, he made exclusively from his neck of the woods. The utter disdain shown to others is scary indeed. It is insensitivity taken too far.

When, before the election, some of us raised the issue of parochialism, nepotism and all the other negative isms that litter Buhari’s public record, we were told that the man is not discriminatory at all, that his drivers, cooks and gardeners were from the South. Well, the man is here to reprise that wonderful formula.

Take for instance the Nigerian Customs. The most senior Custom officer in line to be the Comptroller General of that service is a Yoruba fellow. Buhari completely ignored and bypassed him and brought in a retired (yes, Northern) Army officer to head Nigerian Customs.

How about that for gumption? The single mindedness and the determined manner these lopsided core appointments are being made and the utter disregard for others and their feelings is quite troubling. At this rate, it is only a matter of time before the current Police boss is replaced by another ‘trusted’ hand.

Right under all of our collective nose, while we were still yammering about APC-PDP dichotomy, we were dragged right back to the era where one region lords it over all others. As we childishly focus solely on the War Against Jonathan’s Corruption, power is being consolidated in just one place. And, wouldn’t you know, some of the folks that were shouting marginalisation less than a year ago have suddenly discovered the beauty of meritocracy.

One inelegant argument I heard was that because Yar’Adua appointed his people as Chief of Staff and as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and because Jonathan of the Southsouth appointed Ayim from the Southeast as SGF, it is alright for Buhari to put only his Northern brothers everywhere. My response is: I thought this was supposed to be a corrective government.

Some people say that Buhari has assembled a team he feels he can work with. I say why contest a national post if you can only work with folks from just your region. Others say we should be patient and watch the President assemble a team to rescue the nation. I ask; rescue Nigeria from what?

Yet some others insist that we should wait as Buhari still has about 5,000 appointments to fill. I don’t know from where they obtained that figure, but the important point to note is that the core appointments have all gone to Northern males. The fluff and space-fillers will be thrown as token to others. Is this where we should be as a Federation? Treating very sensitive matters with complete disregard for the notion of ‘one Nigeria?’

I can confidently predict that Buhari will only unhappily and grudgingly obey the constitution when it comes to appointing his Ministers. And even at that, the meatier Ministries will all be handed over to older Northern males. Why? Action speaks louder than campaign promises.

If you take social participation away from people, you make them slaves. Buhari must resist the temptation to continue treating sections of Nigeria like conquered territory. The President must not see some of his citizens as adversaries. He is president of all Nigerians and must always demonstrate that in all of his actions.

In the meantime, I hope that Vice President Osinbajo has enrolled himself in a suitably accelerated Hausa language lesson...

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Affail Monney Must Resign!


I know where this Affail Monney guy is coming from. But for a President of the Ghana Journaists' Association (GJA), his reported reaction to the tragic motor accident that cost the life of Ghanaian Times reporter Mr. Samuel Nuamah, 37, is inexcusabe. It is aso unethical and inescapably unprofessional for the GJA President to presume to play police investigator and judge to the case (See "Editors Flay GJA Boss Over Presidential Reporters' Crash Comment" MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/27/15).

If he really wanted to play a constructive part in finding a solution to this apparently chronic problem pertaining to the short-shrift treatment of journaists assigned to cover events at the Flagstaff House, the first step in the process ought to have been for Mr. Monney to have contacted and spoken to the injured journalists themseves. And then the second step would have been to speak to police investigators for their expert opinions, before putting in a call through to the Presidential Chief-of-Staff, Mr. Julius Debrah.

With the latter, any conversation related to the tragic accident ought to have focused on the general treatment of Flagstaff House reporters and correspondents, as widely reported by present and former Flagstaff House media operatives. And the objective here ought to have been to negotiate for the remarkable improvement in the treatment of these so-called Presidential Reporters and, to be certain, the treatment of reporters by government officials across the country in general.

For example, Mr. Monney could have made it crystal clear to Mr. Debrah that if President John Dramani Mahama was not prepared to earmark two or three mini-vans or buses for the permanent and exclusive use of Flagstaff House reporters and correspondents, then the entire idea of stationing any media operatives at the Flagstaff House around the clock would have to be promptly and seriously reconsidered by the executive membership of the Ghana Journalists Association.

You see, I am a trained journalist myself. And the reason for my decision to become a professor, rather than pursue that line of work, came to me very early on, when I came to the sobering realization that the accolade of "Fourth Estate," routinely associated with media operatives, was all a sham, except for a top-notch few on the staff of such flagship media establishments as the New York Time, the Washington Post and big television networks like CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC, the existence of a journalist in mainstream American society was decidedly miserable and marginal.

What makes the case of the category of journalists under discussion here very different, if not quite unique, is the fact that professionally speaking, a Presidential Journalist ranks at the top of the pack. In an effectively functioning democracy, this would be the journalistic creme-de-la-creme, the most respected and the best taken-care-of. But, alas, in this particular instance, it well appears that the Presidential Journalist on the Ghanaian political landscape is barely any more significant in the proverbial "pecking order" than the janitor or cleaning man at the Flagstaff House.

To be certain, if our democracy were as functional as it ought to be, the janitorial and culinary workers at the Flagstaff House would be considered among the most important members of the Flagstaff House. Alas, in our part of the world and our kind of political culture, we have our priorities curiously reversed, for the most part. At the beginning of this article, I noted the fact that I knew where the GJA President was coming from. And this fact, of course, is quite obvious; and it is that when you work for a public media establishment such as the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), your hand is literally stuck in the mouths of highly positioned political appointees like Mr. Debrah.

In other words, when Mr. Monney decided to jaw-jaw it with the President's Chief-of-Staff over the tragic accident that took the life of Mr. Nuamah, the point of it all was to protect both the job of Mr. Monney and the image and reputation of the Presidency. Which is why the GJA President convenienty evaded the most significant question on the subject, to wit, the condition or road worthiness of the rented vehicle which was used for the return trip of the presidential reporters. I mean, in what way does saying that the vehicle was rented from a responsible company, answer the question of the condition of the vehicle and the professional credentials or work experience of the designated driver of the vehicle?

And just why hadn't Mr. Debrah's Transport Officer rented a vehicle for a roundtrip, rather than a half-trip or one a one-way trip? Was this a pre-meditated accident aimed at punishing any members of the Presidential Press Corps, for whatever offense may be deemed to have been committed? To be frank with the reader, this whole episode smells like a trap or a conspiracy. At best, it vindicates the bitter arguments of those Presidential Reporters - both past and present - who claim that reporters assigned to the Flagstaff House are invariably treated as expendable commodities or pure garbage!

But what even stunned me more than anything else, was for me to learn that Mr. Monney was using a narrative account of the accident provided by one Mr. Wisdom Awuku, a Presidential Staffer, who was not even on the bus involved in the accident, to contradict a first-hand account provided by Mr. Napoleon Atokitoe, a reporter who was seated on that fateful bus but had reportedly been napping at the time of the left-rear tire explosion, which caused the evidently woefully inexperienced driver to slam the brake(s), thus causing the vehicle to somersault and end up in a muddy ravine.




The Weakness Of Visioneers Of The Earlier Economic Freedom Fighters Of Africa


The drive to produce this article was to respond to my friend DA Tonyemevor on a short article he recently published on his face book wall with this special introduction captured as the main content of the article and It quote ;

“Since the advent of a world monetary economy, everywhere men are calling for financial freedom and financial independence. But those with such freedoms and independence in Ghana have different dynamics that have aided them. The fruits of economic progress since 1957 have been skewdly distributed.

Both imperialist (colonial)-helped and post-independence established bourgeoisies in Ghana are deploying every means possible to be financially free and independent forever. Are the ...country's economic and social structures such that these bourgeoisies use government (power) as a 'fiction' to expand their freedom at the expense of the generality of the people? What is the psychological strain of been in a seemingly perpetual cycle of financial dependence and absolute poverty? #Widening inequality, urban bias, and economic backwardness of Ghana. A revolution in my mind”.

We have been challenged several time whether our effort to grassroots business empowerment as Bastiat Ghana, to focus on business growth independent from political influence, will have any significant impact to the macro economy of Africa; And with many believing that from the angle-direction we are heading from, we may die as fellows of Bastiat Ghana before the vision of attaining economic freedom could be achieved in Ghana to possibly extend to other boundaries of Africa, with response that our political terrain is a dirty game and meant for the circle which is spiritual and physically connected.

That was welcome with nice smile among those who really know my attitude to criticism. Seeking for happiness is the only mission in the life of mankind on this earth and that comes with the ability to fight for our freedom in whatever bondage we are enslaved to; which call for the sacrifice to go to war to seek for our desire.

Once upon the time Dr. Nkrumah the first President of the republic of Ghana was accused of pursuing a policy of the impossible but his responds was; he couldn’t believe in the impossibility of achieving African union any more than he could ever have thought of the impossibility of attaining African freedom.

He further said only a united Africa under a united government can cure us of our economic ills and lift us out of our despair and frustration. He did not believe that the economic development of Africa can reach an effective stage until African’s human and material resource have been mobilized under united continental union government of Africa.

Even though all this axioms from him are the real truth of Africa but it implementation came with flaws which are as follows

No vision is bounded to stand when your own household rejects to believe in it per their ignorance. Even though I have agreed with him on his assertion that; “where there is a will there is a way” but there could also be a wrong way, one may be trekking due to exuberant to make a change.

His great ideologies and philosophy to transform Africa to become a power house of politico-economic freedom was bound to fail on the grounds that, vision will only stands-out when there are committed disciples to sustain it power and direction. Which was known in the famous quote of one of the great soldiers in the history of mankind Napoleon Bonaparte and he said; "Men who have changed this world never achieved their success by winning the chief citizens to their sides but always by stirring the masses".

Mistake of Dr. Nkrumah, to me was to continually assuming and trusting that the Chief Citizen will virally get the information across to the root base. This became the biggest deception of his life, due to his overwhelming won from prison on the seat of Accra Central through the works of Komla Gbcdemah on silver platter with the grassroots rallying everywhere in Gold coast behind him and ready to sacrifice their faith for the mission of Independence; made him carried most of his ideologies and axioms under a deceptive assumption that his people love him and will forever be there for him to complete the vision without not considering “there is a clear distinction in organizing group for a mission and organizing a sustainable group for a vision”.

To walk with the formal, could lead to your betrayal at any point of ignorance and connive with your enemies unknowingly for their personal interest but the later are ready to die in the faith of the vision and prepared to sacrifice everything they have, to serve the faith of the course; and that could be achieved not by lectures but strategy for effective and consistent doctrination to achieve a particular result of unity of spirit and mind to selflessly serve the course with no doubt. In such attempt, simple language to the best understanding of your student should be employed at all time.

You should also know the bigger challenge to revolution success; is to sustain a vision by building reliable and committed grassroots soldiers which comes with a holistic doctrination of the faith of the vision to the followers and preparing servant of the vision with anticipated challenges ahead and how to deal with it, and letting them to know you are there to die for them as the leader and there is undeniable fact that, they will equally be there to die for you per the Law of Karma.

When such is accomplished then you could be convinced, you have a strong foundation and a revolutionary movement to grasp the task ahead; this was what our earlier freedom fighters failed to accomplished because they had the vision but wrong foundation to carry the revolution, because strong foundation need time to be built to carry the mansion on it, which most of our earlier visionary undermined the relevancy of strong foundational works as bases to delay execution within the calculated period set for the total change; ending the whole revolution in a total mess, resulting in exposing our enemies to our limited tactics on the drawing board towards the ambition to win and granting the enemies the opportunity to strengthen their strategic plan in winning the war against us.

We may fall or encounter setbacks sometime in our journey to freedom which will guarantee our happiness, but never represent our acceptance of defeat in the battle field. It only the end, that justify the means. And I am a kind of soldier who fights to death to attain the ultimate crown with the legacy of the 300 soldiers of Spartans in mind.




Igbos And The Buharis Government


The Igbos have not hidden their contempt for the All Progressives Congress (APC) since its formation in 2013. The party’s image has not been redeemed among Igbos with the APC Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari yet to appoint anyone from the South East, the home of the Igbos into his government. It doesn’t appear pleasing to the Igbo ears that Mr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu from Delta state was appointed Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) boss.

This is perhaps why the Ohaneze Ndigbo (the apex Igbo group) Youth Council recently accused the President of “hatred for the Igbo nation”. In the past few days, words like “federal character”, “marginalisation” “Biafra” and the likes have been used frequently in public discussions especially among many “Igbo” writers who have suddenly found their lost voices!

While no responsible person should support of the marginalisation of any ethnic, religious or national group in Nigeria, we must consider jettisoning our support of the so-called federal character. Igbos, in particular, have a lot to learn from other Nigerians and must be ready to do away with Civil War mentality to really prosper in a united Nigeria.

On the federal character which was introduced in 1978 and became part of the 1979 Constitution and subsequent constitutions, we need to know if it has added any value(s) to our lives as a nation.

After Chief Obafemi Awolowo lost the 1979 Presidential election, Yorubas who voted massively for him played the role of opposition in the Sheu Shagari’s administration. The Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives all were non-Yorubas and the heavens did not fall. No one mentioned federal character or “marginalisation of Yorubas”. Much ado about federal character!

If Yorubas did not go into extinction outside mainstream politics for about 40 years under different platforms-AG, UPN, AD, AC, ACN- I submit the Igbos must learn, like Yorubas did, to develop unique political character outside political power!

From a little observation, it appears some Igbos are yet to jettison their Civil War experiences when others have moved on. It is no longer a secret that Igbos made their choice clear during the presidential election and that was not General Muhammadu Buhari , but whether they stand with him through thick and thin is yet to be seen. One of the questions that came up during the campaigns was General Buhari’s role during the Nigerian Civil War.

This question was raised by no less a person than the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign spokesman, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode. Needless to say that Fani-Kayode or FFK as he is sometimes called himself would have committed “genocide” considering his earlier views on Ndigbo while he was in the APC. How he suddenly become a “beloved Igbo” when he joined the PDP remains strange to me. This only convinces me that anyone can be a “friend of Ndigbo” if he can just oppose Buhari or the APC!

In parenthesis, what role does a soldier play during war? Does FFK expect Buhari to come out and say he did not fight according to command? At the risk of sounding immodest, though I was born over two decades after the end of the War, I have read several Civil War books from both sides; I didn’t come close to any specific command led by General Buhari. Those that play prominent roles were: T.Y. Danjuma, Murtala Muhammed, Benjamin Adekunle “The Scorpion”, more later, Olusegun Obasanjo and the likes on the Nigerian side. You can mention people like Joseph “Air Raid” Achuzie, Alexander Madiebo, Emmanuel Ifeajuna and others on Biafran side. I am yet to find any Civil War document on Buhari’s specific role(s) leading during the war!

This leads me to my next point- Igbos do not appear to know their real “enemies”. They supported former president Jonathan, himself an Ijaw man from Bayelsa state even adding “Azikwe” to his name just to make him “our son”. Jonathan himself did not disappoint, he rewarded the Igbo nation with “juicy appointments” in his government. But as at the last time I checked, Ijaws fought alongside the Federal army during the Civil War. People like Isaac Boro and immortal Ken Saro-Wiwa both from “minority areas” fought the Biafrans to a standstill during the war. I am not sure if Ijaws will proudly call themselves Biafrans any time soon!

In an Advertorial titled “APC is Dead on Arrival in the South East” sponsored by an unknown group in the eve of the launch of the party in Anambra sometimes in 2014, cites the “deportation” of 14 destitudes of Igbo Origin to Anambra and Imo States as a case for Igbos not to support the APC. I wish to say that while I condemn this act by the Lagos State Government in its totality, I am not losing sights of the present security challenges in the country necessitating such actions by the Government. Lagos is not one of those States that harbours destitute (Almajiris).

Apart from this, before this action by Lagos State, the PDP Government of Abia Srate has adopted the Indigenization Policy leading to thousands (mainly Igbos) non-Abians losing their jobs in the State Public Service. Nothing was wrong with relieving Nigerians of their jobs but everything was incorrect with clearing the streets of destitutes!

Igbos must accept their presently reality and fast. Buhari is the President of Nigeria at least for the next four years. There are, for me, few options left for Igbos in the Buhari administration considering the fact that they boxed themselves into a tight corner. They can either play the role of a responsible opposition standing with the PDP or join the APC Government the latter which will make them negotiate from the position of weakness.

If Igbos decide to play the role of opposition, that is, standing their grounds till the end and they will be taken more seriously in the political schemes in the future. This can also lay the foundation for Igbo Presidency sooner than we may think. The second option will be that Igbos will join the Buhari government through those their “rejected stones”-Ogbonaya Onu, Rochas Okorocha, Chris Ngige and the likes. This will also mean that pan-Igbo groups will do more than just praise singing of President Buhari and his lieutenants in the region to win him over for their past “sins”.

I do not know how General Buhari must have felt early this year when he wrote to Ohaneze Ndigbo, requesting a simple audience. The response of the organisation in my opinion portrays that of a disoriented body in desperate need of reformation. The group did not even deem it fit to acknowledge receipt of the General’s letter!

In all these, I think all hope is not lost. President Buhari must, through the state his party controls in the region (Imo), provide the lead. The President must shun shallow thinkers and flatterers in the region by building the Second Niger Bridge which has been in the realms of dreams over the years. The administration must also ensure that Ports are located in the region for improved revenue and jobs creation. I know little of Igbo needs except those I am told by my Igbo friends. The time to build a Nigeria where Igbos can be proud once again to be Nigerians is now. Buhari can do this and more. My only advice to Igbo leaders is for them to drop their toga of Civil War lenses and look at issues more clearly within the 21st century realities!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN is a political risk analyst and an independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

His write-ups can be viewed on his website http://olalekanadigun.com/

Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080

Email: [email protected] , [email protected][1][2]




The True Nature And Intentions Of ISIL or ISIS


The ISIL also known as ISIS is an organization formed out of existing extremist organizations in Syria and Iraq and later expanded to other parts of the world. From 2014 it has done a lot of damage to historical sites in Iraq and Syria and set out to establish a worldwide Islamic state. The organization has recruited young men and women in Europe, Middle East and Africa to beef up its forces to prosecute its agenda.

The activities of this organization have led to many nationals of Syria Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Libya fleeing from wars through the Mediterranean sea to Europe. As they are getting dangerous this article has been written with the help of WIKIPEDIA and other sources to educate people on what the organization is and what it stands for. This is a must read for all those who wish to know how the emergence of this body is spreading fear the world over.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, /ˈaɪsɨs/ ) or the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham, Daesh , or Islamic State (IS), [36] is a Salafi jihadist extremist militant group and self-proclaimed Islamic state and caliphate , which is led by and mainly composed of Sunni Arabs from Iraq and Syria . As of March 2015 [update] , it has control over territory occupied by ten million people [38] in Iraq and Syria, as well as limited territorial control in Libya and Nigeria . The group also operates or has affiliates in other parts of the world, including South Asia .

The group is known in Arabic as ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām, leading to the acronym Da'ish or Daesh, the Arabic equivalent of "ISIL". [35] On 29 June 2014, the group proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate , with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being named its caliph , and renamed itself "Islamic State" called ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah. As a caliphate, it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, and that "the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas".

The United Nations has held ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes , and Amnesty International has reported ethnic cleansing by the group on a "historic scale". The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, the European Union , the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other governments. Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL .

The group originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. The group participated in the Iraqi insurgency , which had followed the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces. In January 2006, it joined other Sunni insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council , which proclaimed the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in October 2006. After the Syrian Civil War began in March 2011, the ISI, under the leadership of al-Baghdadi, sent delegates into Syria in August 2011. These fighters named themselves Jabhat an-Nuá¹£rah li-Ahli ash-Shāmâ€" al-Nusra Front â€"and established a large presence in Sunni-majority areas of Syria, within the governorates of Ar-Raqqah , Idlib , Deir ez-Zor , and Aleppo . In April 2013, al-Baghdadi announced the merger of the ISI with al-Nusra Front and that the name of the reunited group was now the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). However, Abu Mohammad al-Julani and Ayman al-Zawahiri , the leaders of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda respectively, rejected the merger. After an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIL on 3 February 2014, citing its failure to consult and "notorious intransigence". [3] [45] In Syria, the group has conducted ground attacks on both government forces and rebel factions in the Syrian Civil War. The group gained prominence after it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in western Iraq in an offensive initiated in early 2014. Iraq's territorial loss almost caused a collapse of the Iraqi government and prompted a renewal of US military action in Iraq. [46]

ISIL is very adept at social media, posting Internet videos of beheadings of soldiers, civilians, journalists and aid workers , and is notorious for its destruction of cultural heritage sites . [47] Muslim leaders around the world have condemned ISIL's ideology and actions, arguing that the group has strayed from the path of true Islam and that its actions do not reflect the religion's true teachings or virtues. ] The group's adoption of the name "Islamic State" and idea of a caliphate have been widely criticized, with the United Nations , various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups rejecting both.

Contents/quick glance

Name

The group transformed itself seral times had various names since it began in 1999

  1. The group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian radical Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād[2], "The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad" (JTJ).[34][1]
  2. In October 2004, al-Zarqawi swore loyalty[3] to Osama bin Laden[4] and changed the group's name to Tanáº"Ä«m Qāʻidat al-Jihād fÄ« Bilād al-Rāfidayn[5], "The Organization of Jihad's Base in Mesopotamia[6]", commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Although the group has never called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq, this has been its informal name over the years.
  3. In January 2006, AQI merged with several other Iraqi insurgent groups to form the Mujahedeen Shura Council[7].[52] Al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006.
  4. On 12 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council merged with several more insurgent factions, and on 13 October the establishment of the ad-Dawlah al-Ê»Iraq al-Islāmiyah, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq[8] (ISI), was announced.[53] The leaders of this group were Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi[9] and Abu Ayyub al-Masri[10].[54] After they were killed in a USâ€"Iraqi operation in April 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi[11] became the new leader of the group.
  5. On 8 April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which more fully translates as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[citation needed] or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.[55][56][57] These names are translations of the Arabic name ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī-l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām,[58][59]al-Shām[13] being a description of the Levant or Greater Syria.[35] The translated names are commonly abbreviated as ISIL or ISIS, with a debate over which of these acronyms should be used.[35][59]The Washington Post[16] concluded that the distinction between the two "is not so great".[35][12][14][15]
  6. The name Daʿish is often used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors. It is based on the Arabic letters Dāl[17], alif[18], ʻayn[19], and shīn[20], which form the acronym[21] (داعش) of ISIL's Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām.[60][61] There are many spellings of this acronym, with Daesh gaining acceptance. ISIL considers the name Da'ish derogatory, because it sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes, "one who crushes something underfoot", and Dahes, "one who sows discord". ISIL also reportedly uses flogging as a punishment for those who use the name in ISIL-controlled areas. In 2015, over 120 British parliamentarians asked the BBC to use Daesh, following the example of John Kerry[22] and Laurent Fabius[23].
  7. On 14 May 2014, the United States Department of State announced its decision to use "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) as the group's primary name. However, in late 2014, top US officials shifted toward Daesh, since it was the preferred term used by their Arab allies.[62][24]
  8. On 29 June 2014, the group renamed itself the Islamic State and declared it a worldwide caliphate[25]. Accordingly, the 'Iraq and Shām' was removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name became the Islamic State from the date of the declaration. The name "Islamic State" and the claim of a caliphate have been widely criticised, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use it.

History

Foundation, 2003â€"06

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq , the Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his militant group Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, founded in 1999, achieved notoriety in the early stages of the Iraqi insurgency for the suicide attacks on Shia Islamic mosques, civilians, Iraqi government institutions and Italian soldiers partaking in the US-led ' Multi-National Force '. Al-Zarqawi's group officially pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden 's al-Qaeda network in October 2004, changing its name to Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn "Organisation of Jihad's Base in Mesopotamia "), also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Attacks by the group on civilians, Iraqi government and security forces, foreign diplomats and soldiers, and American convoys continued with roughly the same intensity. In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, al-Qaeda's then deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan to expand the Iraq War . The plan included expelling US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority as a caliphate, spreading the conflict to Iraq's secular neighbors, and clashing with Israel, which the letter says "was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity". ]

In January 2006, AQI joined with several smaller Iraqi insurgent groups under an umbrella organization called the Mujahedeen Shura Council (MSC). According to Brian Fishman, this was little more than a media exercise and an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavor, and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi's tactical errors, more notably the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman. ] On 7 June 2006, a US airstrike killed al-Zarqawi, who was succeeded as leader of the group by the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri .

On 12 October 2006, the MSC united with three smaller groups and six Sunni Islamic tribes to form the "Mutayibeen Coalition". It swore by Allah "to rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists (Shi'ite Muslims) and the crusader occupiers ... to restore rights even at the price of our own lives ... to make Allah's word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam".A day later, the MSC declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), comprising Iraq's six mostly Sunni Arab governorates. [84] Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was announced as its emir , and al-Masri was given the title of Minister of War within the ISI's ten-member cabinet. [86]

According to a study compiled by United States intelligence agencies in early 2007, the ISIâ€"also known as AQIâ€"planned to seize power in the central and western areas of Iraq and turn it into a Sunni caliphate . [87] The group built in strength and at its height enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar , Diyala and Baghdad , claiming Baqubah as a capital city. [88] [89] [90] [91]

The Iraq War troop surge of 2007 supplied the United States military with more manpower for operations targeting the group, resulting in dozens of high-level AQI members being captured or killed. [92]

Between July and October 2007, al-Qaeda in Iraq was reported to have lost its secure military bases in Al Anbar province and the Baghdad area. [93] During 2008, a series of US and Iraqi offensives managed to drive out AQI-aligned insurgents from their former safe havens, such as the Diyala and Al Anbar governorates, to the area of the northern city of Mosul . [94]

By 2008, the ISI was describing itself as being in a state of "extraordinary crisis". [95] Its violent attempts to govern its territory led to a backlash from Sunni Arab Iraqis and other insurgent groups and a temporary decline in the group, which was attributable to a number of factors, [96] notably the Anbar Awakening .

In late 2009, the commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno , stated that the ISI "has transformed significantly in the last two years. What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens". [97] On 18 April 2010, the ISI's two top leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi , were killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near Tikrit . [98] In a press conference in June 2010, General Odierno reported that 80% of the ISI's top 42 leaders, including recruiters and financiers, had been killed or captured, with only eight remaining at large. He said that they had been cut off from al-Qaeda's leadership in Pakistan.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq. [102] [103] Al-Baghdadi replenished the group's leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba'athist military and intelligence officers who had served during Saddam Hussein 's rule. [104] These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi's top 25 commanders. One of them was a former colonel, Samir al-Khlifawi , also known as Haji Bakr, who became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group's operations. [105] [106] Al-Khlifawi was instrumental in doing the ground work that led to the growth of ISIL. [107]

In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008. [108] He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons. [108] Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily with AQI's car bomb attacks , and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008. [109]

Syrian Civil War

In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the government of Bashar al-Assad . In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarization of the conflict. [110] In August, al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization there. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani , this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. [111] [112] In January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl as-Shamâ€" Jabhat al-Nusra â€"more commonly known as al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force, with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad government. [111]

As Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, 2013â€"14

On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq, [113] and that the two groups were merging under the name "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham". [55] Al-Julani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra's leadership had been consulted about it In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri , addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions The same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri's ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead. [116] The ISIL campaign to free imprisoned ISIL members culminated in July 2013, with the group carrying out simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons , freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency . [109] [117] In October 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbanding of ISIL, putting al-Nusra Front in charge of jihadist efforts in Syria, [118] but al-Baghdadi contested al-Zawahiri's ruling on the basis of Islamic jurisprudence, [116] and his group continued to operate in Syria. In February 2014, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIL. [45]

According to journalist Sarah Birke, there are "significant differences" between al-Nusra Front and ISIL. While al-Nusra actively calls for the overthrow of the Assad government, ISIL "tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory". ISIL is "far more ruthless" in building an Islamic state, "carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately".

While al-Nusra has a "large contingent of foreign fighters", it is seen as a home-grown group by many Syrians; by contrast, ISIL fighters have been described as "foreign 'occupiers'" by many Syrian refugees. [119] It has a strong presence in central and northern Syria, where it has instituted sharia in a number of towns. [119] The group reportedly controlled the four border towns of Atmeh, al-Bab, Azaz and Jarablus, allowing it to control the entrance and exit from Syria into Turkey. [119] Foreign fighters in Syria include Russian-speaking jihadists who were part of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA). [120] In November 2013, the JMA's Chechen leader Abu Omar al-Shishani swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi; [121] the group then split between those who followed al-Shishani in joining ISIL and those who continued to operate independently in the JMA under new leadership. [122]

In January 2014, rebels affiliated with the Islamic Front and the US-trained Free Syrian Army [123] launched an offensive against ISIL militants in and around the city of Aleppo . [124] [125] In May 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the al-Nusra Front to stop its attacks on its rival, ISIL. [126] [ not in citation given ] In June 2014, after continued fighting between the two groups, al-Nusra's branch in the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal pledged allegiance to ISIL. [127] [128] In mid-June 2014, ISIL captured the Trabil crossing on the Jordanâ€"Iraq border , [129] the only border crossing between the two countries. [130] ISIL has received some public support in Jordan, albeit limited, partly owing to state repression there. [131] ISIL has undertaken a recruitment drive in Saudi Arabia, [132] where tribes in the north are linked to those in western Iraq and eastern Syria. [133]

As Islamic State, 2014â€"

On 29 June 2014, the organization proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate . [134] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadiâ€"known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu'minin , Caliph Ibrahimâ€"was named its caliph , and the group renamed itself the "Islamic State". [41] As a "Caliphate", it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide. [43] [135] The concept of it being a caliphate and the name "Islamic State" have been rejected by governments and Muslim leaders worldwide. [69] [70] [71] [72] [73] [74] [75]

In June and July 2014, Jordan and Saudi Arabia moved troops to their borders with Iraq, after Iraq lost control of, or withdrew from, strategic crossing points that then came under the control of ISIL, or tribes that supported ISIL. [130] [136] There was speculation that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had ordered a withdrawal of troops from the Iraqâ€"Saudi crossings in order "to increase pressure on Saudi Arabia and bring the threat of ISIS over-running its borders as well". [133]

In July 2014, ISIL recruited more than 6,300 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights , some of whom were thought to have previously fought for the Free Syrian Army . [137] On 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon and some masked men swore loyalty to al-Baghdadi in a video, giving ISIL a presence in the Philippines. [40] [138] In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people for ransoming, in the name of ISIL. [139]

On 3 August 2014, ISIL captured the cities of Zumar , Sinjar , and Wana in northern Iraq. [140] The need for food and water for thousands of Yazidis , who fled up a mountain out of fear of approaching hostile ISIL militants, and the threat of genocide to Yazidis and others as announced by ISIL, in addition to protecting Americans in Iraq and supporting Iraq in its fight against the group, were reasons for the 2014 American intervention in Iraq on 7 August, to aid the Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar [141] and to start an aerial bombing campaign in Iraq on 8 August.

On 11 October 2014, it was reported that ISIL had dispatched 10,000 militants from Syria and Mosul to capture the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad , [142] and Iraqi Army forces and Anbar tribesmen threatened to abandon their weapons if the US did not send in ground troops to halt ISIL's advance. [143] On 13 October, ISIL fighters advanced to within 25 kilometres (16 mi) of Baghdad Airport. [144]

At the end of October 2014, 800 radical militants gained partial control of the Libyan city of Derna and pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thus making Derna the first city outside Syria and Iraq to be a part of the "Islamic State Caliphate". [145] On 2 November 2014, according to the Associated Press , in response to the coalition airstrikes, representatives from Ahrar ash-Sham attended a meeting with al-Nusra Front , the Khorasan Group , ISIL, and Jund al-Aqsa , which sought to unite these hard-line groups against the US-led coalition and moderate Syrian rebel groups. [146] However, by 14 November 2014, it was revealed that the negotiations had failed. [147] On 10 November 2014, a major faction of the Egyptian militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis also pledged its allegiance to ISIL. [148]

ISIL has often used water as a weapon of war. The closing of the gates of the smaller Nuaimiyah dam in Fallujah in April 2014, resulted in the flooding of surrounding regions, while water supply was cut to the Shia -dominated south. Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200 km² of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages. [149]

In mid-January 2015, a Yemeni official said that ISIL had "dozens" of members in Yemen, and that they were coming into direct competition with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with their recruitment drive. [150]

In January 2015, Afghan officials confirmed that ISIL had a military presence in Afghanistan, [151] recruiting over 135 militants by late January. However, by the end of January 2015, 65 of the militants were either captured or killed by the Taliban , and ISIL's top Afghan recruiter, Mullah Abdul Rauf , was killed in a US drone strike in February 2015. [152] [153] [154]

In late January 2015, it was reported that ISIL members had infiltrated the European Union and disguised themselves as civilian refugees who were emigrating from the war zones of Iraq and the Levant. [155] An ISIL representative claimed that ISIL had successfully smuggled 4,000 fighters, and that the smuggled fighters were planning attacks in Europe in retaliation for the airstrikes carried out against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria. However, experts believe that this claim was exaggerated to boost their stature and spread fear, although they acknowledged that some Western countries were aware of the smuggling. [156]

In early February 2015, ISIL militants in Libya managed to capture part of the countryside to the west of Sabha , and later, an area encompassing the cities of Sirte , Nofolia , and a military base to the south of both cities.

In February 2015, it was reported that some Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen members had broken from al-Qaeda and pledged allegiance to ISIL. [157]

On 16 February 2015, Egypt conducted airstrikes in Libya , in retaliation against ISIL's beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. By the end of that day, 64 ISIL militants in Libya had been killed by the airstrikes, including 50 militants in Derna . [158] However, by early March, ISIL had captured additional Libyan territory, including a city to the west of Derna, additional areas near Sirte , a stretch of land in southern Libya, some areas around Benghazi , and an area to the east of Tripoli .

On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram swore formal allegiance to ISIL, giving ISIL an official presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. [17] [6] [159] On 13 March 2015, a group of militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan swore allegiance to ISIL; [160] the group released another video on 31 July 2015 containing its spiritual leader also pledging allegiance. [161] On 30 March 2015, the senior sharia official of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya , Abdullah Al-Libi, defected to ISIL. [162]

From March through mid-April 2015, advances by Iraqi forces into ISIL-controlled territory were focused on Tikrit and the Saladin Governorate . [163]

In June 2015, the US Deputy Secretary of State announced that ISIL had lost more than 10,000 members in airstrikes over the preceding nine months. [164]

In the same month, three simultaneous attacks occurred: two hotels were attacked by gunmen in Tunisia, a man was decapitated in France, and a bomb was detonated at a Shia mosque in Kuwait. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia. ISIL flags were present at the crime scene in France, but ISIL has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Worldwide caliphate aims

Goals

Since at least 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state . [165] [166] Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leaderâ€"the caliph â€"who is believed to be the successor to Muhammad . [167] In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad, [167] and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide , according to Islamic jurisprudence ( fiqh ).

When the caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas." This was a rejection of the political divisions in the Middle East that were established by Western powers during World War I in the Sykesâ€"Picot Agreement .

Ideology and beliefs

ISIL is a Salafi group. It follows an extremist interpretation of Islam , promotes religious violence, and regards those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates . According to Hayder al Khoei, ISIL's philosophy is represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Muhammad that it has adopted: the flag shows the Seal of Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, " There is no God but Allah ". Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL's belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply. [175]

According to some observers, ISIL emerged from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood , the first post-Ottoman Islamist group dating back to the late 1920s in Egypt. ] It adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology of al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups. However, other sources trace the group's roots to Wahhabism . The New York Times wrote:

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State ... are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van. [177]

According to The Economist , dissidents in the ISIL capital of Ar-Raqqah report that "all 12 of the judges who now run its court system ... are Saudis". Saudi Wahhabi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out "vice" and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction or re-purposing of any non-Sunni religious buildings. [178] Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism". [177]

ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam, [179] and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi government in that category.

Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad , and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, ISIL regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad and fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation with Israel.

Eschatology

One difference between ISIL and other Islamist and jihadist movements is its emphasis on eschatology and apocalypticism , and its belief that the arrival of the Mahdi is imminent. ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of "Rome" at the town of Dabiq , in fulfillment of prophecy. Following its interpretation of the Hadith of the Twelve Successors , it also believes there will be only four more legitimate caliphs after al-Baghdadi.

Territorial claims and international presence [

In Iraq and Syria, ISIL uses many of those countries' existing Governorate boundaries to subdivide its claimed territory; it calls these divisions wilayah or provinces. [183] As of June 2015, it had established official branches in Libya, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the North Caucasus. [184] Outside Iraq and Syria, it controls territory in only Sinai, Afghanistan, and Libya. [185] ISIL also has members in Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and Palestine, but does not have official branches in those areas. [186]

Libyan Provinces

Current military situation in Libya:

Under the control of ISIL and Ansar al-Sharia

ISIL divides Libya into three historical provinces, claiming authority over Cyrenaica in the east, Fezzan in the desert south, and Tripolitania in the west, around its capital Tripoli .

On 5 October 2014, the Shura Council of Islamic Youth and other militants in Libya were absorbed and designated the Cyrenaica Province of ISIL. The Libyan branch of ISIL has been the most active and successful of all ISIL branches outside Iraq and Syria. It has been active mainly around Derna and Gaddafi's hometown Sirte .

On 4 January 2015, ISIL forces in Libya seized control of the eastern countryside of Sabha , executing 14 Libyan soldiers in the process. They temporarily controlled part of Derna before being driven out in Mid 2015. ] Reports from Sirte suggest ISIL militants based there are a mixture of foreign fighters and ex-Gaddafi loyalists. [195] An initiative between pro-Dawn forces associated with Misrata and Operation Dawn clashed with these IS militants in Sirte. Fighting between Libya Dawn forces and ISIL militants was also reported in the Daheera area west of the city of Sirte, and at the Harawa vicinity east of Sirte.

ISIL uses its bases in Libya to smuggle its fighters into the European Union posing as refugees .

Sinai Province

On 10 November 2014, many members of the group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi. [148] Following this, the group assumed the designation Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province). They are estimated to have 1,000â€"2,000 fighters. [40] [205] A faction of the Sinai group also operates in the Gaza Strip , calling itself the Islamic State in Gaza. [206] On 19 August 2015, members of the group bombed an Egyptian security headquarters building in northern Cairo , injuring 30 people.

Algerian Province

Members of Jund al-Khilafah swore allegiance to ISIL in September 2014. [208] ISIL in Algeria gained notoriety when it beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel in September 2014. Since then, the group has largely been silent, with reports that its leader Khalid Abu-Sulayman was killed by Algerian forces in December 2014.

Khorasan Province

On 26 January 2015, a new Wilayat (Province) was announced, with Hafiz Saeed Khan named as Wāli (Governor) and Abdul Rauf as his deputy after both swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi. The province includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and "other nearby lands".

On 9 February 2015, Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed by a NATO airstrike. [212] On 18 March 2015, Hafiz Wahidi, ISIL's replacement deputy Emir in Afghanistan, was killed by the Afghan Armed Forces, along with nine other ISIL militants who were accompanying him. [213] In June, Reuters received reports that villages in several districts of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province had been captured from the Taliban by ISIL sympathizers On 10 July 2015, Hafiz Saeed Khan, the Emir of ISIL's Khorasan Province, was reportedly killed in U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan. However Khorasan Province released an audio tape claimed to be of Hafiz Saeed Khan on 13 July 2015.

Yemen

Current military situation in Yemen:

On 13 November 2014, unidentified militants in Yemen pledged allegiance to ISIL. [208] By December of that year, ISIL had built an active presence inside Yemen, with its recruitment drive bringing it into direct competition with al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). [150] [217] In February 2015, it was reported that some members of Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen had split from AQAP and pledged allegiance to ISIL [218] As the Yemeni Civil War escalated in March 2015, at least seven ISIL Wilayat, named after existing provincial boundaries in Yemen, claimed responsibility for attacks against the Houthis , including the Hadhramaut Province, the Shabwah Province, and the Sana'a Province. [219] [220]

Shi'a Houthis (Revolutionary Committee) are principal enemies of Yemen's ISIL branch. [221] [222] U.S. supports the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis, [223] but many in U.S. SOCOM reportedly favor Houthis, as they have been an effective force in rolling back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen, "something that hundreds of U.S. drone strikes and large numbers of advisers to Yemen’s military had failed to accomplish". [224] The Guardian reported: "As another 50 civilians die in the forgotten war, only Isis and al-Qaida are gaining from a conflict tearing Yemen apart and leaving 20 million people in need of aid." [225]

West African Province

On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant via an audio message posted on the organisation's Twitter account. [226] [227] On 12 March 2015, ISIL's spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani released an audio tape in which he welcomed the pledge of allegiance, and described it as an expansion of the group's caliphate into West Africa . [5] ISIL publications from late March 2015 began referring to members of Boko Haram as part of Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya (West Africa Province). [220]

North Caucasus Province

Some commanders of the Caucasus Emirate in Chechnya and Dagestan switched their allegiance to ISIL in late 2014 and early 2015. [228] On 23 June 2015, ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani accepted the pledges of allegiance and announced a new Wilayat Qawqaz ( North Caucasus Province) under the leadership of Rustam Asildarov . [7] [184]

Other areas of operation

Leadership and governance

The group is headed and run by al-Baghdadi, with a cabinet of advisers. There are two deputy leaders, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani ( KIA ) for Iraq and Abu Ali al-Anbari for Syria, and 12 local governors in Iraq and Syria. A third man, Abu Ala al-Afri , is also believed to hold a prominent position within the group, having been rumored to be the deputy leader of ISIL. Unusually, all three are believed to be ethnic Turkmens .

The former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was also said to have had senior Turkmen within his inner circle. While al-Bahdadi has told followers to "advise me when I err" in sermons, "any threat, opposition, or even contradiction is instantly eradicated", according to observers. [232] Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal mattersâ€"including decisions on executionsâ€"foreign fighters' assistance, security, intelligence and media. In addition, a Shura council has the task of ensuring that all decisions made by the governors and councils comply with the group's interpretation of sharia .

The majority of ISIL's leadership is dominated by Iraqis, especially former members of Saddam Hussein's government. It has been reported that Iraqis and Syrians have been given greater precedence over other nationalities within ISIL due to the fact that the group need the loyalties of the local Sunni populations in both Syria and Iraq in order to be sustainable. Other reports have indicated however that Syrians are at a disadvantage to foreign members of ISIL, with some native Syrian fighters resenting alleged 'favoritism' towards foreigners over pay and accommodation.

In September 2014, The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million Iraqis and Syrians live in areas controlled by ISIL. ] Ar-Raqqah in Syria is the de facto headquarters, and is said to be a test case of ISIL governance. As of September 2014, governance in Ar-Raqqah has been under the total control of ISIL where it has rebuilt the structure of modern government in less than a year. Former government workers from the Assad government maintained their jobs after pledging allegiance to ISIL. Institutions, restored and restructured, provided their respective services. The Ar-Raqqah dam continues to provide electricity and water. Foreign expertise supplements Syrian officials in running civilian institutions. Only the police and soldiers are ISIL fighters, who receive confiscated lodging previously owned by non-Sunnis and others who fled. Welfare services are provided, price controls established, and taxes imposed on the wealthy. ISIL runs a soft power program in the areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, which includes social services , religious lectures and da'wah â€"proselytizingâ€"to local populations. It also performs public services such as repairing roads and maintaining the electricity supply

British security expert Frank Gardner concluded that ISIL's prospects of maintaining control and rule were greater in 2014 than they had been in 2006, and that despite being as brutal as before, ISIL had become "well entrenched" among the population and was not likely to be dislodged by ineffective Syrian or Iraqi forces. It has replaced corrupt governance with functioning locally controlled authorities, services have been restored and there are adequate supplies of water and oil.

With Western-backed intervention being unlikely, the group will "continue to hold their ground" and rule an area "the size of Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future", he said. Further solidifying ISIL rule is the control of wheat production, which is roughly 40% of Iraq's production. ISIL has maintained food production, crucial to governance and popular support

Non-combatants

Although ISIL attracts followers from different parts of the world by promoting the image of holy war, not all of their recruits end up in combatant roles. There have been several cases of new recruits who expected to be mujahedeen that returned from Syria disappointed by the everyday jobs that had been assigned to them, like drawing water or cleaning toilets, or by the ban imposed on use of mobile phones during military training sessions.

ISIL also publishes material directed to women. Although women are not allowed to take up arms, media groups encourage them to play supportive roles within ISIL: providing first aid, cooking, nursing and sewing, to become "good wives of jihad

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