In view of the spate of insurgency, terrorism, religious extremism and insecurity challenges that is presently prevalent in Nigeria, as well as the counterinsurgency and anti-terrorism wars currently mounted by the Federal Government to restore peace, security and order into the country, a professor of African History and Peace & Conflict Consultant is scheduled to deliver a lecture on insurgency wars in African forests with particular emphasis on Sambisa Forest.
Professor Isaac Olawale Albert, a Professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan, will be delivering his second inaugural lecture on the topic; ‘Beyond Nigeria’s Sambisa: Forests, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Africa’ at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, on the 15th of June, 2017.
CEOAfrica investigative reporter gathered that the Professor was motivated to embark on this study during his participation at the 2014 National Conference and his work on the 2014/2015 Presidential Panel on the Review of Nigeria’s Defence Policy.
According to the Professor, the lecture was born out of a deep interest in the study of force multipliers and force “de-multiplier” in insurgency and counterinsurgency, while noting further that his interest in the topic of the lecture was fuelled by the realisation that at least half the wars fought around the world in the twentieth century took place in forested areas.
Affirming that most people know more about the social and economic benefits of forests and how to further boost them, Prof. Albert however, pointed out that not many academic works exist on the military and security implications of African forests, hence, majority of people are not aware of the negative consequences that these terrorist and counterterrorist attacks are having on our forests.
In view of these, Prof. Albert stated that the focus of the academic work to be presented at the lecture will be to problematize and interlink forests, insurgency and counterinsurgency, as well as to expound on how insurgents use forests as a safe haven and how forests slow down counterinsurgency operations, while using Nigeria’s Sambisa and other forests in Africa to illustrate the nature of this problem.
The Academic who is also the pioneer Director of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS), University of Ibadan, further noted that the paper he will be presenting at the lecture will serve as a way for Nigerians to equip themselves for the future, since it has been observed that the bloodiest battles fought in the contemporary Nigerian society are taking place in Sambisa forest and Niger Delta mangrove creeks, adding that it is most likely that future battles will be fought in other forests in Nigeria.
Prof. Albert excellently combines knowledge of conflict management scholarship and practice. Hence, he is a Fellow and the current Board Chairman of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP); the Regional Board Chairman of the West African Network for Peace building (Accra, Ghana) from February 2015 to February 2017; a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators; Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administration (ICA) and an Associate Member of the Finnish Folklore fellows (Helsinki) instituted by the Finnish Academy of Letters. He was a federal delegate to the 2014 National Conference held in Abuja; a member of the Presidential Panel on the Review of Nigeria’s Defence Policy in 2014/2015; and the Chairman of President Mohammadu Buhari’s pre-inauguration Committee on the problems in the Northeast.
He became a professor in 2006 and has published 30 books, 140 journal articles and chapters in books, 7 technical reports, 2 downloadable Al Jazeera “Inside story” editions, and one CNN discussion paper. He was a Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy in February and March 2016 and was subsequently appointed on the laureates’ selection board of the Foundation.