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Sunday, October 1, 2023

What is Intellectual Development Initiative up to in the Borno/Yobe Axis?

GoalsKeeper of the Week #TweetChat with Muhammad Abdullahi.


Muhammad Abdullahi  is a brilliant young man. He is the Founder and the Executive Director of Intellectual Development Initiative (IDI).

He hails from Nguru in Yobe State, Nigeria.

Abdullahi  holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Public Administration (both with First Class). Such an achievement.

He was also the founder of Students’ Intellectual Club, at Yobe State University in 2013.

Since we have now know the pedigree of our guest, let’s now go to the questions we have for today.


Twitter: @bb2them | @IDIWeb

Website: www.idiweb.org (10th #FreeWeb4SDGs website)

Questions and Answers Time

FreeWeb4SDGs Q1:

Each time Borno/Yobe axis is mentioned in recent years, it brings back the terrorist insurgency and humanitarian devastations going on there. What is your motivation for starting the Intellectual Development Initiative?

Muhammad Abdullahi A1:

My motivation for founding IDI cannot be divorced from the earlier experience I had in founding & serving with Students’ Intellectual Club (SIC) at Yobe State University. However, one unique thing about IDI is its initiation due to a gap discovered in Civil Society Organisation efforts around Mass Literacy among populace with special attention to sustainability. Insecurities cannot be divorced from low-literacy rates and IDI aims to counter extremist narratives through education, enlightenment and empowerment programmes.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q2:

What is IDI hoping to achieve in the Borno/Yobe axis?

Muhammad Abdullahi A2:

IDI hopes to achieve a society of intellect. We believe in the significance of education, enlightenment and empowerment in taking conscious decisions and actions towards the attainment of sustainable development, or the SDGs.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q3:

Glad to hear about your determination but operating at that axis seems scary. How were you able to encourage other young volunteers working in your team, in spite of the economic, political and security uncertainties?

Muhammad Abdullahi A3:

By design, IDI is a volunteer-based initiative. We explain our ethics before allowing anyone to serve with us. Volunteers get inspired to join after seeing our success stories and men of integrity around us. We clearly disengage our entity from politics, and serve people and communities regardless of gender, tribe or religious affiliation. We provide capacity building opportunities for volunteers and connect them with other networks.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q4:

Seeing that you have so much to do, how much funding is available to your organisation?

Muhammad Abdullahi A4:

For now, there is none. 99% of the projects we implemented so far are self-funded by our volunteers. However, in cases where projects are collaborative, all organisations involved play certain roles in the execution, which includes provision of funds and means.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q5:

What are the challenges you are facing in your efforts?

Muhammad Abdullahi A5:

Our major challenge has been lack of funding. It affects all we do especially sustainability of projects and manpower. Others are inadequate capacity among volunteers, limited connections, political concerns among populace, lack of media support, etc.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q6:

What has been your contribution as an organization in the fight against terrorist insurgency in Yobe/Borno axis?

Muhammad Abdullahi A6:

Our contribution has been around social security through our 3Es. We advocate for the relevance of secular education, enroll children in school, support less privilege with skills, engage in peace education and Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) campaigns, mentor and train young people around career choice, leadership and employability skills.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q7:

What are your future plans for the organization, Intellectual Development Initiative?

Muhammad Abdullahi A7:

In the future, we hope to grow as a leading entity that fosters intellectual development, having presence across the world, serving people and advocating for literacy, inspiring more young persons to take developmental decisions, and adding value to humanity.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q8:

Can you give us a glimpse of the level of devastations going on in the Borno/Yobe axis?

Muhammad Abdullahi A8:

The devastations as a result of insurgent atrocities through targeted assassinations, shootings and bombings in the North-East Nigeria led to deaths of over 73,030 as at 2018; displaced over 3 Million people as at 2016 and destroyed properties worth ₦2 Trillion ($5.2 Billion). These are aside from unofficial figures as compiled in a study I co-authored with Dr. A. I. Chikaji @chikajee.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q9:

Do you have projects directed at the betterment of living standards of internally displaced persons in Borno/Yobe axis?

Muhammad Abdullahi A9:

Hardly can you find a community without a displaced person in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. They are either living with relatives or in camps. Therefore, all projects touch their lives, directly or indirectly. Still, we implement projects specifically meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) such as safety education, hygiene promotion, skill acquisition, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) prevention, environmental sustainability, etc.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q10:

Are the local authorities, state and federal governments doing enough to mitigate the humanitarian challenges, especially with the IDPs living in Borno/Yobe axis?

Muhammad Abdullahi A10:

What I know is that governments at all levels are supporting the humanitarian needs of the IDPs. Available agencies that provide such supports include National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ministry for Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement (MRRR), North-East Development Commission (NEDC), National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), etc. However, judging whether it’s enough or not can best be done by the beneficiaries (i.e. the IDPs). Still, considering the resources provided by International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and UN agencies, it’s obvious that without them, the humanitarian needs of the IDPs cannot be adequately met. Yet, more resources are still needed.

FreeWeb4SDGs Q11:

What is your final word as we round up this TweetChat?

Muhammad Abdullahi A11:

Service to humanity is the best work of life. Don’t be left out.

Words of Thanks

We thank Muhammad Abdullahi so much for finding time to be our Special Guest, and are very grateful for the insights we got from him.

We also thank our followers who were part of the conversation. We so much appreciate the time spent with us.


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