Botswana Reports Mysterious Deaths Of Hundreds Of Elephants

 

 

Hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta, the wildlife department said Thursday, ruling out poaching as the tusks were found intact.

The landlocked southern African country has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000.

“We have had a report of 356 dead elephants in the area north of the Okavango Delta and we have confirmed 275 so far,” Cyril Taolo, the acting director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told AFP in a text message.

He said the cause of the deaths was yet to be established with anthrax having been ruled out.

“We do not suspect poaching since (the) animals were found with tusks,” he said.

Samples have been collected and sent to specialised laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Canada for testing.

Similar deaths were first reported in May when authorities found 12 carcasses in just a week in two villages in the northwest of the country.

“It seems they were dying very suddenly in some cases,” conservation biologist, Keith Lindsay told AFP, adding that the deaths were sudden.

“The carcasses were animals that had fallen down while walking… right on their sternum which is very unusual,” said Lindsay.

“Up to now, there doesn’t seem to be any clear sign of the reason for it. When something like this happens it is alarming.”

 “All ages and sex”

The latest discoveries were flagged by a wildlife conservation charity, Elephants Without Borders (EWB), whose confidential report referring to the 356 dead elephants, was leaked to the media on Wednesday.

EWB suspects the elephants have been dying in the area for about three months.

According to the report dated June 19, 2020, “70 percent of elephant carcasses were considered recent, having died about a month ago, and 30 percent of the carcasses appeared fresh, ranging from one day to two weeks old”.

“There was good evidence to show elephants of all ages and sex appear to be dying,” said the report penned by EWB director Mike Chase.

Several live elephants appeared to have been weak, lethargic and emaciated, with some showing signs of disorientation, difficulty in walking or limping, EWB said.

“One elephant was observed walking in circles, unable to change direction although being encouraged by other herd members,” said the report.

For conservationist Neil Fritt the strange phenomenon is “tragic” but appears to be “more like a natural occurrence as opposed to direct human cause,” he told AFP.

Botswana has an overpopulation of elephants which President Mokgweetsi Masisi has flagged as the source for much of the human-animal conflict in the country.

In February the southern African country held its first major auction for trophy elephant hunting quotas since controversially scrapping a hunting ban last year. But the hunting season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

-AFP

Botswana Court Rejects Opposition Election Fraud Claims

 

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

A high court in Botswana’s capital  Tuesday dismissed the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) call to have the results of the October general election thrown out over “irregularities”.

Botswana voted on October 23 and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won with a majority of 38 seats against the UDC’s 15 seats in the 57-member parliament.

The UDC had petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the election citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.

Delivering its ruling in Gaborone on Tuesday, Justice Mercy Garekwe said “it cannot be deduced that the people or institutions which allegedly committed the corrupt and illegal practises are election or polling agents of the 2nd respondent (BDP),”

“As for the BDP, names are mentioned but none of them are said to be eligible or polling agents of the 2nd respondent (BDP).”

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has denied UDC claims of irregularities.

A majority of the nine judges were of the view that the matter was not properly before the court, saying petitioners failed to provide verifying affidavits and comply with rules.

There was one dissenting judge, Justice Michael Leburu, who said it was a sad day for democracy when the courts decide to deny the nation a chance to know what really happened.

“The case is about justice, not formalism. Judges who are quick to dismiss cases based on technicalities deny litigants justice and avoid difficult issues raised during the merits,” Leburu said.

UDC leader Duma Boko praised the judgment delivered by Leburu.

“Even I know how painful and difficult it is to cut against the grain of conservative thought and set yourselves apart from those held hostage,” Duma wrote of his Facebook page. “That’s the way of justice.”

It is expected that UDC will appeal the ruling.

The BDP has ruled the southern African country since independence from Britain in 1966.

But the party suffered a seismic jolt in May when former president Ian Khama renounced his hand-picked successor Masisi and backed a new party.

The October polls were predicted to offset the divided BDP’s hold on power and reduce its majority in parliament.

Instead, it secured a sweeping victory.

AFP

Botswana’s President Masisi Wins Hotly-Contested Election

Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and leader of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), adresses supporters during an election campaign rally in Mokgweetsi Masisi’s home village in Moshupa, on October 22, 2019. Monirul Bhuiyan / AFP

 

Incumbent president Mokgweetsi Masisi on Friday won a five-year term in Botswana’s elections which saw his ruling party secure more than 51 percent of parliamentary votes, the chief justice said. 

“Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi is elected President of the Republic of Botswana,” chief justice Terrence Rannowane announced.

The main opposition protested the outcome, saying the ballot had been “massively rigged.”

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has ruled since independence from Britain in 1966, was declared the winner after attaining the minimum 29 parliamentary seats required to form a government following Wednesday’s vote.

Masisi thanked voters, saying he was “humbled” that they had entrusted the BDP.

“As the President of Botswana for the next 5 years, I’m blessed and privileged to serve you and promise that I’ll continue to do so with integrity, compassion, humility and honesty,” he said in a tweet.

An unofficial tally showed the ruling BDP won 38 seats in the 12th parliament — a slight improvement from the 37 attained in the 2014 election.

The largest opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), lost two seats compared to the previous election, securing only 15 seats this time.

The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), endorsed by the former President Ian Khama, got three seats and one smaller party bagged just one seat in the national assembly.

Around 931,000 of the country’s 2.2 million people registered to vote in the parliamentary and local elections.

Masisi, 58, became president in April 2018 as the hand-picked successor to Khama, who resigned at the end of his constitutional limit of two five-year terms.

 Feud 

Diamond-rich Botswana is seen across Africa as a beacon of continuity and democracy.

But Khama shook up the country’s traditionally calm politics by dramatically renouncing his hand-picked successor, Masisi, accusing him of autocracy.

The rift between the president and his predecessor started last year, immediately after Khama handed over the reigns.

Once in power Masisi quickly started reversing several of Khama’s key policies, including lifting the ban on elephant trophy hunting, infuriating his predecessor, avid conservationist.

During the election, Khama threw his weight behind the UDC, once his fiercest critic.

In May, he stormed out of the governing BDP, and endorsed a newly-created BPF, which fielded candidates in only 19 of the 57 constituencies.

Khama, whose father co-founded the BDP and served as Botswana’s first president, retains plenty of influence, particularly in the central region — a BDP stronghold — where he is a traditional chief.

The feud threatened to fracture the BDP and sap voter support.

Already the ruling party had seen its share of the vote decline in past elections. It fell below 50 percent for the first time in the last elections in 2014.

 ‘Massively rigged’ 

The three-party UDC, which has posed the greatest challenge so far to BDP dominance, claimed the election was “massively rigged” and riddled with irregularities around voter registration which “undermine the credibility” of these elections.

“Throughout, the IEC has shown grave incompetence and could not have delivered a free and fair election,”  UDC leader Duma Boko told AFP

The election outcome “does not deserve any respect,” Boko charged.

Boko also fingered the ruling party for a “deliberate and well-orchestrated plan to steal this election”, after it realised that it was on “very shaky ground”.

The UDC won 17 out of the 57 seats in the last election five years ago.

On Friday an observer mission from the regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), declared the pre-election and voting phases had been well organised and conducted in a “peaceful and free atmosphere”.

Despite numerous opposition party disputes, SADC observers have endorsed elections in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique in recent years, declaring them all to be free and fair.

AFP

Botswana Offers Zimbabwe $600m To Ease Crisis

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagw. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Diamond-rich Botswana has offered to lend Zimbabwe nearly $600 million to help ease its economic crisis, Harare’s state-owned daily The Herald reported Tuesday.

The loans will be offered to Zimbabwe’s private sector and the diamond industry said the report.

Zimbabwe’s secretary for foreign affairs, James Manzou, unveiled the offer ahead of a visit to Harare by Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“Zimbabwe welcomes with much appreciation that Botswana proposed a 1 billion Botswana Pula ($94.5 million, 83.15 million euro) credit facility, in support of the Zimbabwe private sector,” Manzou told the paper.

“Zimbabwe is also appreciative of the US$500 million diamond facility offered to it by Botswana,” he said.

Manzou said the loans are expected to “support our economic recovery”.

Zimbabwe descended into economic ruin during the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe who was forced out in 2017.

His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa has failed to solve the crisis with the country running desperately short of foreign currency.

The deals are expected to be signed on Thursday during Masisi’s visit to Harare.

The report did not give details about the loan, such as the repayment schedule and interest rate.

A request for $1.2 billion in emergency credit from neighboring South Africa to help alleviate the crisis failed after Pretoria indicated it did not have the funds.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to visit Zimbabwe next month.

The leaders of both countries have recently called for sanctions still in force on some Zimbabwean leaders and institutions to be lifted.

Ramaphosa told reporters that lifting sanctions against Zimbabwe “would relieve the tension that is currently in the country”.

The United States, the European Union, and other states imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in response to Mugabe’s various crackdowns during his long rule.

 

AFP

Botswana Leader, Predecessor Feud Persists After Trump Remarks

Donald Trump.

 

A feud between Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama has erupted afresh after the ex-leader condemned US President Donald Trump as “arrogant and racist”.

Masisi, who was hand-picked by Khama, took power in April when Khama stepped aside after serving the maximum 10 years in office.

But the two men have since fallen out in a public spat that threatens to undermine Botswana’s carefully-crafted reputation for stable government.

Masisi last month used his first state-of-the-nation address to openly attack his predecessor, saying the “transition from the previous administration has not been as smooth as expected”.

Then, addressing villagers last week during a meeting in his capacity as a traditional chief in his rural home of Serowe, Khama described Trump as “arrogant and racist”.

The foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday dissociating itself from the remarks.

“These disparaging remarks… do not in any way represent the position of the government of Botswana,” said the ministry.

It said Khama is entitled to his personal views, “but the ministry is concerned that the usage of the kgotla (traditional) meeting by the former president to castigate a president of another country may be misconstrued as espousing an official position of the government”.

On Sunday, Khama said he would not give up criticising poor governance and violation of democratic principles and human rights by other countries.

“The ministry is free to abandon those principles and ignore Donald Trump’s present and past disrespectful tendencies which he clearly displayed… some time ago, in the way he referred to countries in Africa,” he said in a statement.

Earlier this year Trump reportedly referred to African nations as “shithole countries”.

“I am proud that when I was president, Botswana was one of those that criticised him over those insulting and racist remarks,” said Khama.

Trump’s “attitude is motivated by what I have said before and I repeat again his arrogance, intolerance, extravagance, and his allergy to telling the truth”.

The latest spat has again laid bare the frosty relations between Khama, 65 and Masisi, 57.

The former president has reportedly been enraged by Masisi’s refusal to let him use government planes, while state media have been instructed not to feature Khama.

The two men have also battled over the former boss of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Isaac Kgosi, who was sacked by Masisi for insubordination.

Khama, 65, has sought to employ Kgosi as his private secretary but has been blocked by Masisi.

AFP

Nearly 100 Elephants Killed For Ivory In Botswana

In this file photo taken on March 20, 2015, an elephant splashes at sunset in the waters of the Chobe River in Botswana Chobe National Park, in the northeast of the country. PHOTO: CHRIS JEK / AFP

 

Ninety elephant carcasses have been discovered in Botswana with their tusks hacked off, a charity said Tuesday, in figures fiercely contested by the government. 

Elephants Without Borders said the grim discovery of scores of elephant carcasses, made over several weeks during an aerial survey, is believed to be one of Africa’s worst mass poaching sprees.

The charity’s scientists, who carried out the assessment with Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, found most of the dead animals were large bulls, which would have had heavy tusks.

“We started flying the survey on July 10, and we have counted 90 elephant carcasses since the survey commenced,” Mike Chase, the charity’s director, told AFP.

“Each day we are counting dead elephants,” he added.

The wild pachyderms were shot with heavy-calibre rifles at watering spots near a popular wildlife sanctuary in the Okavango Delta.

According to Chase, the carcasses’ skulls were “chopped open by presumably very sharp axes, to remove their tusks”. In some cases the trunks were also removed.

 ‘False and misleading’

“The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I have seen or read about in Africa to date,” Chase said, adding that the poaching coincided with Botswana’s rangers being reportedly disarmed earlier this year.

But the Botswana government later rejected the charity’s tally of the carcasses as well as their explanation for the deaths.

“These statistics are false and misleading,” said a statement on the official government Twitter account, which added that “at no point in the last months or recently were 87 or 90 elephants killed in one incident in any place in Botswana”.

It said the EWB had counted 53 carcasses during the survey, adding that it had verified that most of these animals had died of “natural causes”.

The statement confirmed that authorities had withdrawn weapons from rangers, but denied the move had “created any vacuum in anti-poaching operations”.

“Government wishes to reiterate the fact that wildlife remains a national heritage and our citizens will protect it at all costs,” it said.

Botswana had previously had a zero-tolerance approach to poaching, with a “shoot-to-kill” policy against poachers.

The landlocked country with its unfenced parks and wide open spaces has the largest elephant population in Africa at over 135,000.

 ‘A huge worry’

Earlier Botswana Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama confirmed to AFP that elephants had been poached.

“I am very concerned, it’s a huge worry,” he said. “I’m aware that the numbers are in double digits, and for Botswana they are high.

“Because we had been spared poaching for a long time, I think now we are realising the sophistication of these poachers.

“Unfortunately sometimes we learn these lessons the hard way,” he said.

Chase said elephants in Zambia and Angola, north of Botswana, “have been poached to the verge of local extinction, and poachers have now turned to Botswana”.

The number of African elephants has fallen by around 111,000 to 415,000 in the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The killing continues at a dizzying pace of about 30,000 elephants a year to meet demand for ivory in Asia, where tusks sell for around $1,000 (864 euros) a kilo (2.2 pounds).

The Botswana poaching occurred just months after former president Ian Khama, deeply passionate about protecting wildlife, stepped down, handing power to his chosen successor Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Global conservationist International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) expressed shock at the slaughter.

“Until now Botswana’s elephant herds have largely been left in peace, but clearly Botswana is now in the cross-hairs,” said Jason Bell, IFAW’s vice president for conservation.

Poachers have also targeted rhino in Botswana, with six white rhino carcasses were found in recent months.

AFP

Ian Khama To Step Down As Botswana’s President

Ian Khama Steps Down As Botswana's President
Botswana’s President Seretse Ian Khama waves to the crowd as he leaves after a rally in his village Serowe on March 27, 2018, before officially stepping down on March 31 and handing power to his vice-president on April 1. MONIRUL BHUIYAN / AFP

 

President Ian Khama of Botswana this week wrapped up a national “farewell tour” before he stands down on Saturday in a power transfer designed to stress his statesmanship and the country’s stability.

Khama has visited all of Botswana’s 57 constituencies since December, bidding a long goodbye to a population of just 2.2 million after serving the constitutional maximum of 10 years in office.

He will be succeeded by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, a full 18 months before elections.

Khama’s two terms in power have been defined by his country’s rapid development thanks to lucrative diamond and beef exports and by a reputation for good governance.

He has also become renowned for straight talking — breaking with diplomatic convention to criticise leaders including US President Donald Trump and then-president Robert Mugabe in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday, his tour finished in his ancestral village of Serowe in the east of the country, with a day of songs, poems, gifts, ululation and pleading for him to remain in office.

Thousands of jubilant villagers dressed in blue, white and black, gathered in a kgotla, a traditional courtyard, to hear Khama speak.

“I was a soldier, I didn’t have interest to join politics, I had future plans, away from politics,” he told the crowd, adding that his predecessor Festus Mogae had to persuade him to take over in 2008.

– Son of independence leader –

Khama, 65, has cultivated a down-to-earth image — despite his father Seretse Khama serving from 1966 to 1980 as Botswana’s first president after independence from Britain.

Edna Monyena, a village elder in her 80s, lavished praise on the outgoing president, telling him that he was “an honest man, a straightforward man” who showed “real love”.

Many elderly female villagers wore blue dresses printed with portraits of Khama’s father, and some used cow bones as percussion instruments as they stood up to sing and dance.

Khama was showered with gifts including a 4×4 truck, 143 cows, hundreds of chickens, over 415,000 pula ($44,000), and a fully-equipped luxury caravan that his brother Tshekedi dubbed a “mobile state house”.

The avid conservationist also received a framed picture of a rhino.

“I wanted him to be 50 years more in office, I want him to work until the Almighty calls him,” unemployed Sadie Moleta, 23, told AFP in Serowe, where Khama is a chief of the Bangwato tribe.

Khama, a former pilot and military chief, demonstrated his outspoken streak when he recently accused Trump of promoting policies that encourage poaching and summoning the US envoy over Trump’s alleged slur against African countries in January.

Khama called on Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to step down well before the nonagenarian was ousted, and his government has also urged Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to resign after his term expired in December 2016.

The Botswana leader’s on-schedule departure has made a public display of obeying the constitutional term limit.

But his own record in office has not been without its critics, who accuse him of an autocratic leadership style.

He led the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to landslide victories in two elections, although the party won less than 50 percent for the first time in the 2014 vote.

– Uneven legacy? –

Often seen as one of Africa’s success stories, Botswana has recorded rising unemployment since 2009 as diamond prices fell.

The drop in revenue forced Khama to halt many planned investments in recent years.

“Internationally, he positioned himself as a moral leader in the region, stepping down as an example of a leader who respects laws and traditions — and inviting both President Kabila and Mugabe to respect democracy and the rule of law,” Matteo Vidiri, a BMI Research analyst, told AFP.

“(But) a slowing economy and increasing public discontent has damaged the narrative of Botswana’s ‘special character’, of a country being able to escape the ‘resource curse’.”

The opposition blames Khama for creating a society of “beggars”.

“He killed the spirit of self-reliance creating dependency through handouts,” Kesitegile Gobotswang, deputy president of the Botswana Congress Party, told AFP.

“The economy shed jobs under his leadership.”

Khama, who is unmarried, was born in Britain as his father married white British woman Ruth Williams — a mixed-race partnership that caused widespread shock in Africa and Britain.

Incoming president Masisi, 55, will be inaugurated on Sunday.

AFP

Botswana Summons US Envoy Over Trump ‘Shithole’ Slur

Botswana Summons US Envoy Over Trump 'Shithole' Slur
File photo

 

Botswana’s government on Friday summoned the US ambassador to complain over remarks reportedly made by President Donald Trump describing African nations as “shithole countries”.

“The Government of Botswana, today summoned the US Ambassador to Botswana to express its displeasure at the alleged utterances made by the President of the US,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter.

AFP

Nigeria Loses To Botswana In Under-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers

World Cup Qualifiers, U-19 CricketNigeria on Thursday lost to Botswana by one wicket at the ongoing Under-19 Cricket World cup qualifiers in South Africa.

Nigeria batted first scoring 101 runs all out in 39.3 overs. The nation’s top scorers in their innings were Taiwo Mohammed, 24; Sylvester Okpe, 23 and Sulaimon Runsewe, 15.

In the second inning, Botswana raced up to 103 for the loss of 9 wickets in 31.5 overs, to win the match.

Nigeria will play Ghana on Saturday and Tanzania on Sunday. It’s a round Robin league and the top two teams will qualify to Division one.

Team Nigeria had beaten Zambia to record a first victory at the second division of the 2016 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

186 Junior Military Officers Get Counter-terrorism Training

Boko haram counter-terrorism forcesThe Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, Kaduna State, has conducted a special training course for junior military officers on counter-terrorism and peace support operations.

The training equipped them with appropriate skills to function as Grade Three Staff Officers and Junior commanders in their various military services and organisations.

During their graduation ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said the training had become necessary due to the emerging security challenges.

He pointed out that the challenges required effective training of officers and men in the art of counter-terrorism, peace support operations and disaster management.

He urged the junior officers to apply the skills they had learnt from the college in the ongoing war against terrorists in the northeast and other related crimes across Nigeria.

General Buratai also reminded them of their expected roles in the realisation of the Federal Government’s Change Agenda and war against terror.

“Always conduct yourselves in a manner that is befitting of an officer when discharging your duties,” he advised them.

The Chief of Army Staff also told the graduating students to imbibe the cardinal virtues of a soldier which include discipline, team spirit, time management and self-confidence among

The junior military officers were drawn from the Nigerian Navy, Army, Air Force and allied officers from neighbouring African countries.

For 21 weeks, they were subjected to intense training and academic activities.

Commandant of the college, Air Vice Marshal Suleiman Dambo, said the training curriculum had been reviewed to reflect emerging military thinking in warfare, counter-revolutionary and anti-terrorism packages.

A total of 90 Nigerian Army Officers, 40 Naval officers , 26 Air Force officers, 10 non-military officers as well as 10 allied officers from Botswana, Cameroun, Chad, Gambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia participated in the course.

As they return to their various units and organisations, they are expected to carry on with the same spirit which they had shown during the training in addressing the numerous challenges that they would meet in the field.

2016 Davis Cup: NTF Wants Sports Ministry’s Support

davis cupThe Nigeria Tennis Federation has called for support from the Sports Ministry following Nigeria’s listing for the 2016 Davis Cup Africa Zone III championship scheduled for Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Poor funding has been identified as a major problem hindering the development of tennis in the country and the federation has asked the ministry to intervene by ensuring players and officials feature at continental and international competitions.

The International Tennis Federation ignored a possible sanction for Nigeria despite the last-minute withdrawal of the country from the 2015 edition in Cairo, Egypt.

Nigeria was included in the draw ceremony in its London headquarters on Monday, which brought some relief that there would not be any sanction for the country.

NTF President, Sani Ndanusa, while expressing gratitude to the international body, pleaded to the Sports Ministry for early release of funds to ensure its participation at the four-day tournament billed for the clay courts of the Antanarivo University.

“This is our New Year present from the ITF and we are not surprised because if there’s any country that the ITF has to be lenient with then it has to be Nigeria; our commitment to tennis has never been in doubt.

“Just last month, we hosted the Governor’s Cup championship which is among the top-rated Circuits in the ITF calendar. And in the next few days we will be hosting the Africa Junior Championship West and Central Africa Qualifiers which will be featuring about 14 countries. This is the second time in barely two years that we will be hosting the event. We also hosted the AJC proper in 2010.

“So this has put us in the good books of the ITF but that is not to say we will be taking them for granted. We will make sure that we put in place all modalities that will not only see us participate but go for one of the promotion tickets this year,” Ndanusa assured.

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda will also feature at the tournament.

Support Our Efforts To Check Oil Sector Corruption, Buhari Tells Commonwealth

powerPresident Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has urged the international community to support his government’s efforts to curb corruption in the oil and gas industry.

The President made the demand on Saturday at a group meeting of Commonwealth leaders on corruption held in Malta and chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.

He said that corruption in the oil sector and outright theft of Nigeria’s crude oil had been exacerbated by the culture of impunity which reigned under previous administrations.

The President further stated that corruption in the sector had also thrived because of the ease of transferring illicit funds abroad and the institutional protection given to corrupt officials in the past.

“Now that we have the political will to stop impunity, we need the cooperation and assistance of the international community.

“We must all work together to compel multinational oil companies, international financial institutions and international shipping lines to stop aiding and abetting corruption in the oil sector in Nigeria,” President Buhari told the gathering which included the leaders of Australia, Canada, Singapore, Malta, Sri Lanka, Botswana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Need To Reject Corruption

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Prime Minister Cameron said that the Commonwealth and the international community must do more to fight corruption and promote good governance.

“We care passionately about this issue of fighting corruption. In my view, this issue needs to have a much higher billing on the international agenda, not just because fighting corruption is right in itself, but because all the other things we want to achieve as countries and members of the Commonwealth depend on our success in doing so.

“If we want fair economic growth, we need to reject corruption. If we want to see fair and sustainable development, we need to deal with corruption. I think this is an absolutely vital issue. It is an issue for all of us because so much of the money stolen from developing countries is hidden in developed countries.

“So dealing with money laundering, dealing with beneficial ownership and making sure we stop stolen money being hidden away in developed countries is absolutely vital,” the British Prime Minister said.

In an earlier meeting, President Buhari had asked for the support of the Commonwealth in the war on terror currently going in Nigeria’s north-east and other countries that may have been affected by the scourge of terrorism.