Chibok Girls: France Security Agents To Assist Nigeria

Laurent-FabiusFrance has offered to send Security Service Agents to Nigeria to help rescue the girls of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect over three weeks ago.  

The decision is coming few days after the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on a presidential Media Chat on Sunday said that Nigeria would accept any support by the international community in the rescue efforts being made by Nigeria Military.

With more than 4,000 troops operating between Mali to the west and Central African Republic to the east, Paris has a major interest in preventing Nigeria’s security situation from deteriorating, having previously voiced concerns that Boko Haram could spread further north into the Sahel.

French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said on Wednesday that the French President had instructed that intelligence services be put at the disposal of Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

He stated that a specialised unit, with all the means France had in the region, was at the disposal of Nigeria to help find and recover the young girls.

No specific number of agents that  would be dispatched was  given.

Mr Fabius said that in the face of such ignominy, France must react and that the crime could not be left unpunished.

Nigeria had made several efforts to quell the increasing insurgency in the north east, including the deployment of military personnel to the region and a state of emergency declared in three states, but the military appeared not to have adequately contained the attacks.

The adoption of the girls had triggered series of protests in some states in Nigeria and in some other countries, with protesters demanding that world leaders should take drastic actions to rescue the girls who were abducted on April 14 the same day a bomb blast in Nyanya Motor park in Abuja killed at least 75 persons and left scores injured. The twitter hash-tag, ‘#BringBackOurGirls’, put together to push the rescue of the girls, is trending globally, with prominent world leaders lending their voice and support to the demand for their freedom.

WEFA Presents Opportunity For Nigeria To Woo More Investors And Tackle Insecurity

World-Economic-Forum2Nigeria is experiencing a very eventful week, as the 24th edition of the world economic forum opens in Abuja, the capital city. It is the first time the forum is holding in West Africa. 

The World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) presents an opportunity for Nigeria to show to the rest of the world, that it is fertile ground for global investments, and would deepen the dialogue on economic reforms between the international and Nigerian private sector, as well as international and domestic investors. it will also focus on creating jobs.

Other editions of the world economic forum in Africa, have held in south Africa, except on five occasions, when it held in Zimbabawe in 1997, Namibia in 1998, Mozambique in 2004, Tanzania in 2010,and in Ethiopia in 2012.

Earlier in the week, Channels Television correspondent, Harriet Agbenyi, spoke with the Director, Head of Africa, for the World Economic Forum, Elsie Kanza, on the choice of Nigeria for this year’s meeting, and what Nigerians and investors stand to benefit from it.

She said that the forum will focus on creating jobs and engender progress in different sectors of the economy.

Now, as expected, in light of the recent attacks in the country, the blast in the Nyanya area of Abuja, three weeks ago, the Chibok abductions, and the second blast last week, the issue of security threatens to steal the spotlight off the WEFA meetings, but the Nigerian Police boss, has ordered a massive security presence around the Federal Capital Territory and its environs.

Even President Goodluck Jonathan is confident that nothing will disrupt the World Economic Forum on Africa.

“Bring Back Our Girls”

Meanwhile, attention is growing on the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

Women-protest-Chibok-girls-abduction

There have been protests in Nigeria, women groups, mainly, urging the government to do more to bring the girls back home, with some promising to continue protests every day until the girls return.

Beyond Nigeria’s  shores, the Canadian government has condemned the kidnap of the girls; as well as other terrorist acts committed against unarmed civilians by the militant sect. it describes their activities as absolutely repugnant and will never be tolerated.

While their concern for the abducted girls continues to grow, they have promised to continue to closely monitor the situation, and work with Nigeria to combat terrorism and secure the welfare of her children and youth.

Boko Haram is listed as a terrorist Organisation in Canada.

Those comments were followed closely by that of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

While Nigeria is trying to tackle security challenges in the north east, the country also presided over the meetings of the UN Security Council, under the watchful leadership of Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Professor Joy Ogwu.

During the month, the council adopted seven resolutions and issued ten press statements. It also held two open thematic debates on security sector reform and women and peace and security, and the unending debates on peace in the middle-east, between Israel and Palestine.

The council adopted a resolution on security sector reform, recognising that it should be a nationally-owned process. Meaning, it is the sovereign right and the primary responsibility of the states concerned to determine their respective security sector reform approaches and priorities, a development that leaves Nigeria with the power to carry out drastic reforms that could ensure security of lives and property.

Present at the UN Security Council meeting was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aminu Wali, whom our correspondent at the meeting, Gbenga Ashiru, had a chat with.

Mr Wali, explained Nigeria’s agenda while at the helm of affairs and how Nigerian can partner with other countries to reform the security system.

Committee On Abducted Chibok Girls Holds Maiden Meeting

School-girls-abductedThe fact-finding committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan on the abduction of over 200 girls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, held its maiden meeting on Tuesday, after an inauguration ceremony earlier by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The committee has broken into clusters of workgroups to immediately gather and examine facts already in the public domain and within the knowledge of appropriate agencies, with a view to ascertaining gaps, which will assist the committee in the next stages of its fact-finding mission.

A statement by the spokesman of the fact finding committee, Mr Kingsley Osadalor, said the committee took cognisance of the absence of the three representatives of Borno State government during the committee’s inauguration at the State House, Abuja.

The committee contacted the secretary to the Borno State government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, who explained that he had been away, but promised to send the nominated representatives at the next plenary of the presidential committee.

During the inauguration earlier on Tuesday, President Jonathan said: “It is not a judicial or administrative committee but a step the government must take to confront the sad circumstances surrounding the situation”.

According to him, the committee is not a replacement of the search and rescue operations being undertaking by security agencies. “The operations will continue to be intensified until the girls are brought home to their families, but that the committee is to provide public interface with all those directly concerned with the tragedy to provide a well-coordinated input into the overall investigation,” he said.

The abduction of the girls and Bomb blast in Nyanya area of the Federal Capital Territory, where the World Economic Forum on Africa will hold from May 7-9, are  raising fears of insecurity in the city, but President Jonathan reassured those attending the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja of a secured environment, pledging that he must bring back the missing girls.

The committee was set up on Friday after a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and Security Chiefs where the security situations in Nigeria’s north were discussed.

Its functions are to liaise with the Borno State Government and establish the circumstances leading to the School remaining open for boarding students when other schools were closed, liaise with relevant authorities and the parents of the missing girls to establish the actual number and identities of the girls abducted, interface with the Security Services and Borno State Government to ascertain how many of the missing girls have returned and to mobilise the surrounding communities and the general public on citizen support for a rescue strategy and operation.

ASUU Tells FG To Be Proactive In Tackling Insecurity

Nasir FaggeThe Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the Nigerian government to change what it calls the fire brigade approach to talking challenges.

Raising concern over the deteriorating security situation in the north east on Monday, the union’s president, Nasir Fagge, told journalists in Abuja that the insurgency of Boko Haram, which had led to the abduction of secondary school girls in Borno State, was the worst internal security challenges Nigeria had had to face since the civil war.
Mr Fagge also condemned the arrest of the leader of the women protesting the Chibok abduction as well as the recent police attack on protesting members of the academic staff unions of polytechnics and colleges of education, describing it as a violation of human rights.

The police denied the arrest of Mrs Nyadar Naomi Mutah and insisted that she was only invited for interrogation as part of measures geared towards eliciting useful information that could help security agents in the ongoing effort at finding and rescuing female students.

In a Statement, Police spokesman, Frank Mba, said that the invitation of Mrs Mutah, a Deputy Director at the National Directorate of Employment, Abuja, was purely an interactive and fact finding interview.

“Mrs Nyadar cooperated with the Police in the course of the interview and was immediately allowed to return home to her loved ones. She was never arrested nor detained as being wrongly speculated in some quarters,” the statement read.

Mr Mba said that the Police and other security agencies are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that the abducted school children are rescued.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in a media chat on Sunday reassured Nigerians that the school girls would be rescued.

But the issue took another turn on Monday when the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, released a video claiming the abduction of the girls and threatening to sell them.