Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.

Adamawa Flood: 25 bodies recovered from River Benue

Officials of the Nigerian Red Cross has recovered 25 corpses after flood washed through Adamawa state and other states in the north eastern Nigeria.

The Red Cross officials claimed they recovered the corpses from the Benue River in Adamawa state.

The Red Cross secretary in Adamawa state, Mr Abubakar Ahmad noted that the corpses may have come from neighbouring Cameroon, as no one in the area could immediately identify the dead bodies.

Mr Ahmad added further that there could be more dead bodies after the flooding, as many others are still missing.

Officials previously recovered at least 45 bodies from the flooding, which they blamed on officials in Cameroon opening up a dam.

Cameroon warned Nigeria before relieving pressure on the overwhelmed dam.

Nigeria is experiencing its annual rainy season and flooding which recently claimed the lives of at least 68 people in Plateau state in north central region of the country.

52nd annual general conference of the Nigeria Bar Association

For one week, over 3,000 lawyers gathered in Abuja for the 52nd annual general conference of the Nigeria Bar Association.

 

Our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele was there and she has the highlights of the conference in this report.

Bakassi Peninsula has never been part of Nigeria – Robert Clarke

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke argues that the Bakassi Peninsula was territorially never in Nigeria. Clarke said this during an in an interview with our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele.

Clarke said “some legal practitioners who thought they could procure a false judgment led the country down the path of submitting to the jurisdiction of the World Court”.

He added that ” because 80 per cent of Bakassi citizens are Nigerians we can defend it by force. So, knowing fully well that we do not own it we should not have subscribed to going to the world court for a litigation”

Adamawa flood: State seeks compensation from Republic of Cameroon

The Adamawa state government has appealed to the Federal Government to demand compensation from the republic of Cameroon over the losses suffered as a result of the flood which ravaged the state over the weekend following the release of water from a dam in Cameroon.

Secretary to the State Government, Kobis Thimnu said this in Yola, the state capital, after a meeting with local government Heads of Service who presented reports of the extent of damage of the flood in their respective locations.

Preliminary reports had indicated that 30 villages were washed away but a comprehensive report indicates that 125 communities were affected with some residents still missing.

Mr. Thimnu recounted that the trend has become a yearly affair but said the volume of this year’s flood is unprecedented and blamed the disaster on the authorities of Cameroon Republic whom he said released water into the Benue River at a short notice.

He also regretted the absence of a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Cameroon to assist the state adding that Adamawa cannot have talks with them just as he urged the Federal Government to call them to order.

It will be recalled that the state was hit by an unprecedented flood on Saturday which resulted in the death of 19 persons and the destruction of farmlands, animals and properties.

Fabrice Olinga breaks La Liga youngest scorer record

Spain and Athletico Bilbao forward Iker Muniain Goñi‘s record as the youngest player to ever score a goal in the La Liga has been broken by Fabrice Olinga a Cameroonian who plays for Malaga.

16-year-old Olinga fronted for the Malaga team in a game that was the first of the new season against Celta Vigo.

Though he was brought in as a substitute but he led his team to victory, barely 25 minutes after his debut.

Presently the youngest player of Malaga, he was part of the “Samuel Eto’o Foundation” in Cameroon and in 2009, he arrived Spain to join the youth ranks of RCD Mallorca and was later persuaded by Málaga’s academy director, Manuel Casanova to join Málaga CF, a team where he played crucial role in the success of Málaga’s youth side as they reached the final of Copa del Rey Juvenil in 2012 even though he didn’t feature in the finals due to suspension.

76 Oil wells: Wells have always been in Akwa Ibom State-Ita Enang

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita  Enang has said the Supreme Court’s ruling  in July in the case of the  seventy oil  wells jointly claimed  by Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, did not cede the oil wells to Akwa Ibom because the wells  were already within Akwa Ibom’s territory.

Senator Enang who was speaking on our breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said with the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, Cross River had become land locked and was no longer a littoral state.

Alex Song completes Barcelona move

Alex Song has completed his £15million move to Barcelona from Arsenal.

The Cameroon international successfully passed his medical at Barca on Monday and put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Primera Division giants.

Doctor Ricard Pruna has confirmed that 24 year old Cameroon midfielder and Arsenal player Alex Song has passed his medical test with Spanish Giants Barcelona in a deal that is worth £15millon taking him away from his English Club Arsenal to Barcelona as he is close to finishing the deal.

Alex Song passed his medical test this morning and which propelled the deal to the stage of putting pen to paper to sign a five-year contract with Barcelona this afternoon.

Medically he has been rated excellent by Doctor Ricard Pruna who said “He has a very low body fat percentage and very good muscle quality. All the tests have come out satisfactorily and he is available to the coach.”

JTF kill two Boko Haram suspects, intercepts eight rocket launchers

 The Joint Task Force (Operation Restore Order) has intercepted a Hilux Van stocked with high profile weapons including eight rocket propelled grenades and their accessories in Borno state.

A statement by the spokesman of Joint Task Force Lt. Col Sagir Musa said the interception of the weapons was made around 9:00pm on Monday the 30th of July 2012 at Daban Masara a border village between Nigeria and Chad in Mongono local government area of the state.

Musa said the weapons were hidden inside desert palm tree leaves including 10 rocket bombs, 10 rocket charges, two AK 47 riffles, 13 magazines with six rounds of 76 special ammunition and an ATM card.

He said the interception was based on intelligence report and that two suspected members of the Boko Haram sect accompanying the consignment were killed in an exchange of gun fire while one fled.

The Hilux Van according to the statement is with the registration number NGU 19 XA.

The spokesman appealed to the public to cooperate with security men by giving useful information that will help in ending the insurgency.

The Department of State Security Service (DSS), Multi National Joint Task force and other security agencies from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon constitute the task force.

Cameroon men appeal five-year jail sentence for gay sex

Two Cameroonian men sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in gay sex were jeered by a disapproving crowd when they appeared in court for their appeal hearing, the AFP reported.

According to the reports, lawyer for the convicted couple, identified as Jonas and Franky, have called on the courts to repeal the sentencing and release the men.

“They will present guarantees to assure you that they will respond regularly to summons from the court,” Michel Togue said at the appeals court in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital.

A crowd outside the court booed the men as they were driven back to their prison cells.

“There is prejudice here,” the lawyer said.

Like many African countries, Cameroon is largely homophobic, and the law stipulates and individuals guilty of engaging in same-sex relationships be sentenced to five years in prison and fined.

According to reports, both Jonas and Franky and a third man were sentenced to five years in Jail last November and ordered to pay a 300 euro fine.

The third man did not appeal his sentencing. The judge adjourned the case to April 20 to consider the call for their release.

Dangote’s Land dispute in Cameroon to be resolved soon – Cameroon official

Dangote Cement opens new $1 billion plant
A land dispute that has halted construction of Dangote Group’s $115 million cement plant in Cameroon will be resolved amicably and the project completed on time, a government official said on Wednesday.

Dangote started work on the 1.5 million tonnes-per-year plant in the financial capital Douala in September with an eye to finishing the project within 18 months, but construction was halted after residents filed an injunction arguing the land belonged to the ethnic Sawa people.

“The Prime Minister and the government are very keen that the project should go on as planned, given the growing demand for cement in the country,” an aide to Prime Minister Philemon Yang told Reuters, asking not to be named.

“So the Prime Minister has already held a meeting with the Sawa chiefs and will be sending an official delegation of very senior government personalities to the city one of these days so that the problem can be solved amicably and construction work on the plant site (is) completed as scheduled,” he said.

“We cannot afford to miss this opportunity,” he said, adding talks would likely be held this week or early next week.

The company had issued a statement in the national register saying it was ready to renegotiate its accord and had already shipped in heavy equipment from Germany.

Dangote, also facing opposition from residents fearing pollution, said it was planning to use state-of-the-art environmental technology on the site, held on a 30-year renewable lease from the government.

Cameroon currently has only one cement company, CIMENCAM, with annual output of about 1 million tonnes.

But the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development says annual demand in the country is about 4 million tonnes, growing at about 8 percent per year.

Nearly 300 elephants slain in Cameroon for ivory

Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and and Wildlife said that Ivory dealers in the north of Cameroon have slaughtered nearly 300 elephants in a bid to secure thier tusks since mid-January, a claim that was backed up by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) after an armed gang of Sudanese poachers had killed the free-roaming elephants in the Bouba Ndjida National Park, on Cameroon’s border with Chad.

Park officials say many orphaned elephant calves have been spotted, and concerns are high that the babies may soon die of hunger and thirst.

One park official, Bouba Jadi, told CNN the deaths are worsening the situation for Cameroon’s already threatened elephant populations. According to official estimates, there are between 1,000 and 5,000 elephants in Cameroon.

Officials saw at least 100 elephant carcasses. More carcasses are expected to be found in unexplored regions of the national park. A massive crackdown on poachers has been launched, according to officials in the west Central African nation.

Reports show that that the killing of elephants has been on but its been on the high since January and cannotbe compared to those of the preceding years.

She added that the ivory is smuggled out of West and Central Africa for markets in Asia and Europe, and money from ivory sales funds arms purchases for use in regional conflicts, particularly ongoing unrest in Sudan and in the Central African Republic.

Cameroon shares a porous border with Chad. Armed insurgents from Sudan and the Central African Republic seeking elephants frequently travel through Chad.

Observers in Cameroon have been blaming the raids on poorly trained and ill-equipped park guards, who are pitted against professional gangs of poachers.