Oslo Humanitarian Conference: Donor Countries Visit Borno

Returning Yobe IDPs Get Safety And Awareness Training Thirteen donor countries are conducting assessment tours in Borno state, ahead of the February 24 Oslo humanitarian conference in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

The United Nations (UN) and other sister agencies have launched major emergency appeals for increased funding, to effectively bridge the gap in the crisis affected areas, as millions of people in the Lake Chad region including Nigeria are in need of humanitarian aid.

Representatives of governments of donor countries namely the US, Ireland, Korea, Sweden, Germany, Norway, British embassy, French embassy, Japan and ECOWAS officers are all part of the group.

The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, said that the humanitarian crisis is massive and beyond description, while appealing to the Nigerian Government to do more in terms of intervention programmes for the affected population.

“I came to Maiduguri for the first time, before coming to Maiduguri, I saw many news but it was not so vivid. So now, I think by visiting IDP camps and meeting with officials of the State government and also meeting with the theatre commander I think I got the clearer picture of what is happening.

“I’m going to advice my home government to participate in integrated and concerted efforts of international community to alleviate the crisis affecting people suffering, so I think we have to very closely cooperate to deal with this crisis.

“We will do our best but the effort from the international community alone cannot do the work. So, the participation of the Nigerian government is also a very important factor, so when we go back to Abuja we will continue to have discussions regarding this crisis.” He ended.

Meanwhile, the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, who is also among those who have interacted with the affected population, as well as the key actors in the northeast, believes that military operational successes translates to discovery of more displaced persons.

“We will commit ourselves in Oslo to fully support the process of moving from a humanitarian crisis to normalization and recovery.

“As we said to the Military General, this is a difficult situation because we are trying to move to normalization but not a cease-fire.

Sean Hoy further stated “This is not the end of a natural disaster where we can bring back electricity, housing and water.

“With normalization, military security and civilian administration, the chances of the huge chaos that has affected these areas over the last few years will not happen again because that opportunity will be stopped, by having better security and better civilian administration.

“Without the military, there will be no humanitarian assistance in the northeast.

“The agencies cannot function here without the military making progress but every time they make progress, more IDPs come as a result of that and the situation is one that we have to accept.

“Something that we have agreed is that we can’t have a prescribed programme or we predict what every single agency would do for the next three months and we hold you and monitor you against that.

“We have to on our side accept some flexibility, things can change.” He stated.

Nevertheless, the U.N. humanitarian agencies are appealing for aid to the tune of $1.05bn, for intervention in the Lake Chad region.

UN Pledges Support For Nigeria Against Insurgency

UNThe United Nations (UN) has pledged to work more closely with Nigeria in tackling its increasing humanitarian challenges and to support the Nigerian Army’s reviewed counter-insurgency operation in the north-east.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, gave this assurance during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai, in Abuja.
Dr Chambas said that the UN would fully cooperate with the Nigerian authorities and its armed forces to stem the tide of terrorism within its territory.
However, he appealed to the Nigerian armed forces to give attention to the growing humanitarian crisis occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said that addressing the humanitarian aspect of the problem would go a long way in winning the confidence of the civil populace.
In response, Major-General Buratai reaffirmed the new focus of the military operation in the north-east, identifying humanitarian assistance and protection of human rights as priority areas.

Earlier, Dr Chambas had visited President Buhari on Friday to discuss issues of insecurity and terrorism.

Budget Implementation Will Be A Major Focus – Gbajabiamila

Femi-GbajabiamilaThe majority leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila says a 100 per cent budget implementation will be one of the major focus of the 8th Assembly now that the principal officers of the National Assembly have been chosen and the lawmakers are set for work.

Gbajabiamila told Journalists that the 8th Assembly would open up its books to the public with a breakdown of what lawmakers earn to allow public scrutiny and end the unfavourable speculations over salaries of lawmakers at the National Assembly once and for all.

Nigerian Army Pulls Out 33 Generals

nigeria armyThirty-three retired Generals of the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery were on Friday pulled out of service in Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria.

The retired officers comprise of 12 Major-Generals and 21 Brigadier Generals, including a former General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Lawrence Jokotola.

In a valedictory speech, Major-General Jokotola, who spoke on behalf of the retired generals, expressed hope that the current security challenges in the Northeast are surmountable if only the old ideals of military training, good administration and discipline are maintained.

He commended the Army authorities for re-engaging a number of its retired officers to serve as consultants and instructors at the Nigerian Army School of Artillery (NASA), Kachia in Kaduna State, stating that such sharing of knowledge and expertise will be of immense benefit to the serving officers.

The Generals retired between 2005 and 2013, having served for the mandatory 35 years in service.

Having served their fatherland meritoriously, the officers were formally pulled out at a colourful ceremony that was attended by their friends and family members.

Despite the heavy downpour, a colourful match past and parade were held in honour of the retired Generals.

General Jokotola, in his speech, pledged that the retired officers would continue to keep the Nigerian Flag high by providing timely, accurate and effective fire support in the fight against all forms of external and internal aggression.

The General urged the serving military personnel to continue to be loyal, extra-vigilant, and however expressed the conviction that the Nigerian military would overcome the current security challenges in the country.

Other retirees also expressed their gratitude to the Army and Nigerians for the opportunity to serve the nation.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Bala Bantex, who represented the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai at the occasion, commended the effort of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in trying to restore peace to all troubled parts of the country.

Nigerian Special Athletes Continue To Impress In Los Angeles

los angelesTeam Nigeria has won nine medals at the ongoing Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. The medals are six gold and three silver.

The star boy of day-5 is Sunday Olowoniyi. The 20-year-old beat Panama’s Loaiza Tamir and South Korea’s Jeong Seong Jun by three games to top the men’s singles division six and win another table tennis gold for Nigeria.

Victoria White set the ball rolling on day-4 of the competition, winning gold in table-tennis. It was an almost flawless performance by the young Nigerian who defeated her opponents from India, Macau and the United Arab Emirates without dropping a game in her division.

Rasaq Muraina and Jeffrey Olu-Imaferami continued the gold rush for Nigeria with excellent displays in badminton, adding to the cycling gold won by Emuwa Chidubem in the 500 meters time trial.

Sikiru Sadiq threw a distance of 6.72 meters to win silver in the 4kg division mo8 shot put event, while the basketball team rounded off proceedings with an exciting 28-23 win over Belgium.

Once again, Moshood Popoola emerged the star of a good team performance scoring 10 points and recording 10 rebounds. The next game is a top of the table clash against Korea.

Team Nigeria started their campaign at the Special Olympics World Games with Tejumoluwa Ogunlela winning silver in division 15 of the 100 metres women’s freestyle.

Adebiyi Olatunji and Adedamola Roberts consolidated to win gold and silver in division 17 of the 100 meters men’s freestyle event.

On day-2, Nigeria crushed South Africa 6-0 in division one of the unified soccer event. Two first half goals from Daniel Osadolo ensured a great start at the Balboa Sports Center.

In the second half, Coach Stephen Adeyomo’s team turned up the heat on their opponents with further goals from Abubakar Adebayo and Eziema Chukwudi, ensuring a comfortable win.

On the same day, Nigeria defeated Canada 33-21 points in Basketball, to advance to the next round. The West African team dominated the first quarter 17-9, but the Canadians fought back in the third to reduce the deficit. The 4th quarter saw another close battle, before Nigeria eventually pulled away late in the game.

With athletes such as Sadiq Sikiru, Chidubem Emuwa, Fatai Fatimoh and Mbum Esther also receiving medals for successful outings in shot put, cycling and standing long jump.

Team Nigeria will be hoping the medal chase continues before the competition ends on August 2, 2015.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games opened on July 25, 2015 in  Los Angeles, California. The 2015  Games feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.

Robbers Attack Commercial Bank In Kogi State

robbers attack in kogi stateArmed robbers, on Friday morning, attacked a commercial bank in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State and killed two policemen in an attempt to break into the banking hall.

Channels Television gathered that the gunmen, numbering four, arrived at the premises of the bank which is situated along the Local Government Secretariat at about five minutes before nine o’clock in the morning and started to shoot sporadically.

This left passersby, traders and motorists scampering for their lives while the shooting lasted.

According to Kogi State Police, all attempts by the robbers to gain entrance into the banking hall proved abortive as they were successfully repelled.

While the Police lost two of their men in a gun duel with the suspected armed robbers, two of the robbers were also killed.

One, who was shot in the head, died instantly, while another one who was shot in the lap died in the hospital were he was being treated.

Police IG Explains Reasons For Removal Of Checkpoints

IGPThe Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, says he ordered the removal of police checkpoints on the highways upon assuming office to reduce bribery and corruption.



Mr Arase gave this explanation during one of his routine visits to commands during which he holds security briefs with the commissioners.

The Police boss on his visit to the FCT Police Command, said that such roadblocks encouraged corruption among some of his officers who collect bribes from commuters on the highway.

The IGP said that such act only reduced officers of the Police Force to mere beggars and had also brought the image of the force to disrepute in the past.

Mr Arase then emphasized the need for officers to carry out their duties professionally.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr Wilson Inalegwu, however, appealed to the IGP to create more commands within the FCT.

According to him, the current population of the capital city has overstretched the FCT Police Command.

The IGP has made similar visits to Lagos, Anambra, and Plateau States recently to hold the same meeting with their commissioners.

Nigeria, Neighbours Have Increased Capacity To Deal With Boko Haram – Buhari

president buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says that with the formation of a stronger regional coalition, Nigeria and other neighbouring countries have an increased capacity to deal with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

President Buhari said this on Friday during a conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President reaffirmed his belief that the full activation and deployment of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, would lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram.

President Buhari also said that with the Command and Control Centre of the Nigerian military now in Maiduguri, Borno State, the morale of troops in the front-line states had improved significantly.

“You can tell the Secretary-General that we are doing our best and our best will be good enough for the nation and the sub-region,” President Buhari said.

Against the background of upcoming elections in Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso, the President also called on the United Nations to assist African countries in the acquisition and use of innovative technologies to ensure more credible elections.

“When citizens recognize that their votes count, it will boost their confidence in democracy and their countries’ electoral systems,” he said.

Recalling that in the last general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used smart card readers to authenticate prospective voters, President Buhari observed that while Nigeria could afford the use of such technology in its elections, other African countries may require support and assistance from the international community.

Dr Ibn Chambas commended President Buhari for his strong and positive actions against terrorism.

The United Nations envoy also welcomed President Buhari’s successful visit to Cameroon during the week and his reaffirmation of Nigeria’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of all border issues with Cameroon.

HIV Can Be Flushed Out By Cancer Drug, Researchers Say

hiv virusThere is good news from the health world where researchers say the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug.

Already, the anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream, but leaves “HIV reservoirs” untouched.

This latest study shows that the cancer drug is “highly potent” at reactivating hidden HIV.

Experts say the findings are interesting, but it is important to know if the drug is safe in patients.

A strategy known as “kick and kill” is thought to be key to curing HIV. The kick would wake up the dormant HIV, allowing the drugs to kill it.

MH370 Search: Officials Predict Debris Is Part Of Plane

mh370 Search and rescue officials involved in the MH370 search have said that they are quite optimistic that the debris found on the Indian Ocean Island of Reunion is that of the missing flight.

Martin Dolan, who heads Australia’s search efforts, also said that the operation was continuing “in the right place” in the southern part of the ocean.

The wreckage, said to be a wing part, is to be flown to France for analysis.

The Malaysia Airlines flight – a Boeing 777 travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing – vanished in March 2014.

There were 239 passengers and crew on board when the MH370 went missing.

Aviation experts who have studied photos of the debris said that it resembles a flaperon – a moving part of the wing surface – from a Boeing 777.

“There is no other recorded case of a flaperon being lost from a Boeing 777,” Mr Dolan said.

“We are confident we have the quality of the search to cover that area and find the missing aircraft,” he added.

 

 

Police Uncover Illegal Arms Factory, Arrest 33 Robbery Suspects In Kaduna

policeMen of the Kaduna State Police Command, on Friday, stormed an illegal arms manufacturing factory at Kogun village in Jemaa Local Government Area of the state.

During the raid, several guns and ammunition were recovered and two suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal business.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, while parading the suspects before newsmen at the Kaduna Police Command headquarters, said that the illegal gun manufacturers were arrested, following a tip-off from members of the public who alerted them of the nefarious activities of the suspects.

The Police Command also paraded 33 robbery suspects for car snatching, terrorism and illegal possession of fire arms at different parts of the state.

The Police Commissioner disclosed that his men had arrested an armed robbery syndicate that has been terrorising travellers at Dangwa village, and Kachia area of the state after a gun duel that lasted for several hours with his men.

According to him, four stolen vehicles, assorted charms and several dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.

It was also reported that at other operations, the other suspected robbers blocked the major highways at Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states, snatching cars and cattle at gun points, as some of the suspects confessed.

He reiterated that the command would not relent in its fight against criminals and criminality throughout the state, urging the public to cooperate with the Police by reporting criminals and their activities to the command.

Other items recovered from the suspects include; four locally made AK-47 rifles, several locally made pistols, Police coloured AK-47 magazines and over 40 live special revolver ammunition and cartridges.

Some of the suspects have denied their involvement in the crime, saying the manufacturing of the weapons were not meant for clandestine purposes.

While all the suspects remain in Police detention, the Commissioner gave the assurance that on completion of the investigation, they would be charged to court.

PDP Seeks Review Of INEC And DSS Heads’ Appointments

pdpThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the review of the appointments of the acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Mrs Amina Zakari, and that of the Director General of the Department of State Services, Mr Lawal Daura.



The acting National Chairman of the PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, told Journalists at a press conference on Wednesday that the party was uncomfortable with the treatment of its members in the hands of the DSS in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States where elections results are being contested in the tribunals.

Aside from the DSS boss, the PDP also insist that the appointment of Mrs Amina Zakari as the acting Chairman of INEC should be reviewed by the Nigerian President, Muhamadu Buhari, ahead of the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission has assured Nigerians that the scheduled governorship elections holding in Kogi and Bayelsa states would be free and fair.