FG, Bono Explore Global Partnership To Address Northeast Humanitarian Crisis

Malnutrition-in-northeast-Nigeria-UnicefThe Nigerian government says it will welcome a global partnership that would ensure a concerted and focused international response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in the northeast.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, gave the indication on Monday while receiving members of the ONE campaign led by the international Rock Star artist, Bono, and Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, who were at the Presidential Villa to discuss the possibilities of a global partnership to address the crisis through international advocacy.

“Deeply Disturbing”

Addressing members of the delegation that included former UK Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, Professor Osinbajo pointed out that partnership was important in addressing the crisis.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast, a fallout of the over six years of insurgency by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“It is very important that you chose to come and offer some partnership. This is great and we are pleased…Partnership is certainly the way to go,” the Vice President stressed.

He said no matter how prepared a country could be, handling the kind of crisis in the northeast with over two million displaced people including children, as a single country “would be irresponsible”.

“A global partnership to address the situation should be coordinated and more focussed on what is required to be done, for instance, in addressing the issue of malnourished children and not attempting to do too much things at once,” he told the gathering.

Earlier, the Irish born artist, Bono, said he had visited some of the IDPs.

“We want to be useful to you,” he said, explaining that what he saw in the region was “deeply disturbing”.

Bono also commended the social investment programmes of the Buhari administration saying: “We have heard of the incredible plans, the social investment funds,” adding also that the level of transparency already seen in the administration is both “very exciting and transforming”.

The ONE campaign is an advocacy organisation with more than seven million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases especially in Africa.

It has on its board people like Mo Ibrahim, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg among others. It was founded in 2004.

Vice President Osinbajo’s statement is coming days after the UNICEF raised fears that over 400,000 persons are severely malnourished in Nigeria’s northeast.

The UN agency had said that about 49,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mother may die in the next few months if nothing was done.

It has called for nutritious foods and community mobilisers that will go from door to door in the affected region to get the affected children to places they could be treated.

Earlier on Monday, the United Nations expert on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Chaloka Beyani, called on the Nigerian Government and the international community to take urgent humanitarian measures to save lives and ensure the protection of hundreds of thousands of IDPs in the northeast.

Army Rescues 67 Hostages From Boko Haram

Rescued-persons-from-Boko-HaramSixty-seven persons held hostage by suspected Boko Haram militants in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria, have been freed by the Nigerian Army.

The rescued persons were taken to Kukareta village in the state and they are in the custody of the village head.

One of the rescued captives, Aisha that narrated her ordeal, said they were held in the captivity of the suspected sect members for six months.

The village head of Kukareta, Mallam Lawan Babagana, told reporters that the IDPs were now getting humanitarian support from both the state and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) pending the time they would be cleared by the appropriate authorities to return home.

“They brought them in the afternoon between 4:00pm and 5:00pm local time on Thursday.

“They are here with us and we take care of them.

“I have already spoken to the director of the SEMA and they brought food stuffs – rice, mattresses cooking oil and others.

“The local government chairman also brought other food stuffs and some amount of money for them to cook with.

“They are cooking for themselves,” he said.

Giving a breakdown of the rescued persons, he said about 44 of them were children, 22 women and one old man.

Mallam Babagana also said that security personnel were also on ground to ensure their safety.

Gov. Okorocha To Build School For Adamawa IDPs

OkorochaSuccour is coming from various directions for the Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa State.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, was in Adamawa to inspect the plot of land allocated to him by the State Government to build a secondary school for the internally displaced children.

“This is a clarion call to all Nigerians now to think about the displaced persons in our society and those who are disadvantaged from going to school.

“Most great men of the world are people from poor homes and nations that have neglected their poor ones are nations not willing to grow because there are more wisdom in the families that do not have than the families that have plenty.

“Let us not forget these poor ones because we do not know who is going to find solution to HIV, the hunger in the world or who is going to redeem Africa,” he said.

While Governor Okorocha plans to build a school for the children and the less privileged in the state, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has also donated drugs to the IDPs in Yola.

The agency’s representative explained that they were aware of the possibility of health challenges setting in at the camps and felt that it was important to make such precautionary move.

Both governors of Imo and Adamawa have asked other Nigerians to assist in rebuilding the state.

According to the Internally Displaced Monitoring Centre, Nigeria has the highest number of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, totaling about 3.3 million.

Over 2.3 million have been displaced in the northeast, including over 1.4 million children.

Suspected Sect Members Kidnap 97 In Borno

Boko HaramResidents of Doron Baga village in Borno State, Nigeria’s restive north-eastern region, have said that suspected sect members have kidnapped 50 residents after a raid.

Eyewitness accounts said that 26 people were also killed during the raid.

Several witnesses who fled after the raid, said that attempts by the villagers to fend off the attack was unsuccessful, as militants clothed in military and Police uniforms had burned several houses and that 97 people were unaccounted for.

“They left no men or boys in the place; only young children, girls and women….They were shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is greatest), shooting sporadically. There was confusion everywhere.

“They started parking our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whoever disobey them. Everybody was scared,” said Halima Adamu.

In April 2013, over 2000 homes in Baga were destroyed and over 185 died, caused by fighting between the Nigerian military and the Boko Haram sect.

Baga is a town in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, close to Lake Chad, and lying northeast of the town of Kukawa.

It is located within the Kukawa Local Government Area.

The town is approximately 196km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

The “Doron Baga” fish market, as of 2000, was located about six kilometres from the town.

Baga used to lie on the border of Lake Chad and was a fishing center itself in the 1960s and 1970s, but the diminishing size of the lake has caused fishermen to move, and others have turned to subsistence farming.

At Least 10 Killed In Attacks On A Village Near Chibok

boko-haram-2At least 10 persons have been killed in attacks on a village near Chibok, in Borno State, Nigeria by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Suspected members of the sect were said to have invaded churches in Kautikari village with bombs and guns while the victims were holding services.

Desperate residents were said to have sent out text message, calling for help from security operatives and the government.

Members of the Boko Haram have carried out series of attacks on churches, schools and villages in the north east.

Sunday’s attack is coming after another deadly attack in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State northwest Nigeria, leaving at least 25 people dead.

The gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen are reported to have struck the two communities in the area in the late hours of Saturday.

Chairman of the local government, Emmanuel Adamu, confirmed the killings to Channels Television. He said the gunmen came in through the thick forest between Sanga and Plateau State.

He appealed to the government to carry out an air survelience in the area to fish out the terrorist.

Chibok town had become popular after over 200 secondary school girls were abducted form their dormitory by Boko Haram members on April 14.

The girls are still in their custody, but the government has continued to assure Nigeria’s that the girls would be rescued.

Nyanya Bombing: Ekweremadu Calls for Multi-Level Policing

EkweremaduThe Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says the immediate review of the nation’s policing system has become imperative to tame the menace of insecurity in the country.

He made the call at the weekend in a chat with newsmen when he visited the National Hospital, Abuja to condole with hospitalized victims of the Nyanya, Abuja bomb incident.

Senator Ekweremadu, who was accompanied by his wife, Nwanneka Ekwereamdu, rued the rising disregard for human life and insisted that only a multilevel policing could secure the country adequately.

He said: “I was out of the country for an official visit at the time of the incident and I feel completely dehumanized that a country that values human life more than anything else is going through this kind of bestiality; so, it is completely unacceptable and we must come together as a nation and borrow from our past and relevant examples in the world to fight this evil and put it behind us.

“We are the only country that runs a federal system and run the type of police we have now. The type of police system we are running is not suited for a federal system of government. We are about 170 million people; we cannot have 320 thousand policemen to deal with it and I don’t believe that the Federal Government can ever produce the number of police that will be enough for this country.

“So, it is important that we review our policies and our laws in respect of this and see how we can incorporate other levels of government in security matters in this country so that at least in every vicinity, in every local area, we have sufficient of policemen around there who would not only police the place but also report to higher authorities on what is happening there.”

“If you have malaria, so long as you keep taking Panadol, you will never be well; it’s not going to work, because you need malaria drugs in order to deal with malaria; that is the problem we have here”, he stressed.

Senator Ekweremadu gave assurance that the National Assembly would continue to live up to its responsibilities in repositioning the security sector, emphasising that the nation’s security sector needed all the encouragement and support to give the nation their best.

“Our responsibility in this regard as lawmakers is essentially budgetary and we have appropriated nearly one trillion (Naira) in the budget to deal with security challenges; this year we made a specific provision for Police to hire more hands”, he explained.

The Deputy President of the Senate commended the National Hospital for the professionalism and patriotism with which they handled the victims. He gave personal financial support to the hospitalized and thanked God for their survival, while also wishing them quick recovery.

FCT Minister Orders Reconstruction Of Nyanya Park

Bala MohammedLess than a week after the bomb explosion at the Nyanya mass transit bus park that killed several people, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, has ordered a reconstruction of the destroyed facility.

To this end the Minister has constituted a special committee to reconstruct, upgrade, or relocate the park to enhance security and free flow of traffic in the area.

The committee which was constituted during an emergency security meeting to review security situation in the FCT has been directed to commence work immediately despite the public holidays.

Mr Mohammed has also directed the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company to deploy more mass transit luxury buses to the routes to fill the gap created by the buses damaged by the bomb blast.

Those present at the emergency meeting were the FCT Minister of State, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary of FCT, Mr. John Chukwu; Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Mohammed Yau Gital; FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu; the Director of State Security Services in FCT, Mr. John Okojie and chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT.

Others were the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Reuben Okoya, the Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Aminu Kofarsoro; and the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge.

The Minister called for support for government from all quarters to ensure the return of normalcy to Nyanya.

Police Confirm 71 People Dead, 124 Injured

Abuja bombThe Police have confirmed that at least 71 people have been killed, and 124 injured in the blast that rocked the highly populated motor park in Nyanya, about 16km drive from the Abuja city centre.

The explosion, according to the Police spokesman, Frank Mba, destroyed 16 luxury buses and 24 minibuses.

Eye witnesses said that the explosive device was planted in a Volkswagen Sharan car marked XQ 229 LSD and exploded 20 minutes after the car was parked by an unidentified person

The incident is said to have occurred at about 6.45 am during the rush hour.

NSCDC officials, fire service, NEMA, the DSS and Police were on ground battling to contain the situation.

At the Nyanya General Hospital, family members and residents gathered to sympathize with the injured and identify the bodies of their relations.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Frank Idiegwu, said that over 75 people were brought to the hospital for treatment.

Many Nigerians have described the bomb attack as a dastardly act. They called on security agencies to step up their intelligence gathering to prevent further attacks of this nature across the country

Bomb Blast Rocks Crowded Nyanya Park In Abuja

Nyanya Park AbujaAn explosion has rocked the Nyanya Park in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Eye witness accounts say casualties are high but can’t confirm the exact figures.

The incident is said to have occurred at about 6.45 am during the rush hour.

NSCDC officials, Fire Service, NEMA, the DSS and Police have been on ground battling to contain the situation.

One of the victims at Nyanya Park, Kunle Bamidele, told Channels Television that he was on a queue to get on a bus when he and other passengers heard a loud blast and scampered to safety.

Channels Television also spoke to the Head of Anti-Terror Unit of the NSCDC,  whose men have been at the scene to control the situation.

“Yes the situation is exactly what you are seeing on ground, there has been an explosion of high magnitude and several lives have been lost, even as you are looking on the ground you’ll see patches of human flesh.

“We are here as first responder to try to mitigate the situation on the humanitarian intervention… It is a suspicion that it was a bomb placed on the ground, so we have asked the office to send in more people so that we can take care of this crowd control in case of the unfortunate again.”

On the casualty level, he said, “Honestly nobody can do that now but as I’m telling you we have had over 7 to 8 vehicles from Civil Defence,  from NEMA and other agencies who have done evacuations.”

The NEMA Director of Search and Rescues, who spoke off camera said that at least 30 vehicles have been destroyed.


Security Operatives And Emergency Officials Strive To Contain Incident

Nyanya Park AbujaAn explosion has rocked the Nyanya Park in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Eye witness accounts say casualties are high but can’t confirm the exact figures.

The incident is said to have occurred at about 6.45 am during the rush hour.

NSCDC officials, Fire Service, NEMA, the DSS and Police have been on ground battling to contain the situation.

One of the victims at Nyanya Park, Kunle Bamidele, told Channels Television that he was on a queue to get on a bus when he and other passengers heard a loud blast and scampered to safety.

More details here…

Lawyers Debate Whether Nigerian Insecurity Is Due To Leadership Failure

Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigeria was currently facing its worst security challenges in recent times. This crisis is in various forms; communal, religious, political and socio-economic with varying degree of casualty, mostly innocent citizens of this country.

On 14 May, President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern Nigerian states, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and ordered the immediate deployment of more troops to those volatile states in response to a surge of violence the president says poses a “very serious threat” to Nigeria’s territorial integrity.

In this week’s episode of faceoff, two lawyers, Hannibal Uwaifo and Joe Onyenweuzo debates whether increasing insecurity in Nigeria is a result of leadership or citizen’s failure.

Damaturu remains calm after morning explosion

Normalcy have been restored in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital after an early morning bomb attacks targeting police officers who were on their way to the command headquarters for the day’s routine work.

As at the time of filing in this report, Damaturu is calm but most residents are in their respective houses for fear of being involved in the sporadic gun shots going on around town.

The State commissioner of Police, Patrick Egbuniwe told Channels Television’s correspondent, Jonathan Gopep in Damaturu that a time bomb was planted on the road leading to the command headquarters but the driver conveying the officers and men was able to dictate and avoid the bomb which exploded shortly.

He said normalcy has been restored as the road is currently being used by people travelling to the northern part of the state.

The current attack is coming just four days after the state governor,Ibrahim Gaidam in a special broadcast appealed to residents to embrace peace and to accord the security agents the desired support in quest for peace.

The latest attack will also slow resumption of commercial activities in Damaturu after the secretary to the state government, Babagoni, Machina had a close door session with Bank operators, security agents among other stakeholders to commence full operation as adequate security is being provided across the state.

Channels Television reported that the latest attack will also undermine the call on civil servants to shun any security threats to resume work which has been paralysed for couple of months since the insurgents began in the state.

Residents of Damaturu had flee the town days to the Salah celebration in fear of attack by the insurgents who were rumoured to be nursing more attacks during the celebration.