Action Against Hunger Calls On Authorities To Allow Continuation Of Humanitarian Work

File Photo: IDPs in the northeast.

 

Global humanitarian aid provider, Action Against Hunger has called on relevant authorities to allow them to continue their humanitarian work in the northeast.

The Nigerian Army had accused the group of aiding and abetting terrorists despite several warnings to desist from the act.

In a statement issued by the Deputy Director Army Public relations of Operation Lafia Dole, Col. Ado Isa, the Force claimed that the command had obtained several credible intelligence, indicting the group as one of those NGOs operating in the northeast, notorious for supplying food and drugs to criminals in the area.

Consequently, the army declared the group a persona non grata.

In response, the AAH said it did not receive prior notice or explanation for the action and therefore, it had to halt the assistance it provides to millions of people in Maiduguri, Monguno and Damasak with immediate effect.

It, however, maintained that it delivers neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid to millions of people in Borno State by providing basic services to the most vulnerable people, especially women and children.

Read Also: Army Accuses Action Against Hunger Of Aiding, Abetting Terrorists

On July 25, a video surfaced on the social media showing four aid workers with Action Against Hunger who said they had been kidnapped by ISWAP terrorists since July 18.

One of the victims who identified herself as Grace pleaded with the government and the Christian Association of Nigeria to come to their aid and secure their release from their captors.

Since then, nothing has been heard about the whereabouts of the said aid workers, neither has anyone confirmed their release or spoken about any form of negotiation.

Nigerian Army Trains 259 Officers On Counter-Terrorism Operations

 

The Nigerian Army has trained a fresh set of 259 officers on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the northeast and other troubled parts of the country.

During the six-month training, they were exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting, unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, identification of Improvised Explosive Devices among other things.

At their passing out ceremony at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said the new officers are joining the force at a critical time when the military is doing everything possible to tackle the security challenges in the country.

He, therefore, stated that much is expected from them in terms of keeping the country together and tackling the rising security challenges especially by Boko Haram insurgents, among others.

Saraki Asks Northern Leaders To Help FG End Killings

 

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has challenged northern leaders to support the Federal Government in finding lasting solutions to the incessant killings in the region.

Senator Saraki made the call on Wednesday while addressing a delegation of the Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly who visited him at the National Assembly.

He explained that peace and unity are essential to achieving the overall development of the country, and wants political leaders to consider dialogue as an option to solving the country’s security challenges.

“It is clear that this country now needs us to really address some of these issues. There’s no society that can be waking up every day with the kind of killings that we are seeing going on. There must be something wrong somewhere, that we must have to address.

“There must be things that we must also do to bring co-existence and to bring unity,” he stressed.

The chairman of the group and leader of the delegation, Tanko Yakasai, however, noted that the northern leaders are working to formulate methods of preventing and resolving conflicts in the region.

He said: “The main objective of the organisation is to promote the well-being of our people and together with other patriotic Nigerians to evolve a national blueprint that will address various problems confronting our nation.”

He also noted that “members of this organisation like other Nigerians are free to hold different opinions or make their preferred choices without hindrance from the Assembly.

“Although the Assembly is politically initiated, it has decided to be non-partisan. The Assembly is not a prelude to the formation of a political party,” he stated.

Ondo CAN Protest Christians Abduction, Killings In Northeast

Christians in Ondo State under on Sunday trooped to the streets of Akure, the state capital in protest.

The members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said they are protesting the killing and kidnapping of Christians in some states in the northern region of the country.

Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the protesters trekked from the city centre to the Government House.

READ ALSO: ‘These Killings Must Stop!’ Osun CAN Protest Killings, Attacks In Northeast, Benue

They sang solidarity songs and lamented over alleged murder of Christians in the northern part of the country by suspected herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists.

The group called on the Federal Government to shift its focus from the 2019 elections and address the incessant killing of Christians in Benue State and some other states in the north region of the country.

W.H.O Commends FG Over Emergency Responses In Northeast

The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has expressed satisfaction over the Federal Government’s health emergency responses in the northeast, describing the conditions in the region as that which has transited from emergency to a development phase.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, after her visit to Borno State, the W.H.O regional director for Africa, Mrs Matshidiso Moeti, urged the government to leverage on the progress made and mobilize development partners to rebuild the health system in the northeast.

She, however, advised the Federal Government to step up its responses to malarial as it remains a major killer disease in Nigeria.

VSF Commences Reconstruction Of Infrastructure Destroyed By Insurgents

As peace returns to Yobe State, northeast Nigeria, the Victims Support Fund (VSF) has begun reconstructing public infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.

At the flagging off ceremony in Buniyadi, the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe state, the Executive Secretary of VSF, Professor Sunday Ochoche said the project will gulp a total of 170 million Naira.

According to him, when completed it would speed up resettlement of the displaced persons in the affected areas.

Boko Haram Ambush: One Dead, Others Hospitalized In Yobe

One person has been reported dead while seven others are said to be receiving treatment after suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorists group ambushed a vigilante group in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria.

Witnesses told Channels Television that the vigilante group were on their way to conduct a ‘search operation’ in Wulle Village of Gujba Local Government Area of the state, when an Explosive Device allegedly planted by the insurgents went off, killing the driver of the Hilux vehicle conveying the group.

One of the vigilante members involved in the attack, Mr Baitu narrating the incident said: “We got a tip off that the terrorists group had a day earlier, snatched a vehicle in Wulle village, after which we then mobilized to carry out a search operation in the town.

“We were approaching a bridge very close to Wulle when an explosive buried by the insurgents went off and halted us from reaching the terrorists hideouts.”

Baitu, who is among the other six receiving treatment at the Damaturu Specialist hospital, confirmed that the driver died on the spot.

The Commander of the vigilante group, Mallam Awana, speaking to Channels Television, however noted that the incident would not frighten them from carrying out their onslaught on the terrorist group, rather it would serve as an encouragement to do more.

“We are sad with the regrettable happening but it will not deter us from fighting the insurgents. I can assure you that we have just started and we will continue to lookout for these criminals and we must ensure we wipe them off completely to restore normalcy in our localities.

“Our law abiding citizens must return to their ancestral homes to continue with their legitimate means of livelihood,” Awana assured.

Wulle village is located about 10 kilometers east of Buniyadi, the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area south of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

Buniyadi was captured by the Boko Haram insurgents in 2013 but was reclaimed by security forces in 2016 which led to the return of the Displaced persons to the area.

Boko Haram Will No Longer Occupy Any Part Of Nigeria – Buhari

Buhari Orders Payment Of London-Paris Club Refunds To StatesNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has vowed that never again will the Boko Haram terrorists occupy any part of the Nigerian territory.

The President said this at the 2017 Small Arms Championship which held at the Sambisa forest, the former stronghold of the Boko Haram militants in northern Borno state.

The President who was represented at the event by the Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali, said that training in Sambisa forest, otherwise known as Camp Zero, was a showcase of the defeat and degradation of the insurgent group.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, noted that the friendly contest was last conducted seven years ago.

According to him, organising the exercise after the long break was part of efforts to restore professionalism and competency in the Nigerian Army.

Meanwhile, the government has also admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, is not dead but alive and hiding somewhere in the Sambisa forest.

Mr Dan-Ali, however said the military has taken over the forest and will soon capture the leader of the sect.

Goodluck Jonathan Faults Report On Rescue Of Chibok Girls

Goodluck Jonathan Faults Report On Rescue Of Chibok GirlsFormer Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has denied reports that he turned down the offer of the British armed forces to help rescue the missing Chibok school girls.

The former president in a statement insisted that he did not reject the offer to rescue the girls, saying he gave the international community free latitude to conduct their operation.

“We wish to promptly point out that nothing can be farther from the truth, as Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the former President Jonathan’s administration, towards rescuing the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community, in the bid”.

He went on to say that the lies in the report are self-evident because the international press and the Nigerian media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration made by the Nigerian government and international community.

The 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state, Nigeria’s northeast on April 14, 2014.

Ndume Calls For Increase In Northeast Allocations

Ali Ndume, Northeast, Budget AllocationFormer Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, says more needs to be done to improve the humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s Northeast.

Speaking to journalists at the National Assembly in Abuja, Senator Ndume called for increase in the budget allocated to the region.

“In the budget proposal under consideration by the National Assembly (that is this year), only 45 billion Naira is allocated for the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI).

“This is grossly inadequate to address the emergency humanitarian crisis we are faced with.

“We have made a case to the National Assembly; the PCNI has written to the Speaker, there’s a favourable response.

“I have personally raised the issue with the Senate President and there is a favourable response to increase the budgetary allocation for the humanitarian crisis in the northeast from 45 billion Nara to a reasonable amount,” he said.

The lawmaker said over 2.5 million children are malnourished in the region, not to mention other alarming situations while highlighting the need for decisive intervention in the region.

He also urged the Federal and State governments to work together to ensure efficiency in managing the crisis in the northeast.

Governor Shettima Commends NASS Efforts On NEDC Creation

Kashim Shettima, NEDC, NASS, North East, NortheastThe Governor of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima, has commended lawmakers at the National Assembly for their efforts towards the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Governor Shettima gave the praise on Wednesday while he led a delegation from Nigeria’s northeast to the National Assembly in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said he was optimistic that the commission would address the challenges confronting the region, as a result of the insurgency.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, had said the lawmakers were looking to fast track the passage of the bill to set up the NEDC.

The lawmakers, however believe an institutional framework was required to facilitate the coordination of all the support provided towards the reconstruction and development of the region.

Mr Dogara said the House recognised the need for a legal framework that would address the overall development challenges of the northeast.

He pointed out that the existing legal frameworks on refugees, emergency management and boundary disputes resolution had so far not addressed the plight of the people in the region.

Seven Parties To Participate In Yobe LG Election – IPAC

IPAC, Yobe LG ElectionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State says seven political parties will participate in the Local Government (LG) election slated for February 11, 2017.

The State Chairman of IPAC, Mr Umar Kukuri, made the disclosure during an interview with reporters in Damaturu, Yobe State’s capital, in northeast Nigeria.

Mr Kukuri said: “The seven political parties have already conducted their various primary elections in which their respective candidates have emerged, submitted to the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and screened by the electoral commission”.

The seven parties are PDC, SDP, CPP, ACD, APC, NCP and MPPP.

The IPAC Chairman hinted that campaigns had commenced across the state with political parties canvasing for support ahead of the poll.

He asked SIEC to ensure a free and fair election that would be accepted by all the political parties and observers nationally.

Kukuri also appealed to the political parties to conduct themselves according to the rules of the game and avoid issues that could breach peace in the state before, during and after the election.

He praised security operatives in the state for ensuring peace in the previous elections and urged them to maintain the same tempo during the imminent poll.

Hitch Free Election

The chairman further commended the Yobe State government for conducting the election despite the security threat poised by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“The council wishes to appreciate the Yobe State government for promoting democracy throughout the conduct of the local government election.

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“It is noteworthy that the Yobe State government had consistently conducted LG elections in spite of security challenges faced by the state. While states without such challenges failed to conduct LG elections, the council elections are being conducted in Yobe.

“As democrats and proud citizens of the state, it is to the credit of the state government that the council elections of 2015 encouraged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the 2015 general elections in the northeast region that was bedevilled by serious security challenges,” he said.

Mr Kukuri assured the people of the state that IPAC would work with all the participating political parties to ensure a hitch-free election.

The last time Yobe State held an LG election was in 2014 at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.