Northern Governors Urge FG To Restore Civil Authority In North East

Northern GovernorsNorthern Governors in Nigeria have commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the military for the effort they have put in bringing the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east to an end.

At the meeting of the Northern State Governors Forum in Kaduna on Friday, the governors, while expressing satisfaction with the ongoing war against the terrorists, appealed to President Buhari to restore civil authority to the affected areas in order to ensure the safe return of Internally Distanced Persons to their communities.

They expressed concern over the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in North West and North Central states that have left several people dead and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, who briefed reporters at the commencement of the meeting, stressed the need for an effective collaboration with security agencies in order to address the situation and other security challenges confronting the region over the years.

He also appealed to members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as Shiites to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the December 12, 2015 violent clash between them and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.

According to him, by appearing before the commission, the Shiites will have the opportunity of stating their side of what happened during the incident.

The governors commended the Federal Government for its intervention in the Agatu crisis in Benue State by deploying security forces to the affected areas.

During the meeting, the governors will also discuss the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east, the socio- economic challenges confronting the region and how they can addressed them.

In attendance at the meeting were governors of Kaduna, Borno, Zamfara, Kwara, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Adamawa among others.

Northeast Senators Ask For De-Radicalization Of Youths

Northeast Senators from the northeast region of Nigeria are asking security agents battling insurgency in the region to also embark on de-radicalization programmes to sustain the gains already made in the counter terrorism efforts.

Senator Abubakar Kyari from Borno State made the call at a security meeting with the Inspector General of Police and the British High Commission in Abuja.

According to him, de-radicalization programmes targeted at changing the mindset of youths in the region is a sure way to defeat Boko Haram and ensure lasting peace in the area.

The meeting between the Police and lawmakers was targeted at finding solutions to acts of terrorism in the northeast and embark on reconstruction and reintegration.

A delegation of the British High Commission to Nigeria, led by Gary White, also urged security agencies in the region to work at building trust with the communities.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, agreed with the need to change the mindset of the youths in the northeast region and thanked the lawmakers for their support.

He, however, said that he would not deploy his men until their security is guaranteed, stating that the lives of the policemen should be more valued.

Thousands have been displaced from their homes as terrorism in the north east has made the region unsafe for many.


Community Policing Can Help Reduce Insurgency – IGP

Community Policing The Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase has again advised Nigerians to embrace the concept of community policing as a way of reducing insurgency and other criminal acts being perpetrated by some persons.

He was addressing participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, as part of their lecture series.

The IGP, in his presentation, advocated community policing saying the Police cannot be everywhere.

Mr Arase said that the engagement of non-state actors such as traditional rulers, officials of road transport workers and community leaders would help in the fight against insurgency.

He recommended the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve conflicts before they degenerate into crisis.

Although the Police boss lamented the inadequate funding of the force and other challenges, he assured Nigerians and other residents that the Nigerian Police is becoming more responsive and accountable to the people.

With intelligence-led and technology-based policing methods, Mr Arase expressed optimism that reclaimed territories in the northeast can be secured and Nigerians can go to bed with both eyes closed.

IDPs Prepare To Leave Camps For Home

IDPsMore than 100,000 people uprooted by violence and living in camps in northeast Nigeria are set to return home soon, but many fear for their safety and ability to rebuild their lives, aid agency staff said on Thursday.

The Nigerian government plans to close in the coming months camps housing 150,000 displaced people in Borno and Adamawa states as security improves in the north, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The army has this year recaptured much of the territory seized by Boko Haram in its six-year campaign to carve out an Islamic state in the northeast, but the militants have since struck back with a surge of deadly raids and suicide bombings.

Most people living in camps want to return home but are worried about the threat of attacks and lack confidence in the military’s ability to protect them, Reuters quoted Stéphanie Daviot of the International Organisation for Migration as saying.

“They also say that the economic situation is not stable enough to go back, as shops and services have not been reopened, there is little work and their land has not been preserved… many people do not have the money to restart their lives.”

Many of those who have already gone home have found their houses and land destroyed or occupied by others, Daviot added.

“Those who return are not always welcomed back, some may be considered cowards by those who stayed and tensions can arise.”

The humanitarian response has so far focused on providing short-term aid, but greater assistance must soon follow to help the displaced move home and rebuild their lives, OCHA said.

The humanitarian community will only support reintegration efforts, including providing cash payments and household supplies, if going home is voluntary and conditions are good enough, Daviot of the IOM said.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed thousands of people and displaced 2.2 million – more than 90 per cent of whom are living with host families in local communities rather than in camps.

“No one wants to live in a camp, it is a last resort for those with no other options,” OCHA head of office in Nigeria, Kasper Engborg, said. “For those in camps, going home is the most pressing issue… despite the lingering fear and uncertainty.”

Hundreds of schools in the northeast have recently reopened after being closed for a year and a half, though many teachers and pupils are reluctant to return because of persistent violence in the region, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Insurgency Victims Get Managerial Skill Training

IDPsThe process of reintegrating insurgency victims in the north-east region of Nigeria has commenced with 250 beneficiaries attending a training programme that impacts managerial skill, conflict prevention methods and other skills towards rebuilding the communities.

Beneficiaries of the UNDP-led Livelihood Support Programme were enjoined to live peacefully in their communities and make the best use of the training opportunity by improving in their standard of living.

With experience from the operations of the insurgents leading to loss of lives and destruction of property, particularly in the north-east, there is need for rehabilitation of victims to return to their normal living.

Beneficiaries were exposed to different trainings ranging from management skills which include book-keeping and accounting, psycho-social and trauma counselling and physical training which will assist in effective management of their business.

As these beneficiaries return to their various communities to put into practice all that they have acquired at the training centre coupled with the empowerment programme; it is expected that the scheme will rekindle the hope and spirit as well as determination to overcome the various challenges confronting the victims.

Pastor Folorunsho Commends Edo Governor For Assisting IDPs

IDPsThe Pastor of International Christian Centre, Benin-City, Solomon Folorunsho, has commended the Edo State Governor for coming to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state with with food items.

Pastor Folorunsho said Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s visit to the camp on Tuesday cleared the speculations that there was a mandate issued, asking the IDP’s to leave the camp.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Pastor Folorunsho explained that after the visit of some politicians they were given an instruction that the IDPs should leave the camp, an order he said was “from above”.

“On the faithful morning the children woke up to cook their favourite traditional food when about 75 armed security personnel said that an instruction was given as an order from above to evacuate the camp, which brought lots of sadness to the children causing about 12 children to fight.”

Pastor Folorunsho said that the order was not given by the governor of the state, but stressed that he was yet to know where the order was from.

He explained that the camp had been in existence since 1992 but started helping people from the Northeast in 2013.

According to him, the camp had trained graduates and workers and called on Nigerians to come to the help of the IDPs and also appealed to those behind the mandate for the IDPs to evacuate the camp to allow them enjoy the refugee they have found.


Deliver Change Before Dreaming of 2019, Saraki Advises Politicians

SarakiNigerian politicians have been advised to concentrate on ensuring that Nigerians get the change they voted for, instead of making plans for the 2019 elections.

One of the senators vying for the position of Senate President in the 8th National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, speaking in Abuja said such politicians are not aware that the country’s political landscape has changed.

He said this when responding to an inquiry concerning his reported interest in contesting for the Office of President in 2019.

He said there is no guarantee that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will even be in position to enjoy the support of Nigerians if it does not meet the expectations of Nigerians.

Different groups have continued to drum support for the candidacy of Senator Bukola Saraki for the Senate President.

Senate Presidency: Group Drums Support For Saraki

senateMembers of the Buhari Support Group have continued to drum support for the candidacy of Senator Bukola Saraki for the Senate President.

During a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, the Group insisted that the north-central zone needed to be compensated for the role it played during the general elections.

They also maintained that their candidate had the antecedent that the hallow chamber could entrust its leadership with.

Earlier in May, the north-east caucus in the Senate had declared that it would resist any plan to impose any candidate for Senate Presidency on the group.

Senator Danjuma Goje, who led of the group, asked Nigerians to disregard any purported endorsement of any Senator from the north-east for the office of the Senate President.

Scores Feared Dead As Bomb Hits Bank In Bauchi

bombA bomb explosion on Friday rocked Azare town of Bauchi State, killing scores of bank customers withdrawing money from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) of the First Bank Nigeria PLC, witnesses said.

Witnesses said that the blast occurred around 10:30AM killing scores of customers and passers-by and injuring many in the process.

Residents also said that the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) was sneaked into the bank premises and kept close to the major ATM machine aimed at blowing off customers at the ever crowded location.

A medical officer working with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Azare, who pleaded anonymity, told Channels Television correspondent that 18 bodies were brought to the mortuary while the 35 capacity female ward of the hospital was allocated to those brought with various degrees of injuries.

Azare town have had its fair share of terrorists attack since the commencement of the Boko Haram insurgency as last three weeks, an explosion at the Yankari Motor Park of the town went-off killing 13 people while over 20 others sustained injuries.

In 2012, several commercial banks in the town were robbed and destroyed by insurgents in an overnight attack which also claimed many lives.

Azare, located in the north of Bauchi the state capital is 200km away and is the second largest town of the state after Bauchi the state capital.


Group Urges Military To Storm North East With ‘Full Blast’

The National Secretary General of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Ahmed Sulaiman, on Thursday urged the Nigerian Military to increase its presence in the North East, where there have been several deadly attacks on citizens, by members of the Boko Haram sect.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Sulaiman who said that more military presence was needed in the NorthEast, added that the current situation required that the Nigerian military comes out in full blast to fight the insurgents.

He said that fighting the Boko Haram insurgency is a “daunting task” as it is very difficult to track down “an enemy, who has the whole place, picks and choose how he comes after you.”

“It has always been the same pockets of operators. They sneak around you and they hit you when you don’t expect. Today they hit in Yobe, tomorrow, they hit in Adamawa. The next day they will hit somewhere else. So, they keep you chasing ghosts.

“You need more military presence. I think, at this point in time, they need to really come out full blast.”

He advised that adequate efforts be made at sensitizing the communities on their activities.

He referred to the Holocaust in Germany and how Jews were being combed out through a door-to-door search. “The military and other security agents of Hitler were around in the whole of Germany. They were combing about 1 million Jews and they managed to get hold of a lot of Jews.”

He also decried the perception by some Nigerians who treat issues in different regions as the problem of those there.

He raised the issue of inadequate intelligence and data on the part of Government. “We have a community where the President or any other government institution does not have the statistics of how many citizens in figures.”

Sulaiman further attributed the crisis in the nation to ethnic bias which makes citizens identify themselves, first by their ethnicity, before their nationality.

Speaking on the National Conference, he argued that the “constitution of this country, whether anybody likes it or not, has to be revisited.”

He added, “A new constitution has to be in the making. The longer we take, the longer and the harder the problems become.”

Business resumes after Hurricane Sandy hits U.S Northeast

Millions across the U.S. Northeast stricken by massive storm Sandy will attempt to resume their normal lives on Wednesday as companies, markets and airports reopen despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages around New York for several more days.

With six days to go before the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama will visit flood-ravaged areas of the New Jersey shore, where the storm of historic proportions made landfall on Monday. As his guide, he will have Republican Governor Chris Christie, a vocal backer of presidential challenger Mitt Romney who has nevertheless praised Obama and the federal response to the storm.

Leaders at all levels had immense amounts of work to do to bring a semblance of normality back to the densely populated Eastern Seaboard.

Sandy, which killed 40 people in the United States, pushed inland by dumping several feet of snow in the Appalachian Mountains, more than 8.2 million homes and businesses remained without electricity across several states as trees toppled by fierce winds tore down power lines.

Subway tracks and commuter tunnels under New York City, which carry several million people a day, were under several feet of water. The lower half of Manhattan remained without power after a transformer explosion at a Con Edison substation Monday night.

Hit with a record storm surge of nearly 14 feet of water, New York City likely will struggle without subways for days, authorities said. Buses were operating on a limited basis and many residents were walking long distances or scrambling to grab scarce taxi cabs on the streets.

Assessing the damage, officials with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said they would release a timetable of their recovery plans sometime on Wednesday.

Despite much of the city’s financial district being damaged by flooding, officials planned to reopen financial markets on Wednesday as well. How much activity could take place remained to be seen, however, as many workers may be unlikely to get to work without subways and commuter railroads from the suburbs.