MSF Raises Alarm Over 40,000 Refugees Returning To Rann From Cameroon

MSF Raises Alarm Over 40,000 Refugees Returning To Rann From Cameroon
A file photo of a community in Rann after a bomb explosion.

 

About 40,000 residents of Rann who fled their homes in Borno State, following a recent attack by insurgents have been asked to leave their refugee camps in Goura, Cameroon.

This is according to the international humanitarian body, Médecins Sans Frontières, (MSF) which said that the affected people have started to make their way out of Cameroon.

Thousands of people fled Rann in Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno State following the violent attack on the town on January 14, 2019.

They arrived in Bodo, Cameroon on foot, some seven kilometres across the border from Rann after crossing River El Eid Ebeji.

Since then, the refugees have been staying in a large camp in Goura, most of them sleeping in the open, even though it is sandstorm season and the temperature drops sharply at night.

The MSF Emergency Coordinator in Goura, Stéphanie Remion, has raised concern over their safety and welfare in the face of the new development.

“Today we are seeing people packing up their belongings and leaving for Rann after being told by Cameroonian and Nigerian authorities to leave.

“We are extremely concerned over what will happen to them once they go back to Rann as the security situation there is very uncertain and there is no humanitarian assistance available,” she said in a statement by the MSF Field Communication Officer in Borno State, AbdulKareem Yakubu.

According to the MSF, many of the people did not want to return because of fear, following the several attacks that had been launched on the community by the terrorists.

Of particular concern to the MSF is the health implication of the people returning to Rann, where they might not get adequate medical help.

“We know there were suspected cases of measles in Goura and if this spreads in Rann where there is no medical care available, it will be a disaster. We call on the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria to protect these vulnerable people and ensure they can seek safety where they choose and where they have access to essential means such as shelter, food, and medical care,” the MSF added.

The MSF whose warehouse, office, and clinic were looted and burnt down in Rann, had set up a clinic in the camp, providing more than 400 consultations.

Thirty-five per cent of these were for infectious respiratory diseases, followed by diarrhoea and conjunctivitis, all of which are related to the refugees’ poor living conditions, according to MSF officials.

According to the state governor, Kashim Shettima, vehicles were sent on to convey the refugees to the closest Nigerian town, Ngala, to enable them cast their votes on Saturday before returning to Goura.

Boko Haram Kills 60 In Attack On Rann – Amnesty International

Boko Haram Kills 60 In ‘Deadliest Attack’ On Rann – Amnesty International
A file photo of a community in Rann after a bomb explosion.

 

Amnesty International has said at least 60 people were killed following the devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno State on Monday.

In a statement on Friday, the organisation also analysed satellite imagery which showed hundreds of burned structures in the town.

According to it, many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who came to Rann seeking protection.

“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“Using satellite imagery, we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed.”

READ ALSOArmy Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Rann

Ojigho added, “This attack on civilians who have already been displaced by the bloody conflict may amount to possible war crime, and those responsible must be brought to justice.

“Disturbingly, witnesses told us that Nigerian soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the attack, demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army confirmed that the town was attacked, although it did not state the number of casualties.

It said troops “repelled” the attack while calm has been restored in the town.

Inadequate Security?

Amnesty International disclosed further that alleged withdrawal of troops triggered a massive exodus of civilians to Cameroon, as fear spread that Boko Haram would take advantage and attack the town.

It said a group of Boko Haram fighters arrived on motorcycles at around 9am on 28 January and set houses ablaze while those left behind were killed.

The group said the terrorists also chased after those who attempted to escape and killed some people outside the town, noting that 11 bodies were found within Rann while 49 others were found outside.

According to the statement, it was informed that about 50 people have not been accounted for and those who took part in the burial explained what they saw.

“Ten of us [Civilian Joint Task Force] came from Cameroon to Rann for the burial,” an eyewitness was quoted as saying. “When we arrived, we found and buried 11 corpses within the town, but the soldiers told us that they buried several others yesterday [30 January] who had decayed.”

“Outside the town, we recovered and buried 49 dead bodies all with gunshot wounds,” the witness added

Aid agencies, according to Amnesty International, reported that some 30,000 civilians have fled for the border with Cameroon in recent days, joining a further 9,000 who fled previous Boko Haram attack on Rann on 14 January.

Satellite Evidence

Amnesty International analysed satellite images from Wednesday, showing hundreds of structures burned in the east, south and southeast of Rann.

According to it, environmental sensors detected fires in the area on Monday and Tuesday.

In the 14 January attack, Boko Haram burned well over 100 structures in other areas of Rann, the grouped revealed, stressing that the two recent attacks have left most of the town heavily damaged or destroyed.

Amnesty International, therefore, called on the Nigerian authorities to investigate the alleged withdrawal of security forces of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann, which it said may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to the latest deadly attack.

“Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities’ failure to protect people all the more unacceptable,” said Ojigho.

She added, “The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require.

“The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily.”

Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Rann

Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Rann

 

The Nigerian Army has confirmed the recent attack on Rann, a town in Borno State in North-east Nigeria.

A senior Army officer confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Friday, although he did not state if there were casualties.

Rann is the headquarters of Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno, about 171 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.

Earlier, Amnesty International said at least 60 people were killed when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Rann on Monday.

Trouble started when the partner countries of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) unceremoniously withdrew from their position in the town, although no reason was given for their action.

READ ALSOBoko Haram Kills 60 In Attack On Rann – Amnesty International

The movement of the soldiers with their equipment caused panic among the civilians, mostly who were Internally Displaced People (IDP), leading to a mass exit to neighbouring Cameroon Republic.

There were rumours of an impending attack by the insurgents who had reportedly sent word about their coming.

Speaking about the incident, the Army officer told Channels Television that the attack did occur, but the troops have since restored calm in the area.

According to him, the troops repelled the attack with the support of soldiers attached to the MNJTF Cameroon Defence Force.

The Army officer said as things were being stabilised, the MNJTF withdrew while Nigerians troops were holding on firmly on the ground and civilians who left were already returning.

Reacting to the attack, Amnesty International said it analysed satellite imagery which showed hundreds of burned structures in the town.

According to it, many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for IDPs who came to Rann seeking protection.

“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people,” Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday.

“Using satellite imagery, we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed.”

The organisation, therefore, called on the Federal Government to investigate the withdrawal of security forces of the MNJTF from Rann, a development it said may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to the attack.

IDPs Panic, Flee As MNJTF Withdraws From Rann

Source: A Displaced Survivor from Rann

 

Panicking internally displaced persons (IDPs) are fleeing Rann after partner countries of the Multinational Joint Task Force withdrew from the Borno community, leaving only the Nigerian Army in charge of their security.

The Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, told journalists after a meeting with the state Governor, Kashim Shettima on Monday that the news of the withdrawal had caused apprehension among the people.

“Rann is not dislodged, it is just that our counterparts from the other countries withdrew and our troops are the only ones there; people are apprehensive,” he said.

Read Also: Picture Source: A Displaced Survivor from Rann

Akinroluyo, however, stated that regardless of the setbacks, operations were still going on smoothly within the theatre of operation.

He also solicited the support of the government and co-operation of the people to enforce peace in the region.

On his path, Governor Shettima assured the theatre commander of his continued support and commended the Nigerian armed forces for their commitment to the counter-terrorism war.

He told journalists that the government plans to engage local hunters and vigilante to help enhance security in outlines parts of the metropolitan city.

In recent times Rann has been a major target for attacks, causing humanitarian agencies to also withdraw their support.

With the latest development, IDPs are said to have fled the town, crossing a river to Bodo, a community in Cameroon bordering Rann.

Attacks: 76,000 IDPs At Risk As UN Halts Operations In Rann

Suspected Terrorists Attack Borno Town, Reportedly Cart Away Gun Trucks

 

At least 76,000 Internally Displaced People have been put at risk, following recent Boko Haram attacks which have interrupted the delivery of aid to Rann, Borno State.

The United Nations in a statement on Friday said the interruption in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Rann is the direct result of an attack that started at dusk on 14 January 2019 on a military base and continued into the next day.

According to the statement by the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, a medical clinic, warehouses with humanitarian supplies and accommodation for aid workers were looted and/or destroyed in the attack, and the market and shelters in the camp were burned down by the attackers.

Kallon also noted that several civilian fatalities have also been reported, although the total number is not yet known, and thousands are reported to have fled to Cameroon.

READ ALSO: Three Soldiers Killed As Troops Neutralise Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

Below is the full statement by the United Nations with regards to the situation in Rann.

“UN HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR IN NIGERIA GRAVELY CONCERNED OVER INTERRUPTION OF AID DELIVERY TO THOUSANDS FOLLOWING DEADLY ATTACK IN BORNO STATE

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has expressed grave concern over the interruption of aid delivery to tens of thousands of internally displaced people in Rann, a town in eastern Borno State about 10 kilometers from the border with Cameroon, following a deadly attack by a non-state armed group.

The interruption in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Rann is the direct result of an attack that started at dusk on 14 January 2019 on the military base and continued into the next day. At the time of the attack, an estimated 76,000 internally displaced people were living in Rann.

A medical clinic, warehouses with humanitarian supplies and accommodation for aid workers were looted and/or destroyed in the attack, and the market and shelters in the camp were burned down by the attackers. Several civilian fatalities have also been reported, although the total number is not yet known, and thousands are reported to have fled to Cameroon. In addition, 14 aid workers, who were in Rann during the attack and able to hide, were withdrawn the day after by helicopter. At present Rann is inaccessible to international humanitarian organisations both by road and by air.

“The attacks on Rann, that are increasingly frequent, are having a devastating impact on the civilians taking refuge in this isolated town and severely affecting our ability to deliver life-saving aid to women, men and children in need,” said Mr. Kallon. “This attack has spread fear among an already vulnerable population, and humanitarian assets were also targeted. I urge the Government of Nigeria to protect civilians, including aid workers,” Mr. Kallon concluded.

The conflict in north-east Nigeria, now in its tenth year, has triggered massive displacement and caused a severe humanitarian crisis with more than 7 million people in need. In addition to the attack in Rann, clashes in Kukawa and Monguno local government areas in northern Borno State have forced more than 43,000 people to flee their homes since November, with more than 32,000 taking refuge in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Many of these people are converging on already congested camps or sites for internally displaced people, forcing hundreds of individuals to sleep in overcrowded shelters or outside.”

Amnesty International Condemns Rann Attack As Sattelite Images Show Damage

 

Amnesty International has condemned the attack by Boko Haram terrorists on Rann, a town in Borno State.

The organisation condemned the attack in a statement issued on Friday by its Media Manager in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, saying that new satellite images showed the devastating aftermath.

According to Amnesty International, more than 9,000 people were displaced from the town which hosts thousands of people already displaced by the Boko Haram crisis.

It also said the attack resulted in large areas being burnt in the west and south of Rann, with more than 100 structures destroyed or heavily damaged by fire – a situation it described as a despicable disdain for life and one that may constitute a war crime.

Read Also: Several Reportedly Killed, Many Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Rann

It, therefore, urged the Nigerian Government to provide immediate humanitarian support for the displaced persons.

“Amnesty International condemns Boko Haram’s despicable disdain for life. This attack clearly targeted civilians and, therefore, may constitute a war crime. The organisation appeals to the Nigerian authorities to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the thousands of people who have been displaced,” Osai Ojigho, the Director Amnesty International Nigeria was quoted as saying.

“What is happening in Rann shows how vulnerable internally displaced persons are in Nigeria and the need to do more to protect them.”

“Since Monday night’s attack people have been fleeing across the border to Cameroon in their thousands and with every day that passes their condition is becoming more and more desperate. Rann is now almost empty as deadly attacks by Boko Haram have made people too afraid to stay,” said Osai Ojigho.

“The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require. The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily,” he added.

Several Reportedly Killed, Many Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Rann

Suspected Terrorists Attack Borno Town, Reportedly Cart Away Gun Trucks

 

 

Thousands of people have fled Rann, a remote town in Borno State, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Wednesday, after Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base and torched aid buildings.

Monday’s attack in the town, near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, has been blamed on the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction of Boko Haram, which has carried out similar raids against troops since July last year.

The upsurge in violence has forced tens of thousands of people to flee, including internally displaced people (IDPs) who have returned home after previous attacks.

Last week, the United Nations said there had been a “massive displacement” of more than 30,000 people after ISWAP strikes in and around Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, in northern Borno.

READ ALSO: Troops Counter Boko Haram Infiltration Into Gajiram

Military and humanitarian sources on Tuesday told AFP seven people were killed in Rann, including three soldiers.

But the medical charity’s emergency programme manager, Hugues Robert, said they were told the death tally was higher — and that some 10,000 people had fled to the border.

“The figures we got yesterday from people who have been there… were 14 people died,” he told AFP by phone from Geneva.

Burning buildings

Rann, which is is some 175 kilometres (110 miles) northeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, has now been hit three times since March last year.

The first attack killed three aid workers and saw three others kidnapped. Two of the three were later executed. The last attack happened in early December.

More than 27,000 people have been killed in northeast Nigeria since the Islamist insurgency began in 2009 while some 1.8 million people are still homeless.

An MSF nurse who had been to Rann to assess medical needs after the attack said the town was eerily silent, “like a graveyard”.

“The town has been devastated and I was devastated to see it,” Isa Sadiq Bwala was quoted saying in a statement. “Many parts of the town have been burnt.”

MSF’s base, office and pharmacy were completely gutted by fire and its equipment store was still burning. Other humanitarian organisations’ buildings were looted and burnt.

Staff members were safe but there was a “long line” of civilians heading to Cameroon, he added.

“Some had donkeys but many were just carrying their belongings. The ones I spoke to said they were leaving because they were too afraid to stay,” said Bwala.

“There is not much left for them to stay, anyway. Their homes are gone and I don’t know what they would live on. The market was burnt and looted — food stores also,” he added.

Civilians hit

Some 35,000 IDPs were staying in Rann at the time of the attack, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Many of those who fled went to the nearby town of Bodo.

“Our team in Bodo estimates that some 8,000 people arrived yesterday and we expect several thousand more may come today,” Robert said in a separate statement.

“We are preparing to assist 15,000 people with food, water and medical care over the coming days.”

The new arrivals, many of whom Robert said were shocked and distressed, are likely to further stretch resources in the impoverished region.

Vulnerable children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers spent the night in the open because of a lack of shelter, he added.

“The people of Borno continue to pay the price for this merciless conflit. All the warring parties must respect the safety of civilians,” he added.

There is wider concern about the impact of the violence on relief operations, particularly in isolated locations such as Rann, which is often cut off by flooding or bad weather.

AFP

UN Calls For Release Of Aid Workers Abducted In Borno

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima and others during the press conference.

 

The United Nations has called for the release of its aid workers abducted in  Kalabalge Local Government Area of Rann, Borno State, earlier this year.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said the aid workers were abducted in March 2018.

Kallon called for the release of the abducted workers on Friday, during a news conference with Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima marking this year’s World Humanitarian Day.

He also condemned the attack on humanitarian workers in the northeast region, which he said claimed the lives of three workers while the three aid workers abducted in Rann remain in captivity.

READ ALSO: Immigration Rescues Seven Human Trafficking Victims In Katsina

“The United Nations condemns the killing and abduction of aid workers and urges parties to the conflict to enable the work of humanitarian workers and facilitate their access to people in line with the international humanitarian law.

“United Nations also calls for the release of aid workers who have been abducted in Northeast Nigeria. I call on Nigerian leaders to do everything in their power to protect the people caught up in conflict,” Kallon said.

The Borno State Governor, on his part, said the state government recognises the support of the UN in tackling the humanitarian crisis in the state especially in the areas of acute malnutrition in children.

He praised the humanitarian workers for their courage, sacrifice and professionalism in rendering services to displaced persons and others in need.

UN Resumes Aid Operations In Rann

UN Resumes Aid Operations In Rann
File photo: Ariel view of an IDPs camp in Borno State.

 

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has announced the resumption of operations in Rann, a town in Borno State.

The agency announced the decision in a statement on Friday, about four weeks after it withdrew humanitarian operations in the town following the death of three aid workers.

READ ALSO: UN Condemns Killing Of Aid Workers In Borno

According to the Head of Communications of the UN Relief Wing, Ms Samantha Newport, the decision to resume operations follows several security assessments by the UN and non-governmental organisations.

While daily operations are expected to continue, Newport noted that the aid workers would not stay overnight in the community until security conditions are met by the Nigerian government.

She further disclosed that the World Food Programme is planning to distribute food to at least 61,000 people in March.

Killing Of Aid Workers Is Repulsive ‘Before God And Man’ – Buhari

The UN official stressed that pre-positioning of food was important ahead of the rainy season which starts in June, cutting off road access to Rann.

However, humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has yet to resume operations after it suspended its service in Rann following the attack.

Boko Haram terrorists had on March 1 attacked a camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rann, killing three aid workers while three others were injured, and a female nurse said to have gone missing.

Two of the deceased workers were contractors with the International Organisation for Migration, working as coordinators in the camp while the third was a medical doctor employed as a third-party consultant with UNICEF.

The UN and partners are providing life-saving emergency assistance in Rann – including food, shelter and medicine to over 80,000 women, children and men, and among them are 55,000 IDPs.

Week In Review: Dapchi Abduction, Fresh Attacks, SMW Lagos and More

 

 

It was another week of breaking stories, shocking attacks in the northeast and on a lighter note, a bit of fun discussions from the Social Media Week held in Lagos.

The week, however, saw more bloodshed and while the government has continued to promise that its war against insurgents is one that has relatively been a success, some believe that an end may not yet be in sight for the tensions in the northeast, following fresh attacks in the region.

One of the major incidents and a topic of many discussions was an attack on the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe state Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

The attack in which over 100 students were abducted, threw the community into tears as it also brought back memories of a similar case in 2014 on Chibok town in Borno state.

Following the incident, the Federal, as well as the state governments and security agencies, have been on their toes to ensure that all the girls are rescued albeit, not without major criticism from many who believe the Federal Government failed to learn lessons from the previous incident.

As days went by, parents of the missing students this time decided to take deliberate steps by forming an association in order to ensure that their missing daughters are found.

Escapees Return To School

Meanwhile, five students of the school, who fled when the suspected Boko Haram terrorists invaded their school have returned and narrated their ordeal. Read more here.

Aid Workers Killed In Borno

Another disheartening occurrence was the attack by insurgents on an Internally Displaced Persons Camp In Rann, Borno state, that left at least three aid workers dead and many IDPs injured. Read the reaction of the UN here.

Adamawa Attack

Troops engaged and killed 10 suspected herdsmen after attacking Gwamba Village in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State, North-east Nigeria.

The Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Texas Chukwu revealed this in a statement on Wednesday. Read more here.

Kaduna Violence

At least seven people were killed and 15 others persons severely injured following the violence that broke out in Kasuwa Magani village in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The spokesman for the State Police Command Mr Aliyu Mukhtar, who confirmed the figure to Channels Television on Monday, also said several houses were destroyed during the crisis.

A clash was said to have erupted on Sunday between youths belonging to two different religious groups in Kasuwa Magani village. Read more

Crisis In Taraba

Four persons have been reported killed in a fresh communal clash that erupted between some herdsmen and the Mambilla ethnic group on the Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State.

Several houses and other valuables were reportedly set ablaze by the warring factions, as both sides were said to have recorded casualties after the clash which happened on Thursday in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state. Read more

Freed UNIMAID Lecturers

On a more positive note, however, President Muhammadu Buhari met with the three recently released lecturers of the University of Maiduguri and 10 o0ther women abducted by insurgents in the Northeast.

During the meeting which was held on Monday in Abuja, the President restated the government’s commitments in rescuing all those abducted by the insurgents especially the recent kidnap of over 100 secondary school girls from Dapchi. Read more here.

Yusuf Buhari Returns Home

It was also a week of joy for the presidency as wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, confirmed the return of her son, Yusuf, from a medical trip abroad, more than two months after he got injured in a bike accident. Read here.

No Assent To Peace Corps Bill

For reasons relating to financial constraints, the President withheld assent to the bill seeking to establish the Peace Corps.

He informed the lawmakers of his decision in a letter reading during plenary on Tuesday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. Read more here.

Dino Melaye Granted Bail

Into crime and political matters, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to the Senator representing Kogi West Constituency, Senator Dino Melaye, in the sum of N100,000 and one surety, who is not less than a level 14 in the Federal Civil Service. Read more here

Senator Melaye was charged to court on a two-count charge of giving false information against the Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Government, Edward David.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge. Read more here, INEC Fixes General Election Dates For 36 Years.

Diezani And Dariye’s Court cases.

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of two penthouses valued at $4.760m, allegedly linked to the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Read more

Also, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Nanle Miracle Dariye, son of former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Dariye was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on Tuesday on six counts of money laundering to the tune of N1.5billion. Read more here

Election Schedules

The Independent National Electoral Commission fixed and announced dates for general elections in the country for the next 36 years.
This covers the 2019 elections up to the year 2055.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the decision at a meeting with leaders of political parties in the nation’s capital, Abuja on Wednesday. Read more here

Tax Evaders To Be Prosecuted

On finance, the Federal Government revealed plans to aggressively go after tax evaders to prosecute them and publicly reveal their identities.

Through the Ministry of Finance, the government said tax evaders will be prosecuted, named and shamed using its the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) which will end by March 31, this year.

SMW Lagos

On a lighter note, it was a beehive of activities at the sixth edition of the Social Media Week held in Lagos, with various interactive sessions, speeches, workshops, master classes, presentations and networking.

One of the interactive sessions was a conversation with the Chairman and CEO of Channels Media group, John Momoh (OON), where he talked about the future of broadcasting. Read here

Other speakers, also addressed topics on the use of social media as a catalyst for change while attendees were allowed to throw in questions.

See photos of other side attractions at the event here.

Wedding Bells

Also, the President and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr Bola Tinubu attended the wedding ceremony of the children of Kano and Oyo state governors, Abdullahi Ganduje and Abiola Ajimobi.

The wedding of Ganduje’s daughter, Fatima, and Ajimobi’s son, Idris, held on Saturday at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, in Kano State, North-west Nigeria.

See photos here.

MSF Suspends Services, Evacuates Staff In Rann After Boko Haram Attack

MSF Suspends Activities In Rann After Boko Haram Attack
A file photo of a community in Rann, Borno State after a bomb explosion

 

Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has suspended its medical activities in Rann, following a Boko Haram attack on the town in Borno State.

MSF announced this in a statement by its Field Communication Officer in the state, Musa Yahaya, saying it has also evacuated 22 national and international staff from the town.

READ ALSO: Killing Of Aid Workers Is Repulsive ‘Before God And Man’ – Buhari

The decision was a fallout of the attack by the outlawed group on an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp on Thursday last week, killing the three aid workers while three others were injured and a female nurse missing.

Condemning the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari said it had now shown the terrorists as godless, brutish, and utterly to be despised, while the United Nations urged the Federal Government to ensure the perpetrators were brought to book.

MSF, however, said it is still unclear how many people were killed and injured, but its medical staff treated nine wounded patients before leaving.

The Emergency Coordinator in Nigeria, Kerri Ann Kelly, said the decision is regrettable as thousands of people living in Rann rely almost entirely on MSF services to access healthcare.

“Leaving our patients, which include 60 children currently enrolled in our nutrition programme, without medical assistance, is an extremely painful decision,” she said.

“We will continue to evaluate how the situation evolves and we will return as soon as the conditions allow. This latest attack is a stark reminder that it is the people in Borno who are paying the price of this ruthless conflict.

“They are trapped in a deadly cycle of violence and are heavily reliant on external assistance to survive. In Rann, this is now considerably reduced,” Kelly added.

MSF teams have been providing medical care to about 40,000 people in Rann, since January 2017. Mobile teams delivered assistance on a regular basis, and a permanent medical team has been based in the town since September 2017.

According to the humanitarian organisation, the people in Rann are extremely vulnerable as many have sought shelter there after fleeing their homes in the wake of the insurgency.

Boko Haram Kills Aid Workers, Injures IDPs In Borno

BREAKING: Female Suicide Bombers Attack Konduga In Borno

 

At least three aid workers were killed on Thursday night in a Boko Haram attack in Rann, Borno State.

They were killed when the terrorists struck at a camp housing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Many of the IDPs were injured in the attack.

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday said three aid workers were killed while UN Spokeswoman Samantha Newport told AFP that four aid workers were killed and one is missing and suspected to be abducted.

Newport told AFP that the camp housed some 55,000 IDPs and the attack appeared to target the military.

A civilian militia source in Rann, which is some 175 kilometres (110 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, and a senior military source gave AFP an identical death toll.

They also said eight soldiers were killed in the attack but there was no immediate official confirmation.

Newport said, “Four aid workers were killed, one aid worker was injured and one aid worker is missing, feared abducted.

“Of the aid workers that were killed, two worked for the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) in camp management; and one was a medical doctor working as a third party consultant for UNICEF,” the UN children’s agency, she said.

No details were immediately available for the fourth but Newport said the injured and missing were both women. All those involved were Nigerian, she added.

Boko Haram fighters killed nine people from the Rann internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in September last year, as they worked on farms just outside the town.

In January last year, a botched air strike by Nigerian army intended to hit jihadist fighters killed at least 112 people as aid workers distributed food.

Commanders at the time called the bombing a mistake and blamed “the fog of war”.

An air force board of inquiry later blamed “lack of appropriate marking of the area” for the bombardment and an unexpected gathering of people at the location.