Buhari Declares 55th Ordinary Session Of ECOWAS Open

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the 55th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States open in Abuja.

The President will be joined by other leaders of the sub-regional body.

In his remarks, the President focused on the violence and crisis affecting countries in the West African sub-region.

READ ALSO: VP’s Office Not Supervising Ruga Settlements – Laolu Akande

High on the Agenda for today’s Meeting is the issue of Security: inter-communal clashes, herders-farmers conflicts, banditry and terrorism affecting all ECOWAS countries.

“Taking into account the transnational nature of the threats confronting us, the need for the adoption of a common strategy at the national and regional level to combat them has become imperative.”

He acknowledges the gains made in political governance made by various governments but calls for effective cooperation and adoption of national strategies to tame the crisis.

Another highlight of the session was the presentation of the posthumous winner of the 2018 edition of Deserving Citizens of the Community Award which was given to Dr Ameyo Adedevoh.

See Photos Below: 

U.S. Lauds Nigeria’s Efforts In Tackling Boko Haram Insurgency

U.S. Secretary of States, Mr Rex Tillerson,
U.S. Secretary of States, Mr Rex Tillerson

The United States has advised countries facing challenges of terrorism to take a cue from Nigeria in winning the war against global terrorism.

The U.S. Secretary of States, Mr Rex Tillerson, gave the recommendation on Thursday at the ‘Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS’ in Washington.

The meeting was convened at a time when the activities of terrorist groups across the globe were on the increase.

Experts identified sharing of ideas at different fora as an important step in winning the war against terror.

Mr Tillerson also noted that information sharing was one way countries could defeat terrorism, adding that Nigeria and West African countries have done well in sharing information which he said resulted in foiling a great number of attacks.

He asked countries that have challenges of domestic terror groups to build up their information sharing systems, just as Nigeria did to win the war against Boko Haram insurgency.

The U.S. Secretary of States, however, recounted with sadness the attacks on some countries by terrorists groups and proffered solution on how to tackle them.u-s

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, on his part pledged Nigeria’s resolve to mobilise resources in order to confront violent extremists.

The Charge d’ Affaires of Nigeria to the United States, Mr Hakeem Balogun, also highlighted the effects of the commendation on Nigeria.

The meeting was attended by representatives from 68 countries including Nigeria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco and Somalia.

 

 

Over 300 Participants For 2016 Korean Ambassador Cup

TaekwondoThe organising committee has confirmed that the 2016 edition of the Korean Ambassador Cup will commence from Friday, December 8 to 10. 

The organisers also announced that over 300 participants from the 36 states of the federation and friendly West African coast will be available to compete for honours in different weight categories, for the sparring (kyorugi and the forms (poomsaes).

The Chairman of the Main Organising Committee, who also doubles as the President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Grandmaster George Ashiru, said the annual event sponsored by the Korean Cultural centre ‘with their other chosen partners’ is geared towards enhancing sports development and bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Korea.

He believes that in the absence of the National Sports Festival, the 2016 edition will provide an opportunity for the federation to raise a new national team for 2017 which is a world championship year.

According to information made available from the Secretariat of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, about 300 athletes made up of 50 teams have already arrived in Lagos for the competition set to kick off on Friday.

He said: “300 athletes with about 150 accompanying officials have already landed in Lagos and ready for the 2016 edition of the Korean Ambassador Cup.

“Ghana have already sent in three separate teams from three different provinces, Niger have sent in another set of athletes while Togo are reported to have their athletes on the road.

“But, we won’t count them as part of the competition until they arrive in Lagos.

“We do know that many states, the Armed forces and other para-military units as well as elite clubs are seriously gearing up to be for this event to ensure that their athletes are nationally ranked in preparation for a busy season in 2017”.

Apart from individual awards for participating athletes at the end of the competition, there will be a presentation of awards from the Korean Ambassador to former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, former Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Inuwa Wushishi (rtd) and other Nigerians for their immense contributions to Taekwondo development.

Nigerien Govt. Calls For Rethinking On Boko Haram 

Niger Republic, Boko HaramThe government of Niger Republic has urged West African regional authorities to “rethink Boko Haram” and defeat the group in Nigeria.

This call was made by the country’s defence minister following the killing of seven security personnel and wounding of 12 others by suspected Boko Haram militants.

The incident reportedly occurred when the suspected terrorists attacked a village in Niger while a delegation of ministers were visiting the area on Friday.

The Nigerien government also asked its former colonial power France, to strengthen military operations against the Nigeria-based Boko Haram and other militants.

According to the country’s defence minister, the thinking that Boko Haram has been reduced to making suicide attacks is a mistake, as the group has rebuilt its forces, adding in his words, “we are dealing with an army”.

Kebbi Governor Seeks Collaboration Among Rice Producing States

kebbiThe Governor of Kebbi State is seeking collaboration among rice producing states if Nigeria would meet its target of rice production sufficiency in the shortest possible time.

Governor Abubakar Bagudu told a gathering in the state’s capital to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day that the Federal Government’s initiative on patronising made in Nigeria goods especially in the agricultural sector, required such collaboration to enhance efficient rice production which had been identified as a major step towards achieving the objective.

Governor Bagudu said sufficiency in rice production could make Nigeria a major exporter of rice to neighbouring West African region.

The state government organised a town hall meeting and media chat to interact with the people and members of the press profession on the activities of the government in the last one year.

With the potential of the state in rice production and encouragement to farmers towards a high yield, Governor Bagudu wants other rice producing states to come together towards harnessing these potentials for maximum benefit.

The State government in pursuit of increasing its internally generated revenue is collaborating with the Lagos State Government and Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two states working towards improved economic activities.

As the country looks inward towards self-sufficient in food production particularly in the production of rice; the collaboration among rice producing states will go a long way in producing the long awaited Nigerian rice that will not only feed the Nigerian market but also take care of the West African market.

CHAN: Nigeria Ready To Confront Guinea In Rivabu

super eagles- oliseh-nigeria-ObafemiThe Super Eagles of Nigeria say they are ready for the final group game against the Syli Nationale of Guinea as they seek to guarantee qualification for the quarter finals of the African Nations Championship.

The team had a feel of the match venue as they trained at the Rubavu stadium on Monday, having also trained there the previous day.

All 23 players who made the trip are in excellent physical and mental shape ahead of the crucial West African derby.

Victory by any margin would guarantee Nigeria top spot in Group C, and a quarter final date with the second placed team in Group D.

The Eagles already have four points having beaten Niger Republic 4-1 in their first match and played 1-1 with Tunisia  in the second match.

Ghana’s President Bans First Class Travel For Public Officials

GhanaGhana’s President, John Mahama, has banned public officials from first class air travel in a renewed effort to cut wasteful spending as the West African nation implements an IMF aid deal to revive state finances, the government said on Tuesday.

Ghana is preparing to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2016 and, with the opposition accusing government ministers of inflating contract sums, inappropriate spending will likely be a top campaign issue.

The presidency issued the directive this week asking all ministers and other top officials to avoid “unwarranted” foreign trips on the public purse, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah told Reuters.

Ghana, a major producer of cocoa, gold and oil, began a three-year program with the International Monetary Fund in April to fix its economy, which has been dogged by high deficits, a widening public debt and unstable local currency.

Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, told Reuters on Tuesday that the cabinet is also discussing a financial accountability bill which would impose penalties such as dismissal or jail time for public officials who are found to violate it.

“It is expected to be clear enough to enable the general public to see malfeasance if there is (any) and hold the agency involved accountable,” he added.

Buhari Assures ECOWAS Of Nigeria’s Commitment To Democracy

Buhari on ECOWAS democracy Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has assured ECOWAS member nations that Nigeria would remain steadfast in its commitment and support to democracy and good governance, insisting that a stable west Africa can only be strong and prosperous.

The President was speaking in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city at the opening session of the 48th session of the Economic Community of West Africa States and the 40th anniversary of the regional body.

The Nigerian President, who is playing host to the event observed that the organisation may have recorded concrete achievements, but still needed to grapple with the challenges that pose risk to the peace and security of West African people.

He called for concerted actions to deal with the challenges.

It is a summit designed to mark 40th years of the existence of the West African regional body. A body whose main focus is the integration of the people, as well as entrenchment of peace and development in West Africa.

The summit will hold for two days.

ECOWAS may have done well in regional integration, 40 years after, but there are still daunting challenges of insecurity, drug trafficking, cross border crime, terrorism and infrastructure problems.

The host President said these issues must be tackled going forward.

Many of the heads of government present were in France for the recent summit on climate change issues and President Buhari stressed that West Africa should not lose the lessons from the summit.

President of Senegal and the Chairman of ECOWAS Macky Sally and the President of ECOWAS Commission Kadre Ouedraogo, who spoke in French most of the time, commended the various efforts in peace issues, the effort to conquer Ebola and fight against terrorism.

Goodwill messages came from representatives of the United Nations Secretary General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

 

Buhari Sends Obasanjo To Mediate In Guinea Bissau Crisis

Olusegun_Obasanjo on Election postponementNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has sent a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to Guinea Bissau, as his Special Envoy, to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in the West African nation.

The Nigerian President had raised concern over the unfolding political situation in Guinea Bissau following the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr Domingos Simoes Pereira and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz.

According to a statement by a spokesman to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, former President Obasanjo embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal in Dakar on Thursday.

“It is regrettable that while Chief Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister in the person of Mr Baciro Dja, a development that has worsened the political situation in his country,” President Buhari said.

He further appealed for calm and called on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continue to resolve the current crisis.

Nigeria Blocks Recruitment By ISIS

ISISNigerian Immigration Service has explained why most young Nigerians were stopped from leaving the country.

Over 24,000 school leavers who had applied for visas to different countries were blocked following suspicions that they may join the militant Islamic State (ISIS)

Spokesman for Nigerian Immigration, Mr Chukwuemeka Obuah, told the BBC that for 15 months, most people were unable to embark on journeys outside the country.

He said that Nigeria is classified as a catchment area for recruiters of the militant groups because of what he calls the high number of jobless people in the country.

“The terrorist group have a syndicate that arranges visas, tickets and money for their recruits,” he said.

Many young Nigerians who leave the country with the hope of finding better jobs in Europe end up with them.

The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime estimates West African trafficking victims, many of whom come from Nigeria, to be about 10% of those forced into work in western Europe.

Nigeria, Belarus To Collaborate in Fight Against Terrorism

Vladimir Makei, Belarus Foreign Affairs Minister.The government of Belarus has committed to co-operating with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.

Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei, who is on a three-day working visit to Nigeria, said his country was in support of Nigeria’s intention to bring peace and harmony to the country.

Mr Makei said Belarus would also co-operate with Nigeria in the area of agriculture equipment, education and pharmaceutical innovations.

He pledged that Belarus would not restrict people’s movement from West African countries because of the Ebola Virus Disease.

The Foreign Affairs Minister described as unfortunately, the fact that Nigeria was one of the countries witnessing terrorism in daily life.

“We believe that terrorism is a deliberate coercion and exploitation that hinders political change and it is one of the biggest problems that a country can ever face.

“We do support the intention of the government of Nigeria in order to restore peace and harmony within the country.

“A lot has been done and there are more still coming in this respect and we believe that the government of Nigeria has all the necessary potential and means to curb this very problem,” he said.

Mr Makei stressed that his country was ready to provide all possible cooperation, referring to the bi-lateral cooperation that the his country was seeking as a way of strengthening ties in area of security.

“The bi-lateral cooperation we are already seeking is to activate the cooperation between the interior military and police forces of the two countries.”

West African States Call For End To Border Closures Over Ebola

EbolaWest African states should re-open their borders and end flight bans put in place to halt the spread of Ebola, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said on Thursday.

The ECOWAS countries and airlines will make their own decisions on flight bans and borders, but the view of the main regional body, expressed at a meeting of ECOWAS health ministers in Ghana’s capital, is likely to prove influential.

“We must implement containment measures but we must not implement measures that will isolate or ostracise the affected countries,” Ghana President John Mahama, who is also ECOWAS’s current chairman, told the meeting.

“Excessive restrictions of travel and border closures will adversely affect the economies of the sub-region,” he said.

West African governments have implemented a patchwork of measures in a bid to stem the spread of the recent Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 1,550 people.

Some including Ivory Coast and Gambia have stopped airlines from allowing passengers to disembark if they have first come from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the countries hardest hit by the outbreak.