Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – suicide bombers hit Kano during Eid

Punch

Two female terrorists bomb Kano

Scene of Boko Haram attack

Two female suicide bombers struck in different parts of Kano on Monday, killing   and injuring many on a day Muslim faithful thronged the prayer grounds in the city to observe the Eid-el-Fitri.

The first attack took place at about 10am on a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Mega station   at Hotoro Quarters along Maiduguri Road. The second was at about 1.40pm at the Trade Fair Complex entrance on Zoo Road.

But there were conflicting figures on the numbers of the killed and injured.

Only on Sunday, a bomber hurled explosives at worshippers in a Catholic church in the city, killing five and wounding eight. The same day,   a 15-year-old female suicide bomber killed herself while trying to target some police officers.

There have been no claims of responsibility for any of the blasts, but fingers point at the militant   Islamist group, Boko Haram.

A resident, Tijjani Isa, told the Associated Press that the first bomber was standing in line with many women   buying kerosene   before she set off the bomb.

Another resident was quoted by the Agence France Presse as saying that the “female bomber who was milling in the crowd set off explosives concealed under her dress.”

The resident, Habibu Ali, added that “several people, mostly women, were killed.”

Ali’s account, according to the AFP, was supported by another resident, Shehu Mudi, who said that many were killed.

But the   state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adelenre Shinaba, told journalists that doctors at the Murtala Muhammad Hospital confirmed the death of three, out of the 10 people evacuated from the scene.

He added that the impact of the blast caused partial damage to the canopy of the kerosene section of the mega station.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, however said   in a statement that four people, including the bomber, died while eight were injured in the mega station attack.

Mba said, “The suicide bomber and three others have been confirmed dead, eight persons were injured and rushed to the hospital.

“It is instructive to note that the mega station did not go ablaze due to the security barricade put in place by the policemen on duty at the station.

“Security forces have cordoned off the scene and police bomb disposal experts are sweeping the area.”

He added that investigation into the incident had begun, while security operatives had intensified patrol of the city.

The second blast occurred when the female suicide bomber   aged about 19,   blew up herself and injured six others, including two policemen at the entrance gate of the Kano Trade Fair Complex near Shoprite.

The state Police command spokesman, Magaji Majia, told journalists that   security operatives had stopped the suspect for screening when the IEDs hidden under her dress went off.

Majia said the policemen had been treated and discharged, while the remaining four persons are still in hospital.

He said the mangled body of the female suicide bomber was recovered and deposited at an undisclosed government hospital.

The police added that investigations had commenced with a view to unravelling those behind the renewed attacks on the city.

Meanwhile, there was heavy traffic in Kugbo, Nyanya and Karua on the Abuja-Keffi Road on Monday due to   roadblocks set up by soldiers.

Residents going to amusement parks in the Federal Capital Territory to enjoy Monday which was a public holiday were stranded for many hours.

Also,   presence of armed soldiers was observed   at the AYA, Central Area and the Eagle Square.

Copyright PUNCH.

Nigeria – Borno State bans car use during Eid

BBC
Nigeria’s Borno state bans cars during Eid

Motorbikes were permanently banned in Maiduguri in 2011 to prevent drive-by assassinations

The use of vehicles in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno state has been banned during Eid, the three-day festival that ends Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month.

Eid started on Sunday in Nigeria, and authorities say they have intelligence that Islamist group Boko Haram is planning to carry out car bomb attacks.

Meanwhile, police say a bomb has exploded in the northern city of Kano.

For a third year the city’s famous Eid durbar, or horse parading ceremony, has been cancelled due to security fears.

Boko Haram has carried out a wave of bombings and assassinations in Nigeria since it launched a brutal insurgency in 2009.

It sparked international outrage in April by abducting more than 200 girls from their boarding school in Borno state, where the militants are mainly based.

On Sunday, police said a bomb was thrown at worshippers in Kano as they were leaving a church killing four people; separately, a female suicide bomber blew herself as she was cornered by police near the city’s university.

Details about the blast on Monday morning are still sketchy, but the BBC’s Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai in Kano says three people who were queuing up with others to buy kerosene from a garage have been killed by an apparent suicide bomber.

Traumatised
The governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, said the decision to ban cars was taken “in order to safeguard the lives of the innocent citizens”.

Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa
He was traumatised to see people walking for miles in Maiduguri, the state capital, he said, “under the scotching sun in an attempt to observe a very important spiritual rite which is the Eid prayers”.

“I am very much aware that there are those of our citizens who only get what to feed themselves and their families after going out every day either as traders, transporters or artisans,

“I know that the restriction of vehicle movement would greatly impede on their source of livelihood,” he said.

“But we all have to be alive before we can do anything at all.”

In May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on Borno and its neighbouring states of Adamawa and Yobe. But the military’s efforts have failed to contain the emergency.

There are almost daily attacks in the north-east and New York-based Human Rights Watch says more than 2,000 civilians have been killed by the militants this year.

On Sunday, the Cameroonian military said Boko Haram members had abducted the wife of the country’s deputy prime minister in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata.

The militants have kidnapped foreign nationals in northern Cameroon before, including a French family and Chinese workers.

Who are Boko Haram?

Boko Haram loosely translates as “Western education is forbidden”
Founded in 2002
Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
Some three million people affected
Declared terrorist group by US in 2013
Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists

Kano’s durbar – a three-day horse parade – used to be huge tourist attraction

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28526358

Nigeria – 100 days on and Chibok girls not free

African Arguments By Debbie Ariyo

DebbieAriyoToday, 22 July, marks 100 days since the abduction of almost 300 girls by terrorists from their school dormitory in Chibok, North East Nigeria. Since then, some of the girls managed to escape from their abductors. However, most of them remain in captivity with reports of mass rape, sexual abuse, sex slavery and even death.

There has also been news of other abductions, including 90 girls who were taken in a series of attacks in June.  The current situation on ground does not offer much hope that a successful effort by the government to rescue all the girls abducted by Boko Haram and to prevent further abductions will occur in the forthcoming 100 days.

That the Nigerian government has handled the Chibok issue abysmally is not in doubt.  Its initial reaction to reports of the abductions was complete denial. This was followed by claims that the girls had been found and returned to their families. This was a complete untruth as nothing of the sort had happened.

The President’s wife provided her own drama when she held a ‘public meeting’ to demonstrate that no girls were abducted and that news of the ‘false’ abduction was to discredit her husband. The President has also shown a total lack of empathy by refusing to meet with parents of the abducted girls to commiserate with them.

A ridiculous attempt to capitalise on Girls Advocate Malala Yousafzai’s recent visit to get the parents to see him failed spectacularly when they refused to honour the invitation. The government has also maintained that it would not negotiate with terrorists; neither would it undertake a military attempt to rescue the girls as it did not want to risk their lives. It is not really clear then what, if anything, the government is doing to secure the girls’ release.

In addition, there has been widespread criticism of the government’s poor handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. Hundreds of thousands of refugees in neighbouring countries fleeing from terrorists remain uncared for. Schools remain closed and it is not clear how the Safer Schools Initiative established by Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy, would operate in the midst of such widespread chaos and insecurity.

There has been no strategy to safeguard communities as the terrorists continue to operate virtually unhindered, attacking villages on a daily basis, killing people and abducting more women and girls. As an ominous sign of what is to come, last week, Damboa, a town in Borno State was attacked with the terrorists hoisting their flag in the military battalion headquarters to claim it as their territory.

The military itself has been comatose and inefficient, with reports of a large number of casualties among troops.  In May, some soldiers mutinied to complain about the lack of provision of adequate and suitable arms and ammunition to fight with. There have been reports of rogue military men colluding with terrorists to organise raids on communities, military barracks and other places. The terrorists are reported to be better resourced and to have access to better ammunition than the Nigerian military.

In June, Nigerians woke up to the news that their government had spent over $1m to recruit public relations company Levick to help launder its image in the West. Its first task backfired spectacularly – an article it placed in the Washington Post attracted a damning editorial in the New York Times as a response. Nigerians also took to twitter using the hashtag #SomeoneTellLevick to demonstrate the futility of their government’s action.

Yet there are a number of decisive steps the Nigerian government can take to redeem its image and ensure the girls are freed as soon as possible. It must urgently decide if it wishes to negotiate for their release in exchange for prisoners or failing that, attempt a rescue mission, knowing full well that there will be consequences but taking every possible step to ensure there are no casualties among the girls.

It is foolhardy to leave the girls in the hands of terrorists indefinitely hoping and praying that a miracle would happen! The recruitment of a PR company is unnecessary and a waste of public funds. The government does not need to pay to whitewash its image – it only needs to start acting in the best interests of its citizens.

Stronger efforts should be made to protect people from Boko Haram and to take care of victims. The launch of a Victim Support Fund is laudable, but government must ensure the funds actually reach the victims. The government must also start to co-operate with its neighbours to provide care and support for its citizens who have escaped from terrorists and who are now living as refugees.

Most importantly, the Nigerian government must stop dilly-dallying about the rogue military officers in its wing. These are traitors whose activities are inimical to the security of the country and must be treated as such.

100 days later, over 200 Nigerian girls remain as captives in the hands of terrorists. The response of the Nigeria government so far does not inspire any hope that they will be free anytime soon. If the government does not change direction and start to act decisively, the next 100 days might see the girls and many others still being held as slaves by Boko Haram. This would indeed be a terrible indictment of the government of Nigeria.

Debbie Ariyo is Founder and Executive Director of AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, a UK charity promoting the rights and welfare of children. http://www.afruca.org

Nigeria – Jonathan finally meets abducted girls’ parents

BBC

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan visiting the site of Nyanya bomb in Abuja in April President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticised for not meeting parents earlier

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has met for the first time parents of the girls abducted 100 days ago by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

He assured the parents of his determination to secure the girls’ release, his spokesman said.

More than 150 people attended the meeting after the government chartered a plane for them, reports say.

Mr Jonathan has been under pressure to meet the parents after being accused of handing the crisis badly.

Parents pulled out of a meeting with him last week amid accusations they were being used for political reasons.

The parents of 11 of the girls have died since their abduction, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Some of the Chibok schoolgirls who escaped Islamist captors alight from a bus to attend a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidency in Abuja on 22 July 2014 Some of the girls managed to escape after being abducted from their school
People participate in a "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign demonstration and candlelight vigil, held on Mother's Day in Los Angeles on 11 May 2014 A global campaign was launched to secure the release of the girls

The abduction of the more than 200 schoolgirls sparked global outrage.

Boko Haram has offered to free the girls in exchange for the release of its fighters and relatives held by the security forces.

The government has rejected this.

Malala’s intervention

The US, UK, France, China and Israel have been helping in operations to secure the release of the girls, who are believed to be held in the Sambisa forest, near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

The girls were abducted from their boarding school in the north-eastern town of Chibok in Borno state on 14 April.

A total of 177 people – including 51 of the girls who managed to escape Boko Haram’s captivity – met Mr Jonathan, reports the BBC’s Chris Ewokor from the capital, Abuja.

The parents left the meeting without showing emotion but some shook hands with the president, AP reports.

Some of the escaped schoolgirls smiled for photographers after the meeting, it reports.

Ayuba Chibok, who has two nieces among the hostages, told AFP news agency that the government chartered a plane from Yola city in the north-east to fly the group to Abuja.

Mr Jonathan was flanked at the meeting by Senate President David Mark and Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno state, where Chibok is situated.

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Who are Boko Haram?

A screen grab taken from a video released on You Tube in April 2012, apparently showing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (centre) sitting flanked by militants
  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013
line

Last week, Mr Jonathan agreed to meet 12 parents and five girls who escaped shortly after being seized by the militants, following a request by Pakistani rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai.

The Chibok community called off the meeting at the last minute, saying it had been organised in a hurry, so there was not time to consult with all the parents.

Mr Jonathan accused the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group of playing politics and derailing the meeting.

#BringBackOurGirls was a global campaign launched on social media to secure the release of the girls.

Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former government minister and staunch critic of Mr Jonathan, is a leading member of the group.

Seven parents were killed during a raid by Boko Haram on Kautakari, a village close to Chibok, earlier this month, AP quotes a health worker as saying.

Another four parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses blamed on the trauma caused by the abductions, Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus told AP.

BBC

Nigeria – over 140 villagers killed in army-Boko clashes

Mail and Guardian

Fighting between a suspected extremist group and Nigerian military has claimed the lives of at least 140 villagers in northeast Nigeria.

Villagers in northeast Nigeria have fled their homes after fighting between the military and extremists claimed 143 lives. (AFP)

Searching roadsides, bushes and fields, environmental agency workers have recovered the bodies of 143 civilians killed by suspected extremists, one of the highest death tolls in an Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria, an official said.

According to a soldier who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, two soldiers and three police officers also were killed.

The private said extremists disguised in military fatigues attacked in about 20 pickup trucks and two light tanks firing anti-aircraft guns that overwhelmed soldiers armed only with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Enforcing sharia law
He indicated that the soldiers actually led the attackers to the village.

“We had to retreat to our base to reinforce after running out of ammunition. We had to run for our lives,” said the private, who said he hid in a millet plantation. “But they followed us down and surrounded our base and began to shell our building. We couldn’t stand the heat of their superior firepower. We had to retreat into the village after they killed two of our soldiers and three policemen.”

He said the attackers finally retreated in triumph, taking off with an additional four military patrol trucks and two light armoured tanks.

Such accounts challenge the Nigerian military’s insistence that it is winning the war since a state of emergency was declared May 14 to put down the insurrection by extremists who want to enforce strict sharia law throughout Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of more than 160 million people almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians.

‘Our houses have been burned’
An AP reporter watched as environmental department workers piled corpses swollen by the tropical heat into trucks at the near-deserted village where hundreds of homes had been torched.

“We have been picking corpses off the roadsides all day, there are more in the bush … We have so far picked up 143 corpses,” said Abdulazeez Kolomi, an assistant at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency’s chief, Saidu Yakubu, told reporters the official numbers of corpses evacuated was 87.

Women and children were being helped to clamber up into other vehicles as villagers continued to flee their homes.

“Our houses have been burned, we lack food to eat, we have been sleeping in the bush and cannot bear the hardship with the children crying,” said 56-year-old Kaltume Baba-Haruna.

Losing confidence in the military
The few remaining residents said they are angry at both the government and the military for not protecting them.

Villager Abacha Wakil said the gunmen invaded the town at about 7.45pm. Tuesday and did not leave until about 3.30am. When they ventured back to the village from the bushes where they spent the night they discovered the beheaded bodies of 14 young men, most belonging to a vigilante group set up to fight the extremists, he said.

Governor Shettima promised to spend about US$312 000 to rebuild the destroyed village. And he gave families of the 14 killed vigilantes compensation of $1 500 each.

Army Brigadier General Muhammed Idris Yusuf pleaded with the villagers to not lose confidence in the military. “We share your pain and we promise to beef up the presence of soldiers around Benisheik,” he said. “We have not abandoned you as you think: our troops ran out of ammunition and that was why they withdrew to reinforce. They are now back and more are coming,” he promised. – Sapa-AP M&G

Nigeria – 15,000 flee Boko Haram

Mon Jul 21, 2014

MAIDUGURI Nigeria (Reuters) – More than 15,000 people have fled an area around the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa after a spate of lethal assaults by Islamist Boko Haram fighters during the weekend, the emergency services said on Monday.

Suspected Islamists raided Damboa on Friday and Saturday, shooting dead more than 40 residents and burning houses, part of a pattern of killing that has forced tens of thousands to flee this year. They also attacked six nearby villages.

Boko Haram, which is fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, has ceaselessly targeted civilians this year in rural parts of Borno state, where its fighters fled after a military offensive dislodged them from the cities.

Abdulkair Ibrahim, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Borno, said the agency had records of 15,204 people who had fled Damboa and the six villages — Kimba, Madaragrau, Mandafuma, Chikwar Kir, Bomburatai and Sabon Kwatta.

Addressing press in the capital Abuja on Monday, Defence spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade appeared to deny that Boko Haram had taken over Damboa and the surrounding areas, when asked about reports that the military had fled and the insurgents had hoisted their black flags in the town.

“We are not conceding any portion of this country to any terrorist group,” he said. “Our patrols are active and they are stepping up their activities to reverse any insecurity there.”

Whether or not Boko Haram controls significant territory, its ability to strike with impunity is destabilising Africa’s biggest economy and making it an unattractive investment destination. Around 200 school girls kidnapped by the rebels in April remain in captivity, despite a vocal campaign calling on President Goodluck Jonathan’s forces to rescue them.

A military operation in the northeast last year initially succeeded in breaking up a de facto area in the northeast that had been controlled by Boko Haram.

But the rebels melted away into the hilly border area near Cameroon. From there they have launched deadly reprisal attacks that are increasingly targeting civilians, after they formed vigilante groups to help the government kick out the militants.

Several bombs across the country since April, including three in Abuja and one in the commercial capital Lagos, in the southwest, have shown they can now bring their insurgency to any part of Africa’s top oil producer. Reuters

 

Nigerian assembly split over President’s loan plan to fight Boko Haram

Punch

JULY 20, 2014 BY JOHN AMEH AND SUNDAY ABORISADE

Some members of the National Assembly are divided over whether or not the $1bn loan request made by President Goodluck Jonathan should be approved by the lawmakers.

Jonathan had on Wednesday sent a letter to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to urgently approve the external loan for the Federal Government to confront Boko Haram insurgency.

He said the external loan would be used to upgrade the equipment of the armed forces and the training of personnel.

Senator Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers State), in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, said he was not against the approval of the loan for the President.

He, however, said Jonathan should be able to account for the money released so far to fight the insurgents.

Abe stated, “My opinion all along over the funding of military operation against insurgency has been that Nigerians should not be too much interested in the amount of money being voted to execute the war. Rather, what should interest Nigerians is whether we are achieving the objective behind the release of the money.

“I have nothing against the release of money to fight insurgency but President Goodluck Jonathan should satisfy himself and Nigerians that the amount of money so far released for the anti-terrorism activities had been judiciously utilised.

“It will be a very sad development if it turned out at the end of the day that $1bn being requested for the President was diverted to politics or that some people in government saw it as an opportunity to amass wealth at the instance of the vulnerable, poor Nigerians whose lives and property are being wasted whenever the dreaded sect unleashes terror.”

On his part, Senator Babafemi Ojudu said the request by the President was “not desirable and obviously, not justifiable.”

He said, “As a country, huge sums of money have been voted for defence since the inception of the Jonathan administration and a huge percentage of the money, I believe, had been channelled to wage war against Boko Haram. The question is, have we been able to justify the utilisation of the money?”

Ojudu said he was part of the team that went to Borno State few weeks ago on a fact-finding mission.

According to him, the state government told the team that a huge percentage of its monthly allocation was being deducted by the Federal Government to fight insurgency.

“I am very sure the Senate will approve the money but how are we sure it is not part of the money that would be utilised to prosecute the 2015 general elections by the Peoples Democratic Party, which is the ruling party in the country,” he said.

Another senator, Kabiru Marafa, said he would not mind approving the loan, if it would assist in ending the insurgency.

He said, “There is no amount of money spent to bring peace and tranquillity to our troubled nation that is too much or too small. I do not even mind if we spent the entire budget or empty the Central Bank of Nigeria to end insurgency in our country. But we must be sincere in the application of the money for the purpose for which it was released.

“We all know the complaints of the military personnel on ground at the three north-eastern states. They had alleged that their welfare was not being adequately taken care of by those charged to do so.

“If President Goodluck Jonathan is sincerely looking for that money to carry out military activities that will restore peace to Nigeria, no right-thinking citizen of this country will go against it. I want him to maintain his stand on it because I know some of his advisers may suggest its diversion for political use and if that happens, we are in trouble in this country.”

Also, Senator Chris Ngige said he would need more details on the loan. These, he said, would assist the Senate in considering it.

He said, “For instance, we need to know the terms of the loan, whether it is interest-free or not. We must know the terms for repayment. All these pieces of information are not known, so we don’t have the details.

“We also need to know what percentage will go to procurement of more arms and equipment; the percentage that will go to personnel capacity building and the percentage that will be allocated to the Army, Navy, Airforce, the Department of State Security, the Police and other security outfits.

“I am also thinking the entire money is not meant for the military operations alone. We must know how much is being set aside to take care of the social, economic and religious impact of the insurgency because terrorism is like ulcer which takes time to heal,” Ngige added.

In the House of Representatives, some members also expressed opposing views over the President’s bid.

The House Deputy Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, applauded Jonathan’s decision as a necessary step he took to ensure that “adequate pieces of equipment are provided for our Armed Forces.”

Ogor, a PDP lawmaker from Delta State, said nobody expected Nigerian soldiers to confront members of the sect and defeat them if they did not have enough equipment.

He also stated that no amount of money was too much to spend on security, if doing so would restore normalcy to the North-East.

Ogor added, “What is the alternative if we don’t want the government to spend? We are fighting a war that is alien to us; we have to be fully prepared.

“It is totally unnecessary to politicise this issue when the lives and property of Nigerians are involved.”

However, House Minority Whip, Mr. Sampson Osagie, faulted Ogor’s position on the grounds that the legislature approved N1tn in this year’s budget just three months ago for the same reasons of equipping and training security personnel.

Osagie, an All Progressives Congress legislator from Edo State, argued that until Jonathan explained how the $1bn would be utilised differently from the N1tn already approved in the 2014 budget, “then, there are clouds of suspicion.”

He added, “Is the President borrowing the money to fund the N1tn budgeted for security in 2014? He has a lot of explanation to make.”

Osagie, who described the request as “laughable”, also said he was suspicious of Jonathan’s motive for making such request in a pre-election year.

He recalled that prior to the 2011 general elections, government’s expenditure on fuel subsidy rose to “over N1tn”, raising suspicions that substantial part of the money might have been used for electioneering.

“It is highly suspicious because we are approaching elections and this type of laughable request is coming.

“Why can’t government cut down on the many areas of waste in governance and save funds instead of resorting to external borrowing?

“Do we even know how much exactly we are owing as a nation?

“I totally oppose this loan”, Osagie added.

The Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Mr. Ali Ahmad, too did not spare the President.

Ahmad noted that “25 per cent” of the 2014 budget was earmarked for security.

He said, “We can’t see what they have done with the money because nothing has improved.

“Upgrading equipment and training Armed Forces personnel are not new issues; we approved N1tn in the budget for security.

“My position is that the military should come out and tell us how they have spent the 25 per cent of the budget we voted for security.”

Some civil rights groups also kicked against the external loan.

A United Kingdom-based political and public affairs commentator, Mr. Stephen Dieseruvwe, said the President should tell Nigerians how security votes had been spent.

He said, “I can tell you without mincing words that Nigerians are very angry about your posture on the fight against corruption and terrorism. Nigerians are getting to a breaking point, and I see it as a time bomb for a bloody disintegration of the geographical expression called Nigeria.”

But, an anti-corruption attorney and civil rights activist, Mr. Ugochukwu Osuagwu, said he supported the loan.

Osuagwu said, “The Nigerian Army has attributed its inability to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency to dearth of funds. N845 billion was budgeted for defence in 2014 and Army got just N4.8 billion this year so far. If the $1billion being sought is for the Army and other security agencies to fight Boko Haram, then it is justifiable.

“The Boko Haram guys are very powerful and we need to curtail them before they penetrate the South. Otherwise, they can wipe out Nigeria. I support the loan, provided it is meant to declare war on Boko Haram in the North and other parts they are located.”

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http://www.punchng.com/news/nassembly-members-divided-over-jonathans-1bn-loan-request/

Nigeria – vote on billion dollar loan for security operations delayed by recess

BBC
Nigeria’s $1bn loan to fight Boko Haram delayed

Nigeria’s National Assembly has broken up for a two-month recess, meaning approval for a loan to help the military fight Boko Haram must wait.

President Goodluck Jonathan submitted an urgent request to borrow $1bn (£580m) on the penultimate day of parliamentary business.

Analysts say it would normally take several days for such a loan to be passed.

Boko Haram’s campaign to establish an Islamic state has killed thousands.

The kidnapping of the girls from their school in Chibok has shocked many people around the world
Mr Jonathan has faced intense criticism over the government’s failure to curb the increasingly brutal insurgency waged by Boko Haram.

The group caused international outrage in April when it abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in its heartland of north-eastern Nigeria.

Nigeria has a military budget of about $6bn a year but large sums are lost to corruption, critics say.

Emergency law
In the letter to the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday, Mr Jonathan said there was an “urgent need” to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of the armed forces and security services to help them confront the “serious threat” posed by Boko Haram.

BBC News examines the challenges facing Nigeria’s president, in 60 seconds
“For this reason, I seek the concurrence of the National Assembly for external borrowing of not more than $1bn,” he said.

Both chambers of parliament are not due to sit again until the end of their annual recess in September.

The BBC’s Bashir Sa’ad Abdullahi in the capital, Abuja, says both the lower and upper houses of parliament would then scrutinise the loan request concurrently.

Boko Haram is opposed to Western education

Many villages rely on vigilantes to protect their communities from Boko Haram raids
Each chamber would debate the request first – it would then pass to a committee and back to the chamber for approval.

If the chambers differed, a joint committee would be formed to hammer out an agreement on the amount of the loan.

It is not a quick process and could not have been done in a day, our reporter says.

Nigeria’s military is receiving help from the US, UK, China, France and Israel to secure the release of the schoolgirls.

Rights groups have repeatedly accused the military of carrying out widespread abuses against civilians, as it tries to hunt down insurgents.

Mr Jonathan sent more troops to the north-east last year after declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the three states worst-affected by the insurgency.

However, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks since then – and many villages rely on a force of vigilantes for protection.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in Nigeria this year by Boko Haram.

The deaths occurred in around 95 separate attacks in more than 70 towns and villages in the north-east, where Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.

Who are Boko Haram?

Founded in 2002
Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
Some three million people affected
Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

Nigeria’s military says it is poorly equipped to tackle the insurgents

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28366834

Nigeria – 21 dead in Damboa attack

Punch
Boko Haram kills 21 in Borno attack

JULY 19, 2014 BY KAYODE IDOWU

Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group on Friday attacked Damboa, Borno State, and killed 21 people.

The town was attacked over two weeks ago with many people, including members of the violent group, military and security personnel killed.

The attack has since left the town and about 50 other communities in the troubled state susceptible to terrorist attacks.

Attempts by the military to return to the town about a week ago were rebuffed by the insurgents who laid ambush to the town. This left the soldiers who were lucky to escape being killed to return to Maiduguri, the state capital.

But the insurgents again hit Damboa on Friday and killed many residents.

The attackers were said to have had a field day as there was no security team to repel them.

A member of the youth vigilance group, Abbas Gava, told journalists in Maiduguri that the insurgents crept upon the villagers at about 5am and began the massacre.

He said only a handful of youth vigilance group known as Civilian-JTF was available in Damboa to protect the people as the military and security personnel who deserted the town in the last major attack had yet to return.

He said the number of victims might go up as members of Civilian-JTF were still searching for more bodies as of the time this report.

A senior security official, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the attack.

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http://www.punchng.com/news/boko-haram-kills-21-in-borno-attack/

Nigeria – Oyegun says Jonathan obsessed with re-election whatever the cost

Leadership

Jonathan Is Obsessed With Re-Election In 2015 At All Cost – Odigie-Oyegun

john odigie oyegun APC

Jonathan Is Obsessed With Re-Election In 2015 At All Cost – Odigie-Oyegun

President Jonathan has been accused of being so obsessed with his re-election bid next year that he has declared war against the opposition as manifested in the impeachment of Murtala Nyako on Tuesday and plans to move to other opposition governors. The national chairman of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, raised this alarm yesterday while addressing a press conference at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja as a reaction of his party to the impeachment of Nyako.

Those who were in attendance with him included Senator Bukola Saraki, Chief Audu Ogbeh, deputy chairman( north) Senator Lawal Shuaibu, national vice chairman (north-east), Engr B.D. Lawal, national publicity of the party Lai Mohammed; minority whip, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and Hon. Dino Menaye.

“Our freedoms are being emasculated, our economy being run to the ground, and our only hope of bringing about change — our democratic expression — is being smothered before our very eyes all because President Goodluck Jonathan is so obsessed with re-election in 2015 at all cost that he is destroying not just all our key institutions but indeed the entire country.

“At this critical juncture of our history and despite our desire for restraint and mature engagement with President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it is evident that inaction is no longer an option and we must resist it.

“Indeed, keeping quiet in the face of the ceaseless and unrelenting reckless violations of all known laws of the land and the constitution will amount to complicity in the lawlessness and impunity that has become the norm under President Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.

Oyegun disclosed that the ruling party was not satisfied with the recent loss of Ekiti State to it but wants to have Nasarawa, Edo, Osun and Rivers states as well.

“We know it has been the dream of the ruling PDP to rule for 60 unbroken years, not minding if Nigeria becomes a desert land in the process. Their evil machination has manifested in Ekiti. It has manifested yesterday in Adamawa, They have carried it to Nasarawa, and they have Edo, Osun and Rivers in their sights.

“In the states mentioned, all of them opposition strongholds, Jonathan and his party have abused national institutions, resorted to crude use of force and engaged in unprecedented financial inducements to achieve their objectives. All these anti-democratic tactics come under the umbrella of power with impunity!”

According to him, President Jonathan “does not care whether every institution of state, be it the military, the courts, INEC or any other one, is destroyed. All that matters now is his re-election. This explains why he has embarked on this war against the opposition, this war against all of Nigeria”.

He accused Jonathan of destroying some public institutions such as the military, the police, the judiciary, electoral umpire and then adopted impeachment as a tool of destabilising the opposition.

“Having bastardized the army, the police, the courts, aviation and the electoral commission, he has now moved to the next level: impeachment. Every impeachment or threat of it in recent times has the imprint of President Jonathan.

“As we speak, the governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako, has been impeached at the instance of the president and his party; they have moved to Nasarawa, their next stop, while Rivers, Edo and Borno, all APC states, are not being spared the destabilization that precedes their new-found weapon.”

The party faulted the impeachment process that removed its governor in Adamawa, describing it as “the worst manifestation of impunity”.

“What was Nyako impeached for? Offences he allegedly committed five years ago. Those offences were not impeachable when he was in the PDP. But the moment he decamped to the APC, they became impeachable.

“The entire ‘impeachment’ of Governor Nyako is so fraught with irregularities, bias, judicial contradictions and in violation of every procedural and constitutional provisions that it is the worst manifestation of impunity. We intend to mount an immediate and rigorous challenge to this gross injustice to the party and people of Adamawa State.”

On the plot to remove Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, APC argued that President Jonathan was as guilty as its governor over extra-budgetary spending.

“What is Gov. Al-Makura of Nasarawa being threatened with impeachment for? Allegations of extra-budgetary expenditure, the same offence that President Jonathan has committed many times. In fact, only on the 10th of July 2014, the Senate passed a resolution asking President Goodluck Jonathan to prepare and submit to the National Assembly supplementary budget to cover the over-expenditure in the sum of N90.693 billion (US$585 billion) for PMS subsidy 2012 and the sum of N685.910 billion (US$4.430 billion) for kerosene (DPK) subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013!”

The party accused the Presidency of inducing legislators with a view to using them to impeach the governors of Adamawa, Nasarawa and Edo states.

“In Adamawa, each member of the State House of Assembly was allegedly given $300,000 as part-payment to impeach Gov. Nyako; some N500 million has allegedly been moved to Nasarawa to induce the state’s lawmakers to impeach Gov. Al-Makura, and in Edo, each lawmaker has allegedly been offered N75 million to impeach Gov. Adams Oshiomhole.

“Now, who is more guilty of gross misconduct than a president who is frittering away our common wealth to induce perfidious legislators to impeach their state governors? Who is more guilty of gross misconduct than a president who deploys troops to harass, intimidate and arrest the opposition during an election? Who deserves to be impeached for gross misconduct more than a president who uses national institutions against the opposition, and shuts airports arbitrarily?”

The party further stated that Jonathan was heading towards making a record of being the president when many governors were impeached.

“President Jonathan’s desperation knows no bounds, and he is willing to set a record of presiding over the greatest number of impeachments under his tenure. Before Nyako’s impeachment on Tuesday, a total of five impeachments had been carried out in all of the 15 years of the Fourth Republic. But between now and 2015, President Jonathan is championing five impeachments — in Adamawa, Nasarawa, Edo, Rivers and Borno.