Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – 82 Chibok girls reunited with families


Media captionThere were jubilant scenes as families were reunited

A group of the “Chibok girls” freed from Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants have been reunited with their families.

The 82 girls, who were part of a huge group kidnapped from their school in 2014, are in the care of security services in the capital, Abuja.

Their parents travelled by bus through the night to meet their daughters.

More than 100 of the 276 girls, taken from the town of Chibok, are still being held by the militant group. Their whereabouts are unknown.

The reunion in Abuja had a celebratory atmosphere, with music and dance.

The BBC’s Alistair Leithead says the girls were already dancing when their parents got off the bus and raced towards them, in an emotional reunion.

The 82 young women were only freed two weeks earlier in exchange for five Boko Haram militants.

The most recent group freed was supposed to have 83 girls – but one refused to leave, saying she was happy and had found a husband, a Nigerian government spokesman said.

The freed girls remain in government care – under the eye of security services who are questioning them about their time spent as captives.

Media captionMr Nkeke saw his daughter earlier than most last week

After the girls were abducted from their school in April 2014, a massive global awareness campaign began, using the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

The Chibok girls represent a fraction of the women captured by the militant group, estimates for which number in the thousands.

Nigeria – acting president Osinbajo signs executive orders

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

In exercise of the presidential authorities, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday signed three executive orders that will significantly change some of the ways government business and operations are conducted in the country forthwith.

Ahead of the signing, Mr. Osibanjo held an interactive session at the old Banquet Hall of Presidential Villa with all relevant government officials, including ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of departments and agencies among others.

The session was meant to directly engage government officials who would be implementing the orders and the new instructions.

Specifically, Mr. Osinbajo signed three executive orders giving specific instructions on a number of policy issues affecting:

*the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country,

*timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government and

*support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government.

Nigeria – warning of alarming rate of malnutrition

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A doctor attends to a malnourished child at a refugee camp in Yola, Nigeria Sunday, May 3, 2015, after being rescued from captivity by Boko Haram fighters. Their faces were gaunt with signs of malnutrition but the girls are alive and free, among a group of 275 children and women rescued by the Nigerian military, and the first to arrive at a refugee camp Saturday after a three-day journey to safety. They came from the Sambisa Forest, thought to be the last stronghold of the Islamic extremists, where the Nigerian military said it has rescued more than 677 girls and women and destroyed more than a dozen insurgent camps in the past week. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

A doctor attends to a malnourished child at a refugee camp in Yola, Nigeria Sunday, May 3, 2015, after being rescued from captivity by Boko Haram fighters. Their faces were gaunt with signs of malnutrition but the girls are alive and free, among a group of 275 children and women rescued by the Nigerian military, and the first to arrive at a refugee camp Saturday after a three-day journey to safety. They came from the Sambisa Forest, thought to be the last stronghold of the Islamic extremists, where the Nigerian military said it has rescued more than 677 girls and women and destroyed more than a dozen insurgent camps in the past week. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigerians are seriously experiencing malnutrition in some parts of the country, a civil society group has alerted.

The rate of the scourge is far more alarming than the attention being paid to it, Beatrice Eluaka, the project director of CS-SUN, a Civil Society Organisation and member of the PACFaH coalition, warned in Kaduna on Tuesday.

Ms. Eluaka gave the warning at a workshop held to highlight focus areas where media reportage is lacking on health/nutrition challenges and funding gaps in Nigeria.

Ms. Eluaka noted that the Nigeria demographic and health survey (NDHS) 2013 reported the national prevalence of stunting at 37%, underweight 29%, and wasting 18% in children under five years old.

According to the survey, however, the worst hit regions in Nigeria for stunting are the northwest and northcentral which have 54.8% and 29.3% respectively.

Children in the two zones also suffer most wasting, with 27.1% in the northwest and 19.5% in northeast; as well as the most underweight with 30.8% recorded in the northeast and 47.4% in the northwest.

CS-SUN organised the three-day capacity building workshop and field visit for journalists from the print, mass and online media.

The event brought together journalists from across the country to brainstorm on how the mass media can be used as a platform for advocating scaling up of funding for nutrition by government at the national and state levels.

Nutrition officers of Nassarawa, Kaduna and Niger made presentations at the workshop on their various states’ responses to nutrition issues.

The Kaduna state representative, Jane Gwani, said the commitment by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to counterpart funding with the UNICEF has led to more money being made available to address nutrition issues.

Her Niger state counterpart, Amina Isah, however, noted that her state has moved from medium burden to high burden state, which has made it a priority state for nutrition intervention in Nigeria.

Nasarawa State Nutrition Officer, Hajiya Amina, said her state had a standing committee on food and nutrition. She said the state government also had a specific budget line for nutrition, though no budgetary release had been made.

In his presentation, the programme manager of CS-SUN described the Federal Ministry of Health expenditure on nutrition as abysmal, citing an example of a paltry N25 million spent in 2012 and N1.9 billion in the 2017 proposed budget.

As part of the event, the journalists had a site visit to Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) and Out-Patient

Therapeutic (OTP) programme sites in Zaria LGA of Kaduna state to asses firsthand the malnutrition cases and the level of response from the state government with support from partners.

At the OTP site, clients were seen coming to receive the ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUFT) for their children. The officer in charge of the site at Makama Abbas Primary Health Centre, Mariam Ibrahim, said they have between 10-20 new cases teveryday, while also noting that the state was committed to the provision of the supplements.

She however decried the seasonal fluctuation in the programme before the statutory eight weeks is complete. On the seasonal fluctuation, she said the number usually increases during farming season as the people plant whiled the number drastically drops during harvest.

She said since the facility does not have the capacity to admit severe cases, such were referred to a close by site that has the capacity.

In the course of the visit, a new case was brought in which was referred but the mother refused going, saying she needed permission from her husband who was not around although her three- year-old child was dying.

Ms. Mariam said such was a regular occurrence at the site.

According to an official, Nigeria would require $912 million over five years to mitigate malnutrition.

Nigeria – UN warns millions displaced by Boko Haram risk statelessness

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The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Regional Representative for West Africa, Liz Ahua, says massive displacement in Nigeria’s North-East zone poses great dangers of statelessness for victims.

Mrs. Ahua said this on Sunday in Banjul at the opening ceremony of a three-day ministerial meeting on the Adoption of the Regional Plan of Action to Eradicate Statelessness in West Africa.

She said that if urgent actions were not taken, some of the 2.4 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, or refugees residing in neighbouring countries could lose their nationality and become stateless.

She explained that displacement, whether caused by conflicts or natural disasters, was a root cause of statelessness which further increases the risk, if not urgently and properly tackled.

She said that it could also become an obstacle to achieving durable solutions for displaced persons and prevent them from rebuilding their lives in dignity as well as impede return and relocation.

“The crises in the Lake Chad Basin region is a prime example where over 2.4 million people have been displaced by the conflict, including over 1.8 million IDPs in Nigeria

“Over 200,000 Nigerians are living as refugees in neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon without adequate documentation.

“Before the crises, civil registration, including birth registration, were already low in the region and most of those displaced lack identity documents.

“This has created many challenges, including discerning between refugees and IDPs in local communities, impacting their access to protection and rights.

“In the longer term, this may hamper the achievement of durable solution for the displaced.’’

According to her, the link between issues of statelessness, sustaining peace and security in the region cannot be separated as statelessness can lead to insecurity and instability.

She explained that stateless persons, when they felt deserted, could easily be used as tools of destruction by insurgents and criminals in carrying our attacks and perpetuating other crimes.

Mrs. Ahua commended Nigeria and Niger for their commitment in pushing for the Adoption of the Abuja Declaration on the Protection of the Lake Chad Basin in June 2016.

She said that the commitment of both countries gave impetus to the Abidjan Declaration in its engagement to reduce the risk of statelessness among the displaced populations.

The UNHCR Regional Representative further said that laudable efforts were under way to address documentation and nationality issues in the affected areas.


Nigeria – President Buhari attends Friday prayers

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President Muhammadu Buhari discussing with NSA Babagana Munguno immediately after observing Juma'at Prayer at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. [Photo: Bashir Ahmaad]

President Muhammadu Buhari has attended Friday Muslim prayers at the Mosque inside the presidential villa.

The president, who has been ill, had not been seen in public for weeks, fuelling speculations about his health.

Mr. Buhari also missed cabinet meetings for three consecutive weeks, but his wife, Aisha, said his health was not as bad as “perceived”.

The president has not disclosed the nature of his ailment.

On Friday, Mr. Buhari arrived the Mosque at 1:28 p.m., escorted by a retinue of aides.

Dressed in all white attire, he walked briskly from his official residence to the mosque and back, covering about 600 metres.

Nigeria – three former president meet to discuss Buhari’s ill health


Enyioha Opara, MinnaFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo, former heads of state,  Ibrahim Babangida and Abubakar Abdusalami, on Tuesday met in Minna, Niger State capital.

The meeting held at lbrahim Babangida’s hilltop mansion lasted for three hours and was believed to have dwelt on the state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The generals were said to have considered all constitutional options available for the country in the face of the inability of President Buhari “to effectively function” as president.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been indisposed in the last couple of weeks and unable to attend two jumat services at the mosque within Aso Rock.

He had also been unable to preside over two Federal Executive Council meetings.

Those in attendance at the meeting were the host, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to a source privy to the closed-door meeting, the trio agreed to “continue to closely watch the situation” and “will speak out” at the appropriate time.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo had secretly entered Minna on Monday evening and was received by Governor Abubakar Bello who drove him to the uphill residence of Gen. Babangida.

A source said Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar was already waiting in IBB’s residence by the time Obasanjo arrived.

All the domestic and security staff of IBB were asked to excuse the generals as they went into the almost three-hour meeting.

Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello was said to have also waited in one of the sitting rooms for the period the meeting lasted.

Bello was reported to have also driven Obasanjo to the airport after the clandestine meeting.

Nigeria Buhari’s health


ABUJA Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s doctors have advised him to take things slowly as he recovers from an undisclosed illness, and there is no need to worry about his health, his spokesman said on Thursday.

Buhari did not attend a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, choosing to rest and work from home. That triggered speculation about his health and his ability to run Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation.

Wednesday’s was Buhari’s second consecutive absence from the weekly meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.


Garba Shehu said Buhari’s decision not to attend the meeting was last minute, otherwise he would have notified his cabinet and Nigerians.

Buhari, 74, returned home in March after nearly two months’ medical leave in Britain and said he would need more rest and health tests. Details of his medical condition were not disclosed.

“President Buhari himself, on his return to the country, made Nigerians aware of the state of his health while he was in London. Full recovery is sometimes a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation,” Shehu said in a statement.

“Despite his lack of visibility, Nigerians should rest assured that President Buhari has not abdicated his role as Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria.”

Shehu said the president received daily briefings on activities of government and met regularly with his vice president.

Osinbajo, a lawyer who is seen as more business-friendly than Buhari, has played an active role in driving policy changes, chairing cabinet meetings during the president’s medical leave.

Shehu said Buhari was spending most of his time in his private residence which is equipped as an office, adding that he had gone through the worst period of his recovery in London.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Tife Owolabi; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Ralph Boulton)