Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – Shell to start clearing up 2008 oil spill

Reuters

Global Energy News | Fri Mar 24, 2017

LONDON The head of a group helping organise Shell’s (RDSa.L) clean-up efforts in an oil Delta community in Nigeria said on Friday he was hopeful clean-up work after two spills in 2008 could start in April.

Royal Dutch Shell agreed in 2015 on a 55 million pound settlement with the Bodo community after accepting liability for two pipeline leaks due to corrosion that contaminated their land. [reut.rs/2hTxctf]

But progress to clean up the spill has been slow after Shell said members of the community had denied it access in August 2015 when work was set to begin. A community

After months of wrangling, the parties have reached agreement and clean-up work is set to start in April, said the chairman of the Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI), a programme started in 2013 by the Dutch ambassador to Nigeria.

“Hopefully we should be able to go to site and start the clean-up next month,” BMI Chairman Inemo Samiama told Reuters.

The BMI is mediating between Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and the Bodo community. It also includes representatives from the United Nations Environmental Programme, the local government, the Dutch embassy and several non-governmental organisations.

“SPDC remains fully committed to ensuring clean-up takes place and will continue to work with the BMI to implement a remediation plan for Bodo area,” said a spokesman for SPDC.

Samiama said Shell had appointed international contractors to carry out the clean-up work. Once it commences, the first step would be to remove oil from the water surfaces before restoring landscapes that were damaged by the spill, he said.

“We are hoping this time around we are going to start this clean-up once and for all and get this job done,” Samiama said, adding the entire clean-up process will take several years.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Edmund Blair)

UNHCR criticises Cameroon for forced return of Nigeria refugees

BBC

An aerial picture taken on February 14, 2017 at Monguno district of Borno State shows a camp for internally displaced people.AFP  Many returnees are ending up in camps in Borno state

The UN refugee agency has criticised Cameroon for the forced return of hundreds of refugees to north-east Nigeria after they had fled from the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

The UNHCR said forced returns had “continued unabated” despite an agreement earlier this month.

Under the deal, any returns would be voluntary and only “when conditions were conducive”.

Cameroon has rejected the accusation and said people returned willingly.

According to the UNHCR, more than 2,600 refugees have been forcibly returned to Nigeria from Cameroon this year.

Many are unable to go back to their villages in Borno state for security reasons and have ended up in camps for displaced people.

In some cases, the UNHCR said, people had been returned “without allowing them time to collect their belongings”.

UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch spoke of “chaos” in the returns process and said “some women were forced to leave their young children behind in Cameroon, including a child less than three years old”.

Many of the returnees are now settled in the Banki camp for internally displaced people.

UNHCR staff also recorded about 17 people who claimed to be Cameroonian nationals, who it said had been deported by mistake to Banki.

Cameroon's army forces patrol near the village of Mabass, northern CameroonImage copyright AFP
Image caption Cameroon says Boko Haram militants have infiltrated, disguised as refugees

It is common in the region to find people who have no documentary proof of their nationality.

Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme: “I strongly deny this accusation” of forced returns.

He said the Cameroonian army had been working “hand-in-hand” with the Nigerian army against Boko Haram and any civilians who had returned to Nigeria had done so of their own accord.

“This repatriation has taken place willingly,” he said.

The Cameroonian authorities have previously said Boko Haram militants have been entering the country disguised as refugees.

Militants have carried out a number of attacks in northern Cameroon in recent years, often using suicide bombers.

The UNHCR said forced return constitutes a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Convention, both of which Cameroon has ratified.

It called on Cameroon to honour its obligations under the conventions and continue keeping its borders open so as to allow access to territory and asylum procedures for people fleeing the Islamist insurgency.

Nigeria – Boko Haram leader Shekau appears in new video threatening world leaders

Premium Times

Abubakar Shekau in new video

Abubakar Shekau in new video

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has appeared in a new video, refuting recent claims of attacks by Cameroonian President Paul Biya, while threatening world leaders.

The 27-minute footage, sent to PREMIUM TIMES by a journalist with known contact to Boko Haram, also showed Mr. Shekau thanking his followers.

Mr. Shekau displayed identity cards, arms, ammunition and other equipment purportedly seized from the Cameroonian Army.

Mr. Shekau also ordered his fighters to remain steadfast, adding that the sect will not back down until Sharia is established in Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Mali.

The video comes three days after the sect released a video claiming to have killed some three men allegedly working for government.

More details soon…

Editor’s Note: This post has corrected an earlier reference to “attacks in Libya”.

Cameroon-Nigeria: 5,000 civilians rescued from Boko Haram

Punch

Cameroon said its troops had rescued 5,000 civilian “hostages” held by Boko Haram Islamists in a cross-border operation that left scores of jihadists dead.
Cameroonian troops carried out “a vast operation all along the Cameroon-Nigeria border and in Nigeria” from February 27 to March 7, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement seen by AFP Wednesday.
The operation, dubbed Thunder 2, “led to the liberation of more than 5,000 people taken hostage by the terrorists”, he said, referring to Boko Haram.
“The freed hostages — most of them women, children and elderly people — were taken to a camp for displaced people in Banki, Nigeria,” he added.
“More than 60 terrorists” were killed, he said, adding that “21 suspects were arrested”.
Boko Haram, which wants to establish a caliphate in northern Nigeria, has been waging an insurgency since 2009.
Though it was born in Nigeria, the Islamic State-affiliated group has also carried out frequent attacks on “soft” targets in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, prompting them to form a regional force to fight back.
Some 200,000 Cameroonians from the Far North region near Nigeria have fled their villages in fear of the violence carried out by Boko Haram militants.
The UN Security Council earlier this month vowed to turn the spotlight on a “neglected crisis” affecting 21 million people in the Lake Chad region that straddles Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
AFP

Nigeria – Buhari speaks about health on return but may need more treatment abroad

Premium Times

President Buhari arriving from London Friday

President Buhari arriving from London Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja expressed gratitude to Nigerians for all the prayers and show of goodwill, pledging to rededicate himself to the service of the nation.

Addressing the country from the State House, shortly after arriving from London, President Buhari said he was fully committed to serving the nation and protecting the right of all Nigerians.

‘‘I am deeply grateful to all Nigerians, Muslims and Christians alike who have prayed and have continued to pray for my good health.

‘‘This is a testimony that in spite of the hardship being experienced, Nigerians support the government in its effort to tackle our country’s challenges,’’ the president said.

He said his health had improved significantly, following the medical attention he received during his vacation in London.

“The best way for me to repay you is to rededicate myself to serving you, protecting your interest and keeping your trust. I thank you very much.

“I am feeling much better now. There may, however, be need for further follow up within some weeks,’’ he stated.

In his remark, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said it was satisfying for Nigerians and the Federal Executive Council to receive the President back in the country “hale and hearty’’.

“It is a day of joy not only for us but for the whole country, Africa and the world. Your arrival has vindicated our position that you will return safely,’’ he said.

The vice president thanked the president for respecting the constitution and entrusting power to him before travelling, noting that it was a tough job “going around in borrowed robes”.

The Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, also made remarks to welcome the president.

President Buhari returned to Nigeria after 51 days of medical vacation in London, United Kingdom.

PREMIUM TIMES correspondent in Kaduna said a presidential jet, 5N-FGN, conveying the president landed at exactly 7:40 a.m. at the Nigerian Air Force Base in the city.

Mr. Buhari was dressed in a black caftan with a black cap to march, and was received by Kaduna officials, amidst tight security.

He was immediately taken into a waiting helicopter to Abuja.

“Only select journalists were allowed to take photos and record video of his landing and takeoff,” our reporter said.

Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, said Mr. Buhari’s  plane landed in Kaduna  well after 7.am today in Kaduna, debunking earlier reports that the president flew in at about 4.am.

Mr. Adesina had announced Thursday that Mr. Buhari would return to Nigeria Friday (today).

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria on 19 January 19 for a vacation in London and was scheduled to return to work on 6 February.

During his visit to UK, he also said he would conduct some medical checks.

However, a day to his resumption, he requested for an extension of his holiday, following the recommendation of his doctors that he wait for further tests and rest.

According to Mr. Adesina, President Buhari expressed appreciation to teeming Nigerians from across the country, and beyond, who had prayed fervently for him, and also sent him their good wishes.

While in London, the president received visitors at his base in the British capital, and made telephone calls to dignitaries in Nigeria.

There are widespread speculations in Nigeria that he is unwell but the presidency has repeatedly dismissed the insinuations.

Nigeria – Buhari back in Nigeria

Premium Times

president-muhammadu-buhari-arrives-marrakech

President Muhamadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria, after 51 days on vacation in London, United Kingdom.

Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, said Mr. Buhari’s  plane landed in Kaduna  well after 7.am today in Kaduna, debunking earlier reports that the president flew in at about 4.am.

“We are now at the helipad at the Aso Villa  awaiting his arrival from Kaduna. The flight will take about  40 minutes,” Mr. Adesina said  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

In Kaduna, President Buhari was received  by Deputy Governor Barnabas Yusuf Bala.

An excited Kaduna governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said on Facebook:

“The President is back. He has landed safely in Kaduna and received by Acting Governor Barnabas Yusuf Bala and senior KDSG officials. The government and people of Kaduna State are proud to receive our First Citizen back to his home to face the task of rebuilding Nigeria. Alhamdulillah. Jumaat Mubarak to everyone.”

Mr. Adesina had announced Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari  would return to Nigeria Friday (today).

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria on 19 January 19 for a vacation in London and was scheduled to return to work on 6 February.

During his visit to UK, he also said he would conduct some medical checks.

However,  a day to his resumption, he requested for an extension of his holiday, following the recommendation of his doctors that he wait for further tests and rest.

According to Mr. Adesina, President Buhari expressed appreciation to teeming Nigerians from across the country, and beyond, who had prayed fervently for him, and also sent him their good wishes.

While in London, the president received visitors at his base in the British capital, and made telephone calls to dignitaries in Nigeria.

There are widespread speculations in Nigeria that he is unwell but the presidency has repeatedly dismissed the insinuations.

Nigeria – Buhari to return home from medical treatment in UK

Reuters

By Felix Onuah | ABUJA

ABUJA Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will return to the West African nation on Friday after extended medical leave in Britain, the presidency said on Thursday.

Buhari, 74, left Abuja on Jan. 19 for treatment in Britain. He had originally planned to stay 10 days but stayed longer to rest after consulting his doctors.

Officials have refused to disclose his illness, triggering fierce speculation in Nigerian media and on social media.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to return to the country tomorrow, Friday March 10, 2017,” the presidency said in a statement.

“President Buhari expresses appreciation to teeming Nigerians from across the country, and beyond, who had prayed fervently for him, and also sent their good wishes,” it added.

The statement gave no medical details.

The presidency had earlier on Thursday published pictures of a smiling Buhari meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in Abuja House, part of the Nigerian High Commission in London.

No official pictures of Buhari’s meetings in London had been posted since Feb. 15.

The government had sought to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa’s biggest economy by stressing that Buhari had given Vice President Yemi Osinbajo full powers as acting president during his leave.

Osinbajo, a lawyer, held in Buhari’s absence cabinet meetings and finished work on an economic reform plan needed to secure a World Bank loan to help plug a deficit caused by low oil revenues.

The central bank also devalued the naira for retail customers two weeks ago.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Roche)