Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – Buhari calls Kano governor

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Buhari calls Kano Governor during prayer session

Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives meet President Muhammadu Buhari in London

Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives meet President Muhammadu Buhari in London

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday made a phone call to the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to thank the people of the state who had gathered to pray for the quick recovery of the president, an official said.

The governor, who organised the special prayer gathering at Government House, Kano, asked the president how he was feeling as soon as he picked the call.

“I’m much better now and I thank you for the prayers and indeed the entire Nigerians”, Mr. Buhari said in a call placed on speakerphone near the hall’s microphone and heard by everyone in the hall.

Governor Ganduje then told the President that he was being overhead by those offering prayers for him, to which Mr. Buhari responded by expressing happiness and gratitude.

Mr. Buhari has been in the UK for over 30 days for health reasons. His spokesperson recently said the president was asked to take a bed rest based on results of some medical tests conducted.

The presidency has not given any date for Mr. Buhari’s return.

The Kano government sponsored Wednesday’s special prayers including the recitation of the Quran for the speedy recovery of the president.

The event, which was conducted at the Africa House of the Government House, drew Islamic clerics from different sects including Izalat, Tijjaniyya and Qaddiriyya.

Before the commencement of the recitation of the Quran, the clerics offered special prayers, saying it is imperative for everyone to pray for the president.

Aminudeen Abubakar, the State Commandant of the Hisbah, said while offering his prayers that regardless of one’s religion, a leader deserves his followers’ prayers.

Kabirullah Kabara, the leader of Qaddiriyya, said they would continue to pray till the president fully recovers.

Among those present during the prayers were the state’s deputy governor, Hafiz Abubakar, commissioners, state lawmakers and party stalwarts.

Governor Ganduje said President Buhari needs the prayers of Nigerians for quick recovery.

Mr. Ganduje said the fight against corruption started by the president was gaining momentum.

Nigeria – Sarakai says “No cause for alarm” after meeting with Buhari in London

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives meet President Muhammadu Buhari in London

Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives meet President Muhammadu Buhari in London

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has assured Nigerians that his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday was successful and the president was in good health.

Mr. Saraki was head of a three-man delegation – including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan – that travelled to London to meet with the president.

In a statement circulated late on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr. Saraki said, “Myself, Rt Honorable Speaker Yakubu Dogara and leader of Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan paid a visit to President Buhari in Abuja House in London. We were delighted to see that President Buhari is doing well, was cheerful and in good spirits.”

The senate president also gave an indication that Mr. Buhari would soon return to Nigeria.

“The president’s absence and imminent return shows that there is no vacuum in government and our system of democracy is working with all organs of government fulfilling their mandate.

“And let me use the time tested cliché, there is no cause for alarm! The president I saw today is healthy, witty and himself,” Mr. Saraki said.

President Muhammadu Buhari receives Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives and Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan in London
President Muhammadu Buhari receives Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives and Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan in London

There have been speculations about the president’s health since his 10-day vacation which he commenced on January 19. The speculations worsened after the president wrote the Senate to extend the vacation indefinitely for health reasons. The presidency has, however, repeatedly said Mr. Buhari is hale and hearty.

Since Mr. Buhari’s absence, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been acting as president in line with constitutional provisions.


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Nigerian government insists Buhari is “hale and hearty”

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Audu Ogbeh, Babatunde Fashola and Lai Mohammed briefing the media after the Federal Executive Council meeting today

Audu Ogbeh, Babatunde Fashola and Lai Mohammed briefing the media after the Federal Executive Council meeting today 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the federal government’s stance that President Muhammadu Buhari is not sick, despite seeking an extended medical vacation.

Mr. Mohammed stated this while briefing journalists at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said the fact that all the ministers were working optimally was an indication that the president was “hale and hearty.”

“Do you think we will be consulting our business like this if Mr. President is ill?” the minister asked rhetorically.

“He (pointing to Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola) was in Anambra last week, I was in Kwara yesterday, all our ministers are busy doing their work. Mr. President is well and is absolutely not in danger,” he said.

“I can say without any hesitation that Mr. President is well, is hale and hearty. No question about that.”

Mr. Mohammed’s statement comes two days after a similar statement by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo who said he spoke to the president on phone.

Contrary to the federal government’s stance, other public officials like the Adamawa State Governor, Jibrilla Bindow, have asked Nigerians to pray for a sick Mr. Buhari.

President Buhari had on Sunday written to the Senate to extend his 10-day medical vacation. The Senate later confirmed to reporters the extension was indefinite as the president did not indicate his return date.

The information minister also reacted to publications recalling his position when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was ill.

Yar'adua
Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

Mr. Mohammed, who was the spokesperson of the defunct opposition party, Action Congress, at the time, was quoted to have said the handlers of the president should be giving Nigerians hourly update on his health status.

He said asking for the same update now is simply like “comparing oranges with apples”.

He said unlike late Mr. Yar’Adua, Mr. Buhari is not in admission or in danger; adding “there is no need to give anyone, any bulletin about his health.

Nigeria – army claims 3,000 Boko Haram arrests in 3 weeks

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Major General Lucky Irabor, commander of Operation Lafiya Dole [Photo Credit: Punch]

Major General Lucky Irabor, commander of Operation Lafiya Dole [Photo Credit: Punch]

Nigerian troops have arrested some 3,332 Boko Haram suspects within three weeks, a senior commander said Thursday.

Lucky Irabor, a major general and commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, responsible for fighting the insurgents in northeast Nigeria, said the military had also made an unprecedented capture of arms within the period.

He said an anti-aircraft gun was amongst the recovered weapons.

Mr. Irabor, who disclosed this at a press conference at the headquarters of the Theatre Command, said the arrested suspects were being interrogated to determine their levels of complicity.

“At this level of the counterinsurgency operations, anyone found in the hinterlands or raided camps is deemed a suspect until investigation prove otherwise,” he said.

He also disclosed that an army officer, whom he identified as Captain Adeosun, was killed in an IED attack on January 24. He said four Boko Haram insurgents were killed as soldiers repelled the attack.

Mr. Irabor presented a man he said was a Boko Haram member who had surrendered.

The man, who gave his name as Muhammed Abubakar, told journalists that his colleagues amputated his leg and hand when they suspected he was about to leave them.

Mr. Irabor said the fight against Boko Haram terrorists had been won “tactically”, despite pockets of attacks that have continued.

He requested the support of the public and the media in ensuring the success of the war.

“I must say the media has been wonderful in their job as far as this operation is concerned,” he said.

“We may have one or two issues that we may not agree on, but what has come very clear in our mind is the willingness of everybody to see that things move from where they are. And we have to know that terrorism is all about instilling fear in people. And to overcome that we must ensure confidence building and not promoting fear. As such, we have to make people understand that their security is guaranteed by not giving in to fear.”

Nigeria and Chad seek $50bn to stop lake Chad shrinking

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Lake Chad [Photo Credit: World Water Database]

Lake Chad [Photo Credit: World Water Database]

Nigeria and Republic of Chad have called on the African Union, AU, and international donors to assist in raising $50 billion dollars for recharging of drying Lake Chad.

Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the two countries made the call at the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) alongside of the ongoing 28th AU Summit.

He said there was also an agreement by the two countries to have a formal international donor conference on recharging the lake, as well as having a direct engagement with possible sponsors.

The minister explained that the APRM consisting 33 countries was a self-monitoring policy through peer review mechanism to ensure social, economic and political development among member states.

Mr. Onyeama said the peer review mechanism was a process where the member states submit themselves to review each other, where Nigeria had peer reviewed Republic of Chad.

He said that the two issues that came up on the Chad review were the impact of Boko Haram and shrinking of the Lake which affected about 30 million people around the lake basin.

“We recognised the role that Chad has been playing in the framework of the International Joint Task Force and we pointed out the impact of the Boko Haram on the task force.

“On the question of Chad, we pointed out that the Lake had shrunk to about 10 per cent and has had catastrophic effect on the people living in that area.

“And the challenge is how to address such situation, I pointed out that what Nigeria is looking at in that context is the possibility of recharging the lake from a river from Central Africa, the Rangin River,” he said.

He said that Nigeria had already paid about $5 million towards a study on recharging the lake.

Mr. Onyeama added that it was going to cost about $15 million or more to do a comprehensive feasibility study on recharging of Lake Chad.

“The cost of recharging is in the neighbourhood of $15 billion to 20 billion. I pointed out that we are looking at the possibility of organising international donor conference to look for fund to addressing this issue.

“The environmental impact and the negative aspect. The President of Chad, Idriss Deby, followed up with us also elaborated on the issue, calling on the world to assist us in addressing the Lake Chad issue.

“Because there is ecological issue, there is environmental issue, social and of course we have seen that we can also have illegal migration of the youth and also war within the area.’’

He said that after the discussion, it was agreed that to have a formal international donor conference “and that is why we were really engage directly with possible sponsors”.

(NAN)

Nigeria – Health Minister on why the country still battles leprosy

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Nigerians battling with leprosy (Photo credit: The Leprosy Mission)

Nigerians battling with leprosy (Photo credit: The Leprosy Mission)

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has attributed the prevalence of leprosy in Nigeria, after the country achieved the WHO elimination target in 1998, to pockets of high endemicity in some states.

Mr. Adewole made the remark at a news conference in Umuahia to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the World Leprosy Day Celebration on Friday with the theme: “Zero disability among children affected by leprosy”.

According to him, of 2,892 leprosy cases reported in 2015, nine per cent was made up of children, while victims with “grade II disability” accounted for 15 per cent.

Mr. Adewole explained that leprosy still posed a challenge due to the pockets of high endemicity in some states such as Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger, Kogi, Ebonyi, Abia, Cross River, Edo, Osun, Ogun and Lagos.

“Of utmost concern is the existence of new leprosy cases that are reported each year among the general population, including children and those with grade 2 disability.”

He recalled that “In 1998, after the introduction of the Multi- Drug Therapy (MDT), Nigeria achieved WHO’S elimination target of less than one case per 10,000 population at the national level, saying lateness in presenting cases at the health care facilities made matters worse.

He noted that the “mistaken beliefs about the disease” being highly contagious, hereditary and heaven’s punishment have negatively affected persons with leprosy even after they are cured.

adewole-health-minister
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.

The minister said that the Federal Government had launched a five-year National Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Strategic Plan (2016-2020) as part of its efforts to eliminate the disease in the endemic states.

“This document facilitates the implementation of appropriate strategies to increase case detection, improve treatment outcome, prevent disabilities and provide rehabilitation services to affected persons,” he said.

He expressed commitment to work with partners so as to ensure effective and sustained leprosy control and to achieve a reduction in stigma and discrimination in the country.

He urged the media and civil society organisations to help propagate the message that “leprosy is curable and treatment is free” in addition to public enlightenment against stigmatisation and discrimination.

“What they need is love, understanding and your support,” he said.

Meanwhile, News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 59th National Council on Health meeting in Umuahia, which lasted for four days ended on Friday.

Nigeria – official figures say 236 killed in IDP bombing by air force

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236 people buried after IDP camp bombing by Nigerian jet – Official

Injured people are comforted at the site after a bombing attack of an internally displaced persons camp in Rann, Nigeria January 17, 2017. MSF/Handout via Reuters

Injured people are comforted at the site after a bombing attack of an internally displaced persons camp in Rann, Nigeria January 17, 2017. MSF/Handout via Reuters

A total of 234 people were killed and buried after a Nigerian military jet mistakenly bombed a camp occupied by persons displaced by Boko Haram, an official has said.

The Chairman of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State, Babagana Malarima, said 234 persons were buried in Rann village, which is in the local government, after the January 17 bombing.

The Nigerian military and the federal government have described the bombing as an accident and expressed solidarity with the victims. An Air Force investigation team has since arrived Borno to investigate the attack.

The military said the jet was meant to target suspected Boko Haram members when it accidentally bombed the camp.

Mr. Malarima said two other injured persons died in the hospital after they were flown by helicopter from the camp.

He disclosed this on Friday when the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, visited Rann.

Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai
Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai

The council chairman is the first government official to give a major casualty figure after the Doctors without Borders, MSF, announced on the day of the attack that 52 persons died and 120 others injured.

The MSF later said the death toll could be as high as 174.

“We buried 234 corpses in Rann after the bombs were dropped on the IDP camp,” Mr. Malarima said. “We have two others injured persons that died while in hospital in Maiduguri.”

Several of the wounded were flown by helicopter to Maiduguri due to the bad and insecure state of roads that link the Borno Capital with Kala-Balge, where the Rann camp is located.

The council chairman said the families of the dead persons as well as the injured ones are asking for compensation from the Nigerian government.

The victims, mostly Muslims, have not stated the terms of compensation. But in Islam compensation for manslaughter is paid to the tune of 100 camels or its equivalent, which could be about N40 million person.

Should the victims insist on payment by Islamic standard, which is sometimes used in parts of Northern Nigeria, the federal could pay as much as N9.5 billion compensation.