Sunday 21 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Gunmen have killed 10 people in attacks on two Christian-dominated villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, a hotbed of ethnic and religous strife, officials said Tuesday. On Christmas Eve, six people were killed when gunmen suspected to be ethnic Fulani Muslims stormed Ungwan Mailafiya, they said. The killings followed an attack in nearby Nindem late Friday where gunmen opened fire on a congregation, killing four and injuring 10, said a local lawmaker. "While we were mourning the deaths at Nindem ... the security personnel received distress calls of another attack at Ungwan Mailafiya"...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
The former campaign chief of Nigeria's ex-president Goodluck Jonathan has been arrested for allegedly stealing $48.5 million from state coffers to fund his failed 2015 re-election bid, an official said Tuesday. Ngozi Olojeme was head of Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and siphoned off this amount from the fund, an official from the national anti-corruption agency EFCC told AFP. "She is in our custody for an alleged fraud totally $48,485,127 belonging to NSITF," he said, and added that the EFCC had also seized 38 properties traced to Olojeme.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Boko Haram jihadists made a failed Christmas Day attempt to attack Nigeria's major northeast city of Maiduguri as they were pushed out by Nigerian soldiers after a prolonged gun battle, military and militia sources told AFP. The jihadists in "several" pickup trucks opened fire on a military checkpoint on the Molai outskirts of the city at around 5:30 pm (1630 GMT) on Monday, triggering a gun fight that lasted for more than an hour. "The terrorists came in several pickups and engaged troops at Molai who fought and repelled the attack with aerial support," said a senior military officer in Maiduguri. "It was clear they wanted to overrun the checkpoint and enter the city to cause mayhem," said the military...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Amid the global outcry over hellish migrant camps in Libya, many African leaders have accused the country of racism and crimes against their African "brothers". But for those who have returned from the living hell, it's not only the Libyans who are profiting from the "migrant business". Illegal migrants are also the prey of sub-Saharan mafia groups, especially Nigerians. Daniel* was a student when smugglers convinced him to travel to Europe, which many migrants see as the path to a prosperous life. "In two weeks, you will be in Italy," they promised him. But 10 months later, in early December, the 28-year-old Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/17)
Pirates have kidnapped 10 sailors from a merchant ship off the coast of southern Nigeria in the latest attack in the restive region, the International Maritime Bureau said on Thursday. "A bulk carrier underway was attacked and boarded by six pirates from a small boat. Ten crew members were reported missing. The remaining crew onboard sailed the vessel to a safe port," the IMB said in a statement. The kidnapping happened around 32 nautical miles south of Brass last week in the volatile Niger delta, a growing piracy hotspot in west Africa, it said. The number of reported attacks off the Niger delta has been increasing in recent weeks, according to the Sea Guardian consultancy, with more than 15 known...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Nigeria's opposition has rejected a plan to spend a billion dollars of oil money to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the country's volatile northeast. Last week, the governor of the southern state of Edo, Godwin Obaseki, told reporters the federal government had been given the nod to withdraw the cash from the country's Excess Crude Account (ECA). The account is a buffer drawn from crude oil revenues, jointly owned by the federal government, 36 states and local governments. Nigeria, Africa's largest crude producer, exports around two million barrels per day and depends on the sector for 70 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings. "We are pleased with the federal government achievements in the insurgency...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Italian giant Eni and fellow petroleum company Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria. A judge in Milan ordered Eni, Shell and key figures such as Eni chief Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni to stand trial in proceedings to begin March 5. The companies are accused of corruption in the 2011 purchase of OPL245, an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion. "Eni's Board of Directors has reaffirmed its confidence that the company was not involved in alleged corrupt activities in relation...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Abubakar Ya'u digs sand from vast, sweeping dunes and loads heavy hessian sacks of the fine, golden bounty onto the backs of donkeys which carry it to market. Rampant demand for the beasts of burden in China, where their skins are believed to have medicinal properties, has caused prices to soar -- creating a dilemma for Ya'u and his fellow excavators in Kano, northern Nigeria. "Two years ago we were buying donkeys strong enough for our trade for between 15,000 and 18,000 naira (between $42 and $50) -- but now to get a good donkey you will require 70,000 to 75,000," he said, wearing dusty sandals, jeans and a T-shirt. "The reason for this is the huge purchase of donkeys...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
At least four people were killed when Boko Haram fighters opened fire on a military convoy transporting civilians and food aid in northeastern Nigeria, security sources said Sunday. Troops later killed two jihadists and recovered weapons after trailing them to nearby villages, the sources said. "We've been informed that Boko Haram terrorists killed four people in an ambush against a civilian convoy near Gamboru," on the border with Cameroon late Saturday, Babakura Kolo, a member of a paramilitary force battling the jihadists, told AFP. The attackers arrived in two pick-up trucks before opening fire on the vehicles. They also managed to steal a lorry carrying food aid to thousands of people displaced by violence in Gamboru, as well as two...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
Mention Nigerian literature and the first names likely to spring to mind are Chinua Achebe, the author of "Things Fall Apart", or the venerable Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. But Africa's most populous nation has a new crop of writers whose work is a far cry from the post-colonial era of their esteemed predecessors. Olumide Popoola's novel "When We Speak Of Nothing", for example, tells the story of a gay teenager seeking the father he never knew in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt. The book, which was published earlier this year, is written in a language mixing African pidgin with London slang, and includes comical descriptions and textspeak. For Emeka Nwankwo, from Nigerian publisher Cassava Republic, breaking conventions and...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
A Nigerian soldier was killed on Friday when a military convoy transporting suspected Boko Haram jihadists struck a mine in the northeast of the country, security sources told AFP. The convoy was travelling to the town of Konduga in Borno state when the lead vehicle drove over the buried mine. "The vehicle hit an IED planted by Boko Haram terrorists, which damaged the vehicle and killed a soldier," a Nigerian army officer said on condition of anonymity. Three other soldiers were wounded in the blast, the officer added, and none of the prisoners escaped. Boko Haram has carried out a string of suicide attacks and kidnappings in northeastern Nigeria in recent years, leaving at least 20,000 people dead and displacing...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
A Nigerian military court on Friday sentenced a soldier to death for killing five civilians rescued from Boko Haram. The soldier, Lance Corporal John Godwin, was convicted by the General Court Martial in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State for killing the civilians in Yamteke town. "The civilians were earlier rescued by troops of the soldier's battalion and were taken for investigation at the time the soldier shot and killed five of them," army spokesman Kinsley Mfon Samuel said in a statement. He said other soldiers were also handed jail sentences for offences ranging from manslaughter to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. "Sergeant Innocent Ototo was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter after torturing and killing a 13-year-old boy who...
(APA 12/15/17)
Another batch of 249 Nigerians returned from Libya on Thursday through the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU). A report by the Nigeria Television Authority on Friday said that the returnees were flown back onboard Afriqiyah Airbus A330-300 with Registration number 5A-ONR which landed at Cargo Wing of MMIA, Ikeja Lagos at 9:47 p.m. The returnees consisted of 52 adults, four children and 10 infant females making 65 female returnees, while 173 adults, two children and nine infant males made up the total of 249 returnees. The report added that the Coordinator of the Southwest Zonal Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who represented the Director General of the Agency, Mr...
(APA 12/15/17)
Morocco’s accession to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will not be on the agenda of the 52nd ECOWAS Summit on December 16 in Abuja, but will take place at an extraordinary summit in early 2018, according to reports from Morocco seen by APA Friday. Last June at the Monrovia Summit, ECOWAS leaders gave their agreement in principle for the Kingdom’s accession. An impact study on the subject was also ordered, and ECOWAS teams travelled to Morocco to carry it out, and the report on the study was released on December 7, just a week before the summit. Marcel de Souza, president of the ECOWAS Commission, paid a visit to Morocco on 28 August. Five points are highlighted...
(APA 12/15/17)
No fewer than 300 Nigerian doctors left the country in 2016 and more have joined the queue in 2017, the National President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Mike Ogirima, has said. Ogirima said at the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, with the theme “Exodus of Healthcare Professionals, Time to Act is Now”, on Thursday that more doctors had joined the migration train this year. Although Ogirima did not give the figure for those planning to migrate, but reports say that 500 doctors sat for qualifying foreign medical examination in readiness to move out of the country. “Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and professionals to the advantage of foreign countries. What are those things attracting these...
(APA 12/15/17)
About 6,000 traffic offenders have been arrested in the ongoing Operation Cobra launched in July to check life threatening traffic offences by the Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, said at FRSC zonal commanders session on Thursday in Abuja that 2,500 of the offenders were referred to various public health facilities for psychological evaluation out of which 30 tested negative. “Over 6,000 offenders have been arrested, and 2500 taken to the hospitals. Thirty tested positive. “Some are high sugar level, high blood pressure, cannabis, heroine, drugs. It is called DUI (Driving Under the Influence) of Drugs and Alcohol. “They have commenced their own voluntary rehabilitation because the licenses are confiscated until...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Nigeria's former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu led a team of African all-stars in a charity football match on Thursday, to raise money for people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency and highlight their plight. Kanu, Senegal's El-Hadji Diouf, Fabian McCarthy of South Africa and Cyrille Mubiala from the Democratic Republic of Congo were in a side that took on Nigeria Premier League side Kano Pillars at Kano's Sani Abacha stadium. The home side won 2-1 in front of a 16,000-strong crowd. Ticket sales from the "Match for IDPs" (internally displaced persons) will be combined with money from a charity dinner to support those made homeless by the eight-year conflict. The Islamist insurgency began in 2009 and has since killed at...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram were on Thursday put on high alert after four military vehicles went missing during a raid on a army post in the restive northeast. A message sent to all military bases across the region called for "all units and troops to remain at alert and not be taken by surprise". Two armoured cars and two all-terrain pick-up trucks were taken after the jihadists tried to take over a military base at the village of Mainok in Borno state on Wednesday. Troops managed to repel the attack with reinforcements from the nearby town of Benisheik. The attack was the latest against "hard" military targets in recent weeks. At least nine Boko Haram fighters were killed in...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Boko Haram fighters battled Nigerian soldiers for about an hour on Wednesday as they tried to take over a military base, in the latest attack against troops in the restive northeast. A former local government official, a civilian militia member and a motorist who witnessed the shooting said the Islamist militants tried to storm the outpost in the village of Mainok in Borno state. Troops managed to repel the attack with the help of reinforcements but it comes after a series of similar raids targeting soldiers that is likely to stoke fears of a resurgence. Lawan Bukar Wasaram, a former chairman of the Kaga district where Mainok is located, said "large numbers" of Boko Haram militants tried to take over...

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