Nigerien, Nigerian armies row over ‘coward claim’
The Nigerian military has accused Niger’s Defence Ministry of aiding Boko Haram activities in the country by supplying the terror group with mercenaries.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Nigeria’s Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, described soldiers from the neighbouring country as looters who collaborate with terrorists “as a way of surviving the poverty in their country.” Read more
Obasanjo backs Buhari over certificate
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that at the time General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) joined the military, nobody in the Nigerian Army could have been admitted without a qualification equivalent to a school certificate.
Obasanjo was fielding questions during an event to promote his book ‘My Watch’ in London during the week, when he revealed that Buhari joined the military four years after him. Read more
UN urges Nigeria’s army to fight Boko Haram
The United Nations’ (UN) Envoy to West Africa has called on the Nigeria’s military to show greater resolve in the fight against Boko Haram.
Mohammed Ibn Chambas was speaking via videolink from Lagos, Nigeria, amid a fierce intensification of the terrorist group’s attacks that have now spilled into neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Read more
NLC Crises: Credential Committee Blamed for Error on Ballot Papers
The irregularities spotted on ballot papers for the elections of the President and executive officers of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which was one of the causative factors leading to the fracas that disrupted the elections on Wednesday, has been blamed on the Credential committee.
The credential committee, headed by President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge, screened all aspirants to various offices and was in charge of the elections, including producing the ballot papers. Read more
BSO Plans Massive Rally for Buhari
Ahead of the March 28 Presidential election, Buhari Support Organisation (BOS) is planning a massive rally for the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to become next president of Nigeria.
According to the Lagos State Coordinator of the group, Gbenga Omotuenishe, the party was undaunted by the postponement of the election but it would rather increase the popularity of APC and its candidates in the coming polls. Meanwhile, one of the sponsors of BSO, Honourable Adebowale Collins said he believed in the ideology of BOS and that was why he was putting his money where his mouth was. “I believe in what we are doing, I believe in change and I believe everybody has a role to play. I want a future for my children. It’s not compulsory you do things for monetary benefits. Read more
Polls: NANS Urges FG Not to Shut Down Schools
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the federal government not to close down the higher institutions in the country, in order to ensure students participate fully in the rescheduled general elections.
The student’s body made the appeal at a press conference Friday in Abuja while speaking on the state of the nation, saying it would allow students to vote where they registered. Read more
Private Security Practitioners Caution Political Parties over Inciting Statements
Despite the postponement of the 2015 general elections, the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), cautioned all political parties over inciting statements that could heat the polity.
The ALPSPN, the umbrella body of all licensed private security providers in the country, made this disclosure in a press conference in Lagos. Read more
We’ll recapture Adamawa, Yobe, Borno before elections, says Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured the international community that the military will recapture major areas currently under the control of the Islamic Boko Haram in the North East before the new dates for the 2015 general elections. He gave the assurance during the annual Presidential cocktail for members of the diplomatic corps in Aso Rock, Abuja. According to him Nigeria will recaptured 100 per cent all the areas under Adamawa and Yobe states. For Borno State, he said that the government will also try to reclaim it 100 per cent before the election or at worst reclaim at least 70 per cent of the state from the insurgents. He thanked the diplomats for their countries’ support to Nigeria on the insurgency in the North East and the improving bilateral trade with their countries. Read more
Over 157,000 displaced in Northeastern Nigeria, by UNHCR
The violence in Northeastern Nigeria had caused more than 157,000 people to flee into Niger, Cameroon and Chad since emergency rule was established in that part of the country two years ago, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said yesterday. It said 100,000 are taking refuge in Niger; 40,000 in Cameroon, while 17,000 are in Chad. Read more
Poly unions threaten strike over pay
At least three labour unions in Nigeria’s polytechnics have threatened to embark on an industrial action if the Federal Government does not reverse its decision to suspend the implementation of the standard salary structure CONTISS 15 for the polytechnics.
The threat was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics and Non-Academic Staff Union, jointly signed by their respective General Secretary, Usman Nda-Umar, Monday Jegede and Peter Adeyemi. Read more
UNSC condemns Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon, Chad, Niger
The United Nations Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the actions of Boko Haram, constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whosoever committed, said the UNSC in a strongly-worded statement, released late on Friday. Read more
Boko Haram: FG raises panel to probe alleged sale of IDPs’ children
The Federal Government yesterday said it had raised a panel to probe the alleged trafficking and outright sale of some children of the Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The government said it was disturbed that hundreds of children were being trafficked to some countries as a result of Boko Haram insurgency. Read more
Thousands of Boko Haram refugees stranded in Chad —UN
The United Nations has said that thousands of Nigerians who escaped attacks by Boko Haram are stuck on some of the countless little islands that dot Lake Chad and are in dire need of food, water, shelter and medical care.
The UN also said it is “planning for the arrival (in Chad) of as many as 30,000 Nigerian refugees over the coming months” amid uncertain hope that the crisis would not worsen. Read more
Alleged N15b fraud: EFCC arrests Nyako’s son
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it had arrested Abdul-Aziz Nyako, one of the sons of ex-Governor Murtala Nyako, for alleged N15billion fraud.
The agency said though it arrested Abdul-Aziz in Gombe, the suspect had been flown to Abuja. Read more
STF Rescues Dariye’s Kidnapped Father
The Special Task Force (STF) on the crisis in Plateau State has officially announced the rescue of the kidnapped father of Senator Joshua Dariye, whom it said was abandoned by the abductors somewhere near Quan pan.
Spokesman of the task force, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha said the men of the force still went after the kidnappers and were able to arrest some of them. Read more
Low Awareness Hinders Actualisation of Nigerian Local Content Act
It has been observed that the people of the Oil and Gas producing areas of the Niger Delta Area were yet to take advantage of the Nigerian Local Content Act in spite of its passage and signing into law.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Dr. Ernest Nwapa made the observation yesterday in Benin City, capital of Edo State while speaking at a Niger Delta Stakeholder Forum. Read more
Kano to Benefit from $1bn Staple Crop Processing Zone Fund
Kano State will be among some states in the federation to benefit from the $1 billion secured by the Federal Government from the World Bank, African Development Bank and the private sector for the development of Staple Crop Processing zones.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said in Kano on Friday when he paid a courtesy visit on the state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in his office, that the fund was for the necessary infrastructure at the project sites. Read more
Nigeria’s mobile broadband penetration still low – Report
A report from the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association on Thursday stated that despite having a fast growing economy and the largest one in Africa, Nigeria’s mobile broadband penetration has remained low when compared to other African countries.
It noted that due to various factors including high access rates of over 50 per cent of the population (those who use a mobile despite not owning one), “data consumption growth, a rise in digital entrepreneurship, and a large youthful population, Nigeria presents a growing opportunity for investment and innovation in telecoms networks.” Read more
Measures to Save Naira Will Yield Results – Analysts
Despite the dip in the Nigerian equities market, analysts are optimistic that measures put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria to mitigate the situation would yield results. This is just as the apex bank has assured that though there was a decline in the nation’s foreign reserves, there was still enough to support imports for at least six months. In this piece. BUKOLA IDOWU reviews various monetary policy measures the CBN has put in place to manage the dwindling fortunes of the naira against other currencies. Read more
CBN Bans Resale of Dollar to Shore Up Naira
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned banks from reselling dollars bought at a currency auction to other banks, Reuters quoted some dealers to have said, adding that the move was aimed at curbing speculation in the beleaguered naira.
Central Bank spokesman, Ibrahim Muazu confirmed the CBN sold dollars in a special intervention on Friday, saying that the central bank would continue such sales on a “need basis” to satisfy demand in the interbank market and curb speculative attacks, which he blamed for the naira’s weakness. Read more
Oil and Gas
Oil asset sales to rise amid price slump
The Nigerian oil and gas industry is expected to see more asset sales by International Oil Companies and smaller firms this year as the steep fall in prices continues to take a toll on revenue.
IOCs including Shell, Chevron and Total have over the past few years divested some of their onshore assets in the country, largely as a result of operational risks. Read more
France struggles to assist Boko Haram fight from afar
France has found itself the best positioned Western nation to assist in the regional fight against Boko Haram — but also the most vulnerable to being sucked into an open-ended war, experts say.
Despite the presence of 3,000 troops in the region under France’s Barkhane operation battling Jihadist groups around the Sahel, Paris insists it will limit itself to “indirect support” of the widening African effort to combat Boko Haram. Read more
United Arab Emirates closes Yemen embassy
The United Arab Emirates anounced the closure of its embassy in Sanaa on Saturday, state news agency WAM said.
The UAE follows Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Italy in shutting their missions in the Yemeni capital Sanaa amid security fears brought on by the takeover of power by a Shi’ite Muslim militia group. Source
U.N. chief appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Friday not to execute prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines.
Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. Five foreigners were among six people executed last month, the first executions since President Joko Widodo took office in October. Read more
Argentina’s Kirchner Faces Iran Bomb Probe
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been formally accused of trying to cover up Iranian involvement in a deadly bombing.
The allegations were first aired by prosecutor Alberto Nisman, before he was found dead from a gunshot wound last month. Read more
Crash Between Bus and Train Kills at Least 16 in Mexico
A collision between a freight train and a passenger bus on a highway in northern Mexico on Friday killed at least 16 people and injured at least a dozen more, an emergency official said.
The bus, ignoring the stop light at a railway crossing, was split in half by the oncoming train, said Jorge Camacho, head of emergency services in Nuevo Leon state. Read more
Chad ex-leader Hissene Habre to be tried in Senegal
A court in Senegal has ordered former Chadian President Hissene Habre to stand trial for alleged war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity.
Judges at the Extraordinary African Chamber said there was sufficient evidence against Mr Habre, who is in custody in Senegal. Read more
Keshi explodes again: NFF destroyed Super Eagles
Super Eagles AFCON 2013 winning coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi hardly grants media interviews anymore in recent times. But Reporter REMI SULOLA caught up with the “BIG BOSS” and convinced him to open up on all the issues Nigerians want him to talk about.
Keshi answered all questions frankly and straight from the heart with guns blazing in this no holds barred exclusive interview. He spoke on the disappointment of non qualification to defend the title Nigeria won in South Africa, why the team went from an exemplary team to a struggling team, his sour relationship with his employers, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as well as his feelings concerning the public pronouncements on him by his senior colleagues in the coaching business. Read more
Enyimba eye Champions League glory
The African Champions League kicks off this weekend with former title holders Enyimba facing a tricky tie. The Nigerian side take on relatively weak and inexperienced opponents, Buffles Borgou of Benin. Enyimba, continental champions in 2003 and 2004, were expected to go far in the competition last year. But they lost at home to Real Bamako of Mali and a second leg recovery could not prevent an early exit. Read more
Amuneke: No big deal going to Niger by road
Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke has said that he is unperturbed about how they travelled to Niger, but is only concerned about how his team fares. The Nigerian U17’s arrived Niamey, the capital city of Niger for the CAF U17 Championship on Thursday by road from Sokoto State, a development which drew the ire of so many Nigerians, especially the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), given the security challenges and the volatile nature of that region. Read more
Yobo Set to Stage Comeback
Former Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo has told AfricanFootball.com he is set to stage a comeback to the game as he is studying offers from China and Qatar among others.
The 34-year-old Yobo has not played again since his contract with Turkish champions Fenerbache was cancelled by mutual consent in the summer. Read more
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