Norway Donates N3.6bn To Victims Of Boko Haram

Norway has donated $11.5m approximately N3.6bn to improve basic education, support girls and women who have been victims of sexual violence by Boko Haram in conflict-affected northeast states.

The United Nation’s Children Fund Chief of Communication, Ms Doune Porter, in a statement on Saturday said that the benefiting states are; Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe.

She said that the fund was part of the Safe Schools Initiative in the northern Nigeria.

She said that in 2013, Norway was a pioneer member of the Safe Schools Initiative Committee established in response to Boko Haram attacks on schools in the areas.

Porter said that UNICEF, however, noted that there was an urgent need to provide a safe learning environment for children in northeast.

She said that through the support of UNICEF about 100,000 children were currently accessing education through Temporary Learning Spaces and schools in northeast Nigeria.

“This fund would further boost access to education for an additional half a million boys and girls in internally displaced persons’ camps, host communities and areas of Borno that have become accessible to humanitarian assistance.’’

Porter quoted Jens-Petter Kjemprud, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria in the statement as saying that: “We believe in the importance of doing what we can to break the cycle of violence in northeast Nigeria.

“This funding will provide more children complete basic education in a good learning environment and will provide much-needed counselling for girls who have suffered unimaginable trauma in the hands of Boko Haram,” Kjemprud said.

Read More: punchng

Bauchi Police Invade Kidnappers’ Den, Rescue Victims

On the 10/12/2016 at about 11:00hrs, following intelligence report, Police Patrol Team attached to Ganjuwa Division in collaboration with Danga security stormed a kidnappers hideout at Buzun forest in Ganjuwa L. G. A, of Bauchi State.

On sighting the police, hoodlums opened fire and a fierce gun battle ensued which lasted for more than an hour. As a result, two suspected kidnappers were fatally wounded while one Mustapha Sarkin Bindigan Gali, member of Danga Security, male of Gali hamlet via Soro ward, also sustained a gunshot injury.

However, two women hostages were rescued from the kidnappers and One Suspect was arrested. The rescued victims are,

1. Maryam Alh Shu’aibu female of Loyi hamlet and,
2.Hauwa’u Karfe female of Buzum hamlet all in Nasarawa ward of Ganjuwa LGA of Bauchi State.

The following exhibits were also recovered,
(1) One k2 rifle with beech no. 2016576,
(2) One magazine,
(3) Fifteen(15) rounds of live ammunition and other incriminating items.

Meanwhile, all the Casualties including the rescued victims were taken to General hospital Kafin Madaki for medical attention were the two Suspected kidnappers and One member of Danga Security were certified dead by a medical doctor, while the rescued victims are in stable condition.

Finally, Corpse of the slain Danga security member was released to his relatives for burial after postmortem examination was conducted.

Case under investigation and efforts are being intensified to apprehend other fleeing suspects and bring them to Justice.

The Command appreciate Members of the public for its cooperation and urged them not to relent in providing useful information to enable the Police provide Safety and Security in the State.

SP Haruna Mohammed,
Ag PPRO Bauchi State Police Command.

Troops ‘rescue’ 801 from #BokoHaram victims in 2 weeks

The Nigeria army says it has rescued 801 people held hostage by the Boko Haram over the past two weeks.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole,made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing journalists in Maiduguri on the counter-terrorism operations in the northeast.

He said that the persons were rescued between November 23 and date.

“A total of 801 persons were rescued from the terrorists’ camps from November 23 to date,” he said.

Irabor said that the military had also arrested a number of terrorists fleeing their Sambisa forest hideout due to the ongoing operation.

“Likewise, on December 4 at about 1345hrs, our troops in conjunction with local vigilante intercepted five men, 29 women and children heading towards Goniri from Kafa,” he said.

“The men were screened by the local vigilante and two of them were confirmed to be terrorists. They have since been taken into custody and are undergoing interrogation.

“The military also apprehended suspected cattle rustlers during its operations. On November 28, four persons and a teenager were arrested by our troops deployed at Bulabulim Ngarnam with 4 cows. The arrested persons have been handed over to the Nigeria Police.”

Irabor said that the military also recovered arms from suspected kidnappers in Bauchi state.

“On December 2, our troops while on patrol at the general area of Gamji and Kafin Lemu villages in Ningi LGA of Bauchi state encountered some suspected kidnappers who engaged them in gun battle,” he said.

He added that they were killed in the gun battle that ensued and the troops recovered several arms and ammunition, including five Dane guns, a locally made pistol, some cartridges and charms.

Bodies Of Colombia Plane Crash Victims Flown Home

The bodies of the 71 victims killed in a plane crash in Colombia that wiped out a Brazilian football team returned home Friday, as mourners prepared a massive funeral.

Along the road to the airport, hundreds of people brandished flowers, white balloons and Colombian flags to pay a final farewell to the victims of Monday’s tragedy.

The remains of the first victim, Paraguayan crew member Gustavo Encina, were handed over to his family early Friday in a coffin draped in his country’s flag.

The other victims — 64 Brazilians, five Bolivians and a Venezuelan — were flown home on a series of flights throughout the day.

“What we want now more than anything else is to go home, to take our friends and brothers home. The wait is the worst,” said Roberto Di Marche, a cousin of football team Chapecoense Real’s late director Nilson Folle Junior.

In the club’s hometown, the southern Brazilian city of Chapeco, more than 100,000 people — about half the city’s population — are expected to attend a memorial service Saturday in honor of the team, whose fairytale season was tragically cut short.

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino canceled a trip to Australia to attend the funeral.

Officials said Brazilian President Michel Temer would likely travel to Chapeco as well.

“The #Chapecoense will remain in our memory for their perseverance and tenacity. I reiterate my deepest solidarity with relatives of the victims,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter as the last plane departed.

The bodies will be carried during a funeral procession through the city, ending with a ceremony at the team’s stadium.

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FCT Police Rescue 10 Kidnapped Victims In Kuje (See Names Of Victims)

The Police Command in FCT on Monday said it rescued 10 persons kidnapped by a gang of hoodlums in Darka village in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

The victims are Fanus Emmanuel, Babangida Emmanuel, Akimmi Dauda, Japheth Kwasu, Dorcas Shuaibu, Kemuche IK, Hamza Yunusa, Umar Godiri, Ismaila Yusuf and Abubakar Gomo.

A statement issued by the Command’s Spokesman, ASP Anjugurin Manzah, stated that eight of the victims were rescued on Nov. 19, while the remaining two were rescued on Nov. 20 in Toto and Karu in Nasarawa State.

Manzah noted that the rescue was made possible by a joint operation by the Police Mobile Force Operatives of the command’s Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad, DSS, Nigerian Army and NSCDC.

The spokesman stated that the stronghold of the assailants who specialised in raiding remote villages at night and robbing the villagers of cash and other valuables and kidnapping was destroyed during the operation. He added that an operative of the NSCDC, ASC Anumudu Uche, who took ill, died during the operation.

He recalled that the FCT Commissioner of Police, Muhammadu Mustafa, had reassured residents and affected villages of the command’s massive deployment to forestall a recurrence. He said concerted efforts were in place to arrest the dislodged hoodlums.


Catholic Church Bishops Beg Forgiveness From Paedophilia Victims

French bishops pleaded for forgiveness Monday for the “guilty silence” of the Catholic Church following months of damaging revelations over the sexual abuse of children by priests. The church has been rocked by allegations that the Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, covered up the abuse of scouts and failed to remove a priest despite being aware he had sexually abused the boys a quarter of a century ago.

The scandal was the worst to hit the Church in France since 2001, when a bishop was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for failing to inform authorities about a paedophile priest.

Barbarin, who has protested his innocence, remains in his post, but the scandal has tarnished the image of one of the church’s most media-friendly figures.

Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois told worshippers at a “time for prayer and penitence” during the bishops’ autumn conference in the southwestern pilgrimage town of Lourdes on Monday that the Church had failed in its duty to victims of abuse.

“We lacked mercy… we did not listen to these victims in the way that they expected us to (and) we lacked the courage to take the measures that were needed,” the archbishop said.

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Scammers impersonated police officer, duped victims in Abuja.

The police on Thursday arraigned three men before a High Court in FCT, Abuja on a six-count charge bordering on impersonation and advanced fee fraud popularly called 419.

Stanley Onwuka, Henry Ushi and Moshood Stephen allegedly impersonated Donald Onwuma, a Police Public Relations Officer attached to the peace keeping unit and duped unsuspecting civilians and police men.

They allegedly collected various sums of money electronically from civilians and police officers with a promise to send them to police foreign mission in Sudan.

They all pleaded not guilty to the offence.

The Counsel to the first defendant, Mr Benjamin Nwanokenye, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail because the offence was bailable.

But, the prosecuting counsel, Mr David Igbodo, opposed the bail, citing public interest.

He said that there was cause to believe that if granted bail the defendants would commit another offence.

“Their statement of account before the court shows their antecedent as that account was opened to defraud Nigerians because they do not go to the bank but use ATM to collect the money.”

Igbodo argued that although bail was at the discretion of the court, the court was enjoined to exercise the discretion judiciously.

He also said that Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 spelt out what the court should look out for in considering bail.

The prosecutor urged the court to refuse bail and rather order accelerated hearing of the case.

Justice John Tsoho ruled that it would amount to mere speculation for the prosecution to say that allowing the defendants their liberty would make the society unsafe.

“There is room for revocation of bail when it is breached rather than to out rightly refuse it based on speculative fear.”

Tsoho granted only the second defendant, Ushi, bail in the sum of five million and one surety in like sum because only he had served his processes on all counsel.

He ordered that the surety must reside and own a property in the FCT and must be willing to submit the title of the property to the court if need be.

He also ordered both defendant and surety to provide two recent passport photographs to the court in addition, Ushi should deposit his travel documents with the court.

Tsho adjourned consideration of the bail application for the other defendants and continuation of trial till Nov. 7.

Sia Releases New Music Video, A Tribute To The Victims Of The Orlando Massacre (WATCH)

After releasing her new song “The Greatest” with Kendrick Lamar on Monday, the singer released an accompanying music video starring her favorite dancer, Maddie Ziegler — and this time, the 13-year-old had backup.

Featuring 49 dancers in total, “The Greatest” is reportedly a tribute to the 49 victims of the horrific Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub earlier this summer. In the beginning of the video, the text “#WeAreYourChildren” flashes on the screen before Maddie uses her fingers to paint rainbows on her face. What follows is five minutes of gorgeous and emotional dancing, including a heartbreaking ending where all 49 dancers appear to shake in place before falling to the ground, revealing a wall with bullet holes in it.

Credit: cosmopolitan

Lawmaker Donates N5m Relief Materials To Flood Victims In Sokoto

A member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Isa Kalanjeni, on Monday donated assorted relief materials worth N5 million to flood victims in Bachaka, Gudu Local Government of Sokoto State.

Presenting the items, at Bachaka, Kalanjeni, who represents Gudu/Tangaza Federal Constituency, said the gesture was aimed at alleviating the suffering of the victims.

Kalanjeni said, ”My visit here is to personally commiserate with you in your most trying times.

“My donation is not in any way a compensation for your huge losses, as only God who destines the disaster is capable of doing that.

”You should, however, regard the unfortunate disaster as an inevitable act of God.”

The lawmaker said he had reported the incident to the House of Representatives with a view to getting relief for the victims.

He said, ”I have also written to the National Emergency Management Agency for its prompt action.’’

The District Head of Bachaka, Alhaji Aminu Abdulahi, commended the lawmaker for the gesture and promised judicious distribution of the items to the victims.

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Tangaza Local Government, Alhaji Madugu Ruwa-Wuri, called for prayers to prevent re-occurrence of the incident.

Ibrahim Gatari and Sambo Abdullahi, two of the beneficiaries, also commended the donor for his intervention and promised to make the proper use of the materials.

The items included 300 bags of cement, 30 bundles of roofing sheet, rubber mats, plastic buckets and kettles, among others.


Dangote Pledges To Support Boko Haram Victims

The Chairman of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Sunday promised to mobilise additional support towards assisting victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.


Dangote made the pledge shortly after visiting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Dalori and Bakassi in Maiduguri.


He described the situation on ground as “pathetic” promising to make contact with partners towards alleviating the problems of the IDPs.


Dangote was accompanied on the trip by Mr Paul David-Hewson, a former British pop star, and other philanthropists. He also promised to offer more financial and moral support to the state government in its quest to handle the challenges caused by the problem.

Dangote also interacted with some former Boko Haram women who had been de-radicalised and promised to lend a helping hand towards completing their rehabilitation.


Also speaking, Gov. Kashim Shettima thanked Dangote for the gesture disclosing that he (Dangote) had provided financial support to the state at numerous times.


“This includes the donation of N2 billion cash and the provision of 106 trucks of food for the feeding of the IDPs during the annual Ramadan fast.


“We are renaming the Baga road after Alhaji Aliko Dangote in appreciation of his unwavering support to the state,” Shettima said.

US Pledges $37M Aid For Victims Of Boko Haram

The United States on Wednesday pledged $37 million in aid for victims of Boko Haram, government officials said, as fears of a famine mounted in the ravaged Lake Chad region.

Despite Boko Haram losing swathes of territory in the northeast as a result of a renewed military offensive, millions are still going hungry after years of attacks disrupted farming and supplies.

The UN children’s agency UNICEF said on July 1 that 250,000 children under five in Borno state were at risk from severe acute malnutrition this year and 50,000 could die if nothing was done.

The US government will provide “more than $37 million in additional humanitarian assistance” the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria in Abuja said. “Approximately five million people need emergency food assistance.”

The money for food would be directed to communities in the Diffa region of Niger and is part of a coordinated effort to get more food into the area.

Returning this week from a trip to Chad, Nigeria, and Cameroon, the regional director of the World Food Programme, Abdou Dieng, told AFP that “the crisis of Boko Haram is just beginning.”

“There are many places where humanitarian aid can’t reach because of insecurity,” Dieng said, adding that Boko Haram attacked a UN convoy just last week. “But we are even more determined to stay.”

Dieng estimated that around $600 million is needed to address the crisis but that so far “less than a third of that money has been received”.

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Boko Haram Degraded, Victims Returning Home– Interior Minister

The Federal Government has stated that Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East has been degraded and routed out from their major enclaves while victims of their atrocities are returning home.

The Interior Minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau made the disclosure at the Regional Seminar on Media Engagement in Crisis Management organised by the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The Minister said: “The war in the North-East with the Boko Haram has been fought and won.

The Boko Haram elements have been routed, degraded and are being decimated “The task before us is winning the peace, as the victims are gradually returning to theirt homes and the government is rebuilding, reconciling, and rehabilitating the victims. And this is where crisis Communication and management becomes indispensable in building confidence and consensus among the people”

The Minister, who was represented by Director Press and Public Relations, Mr. Willy Basey, also called on the media to support the peace-building and political stability through fair and objective reportage. He said: “The government and the media are partners in progress. Activities and programme of government, if not properly disseminated by the media, could create a gulf between the people and the government, therefore engendering crisis.

“Members of the Fourth Estate of the realm, therefore, need to safeguard this fundamental role in ensuring the internal cohesion, unity and harmony as well as peaceful coexistence in the polity, rather than fanning the embers of war, disunity, ethnic and religious disharmony, panic and fear, as is being experienced in the social media.”

Emphasising on the importance of social media, Dambazau pointed out that modern technology tools could be deployed for the good or for the bad. He therefore called on communication experts to evolve strategies which could be used to improve communication between government and hte people, so as to avert crisis. While commending the CCC for organising the seminars, General Dambazau said Centre had chartered the right path for other non-governmental agencies (NGOs) to follow.

He said “As a partner with government in enhancing stability in the polity and growth in the socio-economic sphere, as well as enhancing communication between and among the various stakeholders in the country, this achievement marks the Centre out as a reliable partner of government in managing crisis situations.”

Credit: Vanguard

Katsina Hospital Treats 13 Rape Victims In 4 Months

No fewer than 13 rape victims have been treated at Funtua General Hospital in Katsina State from January to date, the hospital’s Medical Director, Tijjani Bakori, has said.

Mr. Bakori told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview on Thursday in Funtua that most of the cases were severe.

He disclosed that some of the victims had to undergo surgery in the hospital.

The medical director lamented that three of the rape victims were admitted by the hospital in the last four days.

“This signifies the magnitude of the problem in Funtua and environs, and it is important for all stakeholders to intensify efforts to address the menace.”

According to him, all the victims were below the age of 13 and mostly from less privileged families.

He noted that there was no presence of International and National Non Governmental Organizations in the area to support the victims, noting that respective families of the victims were left to shoulder the burden.

He urged the Katsina State Government and local councils in the area to ensure that the perpetrators were traced and severely punished.

“A victim was admitted on Monday, and another, aged 12, had undergone surgery in the hospital on Wednesday because of the severe injuries she sustained,’’ Bakori said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Aisha Buhari Donates Relief Materials To Agatu Crisis’ Victims

Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, yesterday donated relief materials to persons displaced in the Agatu crisis, camped at the NOGOA Secondary School Makurdi.

Mrs. Buhari who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osibanjo, said her visit to the state was also to enable her obtain first hand information on crisis. She condoled with victims of the crisis in Agatu and other crisis ridden areas of the state promising that they would not stand alone in their moment of grief.

Earlier, Governor Samuel Ortom insisted that Benue State was under the siege of marauding Fulani herdsmen who invaded the state from outside the country and urged the federal government to intervene to stem the killings. According to the Governor, “the devastation and destruction in Benue state is more than what happened in the North East, we are under siege and those behind this are not the normal Fulanis who have lived with us over the years, they are from outside. Given our strategic position as the food basket of the nation, if the Federal Government does not stand up to stop the crisis, there will be shortage of food in the country next year.”

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Calabar CBN Gas Explosion: Four Victims Confirmed Dead

At least four victims of last Friday’s gas explosion at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s office in Calabar have been confirmed dead out of 15 taken to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

Doctors said the degree of damage meted on them by the explosion led to their death.

The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Dr Thomas Agan, confirmed their death when reporters were at the hospital to get get an update on the present state of the victims.

It was a dark Friday for Staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar Branch when a gas explosion rocked the financial building, leaving scores in critical condition and others dead.

The casualties were rushed to the UCTH, General hospital as well as the Nigerian Navy Hospital.

Other patients are lying in critical condition at the UCTH and the General Hospital, with lots of internal and facial injuries as a result of inhaling the fumes from the blast. The doctors said they are responding to treatment.

Dr Agan said, the CBN boss and other staff had so far been supportive, as their visits to the hospital had given the victims hope.

“They look forward to getting back on their feet in the shortest possible time,” he said.

He assured reporters that, the hospital would put in their best in ensuring that, the condition of the remaining victims improved.

 Credit: ChannelsTv

UK Donates £6.7m To Support Boko Haram Victims

The British government has donated the sum of 6.7 million Pounds in support of humanitarian assistance for the 2.2 million victims that were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents in northeast Nigeria.

The donation is coming on the heels of the visit of the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Anelay, who arrived Nigeria on Tuesday.

The Press and Public Affairs Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr Joseph Abuku, said in a statement that the Minister would hold high level discussions with government officials on how to ensure the protection of civilians in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

He added that Anelay, who is also the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI), would meet with various civil society activists and NGOs to discuss the importance of preventing sexual violence in such conflicts.

According to Abuku, “The Minister will discuss additional humanitarian support that the UK is providing in helping those affected by the fight against Boko Haram.

“This includes £6.7 million to enable the government of Nigeria, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), UN agencies and the Red Cross to deliver food assistance, education, sanitation and safe water, shelter material (as well as) other basic necessities.”

Credit: ChannelsTv

Yobe Governor Orders Free Treatment For Bomb Blast Victims

Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has directed the free treatment of all victims of Wednesday’s suicide blasts in Damaturu.

The governor in a statement issued by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, also sent his condolences to the victims’ families.

The statement reads:  “His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has expressed his deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of victims of the suicide bombing attacks in Damaturu today in which 17 people lost their lives and 11 others injured.

“While praying for the repose of the souls of those killed, the Governor has ordered immediate and free medical care for those who sustained injuries in the attack.”

Gaidam also condemned the attack, describing it as “cowardly and barbaric.”

Credit: thenationonlineng

Senate Wants Families Of Abuja Bomb Victims Compensated

The Senate on Tuesday, condemned Friday’s bomb attacks in Kuje and Nyanya areas of the Federal Capital Territory.

This followed a motion by the Minority Whip, Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT), who said that the attacks were fresh calls for increased security consciousness and equipment of the military.

The upper chamber, which observed a minute silence for those who lost their lives in the attacks, urged the Federal Government to compensate the families of the dead and cater for the injured.

It also urged relevant security agencies to increase their intelligence gathering and embrace new technologies of combating terrorism, including bomb detection.

Read More: premiumtimesng

FG Launches Mobile Schools For Displaced Boko Haram Victims

School-age children of Internally Displaced Persons in some parts of the North-East affected by the insurgency are back in school as the Federal Government launched Mobile Containerized schools last week in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The 50-foot container is a mobile classroom, which efficiently contains 35 students and is fully equipped with basic educational materials and furnishing including solar panels for electricity powering lights and fans.

The mobile classes are complete with chairs and tables, blackboard/whiteboard, a projector and a metal storage cabinet.

Speaking at the launch held on Tuesday at the Dalori Internally Displaced Camp in the Borno State capital, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recalled that the project was one of the many things that will come the way of the North-East following his visit to Borno State in July at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The launch of this containerized schools is a major step and a sheer demonstration that we are working towards-building the infrastructure in the North-East as we need to secure the future of our children”, the Vice President remarked in a message delivered on his behalf by his aide, Mariam Masha.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Buhari Visits Abuja Bomb Blast Victims In National Hospital

President Muhammadu Buhari has visited the National Hospital, Abuja, to see victims of the bomb blast.

The President who spent a few minutes with hospital management, also promised to investigate the attack.

Latest report from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the Kuje bombing says calm has returned to the area after Friday’s bomb blasts.

13 of the 24 people admitted in the hospital are said to have been discharged on Sunday afternoon while death toll remains 20.

The multiple bomb attack went off in two satellite towns in Abuja on Friday, October 2.

President Buhari has condemned the attack, calling it a cowardly action by those who carried out the crime and promised to end extremism in the country. He has also given a deadline of December to the military to end Boko Haram.

Read More: channelstv


150 Hajj Stampede Victims Buried

Emir of Kano Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II,yesterday urged Saudi Authorities to publish details of victims of last Thursday’s Mina stampede on a dedicated website.

The emir, who is the leader of the Nigeria Central Coordinating Team for the Hajj, made the call at the post-Arafat meeting organised by (NAHCON) in Jeddah.

“At this age of technology, why can’t the Saudi authorities put the photos of the deceased on a website so that people can identify them easily without having to be moved from one hospital or place to another.

“We have to demand for it,” Sanusi stressed.

The Leader, Medical Team of NAHCON, Dr Ibrahim Kana, had earlier said that 1,180 bodies had been identified so far through frontal and lateral face photographs and finger prints.

Read More: thenationonlineng

El-Rufai Visits Flooded Areas, Promises Govt. Support For Victims

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has visited some of the communities that were submerged by a heavy flood to ascertain the level of devastation.

The Governor who was accompanied by his Deputy, Bala Bantex, and other top government functionaries, visited some parts of Tudun Wada, Gonin-Gora, Romi, Sabon Tasha, Kabala West, among others.

El-Rufai described the flood as very devastating and the highest to happen in the state.

He gave the assurance of government’s support to the victims of the flood, saying that those displaced from their homes would be provided with temporary shelter until the floods are over.

Read More: channelstv

Switzerland Donates $8m To Support All Boko Haram Victims

The government of Switzerland has donated the sum of $8 million (N1.6 billion) to Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad in support of all Boko Haram victims in the North-East sub-region of the country.

The donation was made yesterday when the Charge’d’ Affaires of Swiss Embassy, Daniel Cavegn, paid an official visit to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State at the Musa Usman Secretariat Complex, Maiduguri.

He said the visit of the Swiss Embassy to the state was to show solidarity with the people and government of Borno State as they are in a difficult situation caused by Boko Haram conflict.

Read More: ngrguardiannews

UN Sponsors 500 Boko Haram Victims To Acquire Vocational Skills

The UN said on Monday in Abuja that it has sponsored 500 victims of Boko Haram violence from three North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to acquire vocational skills.

Mr Matthew Alao, UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Analyst, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the programme was under the UNDP Livelihood Support Scheme for the zone.

Alao explained that an orientation programme for the 500 selected beneficiaries would commence today, Aug. 17 at the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre in Jos, Plateau.

According to him, the skills acquisition programme is the first phase of intervention by the UN to emeliorate the sufferings of the displaced persons.

Alao said that the skills training would cover hair dressing, tailoring, knitting, catering and decorations as well as GSM repair, shoe-making, leather works and computer studies.

According to him, the participants will also undertake specialised training on conflict resolution and peace building.

“A total of 500 beneficiaries who are victims of Boko Haram from three North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe will be placed in a two-week compulsory orientation programme.

“They are going to undergo physical exercise, training, capacity building on mediation, conflict prevention, conflict transformation, social integration, peaceful coexistence for two weeks.

“We received over 2,000 applications and engaged in rigorous screening exercise out of which we selected the 500 that genuinely need this assistance.

“We took the successful 500 candidates for 2-weeks intensive course on mental and physical training.

“We are also going to train them on mediation and conflict transformation as well as business management; after that, we will put then on six-month to one-year training,’’ he said.

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We Received N535m For Flood Victims, Not N15bn – Bayelsa

The Bayelsa State Post-flood Management Committee has described as lies, the allegation by the All Progressives Congress that it received N15bn as donations during the peak of the 2012 floods that devastated the entire state.

The committee said it had only received the sum of N500m from the state government, being donation from a philanthropic organisation, Mr. Mike Adenuga Foundation, and additional N35m for logistics and administrative cost.

A leader of the APC in the state, Mr. Bodi Arerebo, had challenged Governor Seriake Dickson to account for almost N15bn flood money allegedly received by the state during the floods.

Arerebo, a kinsman of Dickson, who spoke at a news conference in Yenagoa recently, said after the disaster, public spirited individuals, including international donors, donated the money for the resettlement of victims and rebuilding places destroyed by the floods.

The politician had lamented that the money might have gone down the drain as Dickson since then had yet to tell the people how the money was expended and nothing on ground to show for it. But while clarifying the issue, Chairman of BSPMC, Chief Francis Doukpola, in a statement in Yenagoa on Monday, said it was wrong for any person or group of persons to make such a weighty allegation without any iota of fact.

He challenged those raising the allegation to come up with proof of any transactions that led to the acquisition of such amount by the committee or state government.

Doukpola said the money received was used for positive interventions in most of the flood affected areas in seven local government areas in the state.

He said the committee, in a bid to alleviate the sufferings of the people, had embarked on some projects, including the distribution of cement in all the communities in the seven LGAs which were affected by the flood apart from Brass council area that was not affected.

He also said 400 bags of cement were given to each of the communities to be distributed among the most affected persons, with emphasis on the less-privileged with mud houses.

Doukpola explained that the committee also carried out post-flood activities by opening up a blocked channel in Igbogene community in the Yenagoa LGA, which was largely responsible for the massive flooding in the community.

Other interventions, according to him, were the renovation of Primary School II Agorogbene; repair of damaged hospital fence in the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri; removal of damaged/collapsed bridge and water hyacinths at Imiringi and opening of a flood channel at Onuegbum.

He said more interventions were also done for the repair of parts of Amatu link road in Odi; renovation of Ologoghe hospital; renovation of Ologi hospital; blockage of flood channels in Agbere; construction of shore protection in Sampou; construction of earth dyke in Sagbama; blockage of flood channels in Tombia; blockage of flood channel in Olugbobiri and renovation of health centre and primary school in Opuama.

Doupola said the committee embarked on the renovation of the Cottage Hospital at Agbere; construction of two footbridges in Fikuroma, Nembe and Oweigbene in Ekeremor; renovation of Pretrugbene Primary School; renovation of Yenaka Primary School; construction of concrete road in Ayamassa; renovation of Opuama primary school; building of flood muster point at Isoni; renovation of doctors’ quarters and wards at General Hospital in Biseni; reconstruction of teachers quarter at Toru-Orua; protection of Tombia waterfront with concrete; renovation of Comprehensive High School in Agudama-Epie and protection of shoreline at Agbere.

Doukpola, however, noted that the several other interventions that were not listed were contained in a detailed committee report which had been handed over to the state Auditor-General.

UN Urges FG To Relax Abortion Laws For Boko Haram Victims

UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Al-Hussein, has appealed to Nigerian authorities to ease abortion restrictions for women and girls who had been sexually enslaved, raped and forced into so-called “marriages” by Boko Haram fighters.

He said this on Thursday in New York while discussing with the Human Rights Council on Boko Haram’s rights violations and abuses, the findings of a 12-member team to Cameroon, southern Niger and the north-eastern regions of Nigeria on Boko Haram.

Al-Hussein said interviews had confirmed that during their captivity lasting for months or even years, women and girls were sexually enslaved, raped and forced into marriages.

The Rights group chief said as a result of this, many survivors of the horrific experiences are now pregnant for their rapists.

Al-Hussein also drew attention to the situation of many formerly captive women and young girls, who are pregnant and their reported wish to terminate these unwanted pregnancies.

“I note that abortion is legal in Nigeria only when the life of the woman is at risk. Human rights mechanisms have consistently called for ensuring access to safe abortion services beyond the protection of the woman’s life, including in cases of rape, and to preserve the health of the woman,” he said.

Read More: punchng

President Buhari Assures Victims Of Insurgency Govt Support

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commended the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other government agencies on measures taken to rehabilitate victims of terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria.

Receiving officials of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Department of ONSA, Buhari said the Federal Government would provide necessary assistance to victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

The president also reiterated the determination of his administration to rid the country of terrorism and insurgency. “One of the objectives of the CVE is to reform terrorists and prevent others from joining terrorist groups and violent sects.”

The Head of the CVE, Dr Fatima Akilu, had earlier told Buhari that its non-military approach was running concurrently with the armed onslaught against insurgents in the country.

She said the CVE had so far rehabilitated no fewer than 305 victims of terrorism rescued from Sambisa forest by the Nigerian military.

She said a National Security Corridor Programme had been created to provide safe route for those who wish to denounce Boko Haram sect.

She said 47 erstwhile members of the sect had embraced the programme, adding that no fewer than 22 women and girls, recruited as suicide bombers by Boko haram, were undergoing rehabilitation by the CVE after voluntarily embracing its de-radicalization programme.

Credit: NAN

Osinbajo Visits Onitsha, Commiserates With Tanker Accident Victims

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday commiserated with the people and government of Anambra over the fuel tanker accident, which claimed over 40 lives at Upper Iweka in Onitsha.

Mr. Osinbajo, who visited the scene of the accident and the injured at Toronto Hospital on Wednesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari was very concerned and pained by the incident.

He said the president felt it was not enough to send a condolence message and as such asked him to go and commiserate with the people. “Every Nigerian citizen matters to the Federal Government no matter his status or where he resides. Mr President asked me to come and first commiserate with Gov. Willie Obiano and Anambra people. He was very concerned that he felt it was not enough to issue condolence message and so asked me to come and commiserate with the people. I have been taken round to see the heroic action of the hospital staff and those involved in emergency. Unfortunately, many lost their lives but some have seen today and are responding to treatment,’’ he said.

Mr. Osinbajo told a crowd that gathered around Upper Iweka, scene of the accident, that he had been discussing with Gov. Obiano on possible ways the Federal Government and Anambra Government could cooperate to forestall further accident. He commended Mr. Obiano for undertaking to settle the hospital bills of the victims.

Earlier, while briefing the vice-president, Mr. Obiano said the Anambra Government had banned long trucks and petrol tankers from plying roads in Anambra during the day. The governor said the government had banned heavy duty vehicles from plying state roads, adding that they must trans-load their cargoes on getting to state roads.

According to him, the materials used in constructing state roads are not the same as the ones used in building federal roads and each time heavy duty trucks ply state roads, they cause heavy damage on them.

Credit: NAN

Read Horrific Accounts Of Boko Haram Victims Rescued From Sambisa

Rescued  victims of  Boko Haram were moved from Sambisa forest  to the Malkohi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp on the outskirts of Yola, Adamawa State  capital. The victims, women and children, were driven into the camp amid tight security. They arrived the camp after almost three days journey which forced the victims to be exhausted. Many of them, especially kids, could not alight from the vehicles that brought them. They had to be assisted by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, the Red Cross, the military and other agencies in the camp.

The children looked  malnourished. But more worrisome  is the fact that many of them  had gunshot injuries. The journey from Sambisa to Yola lasted over 72 hours owing to many reasons. One, the military had to do a  mop up of the  roads in the forest to clear landmines believed to have been planted  in the dreaded forest by the fleeing insurgents. A  military bulldozer had to be used to clear the roads for the vehicles conveying the victims to have access to the road linking Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Another reason for the three-day journey as adduced by the military, was the fact that the trip had to be broken into phases to reduce the stress for the former hostages.

Lami Musa, a 27-year old housewife, who gave birth to a  baby a day before the victims left Sambisa,  was among the 275 victims who survived the long drive.

On arrival in the camp, the victims were treated  to  a  taste of Nigerian foods. Their states of origin cut across the three north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe worst affected  by the Boko Haram attacks. They were captured from different remote areas of the three states during occasional Boko Haram raids.

The victims narrated how they were captured, how they were moved to Sambisa forest, their horror  in the hands of the insurgents and how they regained freedom.

Mrs. Lami Musa, a mother of four who gave birth to a baby girl barely three days before the military moved her and others from Sambisa enroute to the IDPs camp, told her story. Her husband, an artisan, was killed in their Damboa town when the insurgents came calling. She narrated: “I was two months pregnant then when the insurgents invaded the town at about 6pm one Monday in August  2014. As sporadic gunshots enveloped the town, able bodied men, including our husbands, among others, fled to the bush. The invaders ordered us to follow them. The trip which some of us made in vehicles while others trekked took us almost two days to get to their camp”.

Another victim, Mrs. Talatu Maina, an indigene of Madagali, Adamawa State, claimed she, along with many others was abducted in September last year along the borders of Borno and Adamawa State. She said they were returning from a local market when they were ambushed and driven straight into  Sambisa forest.

“The male passengers among us were slaughtered instantly. On reaching Sambisa forest, we met hundreds of other women and children”, she stated. Talatu disclosed that life in the Boko Haram enclave was simple in the sense that the captives were directed to choose their leaders in all fields of human endeavour. “We had our leaders in Islamic affairs, food and general welfare of the camp”, she disclosed.

Mrs. Hannatu, also a returnee, said: “We did the cooking ourselves from the corn provided by Boko Haram. The corns were normally ground, but not filtered, even as the only soup was the local ‘Mia Kuka’  or leaves of baobab tree. We  ate twice daily, except our little children who  ate at random depending on availability of food”.

Commenting on how Boko Haram people conducted themselves, Mrs. Hannatu, a mother of six, confessed that where they were camped was not close to the residence of the Boko Haram leaders. She said there  was a gap of about five to six kilometers between their camp and the Boko Haram leaders residence, adding, “Only gunmen between the ages of 12-14 years stayed with us round the clock as our guards”..

“We only saw the leaders in their motor and motorcycle convoy each time they were going or returning from operations. If they were going for operation, they will stop at a distance. The boys guarding us will run to them for update on our upkeep. Then they will zoom off, their vehicles leaving behind a thick dust. We will only see them again when they are returning from operation; this time around, foodstuff confiscated from the operation will be dropped for us,” she explained.

She disclosed that while cooking in the daytime, they used  underground kitchens to prevent the smoke from attracting the bombardment, of the Nigeria military jet fighters.

Another victim, Rachael Habila was kidnapped from Buni Yadi, Yobe State and taken into captivity by the insurgents the day the Government College there was attacked leading to the killing of over 50 students.

Rachael said she did not know she will survive in the camp because of her religious background as a Christian. “When I joined them in the camp, about five or six of us that were of the Christian faith were gathered in one place and directed that we should either embrace Islam or be killed”, the 40-year-old school teacher said.

“We had no option than to embrace Islam and there and then we were provided with Hijab and an Islamic teacher was attached to us. The basic teaching of Islam and how to perform the five daily prayers was our major pre-occupation”.

“Along the line, two of our mates were no longer seen and we continued to puzzle among ourselves that what happened to them will surely happen  to us. But, thank God, we are alive in the IDPs camp today to tell our experience”.

She added that while converting non-Muslims, one of the leaders of the sect whose responsibility it was to do that will only tell you that your name has been changed with the pronouncement of the Muslim name for you and those around him will chorus ‘ ALLAHUAKBAR’, meaning God is great.

Racheal confessed that victims were not  arbitrarily tortured, except if one violated one rule or the other. “But if an  offense to them, which you might not know, is committed, the punishment, which involves flogging, among others, is normally severe and painstaking and, at times, it involves slaughtering of the people depending on the magnitude of the offense to them”, she stated.

Salamatu Musa, 23, was only six months old as a housewife when she was taken away from a  village in Damboa  local government area of Borno State. She said she was kidnapped during a midnight attack on their village by the insurgents during the month of Ramadan last year, adding that they were up to 22 women and over 50 children that were taken into captivity that  night.

According to her, she was two months pregnant when the incident occurred and that she had given birth to a baby girl who is almost four months now and she has not yet been named.

Asked why the baby had not yet been named, Salamatu replied that it should be done by the father of the girl, if he is still alive, pointing out that the naming ceremony will be done if eventually she is back home from the IDPs camp.

Asked whether she was aware that Nigerians went to the polls to elect their leaders recently, she replied that all of them in the Boko Haram captivity had no idea of any election and they were not aware that Nigerians had elected a new president.

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Victims Of Xenophobic Attacks Recall Horrific Encounter In SA

As South Africa is now in the news for the wrong reason of xenophobic attack, the UK Guardian has reported on how the attack has affected several families, with special emphasis on one Fungai Chopo’s family. The paper reported that Chopo was working as a builder while his wife, Memory, was hired as a maid, and they shared a decent house with their two children. With their new job; joblessness, hunger and poverty that had confronted them from their home in Zimbabwe came to an abrupt end. This however could not last for too long due to the ongoing xenophobic attack in South Africa.

According to the report, few minutes before midnight of a particular day, about 15 men burst into Chopo’s family home, punched him to the point of death and blood gushed out of him. They threatened to kill the family. They equally stole all they had.

With the development, they are now like other unfortunate blacks resident in South Africa who are taking refuge in crowded tents in heavily guarded transit camp.

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Human Traffickers Arrested In Jigawa, Six Victims Rescued

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) said on Sunday it rescued five men and a teenager from suspected traffickers in Birnin-Magaji border town, Babura Local Government Area of Jigawa. The state Comptroller of NIS, Mr Isah Jere, announced this while addressing newsmen in Dutse.

Jere said that investigation showed that the rescued men were being transported to Europe through the Niger-Libya axis. According to him, unfortunately, the traffickers escaped and abandoned their victims before the arrival of officers and men who were on patrol of the area. “The ugly trend has become more pronounced these days because of the quest for worldly materials among the youth,” Jere said.

The NIS chief said that his command would not relent in its efforts in the fight against illegal immigrants and human trafficking. He said that the victims would be handed over to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) for further investigation. Five suspected human traffickers were arrested by NIS at the same border town mid March.

Credit: NAN