Nigeria's Buhari proposes record $47.3B budget for 2023
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is making a big bet to revive the West African nation’s economy and end its security woes with a record 20.5 trillion naira ($47.3 billion) proposed expenditure plan presented lawmakers in the capital city of Abuja on Friday.
Nigerian families await news of 300 kidnapped schoolgirls
Families in Nigeria waited anxiously on Sunday for news of their abducted daughters, the latest in a series of mass kidnappings of school students in the West African nation. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Mansur)JANGEBE – Families in Nigeria waited anxiously for news of their abducted daughters after more than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped by gunmen from a government school in the country's north last week, the latest in a series of mass school kidnappings in the West African nation. Police and the military have begun joint operations to rescue the girls, said Mohammed Shehu, a police spokesman in Zamfara state. In December, more than 300 schoolboys from a secondary school in Kankara, in northwestern Nigeria, were taken and later released. The government says large groups of armed men in Zamfara state are known to kidnap for money and to press for the release of their members held in jail.
Students abducted from Nigerian school 2 weeks ago freed
(AP Photo)LAGOS – Students, teachers and relatives abducted two weeks ago from a school in northern Nigeria have been freed. The students, teachers and family members were abducted Feb. 17 by gunmen from the Government Science College Kagara. Their release was announced a day after police said gunmen had abducted 317 girls from a boarding school elsewhere in northern Nigeria, in Zamfara state. “We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he said. In December, 344 students were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State.
Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls taken in mass abduction
One of the students who was not kidnapped from a Government Girls Junior Secondary School following an attack by gunmen in Jangebe, Nigeria, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Gunmen abducted 317 girls from a boarding school in northern Nigeria on Friday, police said, the latest in a series of mass kidnappings of students in the West African nation. “We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he said. AdFriday’s attack came less than two weeks after gunmen abducted 42 people, including 27 students, from the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State. In December, 344 students were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State.
Medical oxygen scarce in Africa, Latin America amid virus
It takes about 12 weeks to install a hospital oxygen plant and even less time to convert industrial oxygen manufacturing systems into a medical-grade network. AdIn Brazil’s Amazonas state, a pair of swindlers were caught reselling fire extinguishers painted to look like medical oxygen tanks. Only then did President Muhammadu Buhari release $17 million to set up 38 more oxygen plants and another $670,000 to repair plants at five hospitals. AdLeith Greenslade of the Every Breath Counts Coalition, which advocates for wider access to medical oxygen, said the looming shortages were apparent last spring. The main provider of medical oxygen to Brazil’s Amazonas state, White Martins, operated at half capacity before the pandemic.
Kidnappings in north Nigeria highlight deepening insecurity
Usman Garuba, one of the freed boys, described the horror of their six days walking through the forest and being beaten. Boko Haram, Nigeria's jihadist rebels, claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but the government later said the abduction was carried out by bandit groups rampant in the northwest. Nigeria’s military and police forces, with the backing of local self-defense groups, are outgunned, outnumbered, underfunded and underpaid, he said. More than 800 security forces were killed in 2019, one of the deadliest years since Boko Haram’s establishment more than 10 years ago. It is really disturbing.”___AP journalists Lekan Oyekanmi in Katsina, Nigeria, and Sam Olukoya in Lagos, Nigeria, contributed.
Amid freed Nigeria schoolboys' joyful reunions, fear lingers
Usman Mohammad Rabiu, a 13 year old student of Government Science Secondary School Kankara, his mother Asmau Hassan, and his siblings at their family house in Ketare, Nigeria, speaks to the Associated Press, Saturday Dec. 19, 2020. Nigeria's freed schoolboys have reunited with their joyful parents after being held captive for nearly a week by gunmen allied with jihadist rebels in the country's northwest. Relieved parents hugged their sons tightly on Saturday in Kankara, where more than 340 boys were abducted from the Government Science Secondary school on the night of Dec. 11. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)KANKARA – Nigeria's freed schoolboys have reunited with their joyful parents after being held captive for nearly a week by gunmen allied with jihadist rebels in the country’s northwest. “Fear gripped me when they said if they ever see us in school again, that they will kill us,” said freed Kankara student, Usman Mohammad Rabiu.
Nigerian boy tells of abduction by extremists and his escape
The school boy who escaped says the students were kidnapped by young, armed men in military uniform. The attack, claimed by Boko Haram, Nigeria's jihadist rebels, has prompted an outcry in the West African nation against the government for not doing enough to stop attacks on schools in the north. Boko Haram kidnapped the schoolboys because it believes Western education is un-Islamic, the rebels’ leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video claiming responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group. For more than 10 years, Boko Haram has engaged in a bloody campaign to introduce strict Islamic rule in Nigeria's north. In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 schoolgirls from a government boarding school in Chibok in northeastern Borno State.
Nigerians anxious after 330 boys kidnapped by extremists
Anxiety has overwhelmed many parents in Nigeria’s northern Kankara village who await word on their sons who are among the more than 330 kidnapped by extremists from a government boys’ school last week. Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist rebels have claimed responsibility for the abduction of the students from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara. Across Nigeria, people are closely following the fate of the kidnapped boys and many criticize the government for the continuing extremist violence. For more than 10 years, Boko Haram has engaged in a bloody campaign to introduce strict Islamic rule. In February 2014, 59 boys were killed when Boko Haram attacked the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State.
Over 300 students still missing after Nigeria school attack
People gather inside the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Nigeria, Saturday Dec. 12, 2020. Nigerian police say that hundreds of students are missing after gunmen attacked the secondary school in the countrys northwestern Katsina state. (AP Photo/Abdullatif Yusuf)LAGOS – Anxiety is growing among the parents of hundreds of students who remain missing three days after gunmen attacked their school in Katsina State in northern Nigeria. More than 300 students are missing after the attack on the Government Science Secondary School, a boys' school in Kankara, on Friday night, Katsina governor Aminu Masari said. The most serious school attack took place in April 2014, when more than 270 schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School in Chibok in northeastern Borno State.
Suspected extremists kill at least 40 farmers in Nigeria
People attend a funeral for those killed by suspected Boko Haram militants in Zaabarmar, Nigeria, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. Nigerian officials say suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram have killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen while they were harvesting crops in northern Borno State. (AP Photo/Jossy Ola)MAIDGURI – Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen in Nigeria as they were harvesting crops in the country's northern state of Borno, officials said. “I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. Boko Haram and a breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are both active in the region.
Nigeria's army admits its soldiers were at Lagos shootings
Nigeria's army has on Tuesday, Oct. 27 admitted its soldiers were deployed at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos where live rounds were fired last week, killing several peaceful protesters prompting global outrage. At least 10 protesters were killed in the Lekki plaza shooting on Oct. 20, according to Amnesty International. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, file)LAGOS – Nigeria's army has admitted its soldiers were deployed at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos where live rounds were fired last week, killing several peaceful protesters prompting global outrage. At least 10 protesters were killed in the Lekki plaza shooting on Oct. 20, according to Amnesty International. On Oct. 20 the government imposed a curfew, ordering everyone to stay at home and that evening the shootings occurred at Lekki plaza.
Nigeria says 51 civilians, 18 security forces dead in unrest
Police officers stop and search a bus carrying passengers around Lekki toll gate in Lagos Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Soldiers remained in parts of Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, as a 24-hour curfew remained in place. If the protests have been hijacked, then Nigerian youth should not give up the struggle and instead should “go back and re-strategize,” said Seriki Muritala with the National Youth Parliament. Opulence and grinding poverty are in close contact in Lagos, a city of some 20 million, and the inequality sharpens Nigerians' grievances. After questioning by police, the mourners were allowed to continue, to go on and bury the dead.
Nigerian president leaves protest shootings out of speech
“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and law and order," he said. “President Buhari during his speech refused to acknowledge those dead as a result of military attacked on Lekki protesters #EndSARS,” tweeted Usman Okai Austin. As looting gangs stormed through parts of Nigeria's largest city, spreading violence for a second day in Lagos. But on Tuesday night security forces fired without warning into crowds of thousands of protesters singing Nigeria's national anthem, killing 12, Amnesty said. "We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces.
Nigerian forces killed 12 peaceful protesters, Amnesty says
( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)LAGOS – Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday that Nigeria's security forces fired upon two large gatherings of peaceful protesters Tuesday night, killing 12 people calling for an end to police brutality. The security forces opened fire without warning on the protesters Tuesday night at the Lekki toll plaza, Amnesty said in its report, citing eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports. “Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Some of those killed and injured at the toll plaza and in Alausa, another Lagos neighborhood, were taken away by the military, Amnesty alleged in the report. Amnesty's report backs up posts and images on social media that have shown widespread violence against protesters.
The Latest: Nigeria urges vaccine to be available to all
(UNTV via AP)TANZANIA – The Latest from the U.N. General Assembly (all times EDT):8:15 p.m. ___6:55 p.m.Argentine President Alberto Fernández is asking the world to think beyond creating a vaccine that will help end the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking Tuesday to the annual U.N. General Assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron decried the United Nations’ failure to vanquish the virus. ___11:50 a.m.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the first world leader at the United Nations'' annual gathering to mention the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump is accusing China of not sharing timely information with the world on the new disease in a taped address to the virtually gathered United Nations General Assembly.
West Africa leaders want Mali junta to leave power in a year
West African leaders on Friday urged Mali's junta to take no more than one year to hand over power to a civilian government, as regional heads of state held another virtual summit after initial negotiations with the military coup leaders failed. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed)BAMAKO West African leaders on Friday urged Mali's junta to take no more than one year to hand over power to a civilian government, as regional heads of state held another virtual summit after initial negotiations with the military coup leaders failed. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who participated in the summit, urged the junta to heed the bloc's calls. Neighboring countries have shut their borders and other sanctions have been threatened in a bid to force the junta leaders to capitulate. Nigeria's president said Mali's ruling junta must immediately release all other senior government officials still being detained.
Mali's deposed president returns home under tight security
(AP Photo)BAMAKO Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita returned home Thursday after being detained for 10 days by the ruling military junta that staged a coup last week, a family member said. It could be a signal that Malis ruling junta, which wants ECOWAS to lift sanctions, are trying to meet some of the bloc's demands. The ECOWAS negotiating team met with Keita during their visit to Malis capital last week. Malis junta has proposed staying in power for three years until Malis next election until 2023. On Thursday, Mali's military said four soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded in an ambush on an anti-poaching unit by insurgents in central Mali.
Nigeria's president moves to stop funding for food imports
ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the country's central bank to stop providing foreign currency for food imports, according to a statement from his spokesman. "The president ... said the foreign reserve will be conserved and utilized strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food imports bills," reads the statement. Shehu also quoted Buhari as saying, "Don't give a cent to anybody to import food into the country." A focus on local food productionNigeria is currently Africa's largest producer of oil and relies on the sale of crude oil for about 90% of its foreign-exchange earnings. Banning food imports to save foreign exchange is not the way to build a sustainable economy," he added.
Turkish construction workers kidnapped at gunpoint in Nigeria bar
Four Turkish construction workers were seized by gunmen in a bar as they relaxed over drinks in a remote village in Nigeria's middle beltKWARA, Nigeria - Four Turkish construction workers were seized by gunmen in a bar as they relaxed over drinks in a remote village in Nigeria's middle belt, authorities told CNN. "They were relaxing at the bar when they were rounded up by a gang of six armed men and taken away," Okasanmi told CNN. Security operatives including Nigeria's special anti-kidnapping squad have been deployed in the search for the men, he said. Saturday's abduction comes more than a week after 10 Turkish nationals were abducted from their ship by armed men off the coast of Nigeria on July 15. The chairman of Nigeria's education board and his daughter were seized by armed men while traveling on the Kaduna-Abuja highway in May, but were later rescued by the police.
Nigeria will join Africa's vast free trade area
Africa's biggest economy has belatedly agreed to join a huge free trade agreement aimed at boosting manufacturing across the continent. NIAMEY, Niger - Africa's biggest economy has belatedly agreed to join a huge free trade agreement aimed at boosting manufacturing across the continent. Nigeria will sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at a summit of the African Union that starts in Niger on July 7, the Nigerian presidency announced on its official Twitter account late on Tuesday. Our position is very simple, we support free trade as long as it is fair and conducted on an equitable basis," President Muhammadu Buhari said in the statement posted on Twitter. But after reviewing an impact assessment of the trade agreement in June, Buhari agreed to come on board.