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Press Review

Weekly Press Review 09-15 February 2024

16 February 2024
Reading time: 16 minutes

Regional News

War, disintegration of regional blocks top agenda of minsters at 37th AU summit. Source: Africanews. Wars, disintegration of regional blocs top agenda of ministers at 37th AU summit | Africanews

The Executive Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the African Union was held in Addis Ababa from Wednesday (Feb. 14) to Thursday (Feb. 15).

The Council of ministers coordinates and takes decisions on policies in areas of common interest to Member States.

The resurgence of military coups, pre- and post-election violence, humanitarian crises linked to war and the effects of climate change, were highlighted.

AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat reckoned that “they pose a serious threat to tarnish the signs of the emergence of the Africa of which we are proud.”

Comoros Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chair of the Executive Council, also underscored terrorism, violent extremism, and unconstitutional changes of government as a challenge to the democratic processes on the continent.

Deadly blast rocks Camerron’s national youth day. Source: Africanews. Deadly blast rocks Cameroon’s national youth day | Africanews

Correspondent reports from the ground revealed the grim reality faced by those affected by the explosion, with families grappling with the aftermath of the tragedy and communities shaken by the violence that disrupted what should have been a day of celebration and unity.

A devastating explosion marred Cameroon’s National Youth Day commemoration, as an improvised explosive device ripped through a food sales outlet in the town of Nkambe, leaving a trail of destruction and injuring numerous individuals, including children. The attack, believed to be orchestrated by separatist fighters, underscored the ongoing unrest in the country’s Anglophone regions and cast a shadow over the annual celebration.

According to reports from state radio and television station CRTV, the explosion occurred just two hours after a parade of schoolchildren marked the occasion of National Youth Day. Videos circulated on social networks depicted scenes of chaos, with children clad in blue school uniforms fleeing the scene alongside injured adults receiving assistance from bystanders.

ECOWAS chair Tinubu to meet Senegal’s Sall over postponed elections.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is set to meet his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall on Monday in the capital Dakar as a constitutional crisis continues there over postponement of elections initially scheduled for this month.

Tinubu, who is also chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is visiting days after the bloc’s foreign ministers held emergency talks to discuss Senegal, in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

Niger Republic Shuts Airspace Against Nigeria-bound Flights

The government of the Niger Republic has placed a ban on all flights coming from or going into neighbouring Nigeria.

Also, the Republic of Niger announced the opening of its airspace to all national and international commercial flights, effective immediately.

The new directive specified that commercial flights passing over Nigerien airspace without landing will not be affected by these restrictions. Nevertheless, it is mandatory for all flights operating within Niger’s airspace to have their ADS-B and/or radar transponders operational throughout the duration of the flight.

In the press statement shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), the government of Niger said that, “The airspace of the Republic of Niger is open to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited, except for Nigerian flights to or from Nigeria.

Niger will never return to ECOWAS, coup leader

The leader of the military junta in Niger, Abdourahamane Tchiani, has vowed that the country will not rejoin the Economic Community of West African States.

He also vowed that none of the three Sahel nations would rejoin the ECOWAS.

Tchiani stated this on Monday in an interview he granted to the RTN news channel in the country’s capital Niamey.

The military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in January, declared their immediate withdrawal from ECOWAS, saying that it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay”.

Bomb incident killed one in Cameroon.

A homemade bomb killed one person and wounded dozens of others in western Cameroon Sunday, an attack the authorities said may have been carried out by anglophone separatists.

The blast came two hours after a parade of school children celebrating Youth Day had passed, state television CRTV reported.

In the town of Nkambe, an “improvised explosive device hidden in a food stall exploded not far from the fairgrounds, two hours after the parade,” state television said.

Peace and Security

Tackling Insecurity with Technology.

A Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, attended the second edition of the Saudi Defence Exhibition to explore technology solutions, especially latest security technologies, and share information and ideas on the latest defence systems to combat insecurity.

The global exhibition has no doubt presented a unique opportunity for Nigeria to address its ongoing challenges in collaboration with international communities.

NDLEA arrests man ‘supplying drugs’ to terrorists in Borno, seizes 7,609kg of hard drugs

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives have arrested a 42-year-old man for supplying opioids to insurgents in the Banki area of Borno state.

In a statement on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said the agency arrested 24 suspected drug dealers, including a pregnant woman in five states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

He said over 7000 kilograms of hard drugs were also seized in Borno and Nasarawa states.

Babafemi noted that the bulk of the seizures was made in Nasarawa where NDLEA operatives on February 4 “intercepted a truck marked Lagos JJJ 64 YC conveying 367 jumbo bags of cannabis sativa weighing 4,037 kilograms from Akure, Ondo state to be delivered at Shabu area of Lafia, the state capital”.

Amidst killings, kidnappings, Tinubu, governors say Nigeria’s security situation ‘significantly improved’ (

Tinubu on Thursday met with state governors in Abuja to discuss pressing issues in the country including security and cost of living crisis.

At the end of the meeting, the president and the state governors agreed that there has been a “significant improvement” in the security situation in the country, a government spokesperson said.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, said around security, “Mr President and the state governors have all agreed that at this point, we are seeing significant improvement in the security situation around the country of course.”

This is not to say that the security situation has been solved completely, Mr Idris added. “But we are seeing a positive movement towards a secure Nigeria.”

Hardship: Nigeria Sitting On Keg of Gunpowder – Sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has expressed fear that with millions of Nigerian youths left without jobs and food, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.


This came two days after the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, had decried the ravaging hunger and starvation in the land.


Speaking at the 6th Executive Committee Meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council yesterday in Kaduna, the Sultan said the economic hardship in Nigeria had reached a level where citizens were agitated, angry and hungry.


Boko Haram: 500 detained suspects released in Borno

The Borno Government says it has cleared 500 suspects of involvement in terrorism and had them released from the Nigerian Army detention facility at Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri.

The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zuwaira Gambo, said this in Maiduguri while responding to a leader of some aggrieved women in Borno, Hajiya Gana, who alleged that some of their innocent men and children were being held at the barracks.

Mrs Gambo spoke during a question and answer session at a Public Presentation of Charters of Demand from Survivors, Victims and De-radicalised Women in Borno, organised by an indigenous NGO, Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development.

Nigerian military troops discover ‘weapons fabrication factroy’ in Plateau.

Nigerian troops under ‘Operation Safe Haven’ said it has discovered a weapons fabrication factory in Pakachi, a village in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The military said a suspect, Tapshak Plangji, 25, has been arrested in connection with the facility.

The troops disclosed this in a statement by the Media Information Officer of Operation Safe Haven, Oya James, on Wednesday.

According to Mr James, who is a Nigerian Army captain, a large volume of illegal firearms and associated accessories was found during the operation.


Borno, Adamawa, others risk severe food crisis – World Bank

The World Bank has said seven states across the North-west and North-east regions of the country may  suffer food crises due to high levels of insecurity and armed conflicts that has reduced the standards of living across the region.

The bank in its latest Food Security report also stated that most areas in West and Central Africa would remain Minimally food insecure until May 2024.

This is coming amidst plans by the government to cultivate 323,000 hectares of farmland producing wheat, rice, maize and cassava for the 2024 dry season farming.

The states highlighted by the bank are Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Yobe, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.

Thousand afflicted as measles surge in Maiduguri. Source: Humangle. Thousands Afflicted As Measles Cases Surge In Maiduguri – HumAngle (

Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, is causing alarm in communities in Maiduguri, North East Nigeria.

In the last quarter of 2023, the state recorded a staggering 7,000 measles cases, and the numbers continue to rise, with nearly a thousand more reported since the start of the new year.

Officials of the international medical aid organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have expressed concern, stating that of the 800 cases admitted in 2024, more than 200 patients have received treatment and been discharged. Yet, the outbreak shows no signs of abating.

Dr Jombo Okoli, a physician at the Gwange-3 Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Maiduguri, reports a daily influx of at least 30 suspected measles cases, predominantly among children under ten years of age.

Photos: Inside South Sudan’s worsening refugee crisis, in Renk and Maban | Refugees News | Al Jazeera

For the last 10 months, thousands of people have fled the civil war in Sudan to Renk, a town just over the border in South Sudan.

Since April 2023, at least 541,888 people have arrived. In December, United Nations agencies registered 71, 757 people, the highest number of new arrivals from any month last year.

About 18 percent of them are Sudanese and 81 percent are South Sudanese. The latter likely left South Sudan when the country experienced its own civil war between 2013 and 2020. They were forced to return due to the war in Sudan between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army.

UPDATED: Nigeria’s inflation hits 29.9% amid high food prices | Premium Times Nigeria (

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate rose to 29.90 per cent in January from 28.92 per cent in December 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The statistics office said the January 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.98 per cent points when compared to the December 2023 headline inflation rate.

The NBS said on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 8.08 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in January 2023, which was 21.82 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in January 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., January 2023),” it said.

Concert at Malina threatre features violins made from batter migrant boats. Source Africanews. Concert at Milan theatre features violins made from battered migrant boats | Africanews

*Inmates at Milan’s largest prison are giving new life to battered boat that were rode by migrants by using the wood to make violins, viollas and cellos.

String instruments played by the Orchestra of the Sea in its debut performance at Milan’s famed Teatro alla Scala carry with them tales of desperation and redemption.

The wood that was bent, chiseled and gouged to form the instruments was recovered from dilapidated smugglers’ boats that brought migrants to Italy’s shores.

‘Metamorphosis’ is a rehabilitation project for detainees – but also pays tribute to the thousands who lose their lives trying to reach Europe.

Mobilization and economic development

60 Reps Propose Bill to Return Nigeria to Parliamentary System.

Sixty members of the House of Representatives have sponsored three bills proposing alterations to the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) to transition from the current presidential system to the parliamentary system of government by 2031.

The three bills were introduced on the floor of the House on Wednesday by the Clerk of the House for first reading.

They were sponsored by the House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda and 59 other members.

The bills are the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1115); Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1116) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1117).

UNESCO global network of learning cities: 13 new African members added. Source: Africanews. UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities : 13 new African members added | Africanews

In total, 64 cities from 35 countries have joined this network, reported the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. And there are 13 new African cities.

The Global Network brings together cities that stand out for promoting lifelong learning among their inhabitants, we can read in a UNESCO press release.

The new cities joining the Network were chosen on the recommendation of a jury of experts.

A genuine commitment to learning by the mayor and city administration, as well as a set of good practices and public policy initiatives, are essential prerequisites for becoming a learning city.

Petrol Price Hits N700/L In Sokoto, Maiduguri, Others

Despite repeated assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) that there are no plans to increase the pump price, independent marketers have adjusted prices to over N700 per litre in states like Sokoto and Borno.


A Daily Trust market survey yesterday indicated that a litre of fuel was sold between N690 and N700 by most of the filling stations owned by independent marketers in the Sokoto metropolis.

Our reporters gathered that other major marketers like AA Rano and Dan Marina filling stations were selling a litre at the cost of N675 while NNPC Mega station sells at N620/l.

Our correspondent, who went round Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, observed that the price of PMS had risen to N720 as of yesterday.

FIRS Faults Buhari’s N2.59trn Tax Credit Scheme On Road Construction.

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacheus Adedeji, on Wednesday, faulted the N2.59 trillion Tax Credit Scheme introduced by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for road construction.


This was as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), one of the executors of the scheme, cleared the air on a $3.3 billion loan facility secured for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the stabilization of the naira in the foreign exchange market.

Dangote refinery to export first fuel cargoes.

The 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery has concluded plans to export its first fuel cargoes, according to a report.

The refinery has issued tenders to sell two fuel cargoes for export, Reuters reported Wednesday, quoting trading sources with knowledge of the matter.

The first cargo is 65,000 metric tons of low-sulphur straight-run fuel oil, which Dangote has awarded to Trafigura and is due to load at the end of February, three of the sources said.

Uniabuja, British School To Train 5m Students On Digital Skills.

The British School of Outdoor Education (BSOE) and the University of Abuja (Uniabuja) have said they will jointly train five million Nigerian students on digital skills.

The coordinator of the programme and Nigerian students’ ambassador, John Aikeremiokha, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja yesterday, said for Nigeria’s economy to flourish the country must equip its youths with the necessary tools and skills to thrive in the world of technology.

Argungu Rice Project Produces 42,800 Tons of Paddy – WACOT

The Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project (AOEP) for rice in Kebbi State has produced 42,800 metric tons of paddy for processing by WACOT Rice Limited (WRL).


This was revealed by WACOT Rice, a subsidiary of the Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group and other partners during the closing ceremony of the project yesterday in Abuja.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of WACOT, Mr Farouk Gumel, said 10,444 farmers were supported to cultivate 11,232 hectares with yield growth from 2.2 metric tons per hectare to an average of 4.5 tons per hectare.

He said over $15 million in paddy sales was recorded and 42,800 tons of paddy produced for WRL processing.

Mama Boko Haram, 2 Others Jailed Over N40m ‘Fraud’.

A Borno State High Court sitting in Maiduguri, the State Capital, has jailed one Aisha Alkali Wakil popularly known as Mama Boko Haram alongside two others, Tahiru Saidu Daura and Prince Lawal Soyade for 10 years over N40m fraud.


Justice Umaru Fadawu jailed the trio after they were found guilty on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N40,000,000.00, which they were for by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Nigeria’s electricity prices may increase as govt says subsidy no longer sustainable.

The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it has become very difficult to sustain subsidies on electricity in the country.

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja.

Mr Adelabu explained that the indebtedness of the country’s power sector to electricity-generating companies (GenCos) and the gas companies (GasCos) has risen to over N3 trillion.

Nigerian ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature forged to withdraw $6m.

Nigeria has appealed to Interpol for assistance in apprehending three suspects accused of orchestrating a $6.2 million theft from the central bank. The funds were reportedly siphoned using forged signatures, including that of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Authorities suspect collusion between the suspects and Nigeria’s former central bank chief, Godwin Emefiele. Emefiele, already facing trial on 20 charges, including the illicit receipt of the stolen funds, maintains his innocence while out on bail.

Europe to Africa by road: Budapest Bamako rally returns to Sierra Leone: Source: Africanews. Europe to Africa by road: Budapest Bamako Rally returns to Sierra Leone | Africanews

F Hungary in Central Europe to Sierra Leone in West Africa, the Budapest-Bamako Rally returns to Freetown for the third time.

After days en route, these cars have traveled from Europe to Africa, traversing through various countries.

Known as the world’s largest amateur vehicular rally and Africa’s biggest humanitarian event, this year saw Sierra Leoneans participating for the first time, with three of them raising awareness for autism.

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