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Press Review

Weekly Press Review : From Monday 14th to Friday 17th February, 2023

17 February 2023
Reading time: 16 minutes

Regional News

Boko Haram Plans Attack On Abuja-Kaduna Train – DSS. Source: Daily Trust

The Department of State Service (DSS) has uncovered a plan by Boko Haram terrorists to attack the Abuja-Kaduna train service in the coming days. The Ministry of Transportation, in a letter to the Ministry of Defence, obtained by Daily Trust on Thursday said it had, on February 1, received a letter from the DSS on the threat by Boko Haram terrorists to attack the Abuja-Kaduna train services.

MNJTF Commander on Morale Boosting Tour of Cameroon, Chad as he Receives Rescued Children. Source: PRNigeria

The Force Commander MNJTF Maj Gen AK Ibrahim today Wednesday 15 February 2023, embarked an operational visit to Headquarters Sectors 1 and 2 at Mora (CAMEROON) and Bagasola (CHAD) respectively. The aim of the visit was to commend the troops for their relentless efforts in the fight against the BHT and pay token compensation to those who were killed in action (KIA) and those wounded in action (WIA) during Operations SHARAN FAGE (OPSF) and LAKE SANITY (OPLS). Highlight of the visit was the receipt of five (5) boys (Aged 15 – 4) Cameroonian Nationals who were abducted by terrorists on 24 December 2022 at Djoungouni in Sector 1 (Cameroon). The children were rescued by troops of Sector 2 during an MNJTF special operations at Bargalam Chad on 7 February 2023, provided medical care, and clothed before handed over to the FC during his visit to Baagasola.

Troops kill eight Boko Haram suspects in Borno, hunters kill two. Source: The Guardian

Troops of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) in the North East and the Civilian JTF have killed eight suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Mafa Council, Borno State. The ground troops also arrested a suspect on December 26, 2022 as well as recovered four motorcycles and AK-47 rifle.

Traumatised By Past Attacks, Nigerian Journalists Skeptical About Covering 2023 Elections. Source: HumAngle

Because of past experiences, many journalists are scared of putting their lives on the line in 2023. According to a 2019 report by the Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom, 352 cases of harassment against journalists were recorded between 1985 and 2019. The International Press Centre (IPC), in 2021, also documented at least 40 incidents of attacks against journalists. Because of incidents like these, Nigeria is ranked one of the worst countries in Reporters Without Borders’ latest Press Freedom Index. Although his illegal arrest and arraignment did not happen during the elections, Sikiru Obarayese, a journalist with the Nigerian Tribune, said having experienced torture for filming protests and being charged to court for recording a divisional police officer, he is scared of covering the polls this year.

Journalists In Nigeria Express Safety Concerns, Share Security Tips Ahead Of 2023 Polls. Source: HumAngle

Ahead of Nigeria’s general elections in February and March, journalists have expressed concerns for their safety and shared security tips for election coverage, which they likened to “going to the war front.” Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent Non-Profit Organisation committed to global press freedom, spoke to more than 50 journalists and members of civil society groups regarding the elections, and according to the organisation, “safety concerns were paramount,” among the issues that the interviewees discussed. From tips such as the use of “local freelancers to cover difficult areas” to having adequate airtime for mobile phones and backup power support, as well as the use of small devices for recording, the journalists that CPJ spoke to urged their colleagues to protect their lives as much as they could.

Mass trial opens in Chad over ex-president Idriss Déby’s death. Source: rfi

The trial of hundreds of alleged rebels accused of assassinating former Chadian president Idriss Déby Itno has got underway in a special court located at a prison outside the capital, N’Djaména. It is the latest mass trial instigated by the transitional government, which has faced opposition from protesters and from the international community. Chad’s chief prosecutor and lawyers confirmed Monday that the hearings will be held behind closed doors at Klessoum prison, southeast of N’Djamena, where the suspects will also face charges of terrorism and undermining state security. Chief prosecutor Mahamat El-Hadj Abba Nana said “over 400” people were on trial, and lawyers gave a figure of 454 – of whom 386 would be present for the hearings.

Forced Abortion: Investigative Panel Begins Probe Of Military In Northeast Nigeria. Source: HumAngle

An independent human rights panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission has begun investigations into reports of a secretive abortion programme run by Nigeria’s military in the Northeast. The panel’s hearing which commenced on Saturday continued on Monday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. In December last year, the Reuters news agency published a report which disclosed that the Nigerian military had operated a secretive and illegal abortion programme, terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls since 2013.

Gunmen attack another police facility in Anambra. Source: Premium Times

The police in Anambra State, South-east Nigeria, said they have killed one of the gunmen who attacked Ogidi Police Divisional Headquarters in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state. The incident happened at about 2:15 a.m. on Monday.

The police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, who disclosed this in a statement, said the attack was foiled by police operatives on duty. Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said the gunmen stormed the area in their numbers with an unmarked Toyota Hiace Bus, a Toyota Hilux pickup truck and three motorcycles.

West Africa junta regimes seek reentry to regional blocs. Source: news24

Foreign ministers from three West African countries that have undergone military coups called for their reinstatement into two key regional blocs on Thursday following a trip to the region by Russian envoy Sergei Lavrov. The top diplomats of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso said in a joint statement that they had agreed to work together to push for the lifting of their suspensions from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the African Union (AU). Abdoulaye Diop of Mali, Morissanda Kouyate of Guinea and Burkina’s Olivia Rouamba held talks in Ouagadougou after Lavrov travelled to Mali earlier in the week to pledge assistance to West African countries battling jihadists.

Terrorists Kill Divisional Police Officer, Four Other Policemen In Niger State, North Central Nigeria. Source: Sahara Reporters

A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and four other officers have been killed by bandits while repelling attacks on communities in Niger State. In a statement on Sunday, Wasiu Abiodun, police spokesperson in the state, said the bandits attempted to invade communities in Munya and Gurara local government areas. Abiodun said the officers were able to repel the attack on a market in Munya LGA on Friday. Although the police spokesman identified the slain DPO as Mukhtar Sabiu in charge of Paiko Division, he, however, did not reveal the names of the other four policemen.

The Missing People Of Gwoza: Vestiges of Violence: Episode 98 Source: HumAngle

We visit the rocky landscape of Gwoza in southern Borno to speak to people whose loved ones have gone missing. No two stories are exactly the same. Some people were imprisoned by Boko Haram insurgents. Some teachers were abducted from a Qur’anic school, others from a university. Some were arrested by the military as they received treatment at the hospital. Some were captured on their farms or as they escaped to safety.

Five Killed, Dozens Injured In Separatist Attack On Banana Plantation. Source: HumAngle

Anglophone separatists in Cameroon have killed at least five workers as they left work at a banana plantation in the country’s Southwest region. According to a witness who requested anonymity, the victims were on their way home from Mondoni Banana Estate on Feb 9. Over 20 separatist fighters emerged from the bush, shot the driver and three others seated in front, killing them. Others were able to flee into the plantation as the shooting continued. Dozens who sustained injuries were rushed to the plantation’s hospital in Tiko, a community in the Southwest.

Crises In Cameroon: ‘If War Doesn’t Kill You, Price Hike Will’ Source: HumAngle

With a 15 per cent increase in the prices of fuel announced last week, households cry to the government to stop adding salt to their wounds. Karin Ngwa hosts 19 displaced persons from the crisis-hit northwest region of Cameroon in her home in Bonamoune, Douala. When she learnt about the recent fuel price increase, she was devastated because basic commodities were already expensive.

NIGERIA DAILY: How Herders Were Killed, Chased From Taraba Community. Source: Daily Trus

Some Fulani Herders in their hundred have been seen fleeing their home in Taraba State, as they are being allegedly killed.

Gunmen attack another court in Imo. Source: Premium Times

Gunmen have razed the Oguta High Court in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, South-east Nigeria. The gunmen attacked the facility at about 11.30 p.m. on Sunday, according to a report by the Punch. The court building is inside the council headquarters. Apart from various offices in the court, several court records and files were said to have been burnt by the gunmen during the attack.

Peace and Security

Heavy investments in military hardware highest under Buhari’s administration – Permanent Secretary. Source: PRNigeria

The permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Abubakar Kana mni has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for investing heavily in military hardware and operations, saying that the administration’s investment is highest since independence. The Permanent Secretary who made this known to the press recently in Abuja during the President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard series which featured the Ministry of Defence, said that before 2015, the Nigerian Armed Forces were ill-equipped and as a result, were unable to tackle the numerous security challenges that confronted the nation.He stated that since the inception of this administration, through the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, there have been massive investments in the acquisition and activation of military hardware and operation, one of the reasons the military has been able to significantly improve the internal security in the country, incapacitate insurgency and armed banditry and protect the nation’s offshore assets.

Nigeria election 2023: Nigeria military denies coup plot claim ahead of poll. Source: BBC

The Nigerian military has denied a claim by the governing party that it is planning to disrupt the upcoming presidential election. An official from the APC party had said that generals had last week held a secret meeting with the rival PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

Military dismisses alleged coup plot, Atiku’s aide asks DSS to quiz Fani-Kayode. Source: Guardian

Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed as malicious propaganda, a report by some “unscrupulous elements” of plot by some military officers to disrupt the forthcoming general elections. MEANWHILE, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, Special Assistant (Public Communications) to Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, issued a statement, yesterday, urging Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to invite the Director of Special Projects and New Media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Femi Fani-Kayode, to explain a coup he alleged was being planned by Atiku and top generals.

As Nigerians prepare for elections, military denies planning coup. Source: Premium Times

Two weeks to Nigeria’s presidential and legislative elections, the country’s military has denied reports that its officers are planning a coup. The Defence Headquarters Saturday dismissed the coup report as ‘malicious propaganda’ by ‘unscrupulous elements’. The Acting Director of Defence Information, Tukur Gusau, a brigadier general, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Nigerian Military Warns Political Propagandists over Mischievous Coup Story. Source: PRNigeria

The Armed Forces of Nigeria notes with dismay the story being peddled around by some unscrupulous elements alleging that some military officers met with a Presidential candidate with the aim of disrupting the general elections and setting the country on fire. Besides, the military remains apolitical and neutral in the current political process and will not engage in the alleged shenanigans. The Armed Forces of Nigeria will never be part of any ignoble plot to truncate our hard-earned democracy. The Armed Forces of Nigeria hereby warn that those who engage in fabricating and spreading unfounded misinformation will be invited by the appropriate law enforcement agencies to substantiate their claims.

Nigeria military is overstretched – Defence Minister. Source: Premium Times

The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, says the Nigerian armed forces are overburdened because of inadequate manpower and numerous security challenges confronting the nation. The minister stated this on Monday in Abuja at the 25th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’ (PMB) Scorecard Series organised to showcase the achievements of the government. Presenting the scorecard of his ministry, Mr Magashi, a retired general, said one of the challenges of his ministry was the excessive demands being made of the military despite its inadequate manpower.

Insecurity: Police Hands Over 3,980 Arms, 2,358 Ammunition to NCCSALW. Source: PRNigeria

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+), NPM, NEAPS, fdc, CFR, has supervised the handing over of 3,980 arms of different calibres to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW). The handed over arms comprise 265 automatic rifles; 146 pump action guns; 1,909 locally fabricated pistols; 1,500 locally made single barrel guns; 98 locally made double barrel guns; 46 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs); 16 locally made rocket launchers; 2 locally made Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns; and 7 Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs). Similarly, 2,358 assorted calibres of ammunition and 1,057 assorted cartridges were equally handed over.


The Plights Of Parents Of Nigeria’s Displaced, Out-Of-School Children. Source: Humangle

Inadequate and dysfunctional school infrastructure, lack of qualified teachers, and poor livelihood are among the major factors hindering the education of children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), in a recent report, notes that the conflict in the Northeast has left 1.3 million without access to primary, quality education. The report emphasised that “children in Borno State are among the most conflict-affected and educationally disadvantaged in the world.” In a bid to address the challenges, the UN, in April 2014, launched a  30 million dollars Safe Schools Initiative. According to the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, the initiative was “a novel idea to ensure every girl to be safe and boys also to be safe when they go to school”.

Rebuilding With Tears, 10 Months After A Great Devastation. Source: Humangle

The people of Kukum District in Nigeria’s Southern Kaduna are starting life afresh. This is after losing their homes and property to terrorists who attacked in early 2022. What happens afterwards?

The Unsettling Data On Child Education In Northeast Nigeria. Source: Humangle


The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has said that more than 1.9 million children have been affected by the 13-year-long armed conflict in Northeast Nigeria. The conflict, which has uprooted millions of people from their original homes, has left 1.3 million conflict-affected boys and girls without access to primary, quality education. Quoting the most recent data, UNICEF said 430,000 children affected by the Boko Haram conflict have no access to education. In contrast, about  167,000 of them were similarly affected in Yobe state. UNICEF said 56 per cent of displaced children across the BAY states still do not attend school.

Seven African countries have 40% of the world’s child soldiers, says UN. Source: news24

Half of the 14 countries that recruited children into armed conflict are in Africa. In addition, the continent is home to 40% of the world’s child soldier population, estimated to be 250 000, according to the United Nations (UN). And rising conflicts across the continent are pushing more children into vulnerability as they are not only turned into soldiers, but sex slaves and helpers too

EU’s Programme Resolves 14,141 Disputes In Borno. Source: News Net Global

European Union (EU) said it has resolved a total of 14,141 disputes in Borno State through the traditional institutions. The resolved disputes were from 18,420 recorded cases and this has encouraged dialogue among disputants and brought peace to their communities in the state which has had Boko Haram crisis for over a decade. The project was funded by European Union, supported by the British Council and implemented by the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN). The Technical Lead, Managing Conflict in Nigeria project of the British Council, Dr Ukoha Ukiwo disclosed this during the official closure of the MCN Programme implemented by the British Council and funded by the European Union between 2017-2022 in Borno State

Cameroon Panics As Unidentified Disease Kills 20 In Neighbouring Equatorial Guinea. Source: HumAngle.

Kié-Ntem, a community in Equatorial Guinea, is under strict observation from epidemiologists worldwide. Being 270 kilometres from Cameroon’s Olamze district in the South region, an announcement of an unidentified disease outbreak in the locality has caused worry in Cameroon. The health chief of Olamze, Dr Ngu Fankam Roland, warned citizens in a press release that the disease has already killed at least 20 persons in Kié-Ntem. He described patients with the illness as having fever, nasal haemorrhages, joint pain, and other signs that lead to death within hours. He noted that the disease is transmitted by direct contact and warned people to be cautious.

SPECIAL REPORT: In Niger State, schooling for pupils halted as terror victims take over classes. Source: Premium Times

In Gwada, a town 20 minutes from Minna, the Niger State capital, the story is the same. The Gwada Model Primary School, the only basic public learning ground in the area, is now home to hundreds of displaced persons crammed in classrooms built for schoolchildren. Unlike the Kuta central primary school, where partial learning still takes place, schooling activities have been grounded indefinitely in the Gwada primary school. A journey into the settlement of the displaced persons revealed a tale of terror rarely told by anyone. The children, as well as their parents, uprooted by Boko Haram terror in Kawure, a community in Shiroro, and other neighbouring towns and villages, are languishing in the camp without access to basic education. At the Central Primary School, Erena, schoolchildren also share classrooms with displaced persons. About 20 classrooms in the school are equally divided between pupils and the people displaced by the rampaging violence in the state, according to officials in the camp.

ICRC turns 160 as work to protect civilians from horrors of conflict continues. Source: PRNigeria

Abuja (ICRC) –The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 17 February marks its 160th year of work to bring relief to millions of people adversely affected by armed conflict. Technological advances have changed warfare drastically since 1863. But one thing has remained sadly consistent: the level of suffering that civilians caught in conflict are made to endure.

Stabilization and economic development

IMF agrees $80m bailout to help Burkina Faso with worsening food crisis. Source: rfi

The International Monetary Fund has announced the release of $80 million in emergency aid to Burkina Faso to help it cope with a food crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine. The aid will “help support measures to provide emergency assistance to acutely food-insecure households” in Burkina Faso said Martin Schindler, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission following a week-long visit to the West African country. The financing – agreed between the IMF and Burkina Faso authorities – will allow for the distribution of food and drinking water, subsidised agricultural inputs, and cash transfers to eligible households.

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