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Press Review

Weekly Press Review : From Monday 27th February to Friday 3rd March, 2023

3 March 2023
Reading time: 17 minutes

Regional News

How Nigerians Can Help Tackle Boko Haram-ISWAP Terrorism – COAS. Source: PRNigeria

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has called on Nigerians to play active role in tackling insurgency in the country. Yahaya made the call during a 3-Day Seminar on the Rehabilitation of Repentant Insurgents in the North East with the theme, ” Rehabilitation of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria; Issues, Challenges and Sustainability”, in Abuja. The seminar was organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Office of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Army Resource Centre. He said the workshop was part of national effort to develop viable strategy for the management of surrendered insurgents in the North East.

Police Kill 2 Terrorists After Gun Duel in Katsina Village. Source: PRNigeria

Today, Thursday, 02/03/2023 at about 0730hrs, a distress call was received that terrorists in their numbers, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles, attacked Yasore village, Batsari LGA of Katsina state. Consequently, DPO Batsari Division, led a combine team of Police and Vigilante group to the area, engaged the hoodlums into a fierce gun duel and successfully repelled them.

Macron plans ‘noticeable reduction’ of French military in Africa. Source: rfi

President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday a “noticeable reduction” of France’s troop presence in Africa following a withdrawal from Mali and Burkina Faso after years fighting jihadists there. Some bases would become training academies, while others would become “partner” bases, he added. Macron said they would adapt with less French military personnel on the ground, and an “Africanisation” of their staff. They would see a “rise in the presence of their African partners according to goals defined” by these partners, he added. Anti-French sentiment is running high in former French colonies Mali and Burkina Faso after military coups there that led to fallouts with Paris and the pullout of French troops from both countries.

Ending terrorism onslaught against the military. Source: The Guardian

As new leaders emerge to assume the administration of Nigeria, the incoming administrators should bear uppermost in their mind, the need to end the long suffering plight of the country’s soldiers. If anything, that was a major message that emanated from the last episode of ceremonies commemorating fallen military personnel fondly remembered as Nigeria’s heroes. But it is not enough to go through the yearly ritual without tending to serious issues to permanently heal the wounds incurred by their relatives.

NigeriaDecides2023: Displaced Voters Disenfranchised By Hunger And Cash Crisis. Source: HumAngle

Internally Displaced People who could not travel to their local government area to participate in the elections said they were disenfranchised by hunger and the crisis over the new naira notes.

French army officially ends operations in Burkina Faso. Source: France24

Burkina Faso announced on Sunday that operations by the French army in the jihadist-hit West African state were officially over, after bilateral relations soured in recent months. Senior officers from Burkinabe and French forces in the country held a flag-lowering ceremony to mark the occasion at a camp on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou on Saturday, Burkina’s army said in a statement. Last month France confirmed it would withdraw its contingent of hundreds of troops stationed in Burkina Faso, after the junta ruling the Sahel country demanded the force pull out within four weeks. The request came days after Burkina’s Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela declared Russia to be a “reasonable” choice of new partner in the anti-jihadist fight.

NigeriaDecides2023: Regulator Failure Reducing Trust In Electoral Process, EU Says. Source: Humangle

A lack of transparency at Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has reduced trust in the general electoral process, election monitors say. In a press statement, the European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria (EU EOM) noted that the “abuse of incumbency by various political office holders has distorted the playing field.” Speaking at the presentation of their initial findings in Abuja on Feb 27, Chief Observer for the EU Observer Mission Barry Andrews said: “We took note of these issues as they fall well short of international standards.”

Nigeria elections: Results trickle in after tight vote. Source: BBC

Initial results have started trickling in Nigeria’s most competitive general election since it transitioned to democracy 24 years ago. Saturday’s polls went relatively smoothly but were hampered by delays and some instances of violence. Results from just one state out of 36 states and a federal capital territory have been announced. The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, won the small south-western state of Ekiti. But it’s still too early to predict who will win the Presidency.

Nigeria’s electoral commission starts announcing state-wide results. Source: news24

Nigeria’s electoral commission began announcing state-by-state results from national elections on Sunday, though it is not expected to name a victor in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari for several days. The presidential vote is expected to be the closest in Nigeria’s history, with candidates from two parties that have alternated power since the end of army rule in 1999 facing an unusually strong challenge from a minor party nominee popular among young voters.

Nigeria starts counting votes after mostly peaceful presidential poll. Source: rfi

Counting has begun in the wake of Saturday’s Nigerian elections. The ballot of 90 million registered voters has been described as broadly smooth and peaceful, despite reports of isolated violence, delays and technical hitches. The electoral authorities have given no date for the announcement of results, but the outcome must be declared within 14 days.

Violent Attacks As Nigerians Vote In National Election. Source: Humangle

Boko Haram launched mortars at a town in southern Borno, one of several violent attacks recorded on Saturday, Feb.25, as millions of Nigerians voted in presidential and national assembly elections.  Several people were injured when Boko Haram insurgents located on top of the Mandara mountains fired two mortar bombs into Gwoza town in southern Borno, HumAngle has learned. The shell targeted the Sabon Gari polling unit at the Gwoza stadium, while the other fell at a building adjacent to the AA Garba filling station.

Nigeria Elections 2023: Social Media Influence On Politics “Stronger” – CDD. Source: Humangle

With the growth of Nigeria’s social media users and the rise of disinformation across different platforms, observers are concerned about possible effects on the 2023 general elections.

Nigeria Elections 2023: CODE Launches “Situation Room” To Observe Elections. Source: Humangle

Voters in Nigeria will be able to track everything happening on election day as it happens, thanks to a new tool launched by a civil society organisation, who are partners with HumAngle. Connected Development (CODE), a pan-African organisation officially unveiled the platform called “Uzabe”, to members of the public on Friday 24 Feb, a day before the polls opened. Connected Development, a civil society organisation, has launched a tool to help nigerians track what is happening during the election in real time. They have partnered with HumAngle to provide reliable information in a bid to fight fake news.

Nigeria Elections 2023: Fearful IDPs Head Home To Vote in Borno. Source: Humangle

IDPs in the capital of Borno state, northeast Nigeria, are taking a risk by travelling to vote in their unsafe home communities, which they fled some years ago due to Boko Haram violence.

NigeriaDecides2023: “I Saw Blatant Vote Buying In Maiduguri”. Source: HumAngle

Covering the Feb 25th election, HumAngle Accountability Fellow Ijasini Ijani encountered blatant vote buying in Maiduguri, Borno state. He filmed the evidence of a man and a woman dispersing cloth and cash. The clip was viewed tens of thousands of times. Overall, the 2023 presidential election seems to have had a low rate of vote buying in most of the polling units across the Maiduguri. This was probably a result of the new naira note policy by the CBN, which has rendered most of the politicians cashless and not having access to withdrawing more cash to buy votes. The independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, clearly states the law. Offences involving vote buying have a penalty, a fine of N500,000, or imprisonment for 12 months.

Rampaging herders kill 13 in three Benue villages. Source: Punch

Gunmen suspected to be herders, in the early hours of Sunday, invaded three communities in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and killed 13 people.  A resident who identified himself as Sachir told our correspondent that suspected herders invaded Tse Lgar where eight people were reportedly killed.  Three people were also said to have been killed at Tse- Magu and another two people were killed at Tse-Dudu in Daudu all in Guma Local Government Area.

MNJTF Presents Compensations to Families of Soldiers. Source: PRNigeria

The Force Commander (FC) Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Maj Gen AK Ibrahim on Thursday 23 February 2023 presented token compensation to wounded in action troops and next of kin of deceased troops of Sector 3 MNJTF and Civilian Joint Task Force during operations SHARAN FAGE and LAKE SANITY. The ceremony which was held at the Headquarters Joint Task Force (North East) Operation HADIN KAI in Maiduguri was also aimed at commending the Sector and troops for their relentless efforts and gallantry in the fight against the BHTs in the LCB region. The FC MNJTF was received on arrival at HQ TC OPHK by the Theatre Commander (TC) Maj Gen IS Ali before proceeding to the venue for the event.

Families Of Over 40 Nigerians Bombed By Military In Nasarawa Demand Probe, N500 Billion Compensation. Source: Sahara Reporters

The families of over 40 people who were killed by military bombing in the Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on January 24, 2023 have demanded N500 billion in damages.  The tragedy occurred at Kwatre Angulu in Rukubi area of the North Central region of Nigeria. This was stated in a statement released by a civil society organisation, Save Nigeria Movement, SNM, addressed to the Nigerian Chief of Air Staff. The organisation threatened legal action through their lawyer, T.D. Soraka, Esq, if the Air Force fails take the necessary steps to alleviate the suffering of the victims’ families following the attack.

Macron vows era of French interference in Africa is over. Source: rfi

The era of French interference in African affairs is “well over”, President Emmanuel Macron said in Gabon on Thursday during his four-nation tour of central Africa. Speaking on the fringes of an environment summit in the Gabonese capital Libreville, Macron said France harboured no desire to return to past policies of interfering in Africa

Peace and Security


Fear Of Stigma Silences Male Rape Victims. Source: Humangle

Often people who are abused keep quiet, and rapes are swept under the carpet. But in this case the male victim spoke up. In some societies, it is considered shameful and childish for a male child to cry. Men are meant to protect themselves. There are certain myths that men are not men if they can’t control such emotions. According to ASP Asabe Haruna, the Assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Adamawa State Police Command, they have recorded several cases of rape where men are the victims. “It’s mostly about older men raping younger boys and children,” she said. In Feb. 2022, Ripples Nigeria reported the case of a 13-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by a security man in Edo State. It was revealed that the suspect was fond of assaulting teenage boys in his community. The victim later died after a medical examination showed that his liver and kidney were damaged as a result of certain chemicals in the bleaching cream used by the suspect on his victims. A 2021 report by Sahara Reporters showed how boys are prone to sexual abuse.

More Heat, New Inequities: The Poor At Greater Risk When Temperatures Climb. Source: Humangle

The poor in northern Nigeria disproportionately feel the impact when temperatures rise at the end of the harmattan period. With human-made climate change increasing temperatures, heatwaves will become more deadly. This time of year the weather in the northern part of Nigeria changes from the cool-dry harmattan to the hot season that will last from March to May. As tens of thousands of displaced people across the country will tell you, this makes living in makeshift camps, in huts built of heavy plastic, unbearable. As the temperature rises, vulnerable groups will struggle. Every year people die due to the body overheating during hot seasons, and as the effects of human-caused climate change become clear, it will only get worse.

Missing Persons In Northeastern Nigeria: The Numbers, The Stories. Source: Humangle

Over 25,000 people in Nigeria are registered as missing with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as of Aug. 2022, according to the humanitarian organisation. This is a thousand more missing people compared to the figure released in the previous year. And more worrisome is that across Africa, about 64,000 people are registered as missing. This means Nigeria accounts for more than a third of the number across the continent. The cause of the problem is primarily the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast that has led to the displacement of over 3.1 million people, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Families get separated during raids where members are abducted by terror groups while hurrying to escape from attacks and Boko Haram occupation or as a result of arbitrary arrests (and detention) by the Nigerian military or other militias assisting with counterinsurgency.

Tinubu is Nigeria’s president-elect after disputed election. Source: news24

Nigeria’s ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared president-elect of Africa’s most populous nation in the early hours of Wednesday after a weekend election that the main opposition parties have disputed. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, will take over leadership of a country grappling with Islamist insurgencies in the northeast, armed attacks, killings and kidnappings, conflict between livestock herders and farmers, cash, fuel and power shortages, and perennial corruption that opponents say Buhari’s party has failed to stamp out, despite promises to do so.

BREAKING: INEC declares Tinubu winner of presidential election. Source: Punch

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the president-elect. Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, was declared the president-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election. The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced Tinubu as the winner at the International Collation Centre in Abuja during the early hours of Wednesday.

Threat Of Kidnap Dissuaded Many Voters In Nigeria’s Zamfara. Source: Humangle

Voters across Zamfara State in Northwest Nigeria were unable to cast their ballots during the Presidential and National Assembly elections because they were threatened with abduction by terrorists. Election regulator INEC had made provision for people who would normally vote in rural polling units presently under the control of armed groups, to vote in supposedly safer surroundings of nearby towns. But terrorists spread messages that anyone who cooperated with the special measures to vote would be kidnapped as they travelled to the polling units. The result was that few people went out to vote at all.

NigeriaDecides2023: Attacks On Journalists Make Election Coverage Dangerous. Source: Humangle

Journalists have been attacked by security personnel and political thugs while carrying out their duties at the ongoing presidential and national assembly elections in Nigeria.

Market Fire: Zulum Approves Another N1b For Reconstruction To Start. Source: News Net Global

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Wednesday approved another N1b for reconstruction work to start at the Maiduguri Monday Market which was engulfed by a fire disaster in the early hours of Sunday. Zulum’s approval was announced by the Secretary to Borno State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa, during the inauguration of a committee that will coordinate all matters relating to the market fire incident. The governor on Monday, presented a cheque of one billion Naira to be distributed to victims to serve as emergency relief pending other measures by government.

Traders count losses in Maiduguri main market fire. Source: Punch

Tragedy struck in Maiduguri on Sunday when fire razed large sections of the popular Monday Market, the largest market in Borno State. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but eyewitnesses told PUNCH Metro that it started between 2.30am and 3am. When our correspondent went round sections of the market, some traders were seen struggling to save whatever wares they could save from their shops to avoid losing everything.

Borno Market: Security Agents Deployed To Contain Unrest After Fire. Source: Humangle

Armed security comprising the police and military have been deployed around the Monday market in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, as an angry mob has taken to the streets destroying political posters and other insignias of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Angry residents alleged that the fire may have been politically motivated. The Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, visited the market at about 8 a.m. but had to leave immediately to avoid aggravating an already charged atmosphere. Zulum, in a statewide televised broadcast, called for calm and announced that an emergency relief of one billion naira would be provided to support the victims, pending assessment of the incident. Maiduguri’s largest market went up in flames early Sunday morning, causing more than 20,000 traders to lose their properties worth billions of naira.

Monday market disaster: Zulum announces N1 billion for emergency relief, consoles victims; sets up assessment committee. Source: PRNigeria

Monday market disaster: Zulum announces N1 billion for emergency relief, consoles victims; sets up assessment committee.Calls for calm, To meet Buhari
… Cautions against politicizing incident. Following an outbreak of a major fire incident which has largely raised down the Maiduguri Monday Market, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has in a quick statewide broadcast,  announced an emergency relief of one billion naira to provide urgent support to victims, pending assessment of the incident.

Maiduguri Monday Market: Shettima Donates N100m To Victims. Source: News Net Global

APC Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima has commiserated with the government and people of Borno state over the incident of fire disaster that occurred in the early hours of Sunday. Senator Shettima urged the people to take solace in God believing that nothing happened without his knowing and pray that such occurance did not happen again in the future.

Buhari in Maiduguri, tours market destroyed by fire. Source: Premium Times

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday toured the ruins of Maiduguri Monday Market, destroyed by fire recently, commiserating with the government and people of the state on the unfortunate incident. The president was also at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar El-Kanemi, to register his profound condolences to indigenes of the state who lost property and means of livelihood in the disaster. The president visited the market, still smouldering five days after, with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima, members of the Federal Executive Council and some eminent citizens of the State. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, told the president that an assessment of the level of damage is still ongoing.

Stabilization and economic development

Buhari inaugurates NNPC power project in Maiduguri. Source: Premium Times

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project, describing the feat as another testament towards achieving a stable, uninterrupted power supply aimed at improving the economy and lives of Nigerians. The gas plant was constructed by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) to supply 50 megawatts of electricity to Maiduguri and its environs. Speaking at the occasion, the president said his administration has worked hard to fulfil the promise of tackling the nation’s electricity challenges and has succeeded in laying the foundation for a strong, prosperous country through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Buhari Commissions 32MW NNPC Maiduguri Power Plant. Source: Daily Trust

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the 32 megawatts (MW) Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP) in Borno State completed in 16 months by NNPC Ltd. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the president said, “The MEPP is part of an incremental 4,000 megawatts of power generating assets that this administration embarked upon to improve power supply and stimulate economic growth.”

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