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Press Review

Weekly Press Review : From Monday 9th to Friday 13th January, 2023

13 January 2023
Reading time: 18 minutes

Regional News

377 Terrorists Quits Boko Haram as TROOPS kill 76 ISWAP Fighters. Source- PRnigeria.

377 Terrorists Quit Boko Haram as Troops Kill 76 ISWAP Fighters. The troops activities and operational successes being recorded in the various operational theaters within the 6 geo-political zones of the Country. In the past 3 weeks, both kinetic and non-kinetic operations were conducted in the various theatres of operations, with significant results recorded. The brief will therefore cover operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies conducted in addressing the various security challenges across the Country between the period of 22 December 2022 – 12 January 2023.

Bandits Ambush Nigerian Security Personnel, Kill Seven. Source- Premiumtimes.

At least seven officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were killed during an ambush by bandits in Kaduna State, President Muhammdu Buhari has said.

The Nigerian leader expressed anguish at the incident, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his anguish over the death of seven personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were ambushed and killed by bandits in Kaduna State while on official duty,” Mr Shehu wrote.

“President Buhari described the loss of the NSCDC personnel as a tragic event and salutes the courage of the men who gave their lives to the nation.”

Armed Group Abducts 32 People From Southern Nigeria Train Station. Source- Al Jazeera.

Attackers armed with assault rifles have abducted 32 people from a railway station in Nigeria’s southern Edo state, the governor’s office said.

Police said in a statement on Sunday that armed herdsmen attacked Tom Ikimi station at 4pm (15:00 GMT) as passengers waited for a train to Warri, an oil hub in nearby Delta state. The station is some 111km (69 miles) northeast of state capital Benin City and close to the border with Anambra state.

Boko Haram a Plot to Destroy Nigeria. Source- Premiumtimes.

President Muhammadu Buhari says the emergence of Boko Haram sect was fraudulent and a plot to destroy Nigeria.

The president stated this when he received the executive members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Mr Buhari noted that the security situation had improved over the years, particularly in the North-east where the sect largely operates.

He said the focus had shifted to rebuilding infrastructure and re-orientation on education.

He added that the gains recorded in security will be further consolidated and more attention will be given to the economy, before handing over on 29 May.

“I am very grateful for your visit to the Presidential Villa, and I agree with you on some of the observations you have made.

Fourteen Malina Soldiers Killed in Two Armed Groups Attacks. Source- Al Jazeera.

Fourteen Malian soldiers were killed and 11 wounded in two separate attacks in central Mali after their vehicles struck explosive devices, the army has said.

The incidents took place on Tuesday in central regions where attackers with ties to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) regularly attack civilians, Malian soldiers, United Nations peacekeepers and other international forces.

Gunmen Abduct More Than 30 in Nigeria. Source- Africanews.

Gunmen abducted more than 30 people at a railway station in Nigeria

According to the announcement made on Monday by the police, the attack took place on Saturday night at a railway station in Edo state.

The attackers opened fire before abducting passengers waiting for a train to Warri, further south, according to the authorities.

In March 2022, gunmen blew up a section of railway track between the capital, Abuja, and the northern state of Kaduna, killing eight people and abducting dozens of passengers, who were released in the following months for ransom.

Gunmen Bomb Council Headquarters in Anambra, Kill Three. Source- Premiumtimes.

Three vigilante operatives were, on Thursday, killed when gunmen bombed the headquarters of Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, south-east Nigeria.

The incident happened at about 2 a.m., PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The gunmen reportedly threw Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) into the council headquarters, destroying properties and killing the security officials.

Sources from the community told this newspaper that the IEDs razed several buildings in the secretariat.

“They (gunmen) also beheaded one of the vigilante people after killing them,” a source, who asked not to be named, said.

FG to Establish Railway Community Security Outfit. Source- Dailytrust.

The federal government has concluded plans to establish the Nigerian Railways and Host Communities Security Committees as part of measures to rising security challenges on the railway corridors across the country.

Recall the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had previously engaged the communities on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor to help with intelligence and guard railway infrastructure against vandals and attacks.

Fire Razes 86 Shops in Yobe. Source- Dailytrust.

A fire outbreak has destroyed 86 shops in Patiskum main market in Dogo Nini ward, Patiskum Local Government Area of Yobe State.

The Chairman of Traders Association in the Market, Alhaji Nasiru Mato, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the phone on Wednesday.

He said the disaster which occurred on Sunday around 8:36pm destroyed property and goods worth N40 million in the market.

Low PVC collection, threat to 2023 elections – Daily Trust. Source- Dailytrust.

The resonating lamentations in recent weeks by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the low collection rate of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in many states of the federation have not only become a source of worry but also a threat to the 2023 general elections that are only a few weeks away. The fact that the PVCs have been produced by the commission but are not being collected by registered voters makes the matter appear complex. It also sounds ridiculous that the lamentations over PVC collection are rather coming from the country’s electoral body.

The INEC recently raised the alarm that no fewer than 6.7 million Nigerians are yet to collect their PVCs in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Of this figure, 2.1m PVCs are in Lagos and Abuja as at December 29, 2022; with over 1.6m unclaimed PVCs in Lagos State. A document from the commission categorises the uncollected PVCs in Lagos State into 916,961 old cards and 777,002 new cards. Meanwhile, 460,643 PVCs were uncollected in 11 years in the FCT.

Plateau ‘Pastor’ Kidnaps Self, Collects Ransom from Members. Source- Dailytrust.

Albarka Sukuya, a pastor based in Plateau State, has been arrested by the Police for allegedly kidnapping himself and collecting ransom from his church members.

Alfred Alabo, Police Public Relations Officer in Plateau, who confirmed this in a statement, said the suspect was arrested in November.

He said he severally staged his kidnap to dupe unsuspecting persons.

“The Police has uncovered the nefarious act of one Pastor Albarka Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, who on several occasions staged his kidnap with his cohorts and received ransom from sympathising members of his congregation.”

Elections Will Hold as Scheduled, Buhari Assures. Source- Dailytrust.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the forthcoming elections will hold as scheduled.

The president stated this while receiving the executive members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the State House, Abuja.

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the statement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday that this year’s general elections faced threat of cancellation and postponement if the waves of insecurity in parts of the country are not addressed.

A source at the meeting said the president assured the clerics that the elections would be conducted as scheduled by INEC.

Bandits Kill Community Leader, Abduct Four Housewives others in Kaduna. Source- Dailytrust.

A community leader and member of the Fityanul Islam First Aid Group, Igabi Local chapter has been killed by suspected bandits at his residence in Unguwar Mai Awo village alongside his nephew in Kaduna State.

The bandits also abducted four other women including a nursing mother in the same community when they stormed the village located near Maraban Jos along the Kaduna-Zaria highway.

The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday local sources told Daily Trust.

A youth leader in the area who identified his name as Adam Unguwar Awo confirmed the incident to Daily Trust.

Security Operatives recover 4 Corpses Killed by Gunmen in Anambra. Source- Dailytrust.

A combined team of military and police operatives have recovered four unidentified dead bodies in Eziani, Ihiala Local Government Council of Anambra State.

The four lifeless bodies were made up of three males and one female. They were allegedly killed by gunmen who stormed the community and started shooting sporadically.

The spokesman for Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, who confirmed the incident said police and military operations have been intensified in Ihiala and its neighbouring town.

Nigerian Rush to Collect Over Cards With Election Weeks Away. Source- Africanews.

Nigerians were racing against time on Wednesday as the final deadline for the collection of their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) edged closer ahead of presidential and national assembly elections.

The PVC acts as identification to vote in the upcoming general elections.

Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, released a window in December for the last phase of collection of the cards before the elections.

The INEC said there was a surge of young Nigerians seeking to register for their voter cards ahead of the elections.


Peace and Security

US, Russia Clash at UN Meeting Over ‘Violent Extremism’ in Africa. Source- Al Jazeera

The United States has accused Kremlin-backed Russian military contractors of interfering in the internal affairs of African countries and “increasing the likelihood that violent extremism will grow” in the Sahel region, which is facing increasing attacks, an allegation Russia denied.

US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills lashed out at the Wagner Group at a UN Security Council meeting on West Africa and the Sahel on Tuesday.

French Minister Dismisses Accusations of Interference in Burkina Faso. Source Africanews.

France’s deputy foreign minister, on a visit to jihadist-torn Burkina Faso, denies accusations that Paris is seeking to meddle in the already troubled former colony.

Speaking after her exchange with junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traore, junior minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou affirms that France “is imposing nothing” on Burkina Faso.

“I have come to bring a clear message, that of the continued commitment of my country, of France, in an important moment. In keeping with this message, France remains committed on all levels, humanitarian, security, and development, to the degree and in the forms that the Burkinabe authorities wish,” she defended.

Pope Offers Wishes for peace and Stability in 2023, Ahead of His Vissit to DRC. Source- Africanews.

Before an audience of 183 diplomats, Pope Francis presented his best wishes for the new year. During this address, he also presented his international priorities for 2023, and took stock of the current conflicts.

During his address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on Monday (Jan. 09), Francis underlined his “apprehension” about certain conflicts in the Africa.

Indeed, we are just a few weeks away from his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo on January 31.

His journey to the African country hosting the largest Catholic population, was initially scheduled to welcome the pontiff last July. However, it was postponed because he faced health issues.

Elections Will Hold as Scheduled, Buhari Assures- Source. Dailytrust.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the forthcoming elections will hold as scheduled.

The president stated this while receiving the executive members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the State House, Abuja.

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the statement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday that this year’s general elections faced threat of cancellation and postponement if the waves of insecurity in parts of the country are not addressed.

A source at the meeting said the president assured the clerics that the elections would be conducted as scheduled by INEC.

Nigeria Elections Body Warns Insecurity Could Derail February Vote. Source- Africanews.

Nigeria’s presidential election scheduled for late February could be cancelled or postponed if the current level of insecurity persists in the country, the electoral commission (Inec) warned Monday.

Nigerians are due to choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general who is not standing for re-election after two terms in office that have failed to curb the serious security problems plaguing the country (violent jihadist insurgency in the north-east, separatist tensions in the south, rising crime in the north-west and center) on February 25.

“If insecurity is not monitored and reduced, it could lead to the cancellation and/or postponement of the elections in enough constituencies to prevent the announcement of the results,” said Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, one of the heads of the Inec, during a meeting in Abuja.

Malian Hail Pardon of 49 Ivorian Soldiers. Source- Africanews.

After Mali’s junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita pardoned all 49 Ivorian soldiers on Friday, whose arrest in July triggered a bitter diplomatic row, Malian citizens praise the decision.

“We were in diplomatic turmoil for a long time, so if President Assimi Goïta was able to pardon these 49 soldiers, I think it is a relief for the international community, for the sub-regional community and for all the Malian people and the Ivorian people,” reacted Zafara Ongoïba.

The soldiers have returned home on Saturday night and tensions are now subsiding between the countries.

“This is a relief. Given that, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire are from the same land. We have practically the same culture, but when this kind of thing happens, for me it should be settled amicably but not in a way that can lead to more misunderstandings between these two countries. I think it’s fine, it’s well done too,” added Malick Sabé.

Chad Says it Foiled ‘Destabilisation’ Bid by Officers. Source- Africanews.

The government in Chad said Thursday that it had foiled an “attempted destabilisation” plot by army officers and a prominent human rights activist.

A group of 11 officers, led by Baradine Berdei Targuio, president of the Chadian Organisation of Human Rights, were behind the attempt, according to a government statement.

The security services arrested those responsible some time after December 8, the statement added.

A formal investigation had been opened for “violation of the constitutional order, criminal association, illegal possession of a firearm and complicity”, said Communications Minister and government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh.

The investigating magistrate leading the case has charged them and ordered their detention, he added.

Fewer Killings, Abductions in Nigeria in 2022 Compared to Previous Year. Source- Humangle.

As many as 9,076 lives were lost to the violent incidents that unsettled Nigeria last year, and 4,680 people were victims of abduction.

These figures are based on an analysis of data collected by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), which has monitored insecurity in the country since 2011 through local press reports.

While they show a dip in the number of victims of violence when compared to similar data compiled for 2021, zooming further out shows that insecurity is still generally on the rise in the West African country.

The fatalities are the third-highest recorded within the last five years, while the number of abduction victims is much higher than those documented before 2021


How Floods Damaged Delta Community, Caused Starvation. Source- Premiumtimes.

Caroline Ogbotobo, 48, without minding if she gets drowned, moved swiftly through the dirty water that had engulfed the entire Abari village — a coastal community in Delta State, to rescue to a rooftop her children and others displaced by floods.

Mrs Ogbotobo alongside dozens of residents of her community sought refuge in an uncompleted storey building.

They were without food, potable water and any form of medication for several days. She said the rooftop was their only hope for survival pending when succour would arrive.

“We are dying; we are very hungry. Please help us,” Mrs Ogbotobo screamed last October, on sighting this reporter approaching the submerged building in a boat.

Buhari Sihns Mental Health Bill After Two Failed Attempts. Source- Premiumtimes.

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally signed into law the Mental Health Bill 2021 after two failed attempts at overhaul in 2003 and 2013.

The bill, which was harmonised by both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly in 2021, is the first legislative reform adopted in the field since the country’s independence, and will also replace the Lunacy Act of 1958.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, confirmed the development in a post on his Twitter handle.

Mr Oloriegbe, who defeated the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, during the 2019 general election, is a first-timer in the upper legislative chamber, and sponsor of the bill.

In December 2022, a memorandum obtained by PREMIUM TIMES and signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Olatunde Ojo, showed that the National Assembly passed the bill and forwarded it to the President on 28 November 2022 for assent “in consonance with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

Nine EndSARS Protesters Released After Two Years in Prison. Source- Premiumtimes.

Amnesty International welcomes the release on 10 January 2023 of Oyewole Olumide, Rasheed Tiamiyu, Moruf Adekunle, Taoreed Abiodun, Ikenna Amechi, Afeez Ariyo, Ikechukwu Eze, and Adesina Ademuyiwa detained at Agodi Correctional Centre Ibadan, Oyo state for participating in #EndSARS protests in October 2020. The Oyo State Chief Judge ordered their discharge, acquittal, and release.

“With this development, we also urge Nigerian authorities to provide information about the status of other #EndSARS protesters being held in various prisons across the country, grant their families and lawyers access to them, charge them to court, or release them from detention immediately,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

In October last year, our investigation shows that over 40 #EndSARS protesters are still languishing in prisons across Nigeria.

How Insecurity Turned our Children to Scavengers- Niger parents. Source- Dailytrust.

As a new academic session begins, parents in some local government areas in Niger state have raised alarm on how the rate of insecurity has affected school resumption in the state.

In this episode of Nigeria Daily, we look at how banditry has crippled school activities and sent children on the streets in the affected areas.


Stabilization and economic development

Cameroonian Fishery Products Banned in EU- Commision. Source- Africanews.

The European Commission on Thursday (Jan. 05) banned imports of seafood caught in Cameroon’s waters, or caught by ships flagged there, and it labeled the central African country as “non-cooperating” in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The commission gave Cameroon a so-called “red card” and said EU member states would turn away seafood shipments from Cameroon even when it has catch certificates validated by the national authorities.

Cameroon is one of four non-EU countries that are currently on the commission’s “red card” list, alongside St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Comoros and Cambodia. The country has in recent years emerged as one of several countries that offer “flags of convenience” where companies can — for a fee — register their ships in a nation that has no links to the vessel.

Cameroonian Muslims Perpetuate the Art of Henna. Source- Africanews.

An entire neighbourhood buzzing in preparation for a wedding.

In a courtyard in Yaoundé, Cameroon, a family has started a special ceremony. It is henna time for the bride-to-be and young women. They’ll stand out with elaborate or simple henna designs on their skin.

“In Cameroon, henna is called ‘sifa’. in It is done before the feast of Ramadan and tabaksi, Aid el Kabir. It is also used on occasions like baptisms and weddings.”

After the leaves of the henna tree are dried and powdered, water and oil are added.

Henna is applied in liquid or powder form that is rubbed on the skin.

Abundant Fish and ISWAP’s Misguided Faith. Source- Humangle.

Fishermen are prone to telling tall stories about their catches. There was always a much bigger one that got away, and they always claimed to know the secret spots where all the fish were hiding.

But at the moment, those fishing in Lake Chad are boasting of bumper catches, and the insurgent groups are quick to say that this is evidence God smiles on their actions in the region.

Apart from the inherent dangers involved, fishing in the Lake Chad basin is one of the most productive things to do now, especially in the past two years; fish are easily caught in large numbers almost everywhere in the Lake’s basin.

Nigeria’s GT Bank Fined in UK Over Money-Laundering Failures. Source- Al Jazeera.

Britain’s financial watchdog has fined the UK subsidiary of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank 7.6 million pounds ($9.3m) for what it says are further failures in its anti-money-laundering systems and controls.

“These weaknesses were repeatedly highlighted to GT Bank by internal and external sources, including the FCA, but despite this, GT Bank failed to take appropriate action to fix them,” the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

About the author

Mamman Mahmood