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We Kidnapped Katsina Schoolboys – Boko Haram

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Jihadist group Boko Haram on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the abduction of hundreds of school students in northwest Nigeria.

“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” said the leader of the group that was also behind the 2014 abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, in a voice message.

At least 333 students are still missing since the attack late Friday on the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in northwestern Katsina state.

The attack was initially blamed on armed groups locally known as “bandits”, who are active in the unstable region where kidnappings for ransom are common.

The army said Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was under way.

More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush.

A number of boys were able to escape, but many were captured, split into groups and taken away, residents told AFP.

The kidnappings occurred in the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, who condemned the attack and ordered security stepped up in schools, with those in Katsina state closed.

Tuesday’s claim of responsibility marks a major turning point in the advance of jihadist groups in northwest Nigeria.

Boko Haram, and a splinter group the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), are waging an insurgency in Nigeria northeast and are thought to have only a minor presence in the northwest.

But concerns have grown of jihadist inroads into the region, especially after fighters claiming to be in the northwest released a 2020 propaganda video pledging allegiance to Boko Haram’s leader.

Buhari has made the fight against the group a priority, but the security situation in northern Nigeria has deteriorated since his 2015 election.

#BringBackOurBoys has been trending on social media since the weekend — a reference to a similar hashtag used after the girls’ 2014 abduction.

AFP

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bitrus Zi

    December 15, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Bring back our boys

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384 Stranded Nigerians Stranded in UAE, Saudi Arabia Return

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A total of 384 Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia on Thursday arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The returnees arrived via Air flight B773 at about 1:10 pm local time.

They include 300 males, 80 females, and one infant.

A representative of the minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji received the returnees at the Hajj Terminal where he charged them not to despair.

He however, said the Nigerian government does not support illegal migration.

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Lekki Shooting: FG Full of Denials, Cover-ups, Says Amnesty International

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Nigerian authorities have failed to bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the brutal crackdown by security forces on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos in October 2020 and have brazenly attempted to cover up the violence, said Amnesty International Nigeria today, 100 days on from the attacks.

Since the assault by security forces, which killed at least 12 people, Nigerian authorities have targeted supporters of the protests against police brutality by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Some of the movement’s supporters have had their bank accounts frozen.

“The bloody events of 20 October 2020, when Nigerian security forces killed at least 12 people during the violent dispersal of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki and Alausa, have cast a shadow over Nigerian society that lingers to this day,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“Instead of bringing suspected perpetrators to justice and prioritizing genuine police reforms, Nigerian authorities have been abusing their powers by subjecting those who supported the protests to intimidation, harassment and smear campaigns.”

Reports from across Nigeria indicate that police violence is still widespread despite government promises of change.

Amnesty International is concerned that the Nigerian authorities will continue their current ban on protests and reminds the government of its obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international human rights treaties to – which the country is a state party – to allow those who gather peacefully to express their views without fear of arrest or intimidation.

International human rights law also requires the Nigerian authorities to carry out prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and effective investigations into violations of human rights of the protesters including the right to life, such as those committed at Lekki and Alausa, as well as in other parts of the country, and to identify and bring suspected perpetrators to justice in fair trials.

“Those suspected to be responsible for the killings should be brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards,” said Osai Ojigho.

Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian government to suspend accused officials, pending investigations, and to ensure that victims access justice and effective remedies.

The Nigerian government has set up a panel of inquiry in Lagos State to investigate complaints against SARS and the incidents at Lekki and Alausa on 20 October 2020. However, government officials and the military continue to deny that anybody was killed during the protests while restating their resolve to punish leaders of the #EndSARS movement against police violence.

Investigations by Amnesty International indicate that since the #EndSARS protests were violently dispersed several of the movement’s leaders have been arrested, tortured and their bank accounts frozen. Many others have fled into exile.

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22 More Deaths, 1,861 New Infections As COVID-19 Worsens in Nigeria

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Nigeria recorded its second highest daily death toll from COVID-19, on Wednesday, suggesting the country has yet to reach the peak of the second wave, as infections continue to spread rapidly.

A total of 22 people died from COVID-19 on Wednesday to bring to 1,544, the total number of people who have now died from the disease in the country.

Nigeria also recorded its second highest daily infection tally with 1,861 new cases reported on Wednesday, according to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The 1,861 new cases, a sharp increase from the 1,303 infections recorded on Tuesday, raised the total number of infections in the country to 126,160.

Exactly a week ago, Nigeria recorded 1,964 new cases, the county’s highest daily figure ever.

Last week was one of the worst in Nigeria’s COVID-19 pandemic era.

A review of data provided by the NCDC, 11,659 persons tested positive for the virus last week (January 17- 23), which is 18 per cent higher than the previous week’s record of 9,880.

The direct adverse effect of the spike in infections has been more deaths.

In the previous 24 hours, before the latest update 15 people died from the disease.

Nigeria, about two weeks ago, recorded the deadliest day thus far in the global coronavirus pandemic, with 23 deaths under 24 hours.

Last week, Nigeria reported 82 deaths, which represents a 14 per cent increase from the previous week’s record.

Health authorities attributed the rising death toll to late referrals of COVID-19 patients to treatment centres.

Of the over 126,000 new cases, a total of 100,365 patients have recovered across the country.

Meanwhile, there are over 20,000 patients still receiving treatments in isolation centres.

The 1,861 new cases were reported from 22 states – Lagos (773), FCT (285), Oyo (138), Rivers (111), Plateau (92), Nasarawa (83), Kaduna (59), Enugu (57), Imo (57), Edo (43), Kano (27), Kwara (20), Ebonyi (19), Abia (17), Ogun (12), Osun (12), Katsina (8), Bayelsa (6), Bauchi (5), Delta (5), Borno (4), Jigawa (4), and Zamfara (1).

Lagos, Nigeria’s COVID-19 epicentre, led with 773 new cases followed by Abuja, the second most impacted city, with 285 new infections.

Nigerian authorities a few days ago said the COVID-19 vaccines expected this month will no longer arrive until February.

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