Leadership (Abuja)

8 May 2014

Nigeria: Abducted Girls - Britain, China, Canada Step in

Israel offered Nigeria help on Sunday in locating 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by Islamist rebel group Boko Haram in an attack that has drawn ... ( Resource: Israel Offers To Help Nigeria Find Abducted Girls

Three foreign countries, Britain, China and Canada have concluded plans to deploy their intelligence gathering equipment, including Satellite Imaging and advanced tracking systems, to assist Nigeria's security agencies in the search and rescue operation for the abducted schoolgirls.

Presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati said Britain's offer in this regard came following a request made and received on phone by President Goodluck Jonathan to British prime minister Mr David Cameron "in furtherance of efforts by the federal government to locate and rescue the girls abducted from the Government Girls' Secondary School, Chibok".

Abati noted in a statement that the People's Republic of China had earlier offered to assist Nigeria in its bid rescue the abducted girls.

He said, "President Jonathan who spoke with the British prime minister, Mr David Cameron, on the phone after meeting with Premier Li Keqiang of China, who is on an official visit to Nigeria, asked and received a promise of the deployment of British Satellite Imaging capabilities and other advanced tracking technologies in support of the ongoing effort.

China To Assist Nigeria Over abducted Schoolgirls - Jonathan

The Chinese government has offered to assist Nigeria in the ongoing effort to rescue the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who gave the hint at a joint press conference he addressed alongside the premier of China, Li Keqiang, at the presidential villa, Abuja, noted that China's offer of assistance goes beyond rescuing the schoolgirls to include the fight against terror in the country.

China's offer to assist in this regard is coming barely 24 hours after United States president Barack Obama offered a definite assistance for Nigeria by deploying that country's security personnel and assets to work with their Nigerian counterparts in the search and rescue operation of the Chibok schoolgirls.

Keqiang who is on an official visit to Nigeria arrived in Abuja on Tuesday to also attend the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place.

Addressing State House correspondents after a bilateral meeting, President Jonathan noted they also had bilateral discussions in the course of which they examined issues of common interest to both countries.

Jonathan said, "The premier promised that China will assist Nigeria in our fight against terror, especially our commitment and efforts to rescue the girls that were taken away from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State. We agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of defence and security and strenghten cooperation in counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and combating organised crimes.

'Canada to assist Nigeria in fighting terrorism'

Mr Christian Paradis, Canadian minister of International Development & La Francophonie, has expressed the readiness of his country to assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.

This is according to a statement issued by Vice-President Namadi Sambo's senior special assistant on media and publicity, Malam Umar Sani, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said Paradis said this during a courtesy visit to Sambo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.

"The minister remarked on the collaboration between Nigeria and Canada in strengthening bilateral relations on major issues, foreign investment agreement and on the long-standing partnership on the maternal and child welfare to ensure that the most vulnerable people were reached.

"He also remarked on the preparation for the February 2015 elections and the need to collaborate to ensure the success of its conduct.

Paradis further noted that the Same-Sex Law should not be used to affect people's fundamental human rights," the statement said.

It said further that the minister stressed the need to ensure that Nigeria's mining sector was a blessing to the people.

In his response, Sambo, who expressed government's deep concern over the Boko Haram insurgency, reassured that security agencies had embarked on coordinated efforts to end the menace.

"Government is doing everything possible to ensure the safe release of the kidnapped schoolgirls in Chibok," Sambo was quoted as saying.

The statement further quoted Sambo as expressing delight over the continued excellent relationship between Nigeria and Canada."He noted that the issue of security, maternal and child welfare, power and solid minerals development, and the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in 2015 were top on the priority list in the administration's Transformation Agenda.

Abducted Chibok schoolgirls: Police Offer N50m To Informant

The Nigeria Police has announced a N50m cash reward for anybody with useful information that could lead to the release of the abducted schoolgirls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

The announcement is coming more than three weeks after the schoolgirls were reportedly kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination suspected to be in Sambisa forest in Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists.

The force public relations officer, FPRO, CSP Frank Mba made this known yesterday in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, which also contains some telephone numbers by which prospective informants could contact the police..

Mba reassured that all informants would be treated anonymously and with utmost confidentiality.

Part of the statement reads: "The Nigeria Police hereby announce a cash reward of Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000, 000.00) to anyone who volunteers credible information that will lead to the location and rescue of the female students abducted from Government Girls' Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

"The Force urges all patriotic citizens with such useful information to contact the following numbers: 09-2914649, 08081777309, 08055547536, 08032125050, 08034617591, 08035969731.

"While calling on the general public to be part of the solution to the present security challenge, the Police High Command also reassures all citizens that any information given would be treated anonymously and with utmost confidentiality."

Boko Haram: 14 Members Arrested In Niger During Patrol Ambush

Niger Republic has said that it has arrested 14 suspected Boko Haram members in Diffa region after the suspects ambushed the security forces in the country.

An army patrol fell into a trap set by Boko Haram militants at the commune area of Diffa, a Nigerien town that borders Borno State, the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports.

The Diffa area, according to the BBC reporter, was suffering from growing refugee crisis without camps and the authorities argued they could become new targets or, worse, recruitment centres for Boko Haram.

A few weeks back, the BBC gathered that young Nigeriens at Diffa had confessed to be recruits of the Boko Haram group.

A member of a gang in Niger told the BBC that Boko Haram militants from Nigeria "regularly come across the border, looking for recruits".

The gang members in their 20s said they were paid N500,000 to join the insurgency and, since they were jobless, they were willing to take the cash, but with no interest in protecting Sharia law.

However, they said they were willing to strike if given the assignment to do so, as they blamed their decision to join the militant group on their joblessness.

Gwoza kidnapped girls now 11

The number of girls taken in the latest kidnapping by Boko Haram terrorists in Gwoza local government area of Borno state has risen to 11, a local official told the AFP.

Residents said that gunmen stormed the Warabe village in the Gwoza area of Borno State late Sunday and abducted eight girls.

Speaking to AFP, a resident of the attacked village, Hamba Tada, confirmed the Warabe attack and said, "After leaving Warabe village the gunmen stormed Wala village which is five kilometres away from Warabe and abducted three more girls."

Angelina Jolie condemns schoolgirls kidnapping

Angelina Jolie has condemned Boko Haram Islamists, who have confessed to kidnapping and enslaving 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, calling their actions "evil".

The actress and humanitarian was promoting her new Disney film Maleficent in Paris, France, on Tuesday when she was asked to speak about her vengeful, villainess character in the film, who curses a baby princess.

Jolie said, "Sadly, of course, there is real evil in the world; you watch the news and you see all of the people suffering and so much cruelty."

She then added, "And it's unthinkable cruelty like these girls that were kidnapped in Nigeria. Unthinkable cruelty and evil."

Terrorism: This is the time for action - Sheik Gumi

A Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheik Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, yesterday appealed to Nigerians to put away sentiment and join the fight against terrorism in the country.

Shiek Gumi, who also blasted the Jama'atu Nastril Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said the two religious bodies have become willing tools to be manipulated by the government.

"With all the atrocities being committed in this nation by the use of both illegal arms in the hands of terrorists or insurgency or the illegal use of legal arms through extra-judicial killings, mass punishment and embezzlement by corrupt officials, and the near-paralysis of the nation economically and security-wise, the CAN like the J.N.I never directly speak out against the government responsible and call them to order or resignation. We know why. The 'leaders' dine with it.

"The J.N.I was principally established by the Sardauna and Sheik Gumi to promote Islamic education of the border-less ignorance of the Nigerian Muslims about the basics of Islamic knowledge; today after 50 years it cannot boast of even a mushroom university. The deviation or hijack needs no mention. That is why it lost its grip on the psyche of the Muslims more especially the youth, predisposing them to fanatism," the statement read. "CAN now and then makes a shout when the 'envisaged' interest of Christians appears to be affected without ever directly censoring the Government responsible. Likewise the J.N.I or the self appointed NSCIA . Statements issued here and there for the followers' consumption, no less no more. All this while the nation is drifting to total chaos and collapse."

To this end, the renowned Sheik told the federal government to act now and fast.

He added: "Let the good people of this nation, both Muslims and Christians who want to live in peace, join hands to save the situation.

" Religious sentiments only service a few; the common man, whether Christian or Muslim, will continue to suffer with deteriorated security situation, poor structural development, inadequate and dilapidated health services, falling educational standard and - Allah forbid- anarchy."

'Military lacks equipment to fight terrorism'

The Bring Back Our Girls campaign group has expressed fear over the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls due to the fact that the Nigerian military lack equipment that will help them fight terrorism.

The head of mobilization, Jibrin Ibrahim, while reviewing the group's meeting with the chief of defence staff stated that the meeting revealed the issue of under-equipped military and emphasised the need for government to go beyond the recurrent budget of the millitary to help the troop in their effort to fight the terrorists.

Hundreds of people defied the rain as the group converged on a meeting after its rally on Tuesday to strategise on their campaign for the safe return of the abducted Chibok girls.

The meeting which was led by erstwhile minister of education Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili expressed displeasure at the presence of a tension among the state government, the federal government, the army and the Chibok community which it said had hampered a great deal the rescue attempt of the girls.

Hundreds protest in Rivers over Chibok girls

Hundreds of protesters yesterday marched through the streets of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to demand the release of the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, that were kidnapped by suspected members of Boko Haram.

Led by the coordinator of the Niger Delta Civil Societies Coalition (NDCSC), Anyakwee Nsirimovu, and other leading human rights activists, the protesters which included women, men and youths marched from Isaac Boro Park, Old GRA, Port Harcourt, to Government House, where they delivered a protest letter to President Goodluck Jonathan through Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

Receiving the protest letter on behalf of Amaechi, secretary to the state government Mr George Feyii assured the protesters that their message would get to the Presidency, and pledged the readiness of the state government to work with other states and the federal government to rescue the kidnapped girls.

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