U.S. Planes Searching for Boko Haram Abductees Spot Girls in Nigeria
Recent U.S. surveillance flights over northeastern Nigeria showed what appeared to be large groups of girls held together in remote locations, raising hopes among domestic and foreign officials that they are among the group that Boko Haram abducted from a boarding school in April, U.S. and Nigerian officials said.
The surveillance suggests that at least some of the 219 schoolgirls still held captive haven't been forced into marriage or sex slavery, as had been feared, but instead are being used as bargaining chips for the release of prisoners.
The U.S. aerial imagery matches what Nigerian officials say they hear from northern Nigerians who have interacted with the Islamist insurgency: that some of Boko Haram's most famous set of captives are getting special treatment, compared with the hundreds of other girls the group is suspected to have kidnapped. Boko Haram appears to have seen the schoolgirls as of higher value, given the global attention paid to their plight, those officials said.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who faces re-election in February, is under political pressure to secure the girls' release, with some people urging him to agree to a prisoner swap.
His government has ruled out a rescue operation, saying it is unwilling to risk the girls' lives, or a prisoner swap.
It would also show that Boko Haram is trying to follow an al Qaeda tactic of swapping hostages for money and political gain.
The group is accelerating its kidnapping of foreigners and politicians: Over the past two months, it has been blamed for abducting a German expatriate, 10 Chinese laborers in nearby Cameroon and the wife of Cameroon's deputy prime minister.
Boko Haram has used hostages in the past to demand the exchange of its prisoners held in both Nigeria and Cameroon, which was one of the conditions for the release of a French family from captivity last year.
Now, the group appears to be testing the bargaining power of a group of girls who had been ordinary teenagers at a school—until their abduction on the night of April 14. That night, fighters with the Islamist insurgency—which is opposed to modern education— stormed a boarding school and drove 276 girls away hours before their final exams. Fifty-seven later escaped. Add a comment
Bitter Kola Cannot Cure Ebola— Health Minister
The Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said there is no scientific evidence of Garcinia kola, popularly known as bitter kola curing or preventing Ebola virus disease.
The research work that people are laying claims, to according to the minister is inconclusive.
It would be recalled that in 1999, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, alongside some American researchers conducted a research that showed that extract from bitter cola tend to neutralize the effects of virus. But the outcome of that research work has not been scientifically confirmed to be true or not.
He said, “Information that is being circulated especially through the social media and the rest of the internet tend to suggest that because right now, there is no known vaccine for Ebola Virus Disease and there is no known specific drug as effective against EVD. If we don’t streamline a lot of these information, the unwary will become so vulnerable. People have said that they know that a fruit is sufficient to cure EVD.
“As I speak to you now, there is no proof yet of any such fruit. I repeat, there is no proof yet of any fruit.
“One that has been mentioned is that just keep chewing bitter kola and you will be alright. As the Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria I say that right now, there is no scientific yet to suggest that if you just eat bitter kola you will get to prevent the disease or where you have it, it will help to cure it.
“However, we are aware that in 1999, Prof. Maurice Iwu worked along with an administration in United States of America and conducted research which at the level of the laboratory is what we call in-vitro research which means it is still in the test tube as it were and it is not in any living body which we call in-vivo.
“This shows that some extract they had obtained from the bitter kola which is common in West Africa and in Nigeria and which we use for so many purposes in Nigeria including social reasons tend to have some activities against the virus. But that research was not concluded and therefore as at today, there is no evidence to link that as a cure or preventive measure against Ebola Virus Disease.”Add a comment
BREAKING: Lagos doctor ‘contracts’ Ebola
One of the doctors in Lagos who attended to Liberian Patrick Sawyer – the man credited with bringing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to Nigeria – has contracted the virus. According to minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu (pictured), who confirmed the report, two other people under quarantine have developed symptoms of the virus “but it is not certain yet if they have the disease”. T
he minister added that out of the 70 persons established to have had contact with the late Liberian, eight persons were now being quarantined. Chukwu also revealed that the federal government had constituted a team to find the cure for Ebola. A member of the team, he said, is professor of pharmacognosy and former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu. But he could not confirm reports that a corpse brought into the country from Liberia had the deadly virus. “Samples have been taken from the corpse and the result would be available today,” he said. Chukwu, who reiterated that efforts were being made to identify more secondary contacts, stressed no outbreak had been recorded yet outside Lagos.
He appealed to Nigerians to report any incident of the disease to the ministry for immediate action.
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Boko Haram Crashes Real Estate Prices
Governor Kashim Shettima
The unrelenting violence perpetrated by the Boko Haram insurgents has taken its toll on the real estate sector in most states in northern Nigeria, where the prices of properties have significantly been crashed.
Prices of properties have drastically falling to an all time low, media investigations have revealed.
Besides crashing the prices of property, especially in the North-eastern states, public property worth billions of naira have gone down the drain through the destructive acts of the terrorist group.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State told media recently that more than 900 schools had been reduced to rubble by the sect in his state. Add a comment
Adamawa Guber: Pressure on Ribadu to Join PDP
Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, is being pressurised to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and contest for the governorship position in Adamawa State.
Ribadu, who is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has refused to publicly comment on the governorship race. PDP sources told media that moves were on to draft Ribadu into the race, following the impeachment of Murtala Nyako.
The electoral commission is, by law, expected to fill the position latest by October and a top official of the party hinted that Ribadu would be persuaded to join the PDP ahead of the poll because “it is the only realistic platform on which he can be elected.”
The APC is falling apart in the state after Nyako’s impeachment, with all the council chairmen in the 21 local government area, councillors and development area administrators defecting to the PDP.
“The incentives before Ribadu are very attractive. One, he will get an automatic ticket. Two, he will not spend one kobo on campaign as the party machinery will take care of that. Three, he can have a realistic go at presidency in 2019,” the official said.
It was also learnt that there is likely to be a demonstration by the youths in the streets of Yola in the days ahead. If Ribadu eventually defects to the PDP, the battle for the ticket is certainly going to take a dramatic turn as Brig-General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) and Alhaji Awwal Tukur have already been tipped to go head-to-head in the PDP primaries as the top contenders, with acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri also, reported to be interested. Add a comment
Impeachment: Enugu Assembly Serves Deputy Gov through Substituted Means
The impeachment noose hanging on the neck of the embattled Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, was tightened yesterday as the House of Assembly passed a motion asking the Clerk, Christopher Chukwurah, to serve the impeachment notice on him through substituted means.
As if waiting to be directed, the clerk shortly after yesterday, sitting proceeded to the official residence of the deputy governor at the Government House as well as his private residence within the city to hand over the six-page document.
This is coming as strong indications emerged that the deputy governor had been in Abuja, lobbying notable stakeholders from the state and beyond to help save his job.
He was said to have also visited top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja exonerating himself of any wrongdoing.
Apparently as a result of his lobby mission in Abuja which was equally seen as subtle way of evading service of the impeachment notice as required by the constitution, the deputy governor could not attend the weekly State Executive Council meeting which held Wednesday evening at the Government House, Enugu with Governor Sullivan Chime presiding. Add a comment
Non-northerners must relocate in 2 weeks —Arewa youths
A group of Northern youths, under Arewa Youth Development Foundation, on Tuesday, called on southerners in the north to relocate to their respective states to make room for northerner who would be returning home.
This ultimatum was contained in a statement read and jointly signed by the group’s national president, Mr Aliyu Usman and its secretary, Comrade Alfred Solomon, during a visit by the group to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sunusi II, in his palace.
The group alleged that for the past four years, a policy of direct subjugation of the north and its people had been pursued by the Federal Government and its agencies, in collaboration with various governments in the south.
The group described the alleged crackdown on northerners in the name of Boko Haram, the recent arrest of all imams of Juma’at mosques in Abia State, the arrest of northern traders, the happenings at the national confab, among others issues, as regretable. Add a comment