Exactly one year ago, Leah Sharibu, the only Christian among the 112 female students kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in Yobe clocked 15 then – her first birthday since being frisked away. There were no cakes nor birthday songs. Just horror.
Another May 14 is here and that dark moment is on repeat. This time, Sharibu is 16 and, just like in 2018, she won’t be celebrating that milestone as a free girl. There is not even the luxury of spending time with family and friends — the least she could ask for.
Sharibu was abducted alongside some other girls from Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19, 2018. All the girls who were captured were subsequently released, except five who reportedly died in detention, but Sharibu was held back for “refusing to renounce her faith”.
Tuesday makes it a year and three months after her kidnap; a year and three months of living in fear, sorrow and anguish. She is somewhere enveloped in fear, in the company of the same persons that took her away from her friends and family; from every good thing.
In August last year, a recording of Shaariibuu begging the president to come to her rescue and reunite her with her family was obtained
She had said: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.
“I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
Shortly after the other girls were released, President Muhammadu Buhari had promised his government would not abandon her.
“The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned … President Buhari assures the Sharibu family that he will continue to do all he can to ensure that they also have cause to rejoice with their daughter soon,” a statement from Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had read.
Since then, Buhari has continued to restate his commitment in bringing her home.
After alleged neglect from government officials, the president called Leah’s mother in October last year and promised her the daughter would return peacefully.
But the waiting game continues.
Boko Haram bombs football viewing center in Maiduguri, policeman, 4 others killed
Boko Haram suicide bombers hits a football viewing centre in Madari ward, Konduga local government area of Borno state on Sunday.
ndigbo news report that the two suicide bombers attacked the viewing centre around 8:30pm, killing five people including a policeman while 35 persons sustained injuries.
The the injured victims are currently being treated at an undisclosed hospital in the town.
Bello Danbatta, head of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the attack to TheCable but could not give casualty figure.
He said information would be released on Monday.
“We can’t go to Konduga now. That’s until tomorrow,” he said when contacted.
The chief of army staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has earlier said that the Boko Haram terrorist group has been defeated, that they can no longer carry out attacks in the North-east again.
CJN Onnoghen’s Removal shows Nigerian Judiciary is not independent — EU
The European Union Election Observer Mission (EU-EOM) at the weekend says the removal of CJN Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria shows that the Nigerian Judiciary is not independent.
The EU in its final report on the 2019 general elections said the 25th January, 2019, “controversial order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal” and suspension of the CJN which threw up Justice Tanko Muhammad as acting CJN, “is subject to question”.
According to the EU: “The ability of the judiciary to work independently was questioned when, three weeks before the scheduled election day, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (Walter Onnoghen) was suspended by the President. The suspension did not follow due process, was divisive, and to some extent undermined confidence in the electoral process and opportunity for remedy”.
According to the body, “the Constitution requires any infraction by judges to first be investigated and resolved by the National Judicial Council (NJC), to the exclusion of any other body or authority, and removal requires approval of two-thirds of the Senate.
“The EU-EOM noted its concern over both the timing and process of the suspension in a statement on 26 January. The mission observed that questionable procedures were followed by the CCT.
“During on-going post-election sessions of the Tribunal, the chair was observed to behave inappropriately, with insufficient time granted to the defence team and threats made to journalists.
“On 3rd April, the NJC recommended the compulsory retirement of the suspended CJN.
“In contrast to previous decisions, the council also concluded that the acting CJN did not commit any offence when he was sworn-in without the recommendation of the council.
“The following day, the Chief Justice submitted his request for retirement to the president. On 18 April, the CCT convicted the suspended Chief Justice, who immediately submitted an appeal to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the Tribunal case was unconstitutional and without a fair hearing.
“The removal of the CJN during the elections had an inhibiting effect on the judiciary. It was seen by many as undermining security of tenure, damaging judicial independence and compromising the division of powers”.
Buhari approves N208bn for upgrade of varsities
President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday has approved N208 billion for the upgrade of federal universities across the country.
Represented by Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of the education ministry at the 23rd convocation of the University of Abuja, Buhari said Nigeria could overcome its challenges by developing its human capital.
He said his administration would continue to address the concerns of the tertiary institutions.
“The present administration will continue to improve on the infrastructural facilities in the universities, promote teacher development and curriculum review,” Buhari said.
“It is in furtherance of this that I recently approved the disbursement of N208bn to public tertiary institutions under the 2019 intervention of the TETFUND.
“The ability of Nigeria with its huge population to overcome its present challenges of development no longer depends on petroleum resources but on the ability of the country to develop its human capital.
“The government will continue to look into the issues raised by the universities.”
He added that the government would “monitor the universities closely”
Keyamo accuses EU of bias, says their report is inconclusive
The All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, has accused the European Union Election observers of bias, says their reports on the 2019 general elections is not balanced and conclusive.
Addressing newsmen after EU briefing on Saturday, the spokesperson for the Campaign Organization, Festus Keyamo said the EU observers report only focuses on areas where some few anomalies occurred during the election while they failed to discuss the overall results coming from the entire country.
Reacting he said, “The result reflects the overall wishes of Nigerians, that was the report by so many observers, if you are an observer you should come to a definitive conclusion, don’t be dodgy about it, don’t run away from that fact because we have 120,000 polling units across the country and in all their report I don’t think they discussed at most 500 polling units.
“If you observed certain anomalies, it could not have been more than 500 or 1000 polling units and if you do observe anomalies in those polling units, how does that substantially affect results coming from 120,000 polling unit?
“So it is not enough for you to discuss the anomalies, they must discuss the overall results coming from the entire country and whether it did reflect the wishes of the people.
“This is what we want to know because they have problems in the US elections, there are problems in the EU and even UK elections.
“For Christ sake, we need a detailed analysis to come to a definitive conclusion about the overall result of the election,” he said.
Recall that the European Union Mission (EU EOM) had in their reports stressed the need to urgently improve the electoral process in Nigeria.
The EU EOM Chief Observer, Maria Arena, ststed on Saturday in Abuja at a news conference on the release of the final report of the 2019 General Elections.
Residents flee as foreign herdsmen take over Oyo, Ogun forest reserves
Foreign Fulani herdsmen have reportedly taken over Opara Forest Reserve in Oyo State and Imeko Forest Reserve in Ogun State.
Some residents of Imeko, Iwoye and Jabata said the invasion of the herdsmen has been a major source of concern to them, alleging that the herdsmen allowed their animals to destroy people’s farms while grazing in the areas.
According to The Punch, one of the residents of Iwoye, Adeyemi Olaosebikan said that inhabitants of Jabata village in the Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State had deserted their community following the killing of some indigenes during an attack.
He said residents fled the community in May after four persons were killed in the community, adding that residents of other border communities were now living in fear.
Olaosebikan stated, “Herdsmen from many countries in West Africa have taken over the Opara Forest Reserve in Oyo State and Imeko Forest Reserve in Ogun State. Their presence there is causing fear among the people.
“In fact , resident have deserted Jabata Village which is in Imeko Afon. Imeko Forest Reserve should be twice the size of Ibadan. It is 378 square miles. The Opara Forest Reserve is almost three times bigger than Imeko Reserve.
“Government is watching herdsmen from Bukina Faso, Mali and other countries taking over an area that is that large . The forest reserves belong to the Federal Government but state forest guards are the ones taking care of them. However, it is obvious that the forest guards are not doing anything there. So, this invasion is a time bomb.”
Igbo presidency doesn’t exist – Okorocha
Senator Rochas Okorocha has called on people from the South-East region of Nigeria to abandon hopes of clinching Nigeria’s top job in the future.
He said this while speaking to newsmen shortly after he was sworn in as a Senator on Thursday in Abuja.
Okorocha said the rotation of power will not get to the South-east because, “Power is not given, power is taken.”
His words:, “The South East cannot just fold their arms and expect power to be given to them just because you want power. Power does not go with sentiment some of the times, it’s on issues on the ground.
Democracy is about the people and the South East alone cannot make themselves president. So you cannot be talking about Igbo presidency, it doesn’t exist. .
We may be talking about Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction but that depends on what other geopolitical zones think about the issue.
For me, what is important is let power be given to somebody who has something ‘upstairs’ who can put food on the table of common man, irrespective of religion or where you come from.
There is a need for the Igbo to mend fences. We are neither here nor there politically. We are not in the ruling party or are we making an impact on the opposition. So, there is a need for us to get married to the rest of the nation politically.”
Gorilla accused of swallowing N6.8m in Kano
A finance officer in Kano Zoological Gardens have accused gorilla of swallowing N6.8 million. BBC Pidgin reports
He was quoted as saying the gorilla sneaked into an office and carted away the money before swallowing it.
Umar Kobo, the managing director of the zoo, confirmed that the money is missing and that the issue is being investigated.
“The issue is under investigations for now and I don’t want to say anything on the matter, many journalists have come to meet me but I don’t want to say anything. What I can confirm is that money is missing,” he told the BBC Pidgin.
Attempt to reach Abdullahi Haruna, police spokesman in Kano, for comments was not successful according to TheCable.
He was, however, quoted as confirming that 10 persons, including those on duty when the money went missing, have been arrested.
“Yes, it is true that money from five days of Sallah festivities is missing from the Kano zoo,” he reportedly said, adding: “As at now, we have arrested 10 members of staff of the zoo including the security man and those working in the finance unit.
This is not the first time animals have been accused of swallowing millions of naira in Nigeria.
In February last year, Philomina Chieshe, a sales clerk in the office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Benue state, alleged that a snake swallowed N36m, being proceeds from sale of scratch card.
Also, Shehu Sani, a former senator, once said monkeys carted away N70 million belonging to northern senators.
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