Tag Archives: niger

Seven ‘dead’ in fresh Niger blast.

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The world’s poorest nation according to the UN’s development rankings for 189 countries, Niger is also struggling with jihadist insurgencies that have spilled over from Mali and Nigeria.

Seven election workers were killed early Sunday in Niger’s troubled western Tillaberi region when their vehicle hit a mine, the area’s governor told AFP.

The blast also injured three of the workers, who included the heads of polling stations, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella told AFP.

The accident came as Niger holds a presidential election runoff between frontrunner Mohamed Bazoum, loyal to outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou, and former president Mahamane Ousmane.

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The team had been sent by the Tillaberi branch of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to monitor the polling, the governor said.

The explosion occurred in the town of Dargol some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Niamey in the so-called tri-border region where Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge.

The vast and unstable region has been under a state of emergency since 2017.

It was the scene of one of the worst civilian massacres suffered by the Sahel country in early January, when around 100 people were killed during an attack on two villages.

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The twin attack occurred on the day election officials announced results from the first round of the presidential vote held on December 27.

Niger voted Sunday in a presidential run-off between two political heavyweights that is set to bring about the first democratic transition of power in the coup-prone country’s history.

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The world’s poorest nation according to the UN’s development rankings for 189 countries, Niger is also struggling with jihadist insurgencies that have spilled over from Mali and Nigeria.

Only 7.4 million of the country’s 22 million people were eligible to vote on Sunday — a reflection of the population’s youthfulness.

Thousands of soldiers were deployed nationwide for the vote, set to usher in a peaceful handover between elected presidents, a first since Niger’s independence from France in 1960.

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Several foreign observer missions were also on hand including from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Francophonie organisation of French-speaking countries.

Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou’s decision to voluntarily step down after two five-year terms was welcomed in a region where many leaders have tried to cling to power.

“I’m proud to be the first democratically elected president in our history to be able to pass the baton to another democratically elected president,” Issoufou said as he voted in the capital Niamey accompanied by his two wives.

His successor will be either his right-hand man Mohamed Bazoum, 60, or Mahamane Ousmane, who became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1993, only to be toppled in a coup three years later.

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Ousmane, 71, is running for president for the fifth time since his ouster in one of the four military coups the country has seen along with six elections.

Both candidates are stalwarts of Niger’s political scene.

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One voter, 29-year-old student Idrissa Gado, said the election is a “source of pride” for Nigeriens.

“The next president must act against the rebels, it’s the great concern in Niger,” Gado said as he voted in Niamey.

Whoever wins, 42-year-old tile-layer Ibrahim Kadi Mahmane said he hoped the new leader “doesn’t forget the poor and the people living in villages”.

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  • ‘Fake voting cards’
    The CENI independent electoral commission said in a statement Sunday that “fake voting cards” had been in circulation in several regions of the country.

Voting in his native village of Zinder, Ousmane said: “If the citizens see that these elections were once again… rigged, I fear the situation will be hard to manage.”

Political alliances loomed large, with Bazoum the strong favorite after winning 39.3 percent of the first-round vote on December 27.

“I hope that luck will be with the winner… I have many reasons to believe it’s indeed on my side,” Bazoum said as he cast his ballot.

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The former interior minister has already sealed the support of the candidates who came third and fourth in the first round.

Ousmane, who took nearly 17 percent in the first round, can count on the support of a coalition of 18 opposition parties as well as Hama Amadou, previously thought to be the most formidable candidate against Bazoum.

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Amadou was banned from running because of a conviction for baby trafficking which he has slammed as politically motivated.

The opposition filed an unsuccessful appeal against the result of the first round, claiming fraud, but has since given up its boycott of CENI.

  • Vast challenges
    Bazoum campaigned on continuity with the previous government, which promised development while facing the world’s highest birthrate — an average of seven children per woman.
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“To absorb this population growth would take incredible economic growth,” a Western diplomat said.

An immense security challenge also awaits the victor.

A brutal jihadist insurgency is intensifying in the country’s west, while Islamist militants from the Nigerian movement Boko Haram wage incessant attacks in the southeast.

Sunday’s mine blast that killed seven election workers and injured three occurred some 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Niamey in the so-called tri-border region where Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge.

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The vast and unstable region, which has been under a state of emergency since 2017, was the scene of one of the worst civilian massacres in Niger’s history in early January when around 100 people were killed during an attack on two villages.

The twin attack occurred on the day election officials announced results from the December 27 first round.

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#Newsworthy

Abducted Kagara students, teachers ‘set free’ – Report.

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The students and teachers abducted by bandits in Government Science College Kagara, Niger State have been released.

The abductees, include 27 students, 3 staff and 12 members of their family were kidnapped by bandits last week.

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According to NoRM‘s known Media, the abductees were dropped off at a different location from the kidnapped passengers, who were rescued earlier.

NoRM had reported that all passengers abducted at Kundu via Yakila in Rafi Local Government of the state earlier in the day regained freedom.

Story Source: Daily Post.

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#Newsworthy

Crashed Aircraft planned to survey Kagara abductees – NAF.

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The Nigerian Air Force Sunday said the Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), which crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.

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Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident.

Seven Air Force officials died in the crash.

He noted that the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the next of kins and families of the deceased.

The seven officials that died included Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain) Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialis”t), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).

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Others were Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

“Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs. The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose,” Daramola said.

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#Newsworthy

Sheikh Gumi suggest what Gov’t should do to Bandits.

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This was after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has called on the Federal Government to give bandits willing to make peace ‘blanket amnesty’ if the current security situation must be tackled.

The Islamic scholar disclosed this on Friday while addressing journalists in Minna, Niger State capital.

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“The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them,” Sheik Gumi said while giving updates on the demands of the bandits.

This was after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

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He explained that some of the complaints of the bandits are that they were being killed and maimed unjustly.

“The outcome (of his visit) is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances – we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched -,” the cleric said, quoting the bandits.

Speaking concerning his discussion during his secret visit to the bandits, Sheik Gumi said there is a positive response from the bandits who are holding the Kagara school students and their staff captive.

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He, however, did not state if the students have been released.

Gumi’s comments come a few days after gunmen gained access to Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State around 2:00am and abducted scores of students, teachers, and many others.

The school principal who escaped from the attack confirmed to NoRM’s known Media that the gunmen came in military uniform and shot sporadically into the air. He said the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff including a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels.

One student was killed during the attack.

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Targeted Institution
Kidnappers have in recent times targeted schools in the country. Less than three months ago, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.

Niger State has in the past days seen a spike in kidnapping by gunmen. A few days back, armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.

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#Newsworthy

Niger Gov debunk news of Kagara students’ release.

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The continuous insecurity in the country has continued to spark outrage and criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, Friday morning said the Kagara students and teachers have not been released.

Bello said at a press briefing that the state authorities are doing their best to ensure the students are released within “the next few days or hours”.

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Bello is reacting to several media reports claiming that the abducted persons have been released.

He said he is “not considering resigning” over the kidnapping, adding that “this is the first time students are being kidnapped in this state”.

At least 27 students of Government Science College (GSC) Kagara and 14 others including teachers were abducted when armed bandits attacked their school on Wednesday morning.

The gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the school hauling students into a nearby forest, a government official and a security source told AFP.

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“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said the official, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.

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Only two months ago, more than 300 students were kidnapped in Kankara, in nearby Katsina state.

On Tuesday, Niger state authorities said bandits also killed 10 people and kidnapped at least 23 others in attacks on two remote villages.

The continuous insecurity in the country has continued to spark outrage and criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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Senators Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South), Sani Musa (APC-Niger East), and Aliu Sabi Aliu (APC-Niger North) on Wednesday described as unacceptable, the worsening state of insecurity in Niger State and Nigeria in general.

Senator Enagi during the plenary said the Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari is grossly incompetent.

The visibly angry lawmaker further noted that the government had been evasive on issues that ought to be given attention.

Enagi observed that it was unfortunate that the Federal Government was too incompetent to handle in such a way as to guarantee full employment for the nation’s teeming youths.

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Enagi suggested the amendment of laws that would allow governors who are chief security officers of their respective states to take charge, insisting that the government at the centre has failed woefully.

He added that citizens might need to be allowed to bear arms through the amendment of laws if the situation persists.

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#Newsworthy

Breaking: Sheikh Gumi meets Kangara students’ kidnappers.

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The Nigeria Senate’s have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the menace of insecurity bedeviling the country.

Some group of bandits in Niger State forests have listed their demands for peace deal during a reconciliation meeting with Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

Sheikh Gumi visited Tagina forest and met with bandits group leader, Dogo Gide and his fighters on Thursday.

But the bandits didn’t allow their conversations recorded.

Gumi came under intense criticism last week after advocating for amnesty for the criminals carrying out kidnappings and banditry in the different parts of Northern Nigeria.

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In a recent interview with NoRM‘s known Media, Gumi indicted the Nigerian military in the violence crimes in the region. He said the bandits he met were willing to lay down their arms but that the military top brass were deliberately escalating the violence.

He said; “Everyone has witnessed it that we negotiated with these people and they promised to drop their weapons and stop these activities, and I even promised to meet the president about the matter. But why will the army bomb their place?”

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But the military denied his claims.

His visit to Tagina forest came after kidnappers abducted about 42 persons, including students, staff and their families Fromm the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State on Wednesday.

Multiple reports said gunmen started attacked the school around 2:00 am on Wednesday, beginning with sporadic gunshots. A students was killed during the attack.

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The State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello while reacting to the incident vowed never to negotiate with bandits.

Bello stated that Niger was experiencing infiltration of criminals from neighbouring Benin Republic, adding: “The bandits are Fulani that has no one to control them, even their parents.”

Reiterating that he would not have anything to do with hoodlums who have never kept to terms of the agreement, the governor recalled that he once reluctantly negotiated with bandits that never yielded any positive result.

“To be honest, even when the process of negotiation was being advised, I agreed to it. I have attended one meeting where the bandits were there and I cannot imagine myself as a governor and chief security officer of a state sitting down and negotiating with them,” Bello said.

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The Nigeria Senate’s have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the menace of insecurity bedeviling the country.

They insisted that the government must suspend normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control of the situation.

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#Newsworthy

Gunmen kills one, abduct 10 in Niger, hours after Kangara attack.

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The Niger State government also ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas of the state.

Barely 24 hours after the abduction of 41 school students, teachers, and family members from Government Science College Kagara, gunmen have again attacked some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

A resident is said to have been killed and at least two others injured while a yet-to-be ascertained number of persons have been abducted.

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The villages attacked include Sarkin Zama, Lagbe (Bakin Kogi), Siyiko, Kokki, and other adjoining villages, all in Gurmana ward of Shiroro LGA.

Confirming the incident to NoRM‘s known Media via a telephone conversation, the Co-Convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Kokki said the attack took place on Wednesday night while the state was still grappling with the shock of the abduction of students, teachers, and others at GSSS Kagara.

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According to Mr. Kokki, the gunmen stormed the villages in large numbers heavily armed.

He said the attack. which lasted for hours, claimed at least one life with two persons injured.

One person was shot in the eye while the other was shot around the armpit.

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Those who sustained injuries have been rushed to Kuta General Hospital and are being treated.

Kagara Attack
Niger is the largest state in the country and shares a border with the Federal Capital Territory.

Bandit assaults are not unfamiliar in the region, but Wednesday’s school attack, reminiscent of similar events in Chibok, Dapchi, and Kankara, earned national attention.

The President swiftly condemned the attack and ordered security agencies to ensure the safe return of students and officials abducted by the gunmen.

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The Niger State government also ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas of the state.

On Thursday, the State Ministry of Education released a list containing the name of people that have been abducted.

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#Newsworthy

Niger Gov’t orders boarding schools shutdown.

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Niger State governor Sani Bello has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in four local council areas in the state after students and teachers were kidnapped from Government Science College (GSC) in Kagara.

Bello said boarding schools in Rafi, Munya, Shiroro and Mariga local government areas will be closed indefinitely because of heightened insecurity.

Gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the Government Science College before hauling students into a nearby forest, a government official and a security source told AFP.

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“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said the official, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.

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#Newsworthy

Panic as Gunmen attack school in Niger, abduct students.

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The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.

Armed men have attacked Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local government area of Niger State.

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The incident started at about 2:00 am on Wednesday with the gunmen started shooting sporadically, with one student feared killed and several others abucted.

Some teachers and their family members residing within the college staff quarters were also said to have been abducted by the gunmen.

A government source who pleaded anonymity disclosed this to Channels Television via telephone conversation in the early hours of Wednesday.

The recent abduction comes less than three months after the kidnap of students in Kankara, Katsina State.

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The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.

The source could not, however, give the number of persons abducted and those injured as at the time of filing the report.

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A staff by name Batagi who was among those kidnapped has escaped and is in the school as of the time of publishing this report. Others still with the bandits are Mall. Lawal, Ali, Hannatu and her husband, Dodo, Mohammed Abubakar(Akawu), among others.

Schools have been the target of attacks in recent times in Nigeria.

The gunmen were dressed in the same school uniform used by the students, disguising to be members of the school.

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The latest attack comes barely three days after gunmen attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.

The state governor, Abubakar Bello had condemned the abduction, promising to secure the release of the passengers.

Niger State has seen a rise in gunmen attacks.

On Tuesday, a statement from the office of the Commissioner of Information in the state, Mohammed Idris said ten persons had been freed from the hands of the bandits.

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The recent abduction comes less than three months after the kidnap of students in Kankara, Katsina State.

The Information Commissioner further claimed that ransom was not paid to secure their release.

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#Newsworthy

Niger Gov’t confirms abduction on Minna-Kontagora road.

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Idris said that on Feb.14 at about 14:50 hours, information was received that a 56-seater bus of Niger State Transport Authority with passengers from Minna to Kontagora ran into gunmen at Kundu village..

The Niger government has confirmed the abductions of persons on board the Niger State Transport Authority on Sunday on Minna- Kontagora road.

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The government announced this in a statement issued by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammad Idris on Monday.

Idris said that on Feb.14 at about 14:50 hours, information was received that a 56-seater bus of Niger State Transport Authority with passengers from Minna to Kontagora ran into gunmen at Kundu village on Zungeru-Garin Gabas road area of Rafi Local Government..

“The state government has taken concrete security measures to ensure safe returns of the victims and to deal decisively with any person or group of people found wanting.

“We will ensure to rescue the victims and ensure such negative development does not occur in any part of the state.

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“The state government appeal for calm among citizens, especially the relatives of the abducted persons.

“The state government appeal to all and sundry to help in providing required intelligence information that could assist security personnel to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the acts,” the statement said.

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#Newsworthy

South East Leaders laud Buhari over ‘Niger Bridge Project 2’

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Governor of Anambra State, where the project is sited, Willie Obiano, was not around to join them during the inspection of the project site.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, some ministers from the South-East zone and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Prof. George Obiozor, at the weekend, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the release of funds for the completion of the Second Niger Bridge.

They also expressed joy over other Federal Government-sponsored infrastructural projects going on in the region.

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Meanwhile, Governor of Anambra State, where the project is sited, Willie Obiano, was not around to join them during the inspection of the project site.

Uzodimma said: “What looked like a dream is now a reality as the Second Niger Bridge has a lot of economic and human benefits to both South-East and Nigeria in general.

“At the completion and commissioning of the Second Niger Bridge, the name of Buhari will be immortalised. Whatever diplomacy cannot get for Ndigbo now, war will not get it for them.”

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Also speaking, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, thanked the President for his magnanimity to South Easterners, stressing: “The Second Niger Bridge is a promise made and promise kept.”

Minister of State for Mines and Solid Minerals, Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah, described the Second Niger Bridge as “one of the best things happening to the South-East.”

In the same vein, the Anambra State All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Senator Andy Uba, thanked the President for the project, expressing happiness that “the Second Niger Bridge is a boost to the APC in the South East and Anambra State in particular.”

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah (left); Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma; Project Manager, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Wiser Fridget; Federal Controller of Works, Anambra State, Adeyemo Ajani and others during inspection of the Second Niger Bridge at the weekend<br />

Minister of State for Education, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said: “The project is a show of great love by President Muhammadu Buhari to the South. The importance of the project is shown in its funding as the project is financed from the presidential initiative fund, which is outside the regular budget of the Federal Government.”

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In his contribution, a former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, said they had come to see, adding that they believed in the reality of the project.

The Deputy Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Amara Iwuanyanwu, who spoke on behalf of the APC youths in South-East, said: “The youths have come, seen and believed and the only way they will express their gratitude will be to mobilize the youths to join APC by participating in the nationwide registration and revalidation of APC going on now.”

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#Newsworthy

APGA aspirant scores highest to win Niger by-election – INEC

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Sale scored 22,965 votes to defeat Alamu Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came second with 22,507 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Shehu Sale, candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), winner of Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency of Niger in Saturday’s by-election.

The INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Tanko Baba of the Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, said Sale scored 22,965 votes to defeat Alamu Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came second with 22,507 votes.

Baba said Yusuf Nasir, the candidate of the ADC, polled 336 votes.

He explained that the total number of registered voters was 159,347, while the number of accredited voters was 46,734, with 45,808 valid votes, total votes cast 46,499 and rejected votes 691.

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Meanwhile, Prof. Samuel Egwu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Niger on Sunday, commended the electorate in the constituency for their peaceful conduct during and after the election.

Egwu also lauded efforts of the police for providing a peaceful political atmosphere before and during the electoral process in the area.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: 3 Niger citizens arrested over arms smuggling in sokoto.

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Three citizens of the Republic of Niger have been arrested in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State over arms smuggling.

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coordinator of defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said the suspects are members of a notorious arms smuggling syndicate.

He explained that the foreigners smuggled the special ammunition into the country by concealing them in their vehicle.

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River

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“Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Forward Operating Base Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State on the 15th of August after an undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialise in massive arms supply to bandits in the northwest from across the international borders.

“The three suspects, all Nigeriens were intercepted at Dantudu in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State with six AK-47 rifles, two AK-47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicles,” he said.

Speaking further, the defence spokesman said some of the nation’s “security challenges have an external influence.”

Enenche recalled that two foreigners were also arrested in Niger State recently over arms smuggling, adding that the Armed Forces will not relent in tackling the security challenges in the country.

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Sokoto has been experiencing a series of attacks from bandits recently with the latest happening on August 17 in the same local government.

Just four days ago, three suspected arms smugglers – Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani were arrested by the troops following credible intelligence.

The suspects were said to be citizens of the Republic of Niger.

The military authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignment was meant for some bandits in Isah Local Government Area of the state.


#Newsworthy

Niger attack: Nine killed by Gunmen.

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At least 9 persons, including 3 personnel of the Nigerian Military were reportedly killed following an attack by gunmen in Tashan Kare and Yakila communities in Rafi local government area of Niger State.

Efforts to speak with the Police in the state proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Wasiu Abiodun did not respond to his calls and text messages.

But, a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche published on the website of the Defense Headquarters, said troops of Operation Whirl Punch engaged the bandits in a gun duel in which an unspecified number of the bandits were killed; however, three soldiers were killed, and two others wounded.

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According to Major General Enenche, “In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH, has recorded tremendous success against armed bandits. Following credible intelligence on the activities of armed bandits attack at Tashan Kare, in Niger State.

“Troops swiftly mobilized to the scene and made contact with the bandits. The gallant troops engaged the armed bandits with superior fire power killing unspecified number while others fled in disarray into the bushes.

“Sadly own troops suffered 3 casualties while 2 others were wounded in action. Exploitation is on going. Details to follow.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Niger State, Adamu Usman only confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria the abduction of a Chinese expatriate and a Nigerian, at Yakila but refused to speak on those killed.

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Noble Reporters Media Television further gathered that the attackers first stormed Yakila community at about 12:00noon on Monday and opened fire on expatriates and some Nigerian citizens who were working on the rehabilitation of Minna Zungeru road.

On hearing the gunshots, a team of security operatives mainly mobile policemen engaged the bandits in a gun shootout which lasted for more than three hours.

A resident in the area and staff of the National Orientation Agency Iliyasu Mohammed also confirmed the incident to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) via telephone conversation.

According to him, when the bandits arrived Yakila, they started shooting, and then went after the expatriates and construction workers that were working on the road.

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Mohammed said the security operatives that were stationed at a signal office around the area responded to the attack which resulted in exchange of gunfire between the bandits and the security personnel.

He said the security personnel sent the bandits on their heels up to a river around Pandogari before returning back, but that 5 of the bandits were reportedly killed, while the security operatives suffered some casualties.

Also, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abubakar Bello on Security matters, Colonel MK Maikundi (retired) confirmed the attack to newsmen.

The latest attack comes barely a week after gunmen attacked Ukuru community in Mariga local government area of the state killing at least fifteen persons, including four vigilante members.

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Governor Abubakar Bello, reacting to the attack at the time through a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary Mary Noel-Berje said his administration and the federal government would fine-tune the security strategy in the state to dislodge the armed men.

The Governor who commiserated with families of the victims of the attack had also enjoined them to be vigilant and report activities of anybody they considered alien to them.

According to the statement, Governor Abubakar Bello had also visited a special military camp in Katsina alongside his colleague, the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai to inspect the camp and also seek ways to strengthen the issue of border patrol as the state shares border with neighbouring states in the northwest.

Niger State has come under serious security threats in the last one year due to activities of bandits, with hundreds of persons killed, and thousands of others displaced.


#Newsworthy…

News+: Bodies of Aid workers killed in Niger returns to Paris.

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The bodies of six French aid workers killed by suspected jihadists in Niger arrived in Paris Friday, with Prime Minister Jean Castex due to lead a national tribute later in the day.

The four women and two men were killed on Sunday along with their Nigerien guide and driver in a wildlife haven about an hour’s drive southeast from the capital Niamey.

The victims worked for French NGO Acted and were aged between 25 and 30.

The national tribute in the VIP section of Paris’s Orly airport will be closed to the media. Castex will be joined by several senior ministers.

“It’s important that the nation pays homage to them,” said Jerome Bertin, the head of France Victimes federation.

“Their families want their commitment to be really cited… they were not tourists killed in Niger but young people engaged in helping the people of this country.”

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The country, one of the poorest in the world, is struggling with incursions by Islamists from both Nigeria to the south and Mali to the west.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a Defense Council video-conference on Niger at the Fort de Bregancon, southern France on August 11, 2020. Daniel Cole / POOL / AFP

In Paris, French anti-terror prosecutors said they would investigate charges of “murders with links to a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”.

There have been no claims of responsibility so far.

A judicial source in Paris told AFP the attack was “premeditated” and “targeting Westerners”.

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French President Emmanuel Macron described it as “manifestly a terrorist attack” and said there would be repercussions.

“We’re pursuing action to eradicate the terrorist groups, with the strengthened support of our partners,” Macron said.

The president did not elaborate on the exact nature of the measures envisaged but Castex said the “odious crime” would not go unpunished.

Acted has decided temporarily to suspend work in Niger but has stressed it will not pull out of the country.


#Newsworthy…

Investigation begins over death of seven in Niger salon

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Police authorities in Niger State have launched an investigation into the death of seven women found dead at a salon in Rijau Local Government Area of the state.

The spokesman for the State Police Command, Abiodun Wasiu, confirmed the this to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) on Sunday.

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased persons passed the night in the salon for hairdressing with an electricity generator.

The owner of the salon was said to have brought in the generator set inside the salon, and in the process, the victims suffocated to death after inhaling smoke from the generator.

“On 31/07/2020 at about 0815hrs, information was received that about seven dead bodies of ladies aged between 14-22yrs were discovered at Afresh beauty salon centre along Bawa-Rijau road in Rijau,” the police spokesman said.

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The bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the General Hospital in Tunga Magajia for autopsy while investigation to unravel the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Noble Reporters Media learnt the incident occurred on Thursday night when the victims; two married women and five ladies went to the salon in the evening to make their hair in preparation for Sallah.

The remains of the victims are also said to have since been buried according to Islamic rites.

Meanwhile, the police asked the people to be more careful and adopt proactive measures when using a generator to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigerian govt abandoned migrants in Niger Republic after testing positive.

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A few Nigerian migrants were left behind in the Republic of Niger during the latest repatriation of citizens from abroad, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

At least 158 stranded Nigerians arrived from the West African country on Wednesday evening, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said on Thursday.

The Nigerians were left behind after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

EVACUATION UPDATE.
158 stranded Nigerian migrants from Niamey Niger arrived Nnamdi Azikwe Int’l Airport Abuja at about 10.00 pm via Airpeace 29th July, 2020 courtesy of @EUinNigeria, @IOM_Nigeria (working with the Nigerian mission) who paid for the flight and other logistics.
1/3 pic.twitter.com/hLjCRMfXtj

— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) July 30, 2020

All 158 evacuees are expected to isolate on arrival for 14 days, in line with health guidelines mandated by the Ministry of Health.

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The evacuation was facilitated by the European Union and the International Organisation for Migration, in collaboration with the Nigerian mission in Niger.

A file photo showing some stranded Nigerians who returned to the country recently. PHOTO: Twitter:@nidcom_gov

“158 stranded Nigerian migrants from Niamey Niger arrived Nnamdi Azikwe Int’l Airport Abuja at about 10.00 pm via Airpeace 29th July, 2020 courtesy of @EUinNigeria, @IOM_Nigeria (working with the Nigerian mission) who paid for the flight and other logistics,” NIDCOM tweeted.

The Commission added that one family couldn’t make the trip after the mother was delivered of a baby boy on July 24.

“Mrs Abdullahi, her husband, the newborn child as well as three (3) of their other kids will remain in Niger until such a time when another trip is organized,” NIDCOM said.


#Newsworthy…

Electricity: Presidency says Niger, Benin owe Nigeria up to N1.4bn

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Two of Nigeria’s closest neighbours, Benin and Niger owe the country up to N1.4bn, the Presidency revealed on Tuesday.

In a statement, signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, addressing a report questioning why the nation was exporting electricity to neighbouring countries on credit – while blackouts persist nationwide – the Presidency noted that, as at 2019, the debt owed by four countries totalled $69m.

“As of the last review in 2019, the amount of indebtedness to all three customers stood at $69 million, subsequent upon which several payments were made to NBET,” the statement said. “Much of this has been repaid by the debtor nations.

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“As of today, Niger owes only USD 16 million and Benin, USD 4 million, adding up to the Naira equivalent of about N1.2bn.”

Why Nigeria Exports Power Despite Local Shortage?
The Presidency statement on Tuesday explained that the country exports power to neighbouring countries in respect of multilateral agreement that prevents the damming of water sources into the nation’s main hydropower stations.

“Power exported to Niger, Benin and Togo based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with the Government of Nigeria is on the basis that they would not dam the waters that feed our major power plants in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba,” the Presidency said.

“The essence of said bilateral agreements, by which we give them power and they do not build dams on the River Niger means that Nigeria and her brotherly neighbours had avoided the unfolding situation of the Nile River between the sovereign states of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.”


#Newsworthy…

Niger Flood: 5 Missing, Death toll rolls to 13 as Bello condoles

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Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has condoled with the victims of the flood that occurred in Suleja area of the state on Saturday.

This comes as the death toll from the disaster rose to 13 with at least five persons still missing.

During a visit to the area, Governor Bello described the incident as unfortunate but expressed concern over the lack of adherence to urban development laws by the residents in the area.

The scene of a flooded community in Suleja area of Niger State on July 28, 2020.

While describing the incident as unfortunate, the governor, however, said the residents of the area do not comply with the open development laws.

“It is very unfortunate what has happened. About 12 or 13 people have died as a result of the flood. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased.

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Governor Abubakar Bello says residents of the area flout existing laws by building houses on the waterways in the state.

“They are going through challenging times at the moment, they are grieving. I am also concerned that we have not been able to recover some of the bodies yet.

Governor Abubakar Bello says residents of the area flout existing laws by building houses on the waterways in the state.

“I also understand there is an ongoing search for the remaining dead bodies. Hopefully, they will be found soon. On a separate note, I also noticed that in Suleja and some of our towns, people have made it a habit to build along waterlines and waterways.

“When you build along waterways, it is just a matter of time, it could be one, five or 10 years later, eventually the water will find its way,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Niger Farmer, Miner clash: 1 casualty, 5 injured

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A teenage boy has been killed and five others injured at an illegal mining site in Papi village, a suburb community located on the outskirts of Minna, the Niger State capital.

Fourteen-year-old Ayuba Abdullahi was shot dead during a clash that broke out between some illegal miners and farmers in the area.

The incident was said to have occurred at about 4:00am on Sunday.

Ayuba’s father, Mallam Abdullahi, who is into petrol business popularly known as the black market, told Channels Television that his son had set out for the mining site at about 1:00am before he met his death.

He lamented that he got a call some hours later from a colleague of his late son that Ayuba had been shot and his lifeless body was brought home at about 8:00am.

“When I asked what happened, I was told that they (the miners) clashed with some farmers at the site and in the process, Ayuba was shot dead,” Abdullahi narrated.

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He added, “We reported the incident to the Maitumbi Divisional Police Station and the body was examined before we buried it around 9:00am. I feel really sad.

“When Ayuba was going out, he asked me to bless him so that he could succeed at his work; I never knew it was the last time I would see my son. He has been in the mining business now for close to three years.”

Noble Reporters Media gathered that the illegal miners and the farmers in Papi have a history of misunderstanding due to alleged encroachment by the miners on farmlands of residents in the village.

Miners numbering over 50 and mostly teenagers with others in their twenties were reported to have stormed the site on Sunday, but they met resistance from some farmers.

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In the process, Ayuba was said to have been hit by a gunshot and five others sustained various degrees of injury from gunshots and machete cuts.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Niger State, Wasiu Abiodun, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that they were yet to ascertain the details of the incident.

Illegal mining activities have been on the increase in Niger State, particularly in the suburbs around the state capital.

Most of the miners are expatriates from the Niger Republic and other north-western states across Nigeria.


#Newsworthy…

Suleja flood: 10 lose to death in Niger

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Ten persons have been killed by flood in the Suleja local government area of Niger State on Saturday.

Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Ahmed Inga confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone conversation.

Inga said the rain, which began at about 4:00am, lasted till 8:00am.

According to him, six persons died at Unguwan Gwari, three at the back of a Living Faith Church branch in Madalla and one died at the Polosa area.

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The SEMA chief added that bodies of the ten persons have been recovered during a search operation conducted by staff of NSEMA with the support of some residents in the area.

In a related development, at least five persons have been killed in a boat mishap which occurred at Gurmana village in Shiroro local government area.

Mr Inga who confirmed the incident to Channels Television did not give further details on the incident but said bodies of the victims were yet to be recovered.

He also said the canoe reported to be carrying the people has still not been sighted.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Niger relax lockdown | Details.

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Niger state government has relaxed coronavirus lockdown which was effected to contain the spread of the deadly disease in the state.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello made the announcement while receiving the technical committee report for the establishment of Niger COVID-19 molecular testing laboratory at the Government House in Minna.

Governor Bello who ordered the resumption of commercial activities in the state, added that schools are to remain closed. Civil servants were also asked to remain at home unless those on essential duties.


#Newsworthy…

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25 years old rape 85 years old in Niger – Arrested after.

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The Police in Niger state have apprehended Ezekiel Yunana, 25, for raping an 85-year-old grandmother in Rafi local government area in the state.

The victim who reported the case at the Kagara police division, said she was inside her house sleeping when the suspect broke into her room through the window and then raped her. She explained that Ezekiel had threatened to kidnap her, asking her to pay a large sum of money, which she told him she didn’t have.

Upon interrogation, Ezekiel confessed to committing the crime. He said he decided to rape the old woman since she did not have any money to give him.

Spokesperson of the state police command, ASP Abiodun Wasiu, while confirming the said the suspect has confessed to committing the crime and that he will be arraigned in court soon.


#Newsworthy. .

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