Xenophobic Attacks: Fear grips Nigerians abroad

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Xenophobic Attacks: Fear grips Nigerians abroad

xenophobic attacks in South africa

The Centre for Protection of Nigerians in the Diaspora (CPND), says many Nigerians living abroad are now in palpable fear as a result of Xenophobic attacks, especially in South Africa.

The President of CPND, Alex Orji made the assertion on Thursday during the candlelight procession in honour of the slain Nigerian Insurance chief, Mrs Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu, who was killed in a hotel in South Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the procession was held at the Liberty Bridge, Maryland Lagos.

Orji said that that Nigerians deserved better treatment from the South African Government away from the killings being experienced.

“The reason for these ugly incidents was because the government of South Africa refused to act on those killings.

“It has got to the level that the woman killed was just visiting South Africa, with this ugly trend; there is a need to speak out veraciously. Nigerians have been so good to their South African hosts.

“No one is allowed to take another mans life; the killers should be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“I will also implore people to always check on their people living abroad since we are now in the age of social media where contacts can be made easily,” he said.

The Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) during the last general election, Omoyele Sowore, who attended the candlelight procession, urged the government to constitute a strong diplomatic team to meet with the countries involved.

“Obianuju was an industrious woman killed in South Africa in spite of the fact that she was not a resident. This type of brutality has been going on too frequently and we need to address it.

“Nigerians are getting killed almost every day; we need to be protected by our government and the governments of those countries where they reside in either legally or illegally.

“Government needs to constitute strong a diplomatic committee to look into these issues of wanton killings to find a lasting solution.

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“The truth is that most Nigerians are now living in palpable fear of attacks, especially in the South Africa where they are experiencing Xenophobic attacks,” he said.

Contributing, Mofe Oyatogun of Star FM, condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, adding that the killing of Ndubuisi-Chukwu should be a wake up call for the government.

“The people of South Africa have no reason for killing Nigerians, moreso, they also have their people residing in Nigeria unmolested.

“I remembered all the efforts Nigeria had to put up during the apartheid regime and how my mum fed several South Africans in our home, so is this how they want to reward us?

“Nigerians are wonderful hardworking people in spite of derogatory remarks against us in certain quarters, we deserve to be treated with respect; so we are calling for justice,” she said.

Speaking, Adetola Olubajo, the President, Nigeria Union in South Africa,said that what Nigerians are demanding is justice for the slain woman and others unjustly killed in that country.

“What we want is justice for her and nothing more. If we have been fair to the South Africans in the face of provocations, while they have their own businesses here, their government should know better.

“What we want is for those perpetrators of her murder to be brought to justice,” Olubajo said.

Xenophobic Attacks: Fear grips Nigerians abroad
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Buhari won’t order release of El-Zakzaky ― Presidency

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Buhari won’t order release of El-Zakzaky ― Presidency

El-Zakzaky

The Presidency on Friday said the prosecution of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky was not in the hands of the federal government, noting therefore that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot order his release from detention.

A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), in Abuja has appealed to his followers to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.

It said the issue of El-ZakZaky was before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his on-going trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.

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According to the Presidency, it was wrong to be in court and resort to violence at the same time in order to get justice for anybody accused.

The statement added: “The destruction of public property in the name of protest is not within the right of this group of Shiite members and no government anywhere would have tolerated a situation where any group would take over public roads in cities as they have done in Abuja and interfere with the rights of other citizens who are prevented from reaching their destinations.

“We imagine a situation where families are taking their loved ones to hospital for emergency treatment and they are held up needlessly by the protesters. No government anywhere in the world would turn a blind eye to this unlawful behaviour.

“As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted every day.

“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free.

“At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued.

“The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the on-going court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.

“The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.

“You can’t be provoking other citizens by interfering with their own rights on public roads and disrupting their businesses and call it democratic freedom. In democratic traditions, their rights end where the rights of others begin.

“Law-abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property.

“It is always advisable to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all our actions so that we can continue to live together in peace.

“We, therefore, appeal to the Shiite group to stop deliberate provocations that result in violence and fatalities and allow the trial of El-ZakZaky to take its course.”

Federal High Court in Abuja had in 2016 granted ball to the Muslim cleric and his wife but was not released.

A Kaduna High Court has subsequently denied him bail leading to daily protests by his followers.

Buhari won’t order release of El-Zakzaky ― Presidency
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Desist From Needless Violent Protests, FG Warns Shiites

 

The Federal Government has told the El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.

Shiite members have been on a series of protests demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in custody since fighting between his supporters and the army broke out in December 2015.

The Shi’ia leader is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among others.

In a statement on Friday, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity said that the FG no longer has hands in the matter and should be cleared of any alleged violations of court orders.

“The Presidency appeals to El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.

“As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted every day.

“The issue of El-ZakZaky is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his on-going trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.”

READ ALSO: Shiites Continue Protest, Call For El-Zakzaky’s Release

The statement added that all the rallies and threats are an insult to the President and other leaders.

“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free.

“At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued. The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the on-going court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.

“The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.”

The Presidency asked that members loyal to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky should embrace dialogue and avoid all forms of violence.

“Law-abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property.

“It is always advisable to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all our actions so that we can continue to live together in peace.”

S.Africa’s Ramaphosa Rebuked For Misleading Parliament

File: Cyril Ramaphosa.

 

South Africa’s ethics watchdog on Friday said President Cyril Ramaphosa misled parliament last year over a 500,000-rand ($36,000, 32,000-euro) donation to his campaign fund from a company facing extensive corruption allegations.

Analysts said the damning report by the country’s ombudswoman, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, could boost Ramaphosa’s opponents within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which is riven by in-fighting.

Mkhwebane determined that the president had given parliament “erroneous” information when responding to an opposition question over the October 2017 donation.

Ramaphosa initially told lawmakers that the payment was to his son Andile for consultancy work for Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations (AGO).

But Ramaphosa later said it was a donation towards his campaign to become ANC party leader — a hard-fought battle in which he beat ex-president Jacob Zuma’s chosen candidate.

Ramaphosa reacted strongly to the report, saying in a statement that it was “unfortunate” that Mkhwebane had not “given due consideration” to his explanation that he did not know about the donation.

Ramaphosa “reaffirms his determination and commitment to fight all forms of corruption” and that “no person regardless of the position they hold is above law”, the statement said.

He has promised to return the funds.

In the report released on Friday, Mkhwebane said that despite Ramaphosa correcting himself “he indeed misled parliament”.

“He should have allowed himself sufficient time to research on a well-informed response,” she said.

After taking over when graft-tainted Zuma was ousted in 2018, Ramaphosa led the ANC to victory in May elections, staking his reputation on fighting corruption.

‘Damaging’ criticism

The findings against the president were “more damaging than expected”, said Darias Jonker of the London-based Eurasia risk consultancy.

The ANC is bitterly split between Zuma supporters and those backing Ramaphosa, who took the helm after Zuma became entangled in graft scandals.

“This report will add to the (pro-Zuma) faction’s plans to neutralize and remove Ramaphosa, as they are threatened by his anti-corruption campaign,” Jonker said.

But he ruled out Ramaphosa facing criminal charges or removal by parliament “in the short-term”.

Mkhwebane is the Public Protector, a powerful watchdog in South Africa who should be politically independent, although critics accuse her of being a Zuma loyalist.

Zuma on Friday withdrew from testifying to an inquiry into corruption during his rule, complaining of bias, though he may return at a later date.

In the corruption scandal popularly referred to as “state capture”, he is alleged to have overseen mass looting of public assets during his nine-year tenure.

Mkhwebane added that the funds for Ramaphosa’s campaign were moved from one account to another, raising suspicion of “money-laundering”.

She asked the country’s prosecution authority to investigate and also gave the speaker of parliament 30 days to demand Ramaphosa divulge publicly all the donations he received towards his campaign.

Ramaphosa’s office said he would study the report in detail and decide on any further action.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party, which first raised questions about the donation to Ramaphosa, called for lawmakers to take decisive action.

“It is time that parliament regain its teeth so that no individual who rises to the office of president will ever be able to abuse that power,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters.

He demanded that Ramaphosa appear before a special parliamentary committee, saying “what is clear is that this matter runs much deeper than initially thought.”

After 10 years, two unconfirmed polio cases reported in Kogi

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After 10 years, two unconfirmed polio cases reported in Kogi

polio

TWO unconfirmed cases of the poliovirus have been reported in Kogi State after being polio-free for 10 years.

Dr Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), disclosed this on Friday at stakeholders meeting with the Social Mobilisation Committee (SMC) for National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) in Lokoja.

Yakubu said that the two cases of poliovirus were reported in Ankpa and Dekina local government areas (LGAs) of Kogi, saying, however, that they were yet to be confirmed.

“Kogi State has been polio-free for more than 10 years now, but unfortunately we are beginning to get some very discouraging signals.

“In fact, recently there were unconfirmed reports yet, of polio virus in Ankpa and Dekina LGAs of Kogi State; although it has not been confirmed.

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“But we have dispatched a team of experts to take samples of those cases and carry out appropriate investigations; the team is already on that task.

“This is why we need to intensify our social mobilisation and campaign, especially for this NIPDs, that is centred on polio vaccination for our children and some other commodities,” Yakubu said.

He, therefore, appealed to all the SMC members drawn from various fields and organisations, to take the assignment very seriously.

“The health of our children, mothers and us, is very important to everybody, including the leader of our state, Gov. Yahaya Bello.

“I want to believe that whatever role we play; we are doing it in the interest of our children, mothers, and the state at large. I pray that God will help us achieve this goal,” Yakubu said.

On his part, Mr Adolphus Okoro, Technical Assistant, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre (NERICC) NPHCDA, Abuja, urged Kogi government to strengthen the SMC to function maximally for effective mobilisation and service delivery across the state.

Mr Olorumaiye Theophilus, the Programme Director, SERICC, said some vaccines would be introduced to children at nine months immunisation during the NIPDs to prevent meningitis.

Responding, a member of the SMC, Mr Titus Alonge, of the Teens Education Development & Information Initiative Nigeria (TEDiiN) an NGO, advised the state to carry members of the SMC along in all its operations.

Mrs Abo Amodu, Social Mobilisation Focal Person KSPHCDA, assured the SMC members of adequate involvement in their activities henceforth.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house-to-house immunisation for children from age 0-59 months, would last for four days between July 20 and 23, across the 21 LGAs of Kogi.

After 10 years, two unconfirmed polio cases reported in Kogi
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Qaeda Attack In Yemen Kills Five Soldiers

 

Al-Qaeda jihadists on Friday attacked an army checkpoint in southern Yemen, killing five pro-government soldiers and wounding several others, security officials said.

The attack took place in the Mudiya region of Abyan province, they added.

“Five soldiers were killed and several others wounded on Friday morning in an attack carried out by Al-Qaeda gunmen… on a checkpoint,” one security official told AFP.

A second security official said the “Al-Qaeda fighters used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades” in the attack, confirming that five pro-government forces had been killed.

The United States considers Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) the global jihadist network’s most dangerous branch.

AQAP, Islamic State group and other jihadist factions have flourished in the chaos of Yemen’s civil war, which has pitted the government — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition since 2015 — against Shiite Huthi rebels.

Mudiya region, where the attack took place, used to be a bastion of Al-Qaeda at the onset of the civil war before loyalist forces drove jihadists from it, the security sources said.

AFP

US Offers $7m To Find Hezbollah Agent Wanted For Argentina Attack

In this file photo taken on July 18, 1994, a man walks over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires. ALI BURAFI / AFP

 

The United States on Friday offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, as it vowed to pursue the group worldwide.

The United States also imposed sanctions on the senior Hezbollah figure, Salman Raouf Salman, in tandem with his blacklisting by Argentina as it marks the 25th anniversary of the bombing, which killed 85 people.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Argentina on the anniversary of the attack, along with ministers from several Latin American nations visiting Buenos Aires for talks on counter-terrorism.

The State Department said it would give $7 million to anyone who provides information that leads to the location of Salman, also known as Salman al-Reda.

The Treasury Department said that Salman masterminded the 1994 attack and “has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since.”

“This administration will continue to target Hezbollah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

READ ALSO: Qaeda Attack In Yemen Kills Five Soldiers

Iran is the primary sponsor of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militant movement as well as political party that waged a guerrilla campaign against Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon.

Salman has been reported to have joint Lebanese and Colombian citizenship, allowing him to move more easily across Latin America.

Asked where he is believed to be now, a senior administration official said: “We think he is probably somewhere in the Middle East.”

The Treasury designation will freeze any assets he may have in the United States and criminalize any assistance to him, although Hezbollah as a whole is already under heavy US sanctions.

A State Department official said that the United States has been encouraging Latin American nations to follow the US model in blacklisting groups and individuals as terrorists — as seen in Argentina’s decision on Salman.

I have no problem with minimum wage implementation ― Masari

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I have no problem with minimum wage implementation ― Masari

minimum wage

Gov Aminu Masari of Katsina State, says his administration has no problem with the implementation of the new national minimum wage for workers.

Masari gave the assurance on Friday when he received the new leadership of the state chapter of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

He said that the government would look into the guidelines when released and work with the state allocation to ensure implementation.

The governor, however, called for upward review of states’ revenue from the Federation Account to accommodate the new N30, 000 minimum wage.

ALSO READ: Court remands 2 men for alleged armed robbery

“When the guidelines are ready, the NLC leadership in the state will be invited to ascertain the new salary structure for the workforce.

“Sincerely, I do not have problem with the new minimum wage, you know how much is being given to the states and local government councils,” he said.

Also unveiling further plans aimed at citizens’ welfare, the governor said the administration would revamp the state Water Board to tackle water scarcity confronting residents.

“The government had upgraded Ajiwa Dam, we are now working on the treatment plant and we have changed two new pumps.

“We are building another treatment plant so that we can have an adequate water supply for residents.’’

Earlier, the NLC Chairman, Mr Hussaini Hamisu, told Masari that they were in Government House to introduce themselves as the newly elected officials of the union.

Hamisu spoke on the need for urgent implementation of the new national minimum wage by the state government.

He urged the government to centralise payment of salary of Katsina State Water Board employees.

He also urged the governor to consider appointing one of the union members as Special Adviser on Labor Matters.

I have no problem with minimum wage implementation ― Masari
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Court remands 2 men for alleged armed robbery

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Court remands 2 men for alleged armed robbery

Court

A Magistrates’ Court in Minna has ordered the remand in prison of two men, Bello Buda and Abubakar Hassan, for alleged armed robbery.

The two are standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery, contrary to sections 97 and 298 of the penal code.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Emmanuel Danladi told the court that the accused persons were arrested on July 7.

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Danladi said the accused persons, while armed with cutlasses and sticks, blocked Makera-Kontagora Road and robbed one Ibrahim Aido of his cell phone.

When the charges were read to the accused persons, they pleaded not guilty to the offences.

However, the Presiding Magistrate, Sa’adatu Gambo, declined to take their pleas on grounds that her court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Gambo directed the police to forward the case file to the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.

She ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison and adjourned the matter until Aug. 19.

Court remands 2 men for alleged armed robbery
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5.1-Magnitude Earthquake Knocks Out Phone Service In Greece

Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

 

A strong, shallow 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Athens on Friday, knocking out phone connections and causing power outages and minor damage, as worried residents rushed into the streets.

“It was a very intense quake, we were terrified, everyone started coming out (of the building),” said Katerina, who works in a six-storey cosmetics store.

One woman was lightly injured by falling plaster, reports said, and at least two abandoned buildings in the capital had collapsed, a government spokesman said.

News channels ran photos sent in by viewers, showing parked cars in central Athens damaged by fallen masonry.

“There are no reports of serious injury,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on television, adding that a small number of other buildings had suffered minor damage.

Petsas added that phone networks had become “overcharged” by the sheer number of users calling to check up on friends and family.

According to the Greek geodynamic institute, it was a 5.1-magnitude quake with an epicentre 23 kilometres (14 miles) northwest of Athens and was followed by several aftershocks.

The quake struck at around 1100 GMT at a depth of 13 kilometres, the institute said.

Worried residents and office staff have crowded outdoor areas but the government denied it had ordered an evacuation alert.

The fire department rescued dozens of people trapped in elevators in the capital, state broadcaster ERT said.

“People must remain calm,” said Efthymios Lekkas, head of the state anti-quake protection agency.

“There is no reason for concern. The capital’s buildings are built to withstand a much stronger earthquake,” he told ERT.

The epicentre was near the area where a 5.9-magnitude quake left 143 people dead in and near Athens in 1999.

The US geological institute said Friday’s quake had a magnitude of 5.3.

“For the time being we cannot be sure whether this was the main earthquake,” seismologist Gerassimos Papadopoulos told ERT.

“There have been at least three (smaller) aftershocks already, which is a positive sign,” he said, adding that the quake was felt as far as the Peloponnese islands.

“People in the capital must remain calm… they must be psychologically ready for more aftershocks,” he said.

News media reported electricity outages but said internet connections were still operating.

Greece lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.

In July 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake killed two people on the island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.

AFP