A senior official of the traditional council of Gwoza town in Borno State has disclosed that members of the Boko Haram sect are having a field day in territories they have captured and have turned the sacked Emir’s palace in Gwoza to their headquarters.
He said the militants are now relocating from their camp in Sambisa forest in Borno State to the territories they have annexed in the northern region.
According to witnesses, their move is predicated on unabated territorial conquests by the insurgents who have occupied the army base in Gamboru town in Borno State which they took over on Monday.
Speaking to newsmen, the official said: “As you are aware, part of the administrative unit of the palace was destroyed but the insurgents are using the remaining part as their headquarters,
“In the past few days, even the old people who could not move to anywhere were taken out by the Boko Haram. They put them in vehicles and drove to the outskirts of Limankara, 16 kilometres away and left them there. Both Limankara village, the police training school there, Pulka village and dozens of communities around Gwoza are all under the control of the Boko Haram.”
Villagers living close to Sambisa forest in Borno State said they saw a large number of the militants, leaving their camp and moving towards southern Borno with their families and possibly many of their hostages. The Southern Borno towns they are migrating to include; Gwoza, Buni Yadi, Ashigashya, Madagali among others captured recently.
A villager residing in Kirawa, a town on the Cameroonian side also said he had seen some suspected Boko Haram insurgents moving through Cameroonian territory to Nigeria with large amounts of cargo in tightly guarded convoys.
It was learnt that the insurgents have also taken over the Vocational Training Centre in Gamboru by stationing dozens of their fighters there and are dishing out orders to residents.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that hundreds of Cameroonian soldiers are on alert at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, apparently prepared to confront the insurgents should they attempt to encroach into their territories.
Residents of Gamboru town informed that Nigerian soldiers are yet to return to the town after they fled to Cameroon following a fierce fight with the insurgents on Monday.
One of the residents who pleaded anonymity for security concerns said, “we have continued to be at the mercy of the Boko Haram insurgents who have taken absolute control of Gamboru.
“The insurgents are fully armed with sophisticated guns, armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and many other vehicles. They also have unlimited number of motorcycles. Some of them are currently patrolling Gamboru, but they did not kill anybody or attack our houses, shops and other personal effects.
“I cannot tell you how many these fighters are but I can say they are in hundreds because they have divided themselves into many subgroups. They are going round talking to people, saying those who are not willing to stay should quietly move out of the town, insisting that they did not come to kill us.”
Another resident of Gamboru who identified himself as Yero said they are still living in fear.
“Believe me the insurgents are in charge. When we heard about 10 simultaneous sounds of explosives this morning, we thought the insurgents had started destroying our town, but we later found out that the explosives were buried near the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. I think it was the insurgents that buried them to serve as traps, but luckily enough, nobody, either civilian or Nigerian troops passed through the area while fleeing to Cameroon at the height of the fight on Monday.”
He said that as at the evening of Tuesday, the Boko Haram insurgents did not make any attempt to confront the Cameroonian troops who were stationed around Fotokol, one of the major towns in Cameroon that is not far from Nigeria.
The source said some displaced Nigerians are currently taking refuge near Fotokol, beyond the river that also serves as border between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
- City Crime2 days ago
10 Offenders Convicted Under Anti-Piracy Law – NIMASA DG
- Politics2 days ago
NUJ Hails Wike As Pride Of Democracy In Nigeria
- Politics2 days ago
PDP Rep Harps On Justice, Dialogue To Secure Nigeria
- Politics2 days ago
Ex-APC National Chairman Tasks Party On Responsive Leadership
- Sports2 days ago
AFN Election: Committee To Hold Election, Today
- Sports2 days ago
Is Musa’s Super Eagles Career Fading?
- Sports2 days ago
Poland Open: Nigerian Wrestlers Win Gold, Silver
- Politics2 days ago
‘No Man Would Have Done What Wike Has Done’