The United Kingdom government, yesterday, warned its citizens in Nigeria against visiting some states in the country over possible terror attacks.
The UK government warned its citizens against visiting 24 states in Nigeria, among which are President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, Katsina and others including, Borno, Yobe Adamawa, Gombe States.
According to a statement on its website, the UK government warned its citizens that terrorists are likely to carry out terror attacks in those states.
It also warned that beside Abuja, other states in the north remain risky.
It said, “You should avoid places where crowds gather, including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests as well as places visited by tourists.”
It said there is high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. The statement reads thus: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to: Borno State, Yobe State, Adamawa State, Gombe State, riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States within 20km of the border with Niger and Zamfara State.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to: Bauchi State, Zamfara State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Jigawa State, Katsina State, Kogi State, within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia State.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the north east, particularly in Borno (including central Maiduguri and along access routes connecting the city to other major towns and along the Niger border, including Damasak, Yobe, including the eastern LGAs bordering Borno State both north and south of the Damaturu road), and Adamawa States.
There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The terrorists threat across eastern Yobe and Borno State is high, with frequent recent attacks. Terrorist groups carried out attacks in North East Nigeria during the February 2019 election period, and further attacks are likely. We continue to advise against all travel to Borno and Yobe States.
On 23 February 2019, ISWA launched an attack involving indirect fire that resulted in explosions in multiple locations within Maiduguri. You should avoid places where crowds gather, including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people.
Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests as well as places visited by tourists. Besides Abuja, other major towns and cities remain particularly at risk, including Kano and Kaduna.
There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for financial or political gain. The security environment in the north east has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap.
Kidnaps in the north east have included humanitarian and private sector workers. There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners. As well as in north-east Nigeria, this is believed to include some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa.
If you’re working or travelling in areas where there is a Boko Haram or ISWA presence, especially in the north-east of Nigeria, you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping. There is also a high threat of criminal kidnap in the Niger Delta region and Kogi State. If you travel to areas to which the FCO advise against travel, you are particularly at risk and will need a high level of security.
If you’re working in northern Nigeria you should make sure your employers provide an adequate level of security where you live and where you work, make sure they regularly review security arrangements and familiarise yourself with those plans. There have been recent attacks in Maiduguri, Baga, Monguno, Damasak and Rann in Borno State and in Gujba and Geidam LGAs in Yobe State. Further attacks are likely. We advise against all travel to Borno and Yobe States. A number of kidnappings, including of foreigners, took place in Kano city in April 2018.
We advise against all but essential travel to Kano state. If you’re in or around Kano city, we recommend you take added precautions. You should be aware of your surroundings and avoid large crowds and public demonstrations as they can turn violent unexpectedly and at short notice. Follow news reports and be alert to developments.
If you become aware of any nearby unrest or disturbances, you should leave the area immediately. Violent crime is common. See Crime The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed an outbreak of Lassa fever on 22 January. For further information and advice see the NaTHNaC website.
UK health authorities have classified Nigeria as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Around 117,000 British nationals visit Nigeria each year. Most visits are trouble-free. Before considering travel to areas to which the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel you should take professional security advice. Be vigilant at all times, keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. If you’re working in Nigeria you should follow your employer’s security advice, make sure your accommodation is secure and review your security measures regularly. Consular support is offered in Nigeria although limited in areas where the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel. Flash flooding can occur during the wet season (June to October). There is a greater risk from water-borne diseases during the rainy season. See Health On 1 August 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo government confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu province, originating in Beni territory. The latest updates can be found on the World HeathOrganisation (WHO) website.
The outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2018 could result in some additional checks taking place at international airports in Nigeria. There are no direct flights from the Democratic Republic of Congo so these checks could be in place for any flight.
This is a standard precaution and no a cause for alarm. If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Make sure your policy covers you for the type of travel you’re proposing to undertake.”
North Can Live Without VAT Accruals, NEF Boasts …Backs Wike, Southern Govs On Fiscal Federalism, Restructuring
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has boasted that the North was a rich region, and can survive on its resources without the “billions” accruing to Southern states.
The NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made this known, yesterday, when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme.
He was reacting to the tussle between states and the Federal Government on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).
VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered, and charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.
Although Rivers and Lagos states have started the process of collecting VAT within their territories, the Court of Appeal, in a ruling on September 10, ordered that status quo be maintained pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Apart from Lagos and Rivers states, Ogun State has also started the process of passing a bill on VAT in its House of Assembly.
At the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in Enugu, last Thursday, the 17 governors insisted that they have the constitutional mandate to collect VAT, and vowed to ensure that the rule of law prevails in the matter.
While some northern governors like Aminu Masari (Katsina), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), amongst others, had kicked against the move, the 17 Southern Governors led by Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had unanimously supported the position that “the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states.”
Speaking, yesterday, during the television programme, Baba-Ahmed said, “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.
“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.
“If we don’t do that now, then, we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the North, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate (it).
“The thing is: the North wants restructuring; the North wants fiscal federalism. We are a rich region, and we can live on what we have, even if we don’t have the billions that accrue to others states. Our poverty is not a kind of problem that we would break this country over.”
According to him, the VAT war is a wake-up call to northern governors who need to recognise the fact that VAT or no VAT, they need to develop their resources and develop the human capital of the North.
The NEF spokesman added, “North, you said you have many people but you are under-developing your own people – the biggest liability of the North is that we have a huge population that is under-developed. You need to develop the human capital that you have.
“We need leaders; the current governors don’t recognise this. Otherwise, they won’t be involved in this argument; allow the court to decide.
“But for goodness sake, (they should) begin to think — what else can we do if the court decides now that Rivers State is right, Lagos State is right, and the Southern states are right, and they won’t be getting all these billions coming in from VAT? What happens?”
Baba-Ahmed said the Northern governors at this stage should not be sleeping, noting that the North is “sitting on wealth, we have massive resources in this country, we have to fight insecurity first, and the Federal Government has to help us, we need to clear the bushes, the forests and all the criminals that are there, and we need to go back to farming.
“Agriculture is a major asset; we have land, we have water, we have livestock, we have minerals that are literally begging to be picked from the ground but our governors are too focused on the pittance that they are getting. This is wrong”, he argued.
Boxing: Joshua Facing Toughest Test In Usyk?
Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua could face his toughest test yet when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday, says ex-world champion George Groves.
Joshua, 31, puts his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian has won all 18 professional fights, beating Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora on that run.
“Technically, Usyk is brilliant,” said Groves . “He showed that in unifying the cruiserweight division in great fights and I believe he could be Joshua’s toughest test to date. This is the first fight when I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua got beaten.
“Joshua has fought [Wladimir] Klitschko and been in with Joseph Parker and also been beaten [by Andy Ruiz] and the only question mark for Usyk Is he big enough to compete with AJ?
“If Usyk keeps a high pace and makes Joshua miss with a lot of shots, that will work to Usyk’s advantage as he has probably got a better engine.
“Joshua is a phenomenal athlete with tremendous punching power and strength but has a tendency to tire out if the pace is uncomfortable for him.”
A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected and it will be the largest attendance Joshua has fought in front of since his win over Alexander Povetkin with 80,000 at Wembley Stadium in September, 2018.
Since then, Joshua has lost to Ruiz in New York before winning the rematch in Saudi Arabia and gained a ninth-round victory over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena last December, with only 1,000 fans attending because of Coronavirus restrictions.
Both Joshua and Usyk won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, at super-heavyweight and heavyweight respectively, with the Briton going on to win 24 of his 25 professional fights, including 22 inside the distance.
Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte, who lost to Joshua in 2015 and is pushing for a rematch with him or a shot at WBC champion, Tyson Fury, believes the key to beating Usyk on Saturday is to adopt an attacking strategy.
“I think it’s a great fight and Joshua will stop him in the first six or seven rounds,” Whyte told Tidesports source.
“Usyk will start fast and Joshua should be cagey as Usyk is a bit lighter. Joshua can sometimes lack confidence but hopefully he goes back to the old him, starts pressing, being the bigger, stronger guy and gets the job done early.
“If Joshua sets the pace, he can get an early knockout and if he is strong, confident and walks him down, then I don’t see Usyk’s punches troubling Joshua.”
Groves, who held the WBA Super-Middleweight belt in 2017 and 2018, added: “If I was Joshua, I would take control of the ring and try to dominate and bully off the front foot.
“Usyk will want to be off the back foot for the first couple of rounds, then try to pepper Joshua.
“If I was in the Joshua camp, I would say: You want to keep this guy in his box. You don’t want Usyk having any confidence, so hit him hard and early.
“In the first three rounds, you want to land something big on him.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also suggested Joshua could get an early victory.
Hearn said: “I’m always nervous for an Anthony Joshua fight, especially when you’re fighting someone that really believes he is going to win”.
2022 AFCON: ‘Cameroon On Track’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, has said that Cameroon is “on track” to successfully host the Africa Cup of Nations early next year after visiting Olembe Stadium in Yaounde last weekend.
The venue will host the opening match and final of the AFCON in January and February of 2022.
A CAF delegation, including President Motsepe and General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, were joined by Cameroon’s Sports Minister, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi in inspecting progress made at the Olembe Stadium and various other facilities in the capital city.
“I’m very satisfied with the briefing I got and what I saw. I saw the Olembe Stadium and it is world class; we should all be proud as people of Cameroon and as Africans,” said Motsepe, as quoted by CAF’s website.
“We must applaud Cameroon [for] building such infrastructure. In partnership with the Government, the Minister of Sports, LOC, FECAFOOT President and CAF administration under Veron [Mosengo-Omba], I’m certain that in January next year, the rest of the world will be impressed. I’m very satisfied with what I have seen. We are on track.”
Motsepe continued: “The quality of football that will be played here will once again show the world that Africa has the quality to one day win the FIFA World Cup, that is the ultimate goal. The AFCON is special and I think it is important for us to set the tone in Cameroon.”
Mosengo-Omba also heaped praises on Olembe Stadium: “The infrastructure and architecture of the stadium is world class and can be compared to many other famous stadiums globally. In Cameroon, we have six beautiful match venues. Our job now is to ensure that we are ready with everything else.”
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