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Posts tagged ‘United Land of Nigeria’

FG okays establishment of new schools, hospitals by Turkey – Presidency

OCTOBER 22, 2017

Government has accepted offers by the Turkish authorities to set up new schools and hospitals in Nigeria.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a special feature tagged; Key Takeaways from President Muhammadu Buhari’s 4-day engagement in Turkey.

The Government of Turkey, on July 28, 2016, had alerted the Federal Government on the existence of schools and hospitals owned by suspected “terrorists” in Nigeria and demanded that the facilities be shut down.

The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hakan Cakil, who gave the alert when he received the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, said the owners of the schools allegedly sponsored the July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey.

Cakil said the institutions, which ranged from schools to hospitals, were allegedly owned by the Fethullah Gulen Foundation, adding that similar schools established in Turkey had been shut down.

The presidential aide, however, stated that a new investor, the Maarif Foundation for education was introduced to the Nigerian delegation to take up the establishment of schools and hospitals in Nigeria.

He disclosed that a delegation from the foundation would visit Nigeria to commence the process of registration as well as following the procedures of establishing the new schools.

“The two countries agreed to expand cooperation in exchange of scholars, exchange of students and exchange/sharing of ideas, skills and education technology and to improve scholarships for Nigerians to study in Turkey,’’ he added.

Shehu revealed that Nigeria and Turkey also agreed to resolve the issues relating to Nigerian students in Turkish universities that were facing exclusion due to visa challenges.

He said: “Nigeria and Turkey have equally agreed to strengthen and promote investments in health institutions and this, as promised by the President will proceed quickly.

“That is as soon as the details of the various agreements reached in the bilateral discussions are laid on his table.”

On defense, the presidential spokesman said the two countries agreed to strengthen defense and military cooperation initiated a few years ago.

“This had already led to the establishment of the Defense section in the Turkish Embassy, Abuja in 2013 and Nigeria’s Defense section in Ankara in 2016.

“In the latest rounds of discussions, Nigeria and Turkey penned an agreement on military training,’’ he said.

Shehu said the two countries also agreed to collaborate towards the upgrading of the Defense Industries Corporation (DIC) in Kaduna into a Military Industrial Complex of Nigeria.

He said that two Turkish companies were already collaborating with the DIC in the production of arms and ammunition.

“Of the two companies, one is establishing a rifles production line and the supply of raw materials, technical assistance and training.

“The second one is partnering the DIC in the conceptualization, designing, consulting, invention, manufacturing, marketing, sale, exportation and sale of military industrial products.”

On the just concluded ninth summit of the D-8 member countries, Shehu said the members also used the event to mark the 20th Anniversary of the organization.

He said the event witnessed the handover of the baton of its leadership from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sahid Khaqan Abbasi to President Recep Tayyep Erdogan of Turkey.

“At the end of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government adopted a communique which spelt out the direction of the organization for the coming two years under Turkey.’’

Source: Vanguard.

Link: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/10/gov-tambuwal-appoints-committee-sale-govt-quarters/.

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Erdogan, Buhari to ramp up Nigeria-Turkey cooperation

OCTOBER 19, 2017

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday vowed to ramp up security and and economic cooperation between Ankara and Africa’s most populous nation.

Speaking after talks at Erdogan’s palace, Buhari and the Turkish leader vowed to increase investment and cooperate in the fight against extremist groups including Boko Haram jihadists.

“There are a lot of potentialities in terms of investment. Already a lot is being done in the education and the health sectors,” said Buhari.

“This will be strengthened and Nigeria is prepared to receive Turkish business people to come and explore more of Nigeria’s potentialities,” he added.

Erdogan said he believed both sides would push trade volumes above $1.245 billion. “Turkish business people are ready to take on the development of Nigeria,” he said.

At a time of tense relations with the European Union and the United States, Turkey has been moving to broaden its influence in Africa, opening new diplomatic missions and air links.

Erdogan has himself been a frequent visitor to the continent, most recently travelling to Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar in January.

Erdogan said Turkey saw no difference between Boko Haram and Islamic State (IS) and the group of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

“These organizations are the killers who feed off the blood of the innocent,” he said. Asked how Turkey could help Nigeria defeat Boko Haram, Erdogan replied that intelligence cooperation was of the utmost importance.

Boko Haram’s quest to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left at least 20,000 dead and threatened regional security.

Buhari will on Friday travel to Istanbul to attend a summit of the Developing-8 (D-8), a grouping of growing mainly-Muslim countries first envisaged by Erdogan’s late political mentor and former Turkish premier Necmettin Erbakan.

It comprises Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Source: Vanguard.

Link: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/10/erdogan-buhari-ramp-nigeria-turkey-cooperation/.

Nigerian govt denies bias towards the north in Buhari’s World Bank request

October 13, 2017

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s office on Friday denied that he favored the north of the country over other regions, after he was criticized for asking the World Bank to focus on the region.

The northeast in particular has been wracked by an eight-year Islamist militant insurgency that has killed more than 20,000 people and forced 2 million to flee their homes, spawning what the United Nations says is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told journalists on Thursday in Washington that Buhari, himself a Muslim from the north, had asked the bank to focus on that region of Africa’s most populous country when they first met.

That led to criticism in the domestic press and social media from those who say Buhari has an anti-south agenda, highlighting the deep ethno-religious tensions in the country.

Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina said there had been a “deliberate twisting” of the president’s words to make it sound like he wanted to give the north an unfair advantage over other regions.

“President Buhari has a pan-Nigerian mandate, and he will discharge his duties and responsibilities in like manner,” Adesina said in an emailed statement.

“Any part of the country that requires special attention would receive it,” said Adesina.

The presidency said Buhari had made the comments to the World Bank president in July 2015 when the lender pledged financial support for Nigeria.

Opposition party member Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister who served under former president Goodluck Jonathan, whom Buhari defeated in a 2015 election, expressed outrage at the comments.

“Why am I not surprised? After all as far as @MBuhari is concerned southern Nigerians and Middle Belters are nothing but low-lifes, vassals and slaves,” he posted on his Twitter feed.

Buhari has in the last few weeks criticized secessionists in the country of 180 million, split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims and around 250 ethnic groups who mostly live peacefully side by side.

Some separatist critics of his administration, including those calling for the secession in the southeast, have also accused the president of focusing on his own part of the country.

Reuters

Source: Africa News.

Link: http://www.africanews.com/2017/10/14/nigerian-govt-denies-bias-towards-the-north-in-buhari-s-world-bank-request/.

Nigerians ‘attack’ Buhari over directive to World bank to concentrate on North

October 13, 2017

By Fikayo Olowolagba

Some Nigerians have taken on President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged instruction he gave to World Bank to concentrate on the Northern part of Nigeria with regards to its assistance.

President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, on Thursday disclosed that Buhari ordered the body to concentrate on North to enhance Nigeria’s economy.

While some Nigerians have expressed surprise at such revelation others have insisted that Nigeria should be divided since Buhari is sidelining other regions…

Source: Daily Post.

Link: http://dailypost.ng/2017/10/13/nigerians-attack-buhari-directive-world-bank-concentrate-north/.

Nigerian court convicts 45 in Boko Haram mass trials

October 13, 2017

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian court has convicted 45 Boko Haram members in the largest mass trial in the Islamic extremist group’s history. The closed-door proceedings have raised the concerns of human rights groups about whether the trials of the 1,669 people will be fair.

These are the first results of the mass trials that began early this week at a military barracks in northern Nigeria. The judges are drafted from civil courts, while the barracks are being used for security reasons.

The 45 people were sentenced to between three and 31 years in prison, the country’s information minister said in a statement Friday. Another 468 suspects were released, but the court ordered that they undergo deradicalization programs.

The government has not said what exactly the hundreds of suspects are charged with. Nigeria is trying to show it is making progress against the extremist group that has killed more than 20,000 people during its eight-year insurgency. Boko Haram has yet to comment publicly on the mass trials.

Nigeria has arrested thousands of suspected Boko Haram members in recent years, and military detention facilities are overcrowded. Human rights groups say most of those detained have been picked up at random and without reasonable suspicion, including women and children.

Former detainees have described malnutrition, mistreatment and deaths in the facilities. Boko Haram’s attacks have spilled into neighboring countries and displaced more than 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad region, creating a vast humanitarian crisis. Some fighters have allied with the Islamic State group.

While Nigeria’s military has arrested many Boko Haram top fighters and last year declared the extremist group had been “crushed,” leader Abubakar Shekau remains elusive. The group in recent months has carried out a growing number of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks, many carried out by women or children.

Nigeria: Too soon to close camps for Boko Haram’s displaced

May 17, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Camps for tens of thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram will have to stay open beyond the end of this month as Nigeria’s military continues to fight the extremists in so-called liberated areas, officials say.

The governor of the northern state of Borno, Kashim Shettima, told reporters on Tuesday that it is not yet safe to return people to their homes in many places across the region. The government’s goal was to close all of the camps by the end of May. The humanitarian crisis is considered one of the worst in the world.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari late last year declared Boko Haram “crushed,” but the military now says operations continue to clear the extremists from their strongholds. “What we are doing now is mop-up of the fleeing Boko Haram terrorists who are running into the fringes of the forest as well as border areas,” said Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, who commands the counterinsurgency operation in the northeast.

Boko Haram continues to carry out suicide bombings in the Borno capital, Maiduguri, and has attacked the military in more remote areas. Hundreds of people have been killed since Buhari’s declaration. On Monday, police said three female suicide bombers detonated on the route between Maiduguri and the city of Bama, killing two people and injuring six.

Maiduguri is home to more than a dozen camps for those displaced by Boko Haram’s eight-year insurgency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed over the years. The United Nations refugee agency says 1.8 million have been displaced within Nigeria, with roughly one-third of them living in camps.

The insurgency also has spilled into neighboring countries. “We will not wait till eternity. We are very optimistic that very soon the entire Borno will be safe enough for full habitation,” Shettima said.

Nigeria negotiating with Boko Haram for more Chibok releases

May 11, 2017

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Nigeria’s government is negotiating “seriously” for the release of more than 110 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls still held by Boko Haram and will exchange more detained members of the extremist group for them if needed, an official said Thursday.

“We will not relent until all are back,” the minister of women’s affairs and social development, Aisha Alhassan, told reporters in the capital, Abuja. The mass abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls from a boarding school three years ago brought world attention to Boko Haram’s deadly rampage in northern Nigeria. Thousands have been kidnapped or killed in the group’s eight-year insurgency, with millions driven from their homes.

On Saturday, 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls were released. Nigeria’s government exchanged them for five detained Boko Haram commanders, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to reporters on the matter. Negotiations with the extremist group, mediated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government, also resulted in the October release of a first group of 21 Chibok girls.

Alhassan said Nigeria’s government had no regrets about exchanging Boko Haram commanders for the schoolgirls’ release. “We’ll do it again if needed,” she said in comments tweeted by Nigeria’s government.

Families in Chibok were meeting with community leaders to identify the newly freed schoolgirls from photos to determine if they will travel to the capital to meet them. The young women were joining those released earlier in government care in Abuja, where they were undergoing medical screening that will take a couple of weeks, Alhassan said. Some must undergo surgery, she said.

The government has been caring for 24 previously released girls and four babies, Alhassan said. A small number of the schoolgirls managed to escape on their own. The group of girls released in October were in “bad shape” and spent two months in medical care, the minister said.

Human rights groups have criticized the government for keeping them so long in the capital, far from their homes. Alhassan said they traveled to Chibok for Christmas but upon their return to the capital said they were scared to go back to their community.

The girls said they wanted to go back to school so a nine-month reintegration program was designed for them, the minister said. The newly released girls will join the program. The parents of the freed Chibok schoolgirls “are free to visit them at any time. We will never prevent them from seeing their daughters,” Alhassan said.

Some of the girls who escaped shortly after the mass kidnapping said some classmates had died from illness, and others were radicalized and didn’t want to come home. Human rights advocates have said they fear some of the girls have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.

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