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Amidst Mass Protest in Gambia, Police Chief Calls Calm
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) received disturbing information about a mob of angry youth marching towards the Anti Crime Unit to protest the demise of Ousman Darboe. The Office of the IGP is calling on the youth to observe calm and restraint.

On Wednesday, dozens of young people  gathered at the Serekunda Police Station to protest against the death of a Sierra Leonean national Ousman Darboe who they claimed was severely beaten by the police anti-crime unit.

Darboe, a shop owner at Serekunda Black Market was reportedly arrested by police anti-crime unit about 13 days ago and released on Friday. He passed away on Tuesday at 9: 30 according to Muhammed. His friends from the Black Market gathered at the police station near the Serekunda market demanding justice for Darboe.

In a press signed by Assistant superintendent, of Police Lamin Njie, Public Relations Officer of Gambia Police Force explained that Ousman Darboe’s name came up during investigations into a Breaking and Stealing incident that occurred at Kerr Serign on 11th July 2019. Suspects in the said case confessed selling items stolen from the Kerr Serign incident to Ousman Darboe.

“Investigators visited his shop at Serekunda market where a Flat Screen television, part of the stolen items was recovered in his possession,” Njie indicated.

Police spokesperson added that on 12th July 2019, he was arrested and charged with receiving of stolen properties contrary to the laws of the Gambia. On Monday the 15th of July 2019, he was granted bail within 72hours as specified by law and was subsequently reporting on bail.

“Ousman Darboe during his detention was said to be an Asthma patient as shown by medical papers tendered by his family which prompted his bail,”

The Inspector General’s Office assures the public that it will continue a probe into the death of Ousman Darboe and the outcome will be duly communicated to ascertain the cause of death.

 

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Sierra Leone: Police put Le10m reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of person over Justice Biobele burglary
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The residence of Commission Of Inquiry Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill, was attacked

The residence of Commission Of Inquiry Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill, was attacked

Police in Sierra Leone have placed a reward of Ten Million Leones (about $1,000) to anyone who provide any useful information that could lead to the arrest of person or persons over the alleged burglary at the Nigerian Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill residence on Monday.

The reward came after the theft incident on Monday 22nd July 2019 in which thief or thieves broke and entered the premises of Justice Biobele Georgewill and carted away with his grey, medium -sized Dell Laptop and few other items.

‘’A handsome reward of Le 10,000,000.00(Ten Million Leones) will be offered to anyone who provides any useful information that could lead to the success of the investigation and subsequent prosecution, ‘’ a Police statement said.

The Nigerian judge is one of three judges in the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) hired by the government of Sierra Leone to look into the activities of former Ernest Bai Koroma administration.

According to a statement from the Head of the Media Mohamed Sulaiman Massaquoi, said the exact circumstances that led to the burglary have not been ascertained adding that the judge himself was not hurt and was not aware  of the incident until he woke up in which his laptops computers and few other items were carted away by the thieves.

‘’Mean while the proceedings of the Commission of inquiry will continue unabated. Justice Biobele Georgewill will continue sittings at commission 64 on Wednesday July 24. The public is assured of the continuation of the commission of Inquiry,’’ said Mohamed Sulaiman Massaquoi, Head of media Commissions of Inquiry.

However, Police have mounted investigations and has assured the public that the outcome of the investigation would be accordingly made public.

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Gambia’s Afro-Pop Awards Winning Artiste to Release Debut Album, Set for European Tour
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

 Jizzle, award winning an Afro-Pop sensational artiste has announced that he will release his debut album called ‘Finally’ on 9th August, 2019 at The Chop Shop Restaurant at Kairaba Avenue.

He is expected to embark on a European tour in Sweden, German and Italy and he will finally return to launch the album at the independence stadium on 23rd November, 2019.

Jizzle, who won Collobo of the year, People’s Choice Award, Afro Fusion of the year, album of the year and song of the year during Wah Sa Halat Awards recently.

Jizzle, told Pan African Visions that: “As my debut album, #finally is going to be released on Friday, August 9th 2019 worldwide on all Digital Platforms by @umgnigeria and also on physical copies (USB flash drives)”

Jizzle, also brand Ambassador of one of the leading GSM Operator in Gambia Africell added that: “I will be hosting a Meet & Greet and Signing with my Fans on the same Day Come through and buy a copy of the album for D250 and get 25% off on all Foods from Chop Shop on that day!”

Born in Bakau in The Gambia in 1989, Jerreh Jallow, popularly called Jizzle D Lyrical Kiddo is a dancehall and rap artist. He began singing at the age of 17 in 2009 after completing Grade 9 at Ndows. He majors in rap but occasionally sings dancehall. He sings in three West African languages namely Fula, Mandingo and Wolof.

In 2010, he released his first single called ‘Over Sona’. The song highlights the plights of young people neglected by the adult world. ‘Over Sona’ is an exaggerated expression of despair common among Gambian young people.

In 2011, he dropped a second single called ‘Life Is Not Easy’. He sings are about war, poverty, young people and many other social ills.

In 2014, he released a 14-track debut mixtape titled ‘Food Is Ready’. Some of the popular songs on the album are ‘Rumpa’, ‘Mi Deh Pan Mi Side’, ‘Together We Make It’, ‘Let Stand Up and ‘Fight For Our Right’ and ‘Man of The Year.

In 2015, he won the Best Upcoming Artist of the Year 2014 category at the Gambian Entertainment Awards.

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Civil Society Forum meets to launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Consultative Dialogue Framework
July 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
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The Fashion Designer, Alphadi, lends his talents to promote child rights in Niger
July 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Determine to Spread positive across the globe, T. Smallz Starts European Tour
June 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

T. Smallz

T. Smallz

T Smallz, one of the finest Gambia’s singer and songwriter is set to embark on a European tour in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Austria on 21st June, 2019.

 The tour is organised by Worriors in a Dance and Katato Entertainment where he will starts the performances in Germany in clubs includes: Pays Club, Wuppertal on 22nd June, on 28 June at Club Casablanca, Karlsruhe, on 20th July at Club Calwer, Stuttgart, on 3rd August at Diamond Dance Café, Halle Saale. On 10th August in Austria Vienna, at Na Nang Club, while in Italy will on 16 August Playa Catania Lido Jolly Club, on 17 August at Replay Club, Bologna, in Sweden he will play at Styrsofestiven   and Switzerland, Belgium are lineup.

Smallz told journalists shortly before he left the Gambia the objective of the tour is meant to reach out to fans across globe, hence his music is not only listen to Gambian only it is prudent to do more show in Europe in building more audiences and contacts.

He explained that he four shows in Germany, two in Italy, one in Austria and one in Sweden which is a Styrsofestiven after the festival I will do a live unplug show which will be film.

“Switzerland and Belgium are line up and we are open to more booking along the line, with a studio session with artistes, video shooting, duplates sessions with deejays, producers and promoters across Europe”

He assured the fans that quality entertainment will be guarantee especially show that he will play live band, adding that this tour will be special as he has new songs video for the fans in all kind of music like reggae dancehall, afro beat and hip-hop.

He pointed out that he has released  new single ‘Problem’ ft Lil Omz and shot the video and video for a song called ‘Elafta Elafta’ is the first single from his album in progress called ‘Level Low’ with different producers both home and abroad.

“This is a big uplifment for my music to representing Gambia across the globe in educating and entertaining the global fan, I am calling on my fans across the globe to get ready for an amazing shows coming at your various cities,” T. Smallz widely called Katato said.

“I am urging Gambian DJ to keep supporting and embracing Gambian music by playing it in their various concerts because a lot of good music coming out from the Gambia. We commend them for promoting Gambian music but it should be more,” 2013 Nominated Male artiste of the year said.

 

 

 

 

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Namibia, Cape Verde, Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Botswana beat US in 2019 Press Freedom Index
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Botswana newspapers

Botswana newspapers

Though regarded as a pillar of democracy, champion of freedom of the press and guarantor of the free world, the United States is repeatedly losing its grip and influence in the world with other nations, including African states, taking the lead where the “world leader” fails.

After falling short behind thirty African states in the 2018 global peace index, the US this time around came in the 48th position on Reporters Without Border 2019 Press Freedom Index. The champion of democracy, freedom of expression and the press is beaten by six African states. A stack contract of what most western media propagate.

According to the report, the countries ahead of the United States are; Namibia, Cape Verde, Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Botswana respectively. Similarly, the United Kingdom was topped by the first four African countries.

Africa, the report holds registered the smallest deterioration in its regional score in the 2019 Index but performed generally well as compared to other continents.

Of the 180 counties sampled, the first African country, Namibia comes in the 23rd position and the last being Eritrea occupying the 178th position.

The first country rated by the Press Freedom Index is Norway while Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea comes last.

The freedom of press index ranking is an annual report of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders, a non-governmental organization based in Paris that conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press.

Its objective is to reflect the degree of freedom that journalists, and news organizations in each country, and the efforts made by authorities to respect such freedom.

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Cameroon Afropop singer Charlotte Dipanda named UNICEF goodwill ambassador
June 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Charlotte Dipanda

Charlotte Dipanda

Charlotte Dipanda, Cameroon’s Afropop singer, reputed for her mostly acoustic music spiced with her lyrics in her native language Bakaka has been named by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF as one of its goodwill ambassadors.

As a goodwill ambassador, she will assist UNICEF in implementing its mission in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

Charlotte Dipanda joins Samuel Eto’o and Fabrice Ondoa, as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador to Cameroon.

She is the first Cameroonian artiste to become UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador in Cameroon.

Announcing her appointment to the Cameroonian public via her social media account, the highly acclaimed vocal singer promised to join UNICEF in its relentlessly fight for children in Cameroon.

“I will work hard to see that UNICEF’s goal to build a world where the rights of every child will be respected is achieved,” she said.

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Where does it come from?
June 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

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Why do we use it?
June 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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What is Lorem Ipsum?
June 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum

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African Sexual Enhancers Trending Among Zambian Men ,”Are They Necessary?
May 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Kelvin Mbewe,Lusaka,

Eyebrows where raised when the state owned Zambia Daily mail led with a human interest story headlined “Sex booster victims treated for cholera.”
This is a story where three men were mistakenly admitted to a cholera center in Katete (eastern Zambia) when they started vomiting after consuming sex enhancers commonly known as mvumbwe.

This happened when the country was hit by a cholera outbreak.

Apparently, sex boosters have become the order for the day for many men in Zambia.

Names such as Mvumbwe, Mutototo, mutoba pompwe and others are not alien to most men.

 

A few men that were interviewed on the matter agree to having used the boosters and have no shame about it.

 

“Yes I know about sex boasters and I can confirm that they really work. I have used them before that’s how I know that they work. The one I used requires you to apply on the manhood three hours before the act,” said Moses Lwipa.

Mr Lwipa says he opted for the boosters because he wanted to prove his girlfriend wrong.

“There is a notion that us who drink beer are weak in bed, so I had to prove my girlfriend wrong. The one I used is powerful, it makes you last for more than three hours. My woman got tired but I was not,” he said.

According to Mr Lwipa the boosters did not have any side effects on him.

Another user of sex boasters is Aaron Chiti 45.

He claims that the boasters are the reason for him having two sets of twins.

“I prefer the African sex boasters. Am a father of two sets of twins, can you imagine that. I used to use my own concoction. I used raw groundnuts, cassava and what is known in bemba as mutobaponpwe,” he said.

Another fanatic for sex boasters is William Chozela, a family man.

Mr Chozela says he chooses to use the boasters so that he can perform both at home and with his girlfriends.

“It’s very shameful to go home and fail to perform, its means my wife will be suspicious that am misbehaving, that is why I use them,” he said.

The biggest question is, can men do without these sex boasters and what are their implications?

Friday Mulenga runs a herbal clinic which supplies most of these boasters and he claims that men cannot do without them.

Mr Mulenga said in an interview that men are strong in their early twenties and later in their lives they become weak hence the need to use boosters to enhance their performance.

He said 45 percent of men suffer from premature ejaculation.

“As you age you become what is known as diminishing returns in economics, your heart will not pump blood effectively because it weakens because it has been pumping blood for a long time,” he said.

“Scientifically proven a normal encounter is supposed to last about between 8 to 11 minutes. That is good enough. Three to four times in a week is acceptable in a marriage arrangement, “he said.

He said the weakening of the heart leads to erectile dysfunction which affects sexual performance.

The boasters cost K30 to K40 per packet and can last about a month depending on the usage.

“It is a normal phenomenon for a man to go down like that. This is when sex boasters come in. They bring about blood pressure to enhance the pumping of blood,” he said.

Mr Mulenga says most of his clients are both young and old men in formal and informal sector.

According to Mr Mulenga the response from the public is overwhelming because sex is a problem in most homes.

“If there is no sex in a home, marriage is at stake. You can have all the money, a good house, cars, expensive cellphone and clothes on but if you can’t perform then you marriage is at stake,” he said.

 

Libido boosters on display at the Trade Fair.Picture credit Lusaka Times

Libido boosters on display at the Trade Fair.Picture credit Lusaka Times

He said there are plenty of sex boasters with names like mulya mfumu, Kasupa, Katonge, namaikumbathe.

Men that use these boasters consume them in their tea, munkoyo or any other liquid.

 

 

There is however a lot of misuse of these sex boasters, according to mr Mulenga.

“For example you give someone to take two t spoons but they take three sometimes even four. Obviously that will have an impact on the user.

He said the herbal medicines are not good for people with blood pressure problems.

“IF you have bp, don’t buy such things from the street, unless after seeking medical advice. If you have bp and are taking sex boasters then you need medicine for bp aswell to counter reacts of the sex boasters,” he said.

But a qualified medical doctor from the University teaching hospital (UTH) Victor Mapulanga said he could not confirm or deny the capacity of the sex boasters.

“As a medical doctor I’m trained to deal with conversional medicine and not herbal, that is why I think it would be unfair to talk about herbal medicine because am not sure of what they can or cannot do,” he said.

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CHRI Steps Up Help To Victims of the Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon
November 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

The Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative, CHRI, a US 501(c) (3) public charity founded in April 2018, works to bring emergency humanitarian relief to affected persons of the ongoing crisis focusing on basic needs such as food, sanitation, water, and  medical supplies. CHRI is also advocating for a speedy resolution of the crisis.

In a November publication, CHRI expressed deep gratitude to their growing list of donors and volunteers who have helped in accomplishing many project. Emergency pregnancy and motherhood supplies for 100 internally displaced women in Cameroon (disbursement to Caritas in process), thirteen biweekly supplies to Anglophone political prisoners since May 2018, to Ikom Central, Nigeria in May 2018 with food and sanitary supplies reaching over 900 refugees.

CHRI strongly believes every effort should be urgently undertaking by the international community to help resolve the Anglophone crisis and armed conflict in order to end the senseless loss of lives and human sufferings. “A public event entitled the Cameroon conundrum” which was planned for November 8th, 2018 in Birmingham was postponed on the request of the US State Department…. We are working with the Institute for Human Rights to reschedule this event to continue to bring attention to this crisis” the statement read.

“CHRI has also partnered with Caritas Kumba (a church-affiliated non-profit in Cameroon) to provide emergency motherhood and childbirth assistance to 100 pregnant IDPs at a cost of $4000. The next outreach to refugees in Nigeria will be to the Bakassi local government area where there has been a recent influx of refugees due to the escalating conflict after the October 7 presidential election in Cameroon”.

Anglophone refugees in Ikom in line to receive donated food items

Anglophone refugees in Ikom in line to receive donated food items

The organization is also calling on potential donors to come in an assist so as to provide the basic necessities needed by the displaced. “….The unmet needs are vast and the opportunity to do more is great…. All funds donated are used to support people affected by the conflict. $10 can provide one weeks’ worth of essential food for a refugee”.

CHRI efforts have reached even to detainees at the Kondengui maximum security prison in Yaounde

CHRI efforts have reached even to detainees at the Kondengui maximum security prison in Yaounde

The Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions started in 2016 and has slowly degenerated in to a full-fledge armed conflict. According to the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, over 4,000 deaths have been witnessed with the figure rising daily. An estimated 500,000 or more people are either internally displaced persons in Cameroon or refugees in neighboring Nigeria. The UN has declared a humanitarian crisis while some fear another Rwandan genocide.

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Cameroon Kidnappings: Young Women-Led CSOs/NGO Advocate Peace, Decry Kidnappings of Children, Teachers
November 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

Young women led NGO-CSO calling for an end to the kidnapping of children and teachers

Young women led NGO-CSO calling for an end to the kidnapping of children and teachers

Some women-led civil society organizations and Non-governmental organizations have called for an end to the present sufferings caused by the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions especially the kidnapping of students and teachers. The statement was made during a Women Coalition for Peace and Development press conference on Saturday November 25 at the Pan African Institute of Development West Africa, PAID-WA.

During the past weeks students, teachers, schools and Universities in Cameroon continue to endure significant violence. On Monday 5th November, 78 students were kidnapped as PSS Nkwen, in Bamenda, North West Region but later released. The school also suffered another separate attack in which 11 students were kidnapped and later released.

The abduction of children during conflict is one of the six grave violations identified and condemned by the UN Security Council. “No grievance or national history justifies the kidnapping, harming and torture of children”, Emilia Miki, Founder/CEO of Denis Miki Foundation and Efeti Ventures said. She also reiterated that Cameroon is the 81st Country to endorse the Safe School Declaration-a declaration which governments pledge to not use schools for military purposes and to protect them during military operations. “….Cameroon’s endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration signals the government’s commitment to better safeguard learning and mitigates the devastating damaged caused by attacks.”

Some teachers had had properties stolen while others have been verbally abused and according to Emilia Miki, these issues are underreported by the media and given inadequate attention by politicians and activists. She said: “When they (teachers) are killed and kidnapped all they get is shares on social media with comments “RIP”, “God help us” and others. When a journalist is locked up it becomes front page news in every media outlet….. That is solidarity which of course is encouraged. But we shouldn’t as if teachers’ lives don’t matter. Teachers trade unions themselves have gone numb perhaps out of fear for their own lives”.

The members of the coalition have urged both parties of the conflict (separatists, government forces and all those benefiting) to do their utmost to see that places of education are places of safety and also called on the development of initiatives to promote and protect the right to education and continuation in times of conflict.

“The continuation of education can provide life-saving health information as well as advice on specific risk and safety measures in societies facing armed conflict”, said Dopgima Stella, Founder of Center for Youth and Family Empowerment (CEYOFE).

Feka Parchibell Nadum, Founder of Hope for Vulnerables and Orphans and a teacher made a plea to the International communities-especially the UNO, AU, USA, France and UK to unanimously condemn violence against civilians and make clear that no political objective justify tempering with the right to education and abducting of sleeping school children from their beds.

Teachers and school administrators have suffered the most in this crisis. Several teachers have been murdered, maimed and kidnapped in the past weeks as education comes under increasing attack in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. Over 30 schools have been the targets of violence.

“Sophie Mandengue Maloba, a teacher and 42 year-old mother of three died when three armed men riding a motorcycle attacked a school and fired gunshots in Muyuka. An unnamed teacher was killed in similar circumstances three days earlier in Kumba. In the past weeks, armed men have increased their campaigns of violence against school targets notably attacking teachers and school administrators” she added

To Baiye Frida, Founder of Blessing Associates for Women and Children (BAWAC) said “these kidnappings may only be a tip of the iceberg and without swift international action, the crisis will likely worsen”.

They concluded by stating that “people should start talking and denouncing this barbarism meted on teachers or we wait for the next teacher to be a victim who maybe you or me. The violence against teachers has become a national crisis and need to be addressed urgently. We as a people must stand up for our teachers”.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Anglophone crisis has seen several calamities, loss of property and lives. Over the past two years, a political standoff between Cameroon’s Francophone dominated government and the country’s Anglophone minority-some of whom are seeking independence have become a full-fledged human rights crisis. Hundreds are thought to have been killed, over a thousand homes burnt, and dozens of schools attacked. An estimated 250,000 people have had to flee their homes for safety.

 

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Nigeria loses $6bn from ‘corrupt’ oil deal linked to fraud
November 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Russell Padmore*

A court in Milan is considering charges of corruption against Eni and Shell in a controversial oil deal that led to Nigeria losing an estimated $6bn.

The campaign group Global Witness has calculated the OPL 245 deal in 2011 deprived Nigeria of double its annual education and healthcare budget.

Eni and Shell are accused of knowing the money they paid to Nigeria would be used for bribes.

The Italian and Anglo-Dutch energy giants deny any wrongdoing.

This unfolding scandal, which is being played out in an Italian court, has involved former MI6 officers, the FBI, a former President of Nigeria, as well as current and former senior executives at the two oil companies.

The former Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete, was found guilty by a court in France of money laundering and it emerged he used illicit funds to buy a speed boat and a chateau. It is also claimed he had so much cash in $100 bills that it weighed five tonnes.

Global Witness has spent years investigating the deal which gave Shell and Eni the rights to explore OPL 245, an offshore oil field in the Niger Delta.

It has commissioned new analysis of the way the contract was altered in favour of the energy companies and concluded Nigeria’s losses over the lifetime of the project would amount to $5.86bn, compared to terms in place before 2011.

The analysis was carried out by Resources for Development Consulting on behalf of Global Witness, as well as the NGOs HEDA, RE:Common and The Corner. The estimated losses were calculated using an oil price of $70 a barrel as a basis.

Eni has criticised the way it was calculated because it ignores the possibility that Nigeria had the right to revise the deal to claim a 50% share of the production revenues.

Shell is one of the oil firms facing corruption charges

Shell is one of the oil firms facing corruption charges

Deal or no deal

Campaigners say the deal should be cancelled.

“We discovered that Shell had constructed a deal that cut Nigeria out of their share of profit oil from the block,” Ava Lee, a campaigner at Global Witness told the BBC’s World Business Report.

“This amount of money would be enough to educate six million teachers in Nigeria. It really can’t be underestimated just how big a deal this could be for a country that right now has the highest rates of extreme poverty in the world.”

Nigeria is the richest economy in Africa, but despite having large resources of oil and gas millions of people are poor.

Lucrative OPL 245

It is understandable why Eni and Shell wanted to acquire the rights to develop OPL 245, because it is estimated to contain nine billion barrels of oil.

But the process of how they secured the contract is dogged by claims of corruption.

The court in Milan is weighing evidence of how a former Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete, awarded ownership of OPL 245 to Malabu, a company he secretly controlled.

He is accused of paying bribes to others in the government, such as former President Goodluck Jonathan, to ensure that process went smoothly.

Shell and Eni are accused of knowing the $1.1bn they paid to Nigeria would be used for bribes, claims based on the content of emails which have since emerged.

“Looking at the emails it seems that Shell knew that the deal they were constructing was misleading but they went ahead with it anyway even though a number of Nigerian officials raised concerns about this scandalous, scandalous deal,” says Ava Lee from Global Witness.

Eni HQImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionEni’s headquarters in San Donato Milanese, near Milan

No wrongdoing

The Anglo-Dutch and Italian energy giants insist they have done nothing wrong, because they paid the money to secure the exploration rights directly to the Nigerian government.

Shell issued a statement to BBC World Business Report saying: “Since this matter is before the Tribunal of Milan it would not be appropriate for us to comment in detail. Issues that are under consideration as part of a trial process should be adjudicated in court and we do not wish to interfere with this process.

“We maintain that the settlement was a fully legal transaction and we believe the trial judges in Italy will conclude that there is no case against Shell or its former employees.”

Eni has also denied any wrongdoing and told the BBC that it questions the competence of the experts commissioned by Global Witness and its “partners”, as well as raising the possibility that the report by the campaign group is defamatory.

The Italian oil and gas company said “as this matter is currently before the Tribunal of Milan, we are unable to comment in detail”.

In a statement it noted: “Global Witness together with its partners Corner House, HEDA Resource Centre and Re: Common had requested twice to be admitted as aggrieved parties in the Milan proceedings. On both occasions, the request was firmly denied by the Tribunal of Milan.”

Eni also said it “continues to reject any allegation of impropriety or irregularity in connection with this transaction”.

Campaigners say the deal deprived Nigeria of double its annual education and healthcare budget

Campaigners say the deal deprived Nigeria of double its annual education and healthcare budget

Biggest ever corruption case

Campaigners believe this is a landmark case and the outcome of the trial in Milan will cause an earthquake to reverberate through the oil and gas industry.

Nick Hildyard of the Corner House wonders if investors are comfortable. “Fund managers should be alarmed at this brazen dishonesty,” he said.

Nigeria’s leader is being encouraged to intervene by Olanrewaju Suraju, from HEDA. “President Buhari should reject any deal,” he said.

The contrast between the way Italy deals with migrants and the actions of one of the nation’s biggest companies has been raised by Antonio Tricarico of Re;Common.

“The Italian government is discouraging Nigerian migrants trying to reach Italy by claiming that it will help them at home, but Italy’s biggest multi-national, part owned by the state, is accused of scamming billions from the Nigerian people.”

The outcome of the unprecedented court case in Milan could force the oil industry to change how it conducts its business, especially in countries where corruption is rife, because more transparency about contracts and payments made would discourage fraud.

*BBC

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Sierra Leone: Report sexual harassment, ACC boss urges women
November 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala speaking during MIWGEM symposium at Cabenda Hotel

ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala speaking during MIWGEM symposium at Cabenda Hotel

The Anti –Corruption Commission (ACC) Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala, has encouraged women to come forward to report on sexual harassment to the commission.

Francis Ben Kaifala made the above statement yesterday during the Media Initiative for Women and Girls Empowerment (MIWGEM) symposium on the theme ‘’ Amplifying Voices through Media to End Violence Against women & Girls in the Society’’ at Cabenda, Signal Hill in Freetown.

He said that as a commissioner of the ACC, he was aware of how long women in the university have had trouble with professors taking advantage, with public officers also taking advantage of girls by using their office.

‘’I’m ready to push the boundaries of interpretations in the Anti-corruption Act. I need you to help me, by been willing to come forward, by been willing to spread the message , by been willing to convince other people who are your friend to come forward,’’ he said.

The ACC boss further said that the society should make consciously affirmative actions to protect women and girls adding that this where the media is very strategic as it is a powerful tool of advocate of education as it reach is wide.

‘’As you know institutions like the one I led is an evidence base. We cannot afford to miss it. I want you to understand this, that’s why I want you to come forward and when you’re coming forward come with enough evidences to help me ,help the commission ,help you ‘’,Kaifala Said .

Commissioner Kaifala further said even though society is resisting, in seeing women as equal partner, there is need to double the efforts together to make sure that this message goes across and in doing so, he proffered for both the use of the stick and carrot approach.

He however said the commission was willing to work with all partners in championing women’s issues in the country.

Founder of MIWGEM, Adama Sillah, in her statement said, the Media Initiative for Women and Girls Empowerment was established in 2017 working to provide leadership and empowerment for women and girls through media literacy and advocacy.

‘’It was established in 2017 ,to leverage two important factors that , if well used, could significantly change the narrative for the feminine gender and for the country ,unlocking the untapped power of women and girls through the media,’’ she said .

She said MIWGEM works with young women and girls adding that as a media organization they were very passionate about what must be the media’s role in ending gender and sexual base violence against our women and girls in Sierra Leone.

‘’Today I want us all to take action and make our commitment on what we are all going to do together to help change the narratives to raising our voices through media to ending violence against women and girls in Sierra Leone ,’’Miss Sillah added.

She thanked United Bank for Africa (UBA SL) for supporting there venture through their Each One Reach One Campaign that supports organizations to go into communities and work with children helping them gain the necessary skills to enable them gain the necessary skills such as make up artistry ,graphic designs among others.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Solomon Jamiru Esq on his part praised the initiative stating that the initiative is an emerging cross cutting tool that will change the stories of women in the country.

He said MIWGEM is more than a social construct as it is a drive for human dignity adding that he stands in solidarity with them.

The Deputy information Minister said the media and civil society constitute the bedrock of the society highlighting that President Julius Maada Bio values women.

Lawyer Jamiru said the president was concerned about the issue of women adding that the president recently proclaimed that his government will be taking stringent actions on men who perpetrating violence against women and girls in the country .

The symposium drew media and civil society groups with speakers drawn from Cameroon, Ghana and Sierra Leone’s Gender Adviser making commitment to using media to end SGBV’s in the country.

The MIWGEM symposium was sponsored by UBA SL and Africell Mobile Company in Sierra Leone .

 

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Kenyan Missionary Killed in Mamfe: Eye Witness accounts say he was killed by Government soldiers-Bishop Nkea
November 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

Fr. Ondari, Kenyan missionary murdered in Cameroon

Fr. Ondari, Kenyan missionary murdered in Cameroon

The Bishop of the Mamfe diocese Bishop Andrew Nkea says the killing of Rev. Fr. Cosmas Oboto Ondari was done by government soldiers (Gendarmerie Nationale) according to eye witness accounts. This was one of the messages enclosed in a letter by the Bishop shortly after the murder.

Rev. Fr. Ondari was killed on the 21st of November 2018 in Kembong, Manyu Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. The Father was reportedly shot in front of the parish after it was reported that fierce clashes had taken place between separatist and security forces.

According to Bishop Nkea “A certain Mr. Johnson Ndip Nchot was also shot in front of his house, a few meters from the Church building. I visited Kembong Parish on Thursday the 22nd of November and I personally counted 21 bullet holes made on the Church building of Kembong where at the time, the priest, the catechist and many Christians were carrying out various activities in the mission compound”.

He added that: “in December 2017, when the situation in Kembong was very tense, Fr. Ondari and his parish priest Fr. Tiberius Vouni, MHM, along with some of their parishioners moved out from Kembong to Mamfe. The village of more than 5,000 people was almost completely and many houses were burnt down”.

“In April, 2018, in a bid to give hope to the desperate population, many of whom were courageously opted to go back to Kembong so as to encourage the people to return…. It was in this context that Fr. Ondari was brutally and recklessly murdered on the 21st of November, 2018”.

 

The Bishop has called on the powers that be to carry out a thorough investigation into this heinous crime committed against an innocent peace loving missionary and bring the culprits to face justice as he says “it is the only way those who have been hurt can truly be comforted, and peace can return to our land”.

“It is our fervent hope that those killings should stop in our diocese and in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon. The value of human life is diminishing and the human person is wasted away for any flimsy reason or even for sport. This has to stop and we call on all those involved in killing innocent civilians to refrain from these inhumane and monstrous acts”.

Bishop Nkea has called on Christians to intensify prayers and not to relent while also calling on all Christians of the Diocese of Mamfe especially those of Kembong Parish to stay calm and unite in prayers. “The forces of evil are rampage against the church of God but as Christians, we believe in the promise of Christ that the gates of the underworld will never prevail over the Church”

Born in Gucha, in Kenya on the 19th of September 1985, Fr. Ondari joined the missionary society of St. Joseph, otherwise known as the Mill Hill Missionaries and was sent to do his philosophy studies in the Queen of Apostles Seminary in Jinja in Uganda. After his studies of Philosophy, the young Ondari was sent to Cameroon for pastoral experience and he spend two years in Fundong Parish, in the Archdiocese of Bamenda, under the supervision of Fr. Christopher Hannock, MHM…. He was ordained on the 26th of March 2017 in his home Diocese of Kisi by Bishop Joseph Mairura Okemwa.

In April 2017, the Superiors of the Mill Hill Society appointed Fr. Ondari to Mamfe Diocese where he was then posted to the St. Martin of Tours Parish, Kembong as his first appointment and which turned out to be his last appointment as a priest.

 

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Resume work on Mondays then I’ll uplift the ban-Buea Mayor tells Bike Riders
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

Ekema Patrick

Ekema Patrick

The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, has told bike riders in his municipality that for him to effectively lift the ban on their activities; they must promise to resume work on Mondays, a day which is regarded as “ghost town” in the South West Region.

Speaking at the Buea Council Chambers, Mayor Ekema Patrick said resuming work on Monday is the only precondition for the lifting of the municipal embargo on bikers and their activities which has been on for more than a month now.

However, the Municipal authority’s precondition has been termed “a suicide mission” by bikers, considering the significance of ghost towns in the two Anglophone Regions.

Since the Anglophone Crisis took an ugly twist, all Mondays were decreed as ghost town days. On such days, everybody is expected to be indoors with all activities in the two Regions grounded.

The bikers said they cannot hid the Mayor’s pre-condition because most of them will either be killed, their bikes burnt or they may even be kidnapped by gunmen who have been enforcing the ghost towns.

“I can never respect the decision of the Mayor to work on Monday. The Mayor cannot protect me from the rage of the Ambazonia Fighters, who kill without mercy. They will not only burn my bike, but they will kill my entire family. So I think it’s a polite way the Mayor is using to refuse to grant our request. We have been dying of hunger and starvation for months now,” one of the bike riders, told The National Times News.

Another rider said: “If the Mayor is looking for a sacrificial lamb to end ghost town in Buea, it will definitely not be the bike riders. We are minority compared to taxi drivers. The Mayor cannot guarantee our safety because he will not be with us on the field.  So I cannot attempt to defy the orders of the Ambas, who are more or less like spirits.

”It should be stressed here that the Mayor of Buea has adopted different strategies to eradicate the ghost town phenomenon, which he said, is killing the economy of his municipality and retarding its development.

The Mayor started by shutting down over 800 shops in his municipality to force business persons not to respect the ghost town phenomenon. He also bought 20 taxis to ply the streets on ghost town days. Despite his determination to end the ghost town plague, the phenomenon is still surging on.

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Cameroon:After PSS Nkwen,Gunmen Abduct Students, Teachers from Another School
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

Kumba is a major strong hold for separatist fighters

Kumba is a major strong hold for separatist fighters

Suspected separatist agents have staged an attack on Lord’s Bilingual Academy (LBA) Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon, abducting at least 12 students, the college Principal and a teacher. The exact number of those kidnapped is still unknown as other media outlets in the town put the number close to 20.

The private school is located at Karama street beside Hotel Vianello. It is within the same area as the Global Bilingual College (GLOBICOL) who’s Principal, Adolf Achare, was abducted Wednesday last week. Gunmen entered the Lords Bilingual School at 09:00 local time (08:00 GMT) while lectures were reportedly on going.

It is reported that while the students were forced out of the college, the population of the area attempted rescuing the kids but the suspected separatists fired into the air.

Today’s incident comes exactly one week after similar abductions in the new layout neighborhood of Kumba II Fiango. In that incident, the number of students attacked was minimal.

The SDO for Meme Division, Chamberlain Ntou’ou Ndong, had dispatched the Divisional Officer (DO) of Kumba I, Roger Safou, to the scene for more findings while indicating that efforts are ongoing to free the hostages.

The abduction in Kumba comes almost a fortnight after nearly 80 students were safely returned after being taken from their school in PSS Nkwen in the North West Region of Cameroon.

Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions have been hit by a separatist rebellion since 2016. Armed groups have called on local residents to boycott schools until a referendum on independence is held. Protests against marginalisation by the country’s French-speaking majority have been met with a violent crackdown.

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Africa Loses Billions of Dollars Due to Child Marriage, Says New World Bank Report
November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

ACCRA, Ghana, November 20, 2018—Child marriage will cost African countries tens of billions of dollars in lost earnings and human capital, says a new World Bank report launched ahead of the African Union Commission’s second African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage taking place in Ghana this week.

According to Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage: A Priority for Africa report, more than three million (or one third of) girls in Sub-Saharan Africa marry before their 18th birthday each year. Today, the region has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world. Child brides are much more likely to drop out of school and complete fewer years of education than their peers who marry later. They are also more likely to have children at a young age, which affects their health as well as the education and health of their children.

While many African countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, the report notes that girls lag behind boys at the secondary level. In Sub-Saharan Africa, seven out of 10 girls complete primary education, but only four out of 10 complete lower secondary school.

On average, women who have a secondary education are more likely to work and they earn twice as much as those with no education. Estimates for 12 countries—which account for half of the African continent’s population—suggest that through its impact on girls’ education, child marriage is costing these countries $63 billion in lost earnings and human capital wealth.

“Primary education for girls is simply not sufficient. Girls reap the biggest benefits of education when they are able to complete secondary school, but we know that girls very often don’t stay in school if they marry early,” said Quentin Wodon, Lead Economist at the World Bank and principal author of the report.

Child marriage also leads to high fertility rates and population growth, the report notes. If child marriage were ended today, lower population growth would lead to higher standards of living, especially for the poorest.

The report confirms that keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to avoid child marriage. Each year of secondary education reduces the likelihood of marrying as a child before the age of 18 by five percentage points or more.

The report also documents the impact of child marriage and girls’ education on more than three dozen other development outcomes. For example, child marriage leads to higher risk of intimate partner violence, and lower decision-making in the household. Child marriage also affects the well-being of the children of young mothers, including higher risks of mortality and stunting (malnutrition) for children below the age of five.

Educating girls and promoting gender equality is part of a holistic effort at the World Bank, which includes financing and analytical work to keep girls in school, prevent child marriage, improve access to reproductive health services, and strengthen skills and job opportunities for adolescent girls and young women.

The report was published with support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education.

* Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Zambia.

Contacts:

In AccraKennedy Fosu, (233) 302-214142, kfosu@worldbank.org

In Washington: Patricia da Camara, +1 (202) 473-4019, pdacamara@worldbankgroup.org

To read the report, visit: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/268251542653259451/Educating-Girls-and-Ending-Child-marriage-A-Priority-for-Africa

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Cameroon: Two Buea University staff abducted
November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)

At least two members of staff of the University of Buea has been abducted by unidentified gunmen, the Vice Chancellor of the institution Ngomo Horace Manga has revealed.

Mr George Arrey, a contract officer at the Research and Cooperation Office and Dr. Doumta Charles , Lecturer and Head of Service for Records at the Faculty of Health Sciences were abducted on the 10 and 16 November respectively, the Vice Chancellor said in an official statement

“These acts are meant to intimidate, create fear and panic among staff and students and disrupt the smooth functioning of the acaemic year,” the Vice Chancellor said.

Students and teachers have been the target of armed men since the escalation of the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

It’s just been over a week that Dr. Paul Mbufong, lecturer at the University of Bamenda was buried after he was murdered in Bambili. The University of Bamenda has since accused armed men of carrying the act.

Reports from Bamenda and Buea indicate a timid presence of students on both university campuses as with the rising insecurity.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea has cautioned his members  of staff and students to take various security measure around neighbourhoods where their security and safety could be threatened.

“The University (of Buea) is recommending that staff and students residing along the Muea to Mile 14 neighbourhoods to be vigilant and seek alternative accomodation in safe areas while the State is putting in place measures to protect the staff, students and University property,” the Vice Chancellor Ngomo Horace Manga said.

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APC a safe haven for corrupt politicians — CAN
November 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Olayinka Ajayi

The Christian Association of Nigeria says the All Progressives Congress (APC) is becoming a safe haven for corrupt politicians.

CAN stated this during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday.

The visit was led by Samson Ayodele, president of CAN.

The Christian body said Buhari must clear the negative impression that the anti-corruption war was targeted at people that are not members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The association advised the president to make the war against corruption total and non-discriminatory in order to rid the nation of the “corruption cancer that has eaten deep into her fabrics”.

The association, however, commended the implementation of the treasury single account (TSA) and the bank verification number (BVN), saying it had led to the recovery of some looted funds.

“Like we categorically noted here during our last visit, the wish of the people is for the war against corruption to be total and without discrimination. Not a few believe that the ruling party is becoming a safe haven to some corrupt politicians in their bid to escape the trap of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” CAN said.

“CAN commends your boldness and courage in implementing the BVN and the treasury single account (TSA) system. There is no doubt that the two policies have greatly helped in sanitising the system.”

On the general election, CAN asked Buhari to improve on the credibility of the 2015 polls by ensuring a free and fair electoral process.

It urged Buhari to give a presidential order directing the police and other security agencies to be non-partisan during the elections.

“A presidential order to the police and other security agencies to be non-partisan, neutral and apolitical in the coming general elections, with a view to securing international respect and honour for our country in the comity of nations,” it said.

“We believe that the survival and peace of Nigeria are greater than the ambition of any politician.

“We again request that your administration conducts free and fair election that will add to the accolades the country received from the conduct of the 2015 elections that brought you to power.”

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A Call For Compassion: An Open Letter To Mrs. Chantal Biya
November 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
I write to you today, forced into exile and no longer in Cameroon, nearly twenty-four years later with a heavy heart
YAOUNDE, Cameroon, November 13, 2018/ — It is with greatest concern and respect for the future of women, children and people of Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) that I greet you in this unusual correspondence. It is my hope and certainly my trust that this letter finds you in the best of health.

I still recall the excitement and joyous day on April 23rd, 1994, when as a young woman you got married and became the First Lady of the Republic of Cameroon. I celebrated that day for two reasons; that the country had as First Lady a younger woman and with the establishment of the Chantal Biya Foundation that same year, you demonstrated your desire to attend to the sufferings of the vulnerable, underprivileged, the sick and weak in Cameroon. I knew that as a woman and a mother, the sanctity of life and the burning desire to protect it was very close to your heart and this has been demonstrated through your philanthropic and humanitarian efforts through the years. With your humanitarian credentials, there was no doubt in my mind that you would protect the best interest of the people of Cameroon as their First Lady.

However, I write to you today, forced into exile and no longer in Cameroon, nearly twenty-four years later with a heavy heart. I hold a heavy heart because of the desperate and horrific situation in Southern Cameroons

The conflict in the Southern Cameroons has taken a terrible toll on the vulnerable community and the stench of death and desolation has engulfed the villages, towns and cities. The depravity and senseless disregard of human life by the security forces of the government of Cameroon is alarming. We are seeing scenes reminiscent of the Ethiopian civil war in the 80s with dead bodies abandoned on the side of our roads, charred bodies of our elderly and vulnerable, burnt alive in their homes and entire villages incinerated from the face of the earth.

The security forces are carrying out extra-judicial killings of the population, the lives of our active young men are no longer assured today than it is tomorrow, and our young women are raped with reckless brutality by the security forces of the government of Cameroon. The trauma and scars of death on the desolate eyes of our children seeing their parents savagely bludgeoned by the security forces is leaving a painful impact characterized by nightmares in these young minds. Most of the indigenous population has been forced into the open forest and exposed to the elements. Nursing mothers and women under their period are left with no options, but to use dead vegetation for their basic hygienic needs. It is a terrible sight to behold.

Cash crops like cocoa, coffee, palm kernels have been abandoned to waste in the farms because the farmers have either been forced to flee or are too afraid to even hold their artisanal tools like cutlasses to go to the farms because that is in itself a death sentence from the security forces. Almost 300,000 IDP and about 100,000 refugees living in squalid conditions in neighboring Nigeria, thousands killed, and some buried in mass graves and thousands arrested, abducted and whisked to dangerous dungeons in Cameroon. The economy of Southern Cameroons that have been systematically abandoned for the last 57 years has been completely eviscerated and devastated by the conflict, punitive curfews and road closures that make movement and commerce between villages and towns perniciously impossible and frustrating.

My hearts bleeds for the children and women rendered orphans and widows, my heart bleeds upon the dark clouds circling above Southern Cameroons, My heart bleeds for the painful and horrific burning of elderly men and women in their homes, the pain, the anger, the complete obliteration of entire communities and cultures. I weep for the mothers and wives of the young soldiers whose lives are also being wasted in this senseless war.

It was permissible in the beginning of this crisis that you stayed silent, it was permissible that you remained indifferent, but it is no longer permissible in light of what we know now. It is no longer permissible as a mother of the nation who understands the pain of childbirth to remain indifferent to the plight of the people of Southern Cameroons. It is a travesty that the pain and suffering of mothers and young women who looked up to you, who sang, praised and celebrated you have been abandoned and treated with this level of disdain. How do you sleep at night as a mother knowing that young children have been deprived of education because of the security situation for the past two years, how do you wake up each morning not knowing what may happened to your loved ones in Southern Cameroons and how can you stay mute for this long with the unravelling refugee crisis in Southern Cameroons. What has happened to the humanity in you? Cry My Beloved Country!

As the wife of Sissiku Julius Ayuk-Tabe (leader of Southern Cameroons), I understand the political implication of this crisis. However, there are times when humanity and government come together for a common goal. In this case, the goal is the protection of humanity; the innocent and helpless men, women and children in Southern Cameroons. They are unable to speak or defend themselves. They live in terror because they never know when they hear the sound of guns in their village, if it is their turn to be killed or taken away in the darkness of the early morning. Imagine the terror that overcomes them when they hear the deafening screams of a sister, aunt, cousin, a playmate or a mother being brutally raped. They know then that they are next. It is compared to an execution queue where men are waiting to be taken away for execution, and they hear the deadly sound of the firing squad as they queue in and wait their turn. The torture, taunts and torments are unimaginable, and you could hear grown men crying.

I realize that I may come under criticisms and accusations for writing this letter to you. I have no other motive to write this letter, other than for you to rally the mothers of Cameroon and bring pressure to bear on your husband and the government of Cameroon for an inclusive dialogue and a negotiated solution to this crisis and the immediate release of our leaders including my husband. The deafening silence from you is no longer acceptable. The lives of 8 million Southern Cameroonians and the fate of their leaders in jail is in your hands. Madam First Lady set the example for other women to follow.

It is not too late for you to send the message; that the mothers of Cameroon will no longer tolerate this war. The Southern Cameroons women will applaud you and women around the world will celebrate you.

The Lives of Southern Cameroons children, mothers and fathers also Matter and the continuing silence in the face of these killings is collusion.

I look forward to collaborating with you to look for an inclusive and negotiated solutions to this crisis.

Respectfully,

Lilian Ayuk-Tabe

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Africa’s Corruption Burden Costs It US 148 Billion Yet It Needs US 93 Billion For Infrastructural Development
November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Dr Otiende Amollo

Dr Otiende Amollo

Harare—-Corruption continues to prevail despite efforts by several African Governments to come up with Legislation, stringent policies and holistic strategies on stamping it. Africa has the highest number of countries muddled in corrupt activities. Corruption is in two types, grand, of high rankings and petty corruption of low rankings.

A Kenyan Legal Expert Honourable. Dr Otiende Amollo a Legislator, Ombudsman Emeritus, Kenya is currently in Zimbabwe. He is attending a Legal Resources Foundation Human Rights conference titled, enhancing Human Rights and access to Justice in Zimbabwe and Africa. In a two day emotional symposium, He stressed that corruption drives poverty. To extremes it derails Human Rights and degrades the environment. To the worst of everything, it derails development and impedes Government and private sector growth and development.

‘’It is pathetic that corruption still lives in Africa despite legal framework by several Governments of Africa.. African countries are still muddled in sheer poverty because they are derailed efforts by corruption. Where there is corruption, Human Rights are infringed, abused massively.

‘’Let us note that impunity is bred in situations where Human Rights are not fairly exercised. In circumstances where corruption takes centre stage as the story is told in Africa, Human Rights are trodden under the six feet of the country tunnel.

‘’Africa’s most constraint burden reducing economic growth and development, causing extreme poverty is corruption. Africa needs to under- go a screening exercise to eliminate those who do corruption. They make others suffer. They contribute to economic melt-down.

‘’The kind of corruption is worst at its definition. This is Grand corruption which derails Human Rights, derails growth and development. It also impedes private sector development. As long as there is corruption, African countries will get it difficult to achieve on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations which targets 2030 to reduce extreme poverty, and hunger, achieve Universal Primary Education and gender equality. .

DR Amollo pointed out that corruption has over past decades caused Human Rights violations. This he said, is evidenced by poverty that has been raised from the ground by violation of human rights in Africa, ‘

‘’Corruption is the cause of Human Rights violations which have made Africa become exposed to extreme Absolute poverty. This poverty still lives, but we need to come up with measures meant to eradicate it.

‘’It is sad to note that corruption continues to cause poverty and vulnerability of African children who are the leaders tomorrow. Research concludes, countries with high corruption have high rates of poverty prevalence, lack of Human Rights and poor Governance.

The Legal Expert also pointed that according to the 2014 Corruption Perception Index out of 173 countries ranked at bottom are Somalia, Sudan, and North Korea. He noted that these countries continue to have high rates of Human Rights violations. These abuses of People’s rights culminates in extreme poverty and vulnerability to orphans and disadvantaged people who fail to access Legal Rights resources because of lack of money and low education.

DR Amollo revealed the Goldenberg scandal, the worst corruption which rocked Kenya between 1990 and 1999. It was about smuggled gold from Congo. The Exporters were paid in Kenyan shillings. This had over 35% of foreign currency earning. It cost 10% of Annual Gross Domestic Product. Since then it has come up with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission of 2012. Later it came with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Zimbabwe since the early 1980s has been rocked by massive grand corruption by politicians who got protection from Robert Mugabe. Some of them were ill-treated and killed when they attempted to bare all. A good example is of the Willow vale Motor scandal of 1989 which led to Maurice Nyagumbos suicide. The country had exported a big fleet of Japanese Toyota Cressida type of cars to Ghana. The story is still told in the Zimbabwean history. It brought a number of challenges in terms of Gross Domestic Product. Those are some of the Zimbabwean economic challenges with impacts socially and politically on the lives of people pinned in poverty and vulnerability

Giving a key note address Justice Charles Mkandawire , President of the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrate Association and Judge of the High Court of Malawi  said the major challenge which impedes development in Africa is that despite some laws enshrined in International protocols and national constitutions , corruption continues to disadvantage majority of Africans .

He said these at last are plunged into muddled conditions of poverty. At last these communities fail to access  basic needs because of lack of finance , education and less legal resources at their disposal .Those who engage in grand corruption in decision making positions creates a situation where-by Human Rights are violated at the expense of humanity , well-being and proper administration at Governance levels .

‘’Corruption circumvents wheels of Justice Delivery and the rule of Law. This is the path to Human Rights violated to certain extents which disadvantages the communities at peace. Those whose human rights are violated have no access to Justice because of the poverty created by grand corruption in high offices.

‘’The challenges lies with countries in Africa where those in high rankings if involved in corruption look for legal representation against cases they create. The defence on their side leaves them scot free. The legal battle between the poor affected and the rich of high rankings fails on the side of the poor.

‘’No-wonder why the poor emulates this corruption at their low level causing petty corruption. Most of these cases take long to discover. Even if they get discovered sometimes evidence related to such cases is not found. At most, such cases go undiscovered and unearthed out, this leading to more corruption.

Muchaneta Mundopa Executive Director of Transparency International said although there are International protocols and national laws to combat corruption, many countries are immensely embedded in endless corruption. Some of these International protocols are the United Nations Convention against Transactional Organised Crime [UNCATOC] of the year 2000 which has got 159 Member states. The other one is the Anti-Bribery Convention and the African Union Convention on Protection and combating Crime and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 2003.

‘’There are a number of treaties signed by member states which must be followed in terms of their procedures and measures but the challenge still prevails in Africa . Yes, corruption is also a thorny issue in some other countries, but Africa remains the home of massive corruption by people of high rankings. This leads to several violations of human and people’s rights which still need to be addressed.

‘’Civil Society is much worried by these practices which remain unaddressed. The main issue is that, Africa has the history of liberation struggle which gives immunity to some people like leaders who commit such crimes. Although this is lowering down slowly in Africa, the rate of corruption continues to because of abuse of power by politicians and those who follow them. In some instances, corruption rises because of poverty in many communities ‘’

Transparency International Director further cleared the air by urging countries to follow International protocols. She also said constitutions of various countries must spell out on the really definition of corruption by coming up with national laws and policies which do not favour or give immunity to Leaders.

Strengthening measures to prevent corruption, experts suggests need the voices of the people in their constitutions. The need for International co-operation, working together and collective action promotes integrity, dignity and transparency.

 

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Kenya:Quack doctor hits again
November 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

James Mugo Ndichu

James Mugo Ndichu

Kenyans are alert after an investigation by a local media divulged that a fake doctor who had hit news headlines three years ago for operating an illegal clinic and alleged rape of patients is back to his prohibited business.

James Mugo Ndichu alias Mugo Wairimu on Monday, November 5, was exposed operating a new clinic called Millan Medical Center in a different area within Nairobi.

Mr. Mugo is accused of conducting abortions, consuming alcohol inside the clinic as he attends to patients in his new clinic. He was captured extorting Ksh.23, 000 ($230) from a woman whose daughter had just procured an abortion on the ground that she was receiving treatment for an upset stomach.

In a rather shocking scene, he was screened conducting an interview for a new staff as a patient wails in the same room. Then he told the interviewee to remove a stuck swollen swab from the patient’s body.

He was also exposed giving a diagnosis seemingly drunk and then proceeded to demand Ksh.800 ($8) for drugs that cost only Ksh.40 ($0.4).

Mugo was arrested and charged in 2015 by Limuru Magistrate Court with raping sedated women, operating a drug shop not licensed with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. He was granted Ksh.2 million ($20,000) bond with a surety of the same amount.

He has been further intricated by his former employee who revealed barbaric acts he does to his patients.

“He used to rape patients in his X-ray room which is very dark but nowadays he does this in his theatre room after sedating the patients with drugs,” a patient who sought anonymity reiterated.

The public outcry has made the police to launch a hunt for him. The police have nabbed two men believed to be part of his illegal clinic and are being kept in police custody. During the operation process, the officers recovered materials they believed were used in procurement of abortions at the clinic.

Kenya National Union of Nurses has distanced itself from the quack doctor calling on the authorities to arrest him for masquerading as a medic.

Addressing the media, Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako, dissociate himself from the rape allegations labeling Mugo a quack fellow.

‘We want to say as nurses very categorically and strongly that the person is not a nurse. We dissociate ourselves from the incident and that fellow. We cannot have criminals operating as medical personnel. Members of the public need to be protected from such unscrupulous people.” Panyako said.

Mugo had claimed that he completed his studies as a nurse in 2000 at the University of Nairobi; however, he has no credentials to prove this.

 

 

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Tanzania Intensifies Fight against Homosexuality as an Anti-Gay and Nudity Squad Is Formed
November 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

Tanzania, one of Africa’s most conservative countries is showing no signs of liberalizing anytime soon as evidenced by the recent formation of an Anti-Gay and Nudity Squad.

Speaking at a news conference, police regional commissioner for the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam Paul Makonda said that with effect from Monday 29 October, the Anti-Gat and Nudity Squad would start executing its responsibilities. According to Makonda, the squad will act as a surveillance squad whose job is to identify gays on social media and arrest them. “These homosexuals boast on social networks. Give me their names… My ad-hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday,” said Makonda.

Makonda said the 17-member team would comprise of state officials from the Tanzania Communications Authority, the police and media practitioners.

Tanzania does not have any codified laws that criminalize homosexuality. Sodomy however is illegal and all convicted gay people are considered to be practicing sodomy hence they face the same sentence as those who practice sodomy. Anyone convicted of sodomy (and inversely homosexuality) may face at least 30 years in prison.

Speaking at the same news conference, Makonda said that the government is now taking strict measures against pornography. He urged members of the public to delete any pornographic images or videos from their devices as anyone whose device is found carrying such kind of graphics will face stiff penalties from the government.

Makonda also informed human rights groups that homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania hence the government will not entertain any moves to change this stance.

Mr Makonda, a close ally of Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, said that a list of 200 suspects had already been drawn up thanks to public tip-offs and a trawl through Tanzanians’ social media accounts.

The announcement by Governor Paul Makonda comes after several medical clinics accused of promoting homosexuality were shut down.

Makonda said he expected criticism from outsiders for his hardline stance but added: “I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God.”

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Nigeria: FG to Meet with Labour on Minimum Wage Ahead of Nationwide Strike
November 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

The minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, says conciliation on the national minimum wage will continue on Sunday November 4, despite the court injunction restraining organised labour from embarking on strike.

The National Industrial Court had on Friday ordered the organised labour not to embark on the nationwide strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday November 6. Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order in a ruling on an ex parte application moved on behalf of the Federal Government by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata.

The minister in his statement insists that the conciliation meeting involving organised Labour, the organised private sector and government scheduled for Sunday remained unchanged.  “The conciliation meeting involving the Organised Labour, the Organised Private Sector and Government scheduled for Sunday at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by 6 p.m. is still on course and will hold,’’ he said.

He said that this will be followed by another meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee meeting on Monday, November 5 at the same venue. The minister appealed to all tripartite members to attend the meetings in the interest of the nation and finding a solution to the minimum wage impasse.

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Africans Rising to launch national engagement platform Launch in Maputo, Mozambique
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

President Nyusi of Mozambique

President Nyusi of Mozambique

The Africans Rising’s Mozambique National Engagement Platform (NEP) will be launched on November 7th, 2018. The platform will be instituted to help fulfil multiple pledges of the Kilimanjaro Declaration, namely promoting democracy, social and gender equality, transparency and environmental justice.

This National Engagement Platform is expected to bring together, at the country level, different national social groups whose actions are a living testament to the bottom-up change-making.

“As we come together, we are hopeful that the participants will be equipped with the necessary tools to devise and implement a shared progressive action agenda to be referred to as the National Platform for Change,” a spokesperson said.

It is reported that after the National Engagement Platform launches in multiple African Countries, Africans Rising is expected to establish the top priorities of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), movements, artists and young people in each individual country.

“Therefore, in collaboration with the various entities, the movement will create a roadmap to achieve the different objectives after a number of gatherings and initiatives. The goal is to have a fully structured National Engagement Platform and a clear timetable of follow-up activities.

The Kilimanjaro declaration notes:

We, the citizens and descendants of Africa, as part of the Africans Rising Movement, are outraged by the centuries of oppression; we condemn the plunder of our natural and mineral resources and the suppression of our fundamental human rights.

We are determined to foster an Africa-wide solidarity and unity of purpose of the Peoples of Africa to build the Future we want – a right to peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity.

On the 23 and 24 August 2016, two hundred and seventy two representatives from civil society, trade unions, women, young people, men, people living with disabilities, parliamentarians, media organisations and faith-based groups, from across Africa and the African diaspora gathered in Arusha, Tanzania and committed to build a pan-African movement that recognises these rights and freedoms of our People.

The conference declared that:

  1. Africa is a rich continent. That wealth belongs to all our People, not to a narrow political and economic elite. We need to fight for economic development that is just and embraces social inclusion and environmental care. We have a right to the ‘better life’ our governments have promised.
  2. Africans have a diverse, rich and powerful heritage that is important to heal ourselves and repair the damage done by neoliberalism to our humanity and environment.  Being African, embracing the philosophy of Ubuntu should be a source of our pride.
  3. African Youth are a critical foundation of building the success in our continent and must play a central role in building Africans Rising.
  4. Africa’s Diaspora whether displaced through slavery and colonialism or part of modern day migration are part of Africa’s history and future. They are a reservoir of skills, resources and passion that must be harnessed and integrated into our movement.
  5. We are committed to a decentralised, citizen-owned future that will build support and solidarity for local struggles, empower local leadership and immerse our activists in grassroots work of building social movements from below and beyond borders.
  6. We are committed to building a citizens movement that is accountable to the constituencies we represent and enforcing the highest standards of ethical behaviour.

Therefore, we resolve that our work should build a local, national, continental and global campaign that is:

 

  1. Expanding space for civic and political action
  2. Fighting for women’s rights and freedoms across society
  3. Focussing our struggles on the right to Equity and Dignity
  4. Demanding good governance as we fight corruption and impunity
  5. Demanding climate and environmental justice

Call on our people and activists to:

Join this Africans Rising Movement and mobilise our people around this shared vision; organise and connect local struggles under this umbrella; galvanise solidarity with all African struggles. This movement is committed to peace and non-violent action. We assert our inherent rights as Africans and invite our governments, leaders, other stakeholders and institutions to join us in pursuing the Future We Want to leave our future generations.

We commit to mobilising our people in Africa to launch this Movement on the 25th May, 2017, when we deepen the meaning of African Liberation Day and call on all sectors of our society to mobilise and organise events in every African country that will build the momentum towards the genuine liberation of our beautiful continent.

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Police block journalists from Parliament over RTI bill
October 31, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Police in Ghana’s Parliament has foiled attempts by the Media Coalition on the Right to Information Bill to storm the house and register their displeasure over failure to pass the bill into law.

The journalists clad in RTI t-shirts were confronted by police officers manning the lawmaking chamber who demanded that they provide evidence of their permit to allow them on the premises.

A member of the Steering Committee of the Media Coalition on the Right to Information Elvis Darko said: “One of our colleagues the police accosted him. I was there and we had a confrontation and they say we should go to their police post here to sort out the issue.”

The RTI bill was laid before Parliament by the Deputy Attorney General Joseph Kpemka Dindiok in March this year.

It has been 22 years since the first RTI bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill.

The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) earlier this month accused the governing New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of colluding against the Right to Information (RTI) bill.

“…If there’s one, or two or three things that the two main political parties [NPP and NDC] align, agree to, then, it is this RTI that they don’t want. I think that’s what it is,” the Deputy Director of the CDD Dr Franklin Oduro who is also the CDD’s Head of Research and Program said at a roundtable discussion on METOGU anti-corruption report in Accra.

“My own view is that these two parties have demonstrated that they don’t want the RTI. So there’s no blame game between them, the NDC and the NPP,” he added.

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Nigeria:Updates on the Missing General
October 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Clara Obi

Major General Idris Alkali (rtd)

Major General Idris Alkali (rtd)

The General commanding 3 Division, Major General Benson Akinroluyo who led the Nigerian Army and cordon in search of the missing retiring General, Major General Idris Alkali discovered that the missing General was killed and buried in a shallow grave by unknown men.

According to general Akinroluyo, the retiring general was killed by some angry youths who barricaded the road during a protest. The late general who was travelling along the jos road in his black Toyota corolla was stopped and killed by the youths even after introducing himself as a general in the Nigerian army.

How far has the Nigerian Army gone with the search?

A lot has been put to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. While in search of his missing body, a shallow grave was discovered in a place called “no man’s land” which was identified by four suspects and sniffer dogs which led the troops on a search and rescue operation to the place where the corpse of the general was earlier buried but subsequently removed.

General Akinroluyo reported that the four suspects were not known to each other but they all differently took the team to the same shallow grave as well as the well trained Sniffer dogs. He said those sniffer dogs were trained with the wears of the missing officer and when they reached the spot where the missing general was buried, they stopped and hover around the spot and concurrently, this was the only place they were led to by the sniffer dogs and the three different suspects.

Interestingly, three of the suspects voluntarily brought themselves to the plateau state police command in jos. The Village head dura-du district in jos south local government area of plateau state,Yakubu Rapp a tipper driver,  Timothy Chuwang and youth leader of the community, Mathew Rwang were those suspects who voluntarily showed up in the state police command 24 hours after being declared wanted by the police.

While some suspects are still waiting to see how those in the police custody would be treated, briefing newsmen at the headquarters, Akinroluyo said the missing general’s car was found weeks ago in the community abandoned pond and the troops had to evacuate everything from the pond to see what is inside but while in the process, some women barricaded to protest against the evacuation of the water saying the water had been of a cultural significance to the community.

The leader of the protesters, Mary Yakubu told Gen Akinroluyo that “if the water is drained out, it could lead to death of our sons and husbands” she cried but according to the general “nothing is going to stop this act except it is a directive from the Army headquarters.

The Army general Akinroluyo did not fail to evacuate the pond as no directives were put to stop them from their headquarters. According to gen Akinroluyo, the missing general’s toyota alongside three other cars were found in the pond. A blood stained T-shirt, a short and a pair of shoes were also found in the car while some other of his belongings such as phone, laptop cash and clothes were said to have been shared among the unknown killers.

Subsequent to the recent findings of his corpse, car and some other belongings found in the community, a meeting was held and a specialist was contracted with immediate effect. His corpse which was earlier buried in a shallow grave was exhumed and relocated away from the community and the specialist who was contracted for the job was later arrested and now in the police custody. Well it’s obvious that the whole community should be at stake but the Nigerian Army is trying to fish out the perpetrators and pleading the community should cooperate with them.

Other rising controversy

Still in search of the suspects, one Idris Ahmed of citizens United for peace and security “an opponent of the people of plateau state and an enemy to the Nigeria army “ was accused to have been posting some wrong statement about the state government and the search of the general by Nigerian Army.

He said “the committed effort of Nigerian Army and the chief of Army staff, lieutenant general Tukur Yusuf to get to the end of the whole story behind the disappearance of General Alkali is a remarkable one but unfortunately just like any country it has its own sad story to share”.

In this regard the president of PPJF, Alexander Mamedu and other members of the state finds it unethical and irresponsible saying that Idris Ahmed has put himself into the highest authority to have declared the retiring general Alkali dead to an extent of already paying tribute to his family.

Ahmed also claimed that the resignation of the late general from the Nigerian Army was as a result of the general’s inability to tolerate corruption that was going on at the highest level of the military hierarchy. It was seen that his post of instigating the people against the Army and the government of the state with the Berom ethnic nationality of becoming the hate speech is almost on a hit as followers like Awwal Yusuf and Fatima A Santuraki have embraced his taught and call for a conflict against Beroms.

According to daily post, Mr Ahmed was told to allow the Nigerian Army do its job perfectly and not to create unnecessary thought in the minds of the people.

The leaders of the community have also called on the people of the state to cooperate with the Nigerian Army so as to do justice to the case of the missing general.

The Nigerian Army said the operation has been conducted in line with respect for Human rights that is why they try to keep target on just the perpetrators and all efforts are being made to bring them to justice and call on everyone within its area to be vigilant and report any suspect case of insurgency.

Finally, the division also wishes to commend members of the pubic for their support and still solicit for anyone with sound information on where the retiring general was reburied.

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