Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari promises to step up against Boko Hara

During his first address to the nation, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that his government will direct all its efforts towards eliminating Boko Haram.

“Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety,” said Buhari in a televised speech. In addition to Boko Haram, he also assured of targeting ” political mischief makers” and whoever is a threat to the unity and integrity of the nation. 

He believes that the Nigerians are lively and robust people as far as discussions are concerned. However, he stated that some of the social media comments have crossed their limits and asserted that people must know their boundaries. 

Prior to his address, he spent around three months for his medical treatment. However, he did not specify the ailment that caused him to leave Nigeria and move to Britain for the treatment. He was very excited to be back on Nigerian soil and be a part of Nigerian politics. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was the acting president during his absence.

Sources – The Hindu, The Indian Express 

The sinking state of the Nigerian food crisis

Nigeria is drowning in a food crisis. According to the United Nations, the country’s northeastern state of Borno is experiencing the worst condition with over 250,000 children under five who could suffer from acute malnutrition this year and almost 50,000 infants who could die.

The number of hungry people in the African country is on the rise on a daily basis as more towns are being freed from the shackles of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram. Currently, there are approximately 750,000 who can’t be reached in the north east, and aid groups think that the most affected areas in northeastern Borno are completely immersed in famine which hints that 30% of the inhabitants are suffering from malnutrition. These numbers are rapidly increasing since the beginning of 2016 with at least a million in “severity level four” and another 75,000 people facing outright famine.

In the past years, Nigeria has spent billion in importing food from various countries. A UN official stated that Nigeria spends around $20 billion on food yearly. Nigeria has faced food shortage for quite some time due to the insurgency by affiliate of the Islamic State; Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram war began back in 2009 whose consequences and repercussions are witnessed by Nigerian citizens today.They have been starved and deprived of stable livelihoods ever since the terrorist group began the conflict. Reports also state that the insurgency has left over 2.6 million homeless in the past seven years. A result of the Islamist group invasion has led to the spilt of northern Cameroon, western Chad, and southeast Niger. The entire northeast region used to be an expansive field for food production and animal husbandry, which is now charred and laid waste by the upheaval of Boko Haram insurgency. U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator Toby Lanzer said that conditions in the country were worsened by a “demographic explosion” in the Lake Chad basin when migrants started to move towards Europe.

The country is facing its worst ever catastrophe since the 1960’s war. The irony however, is the crisis in Nigeria is not being given the importance and attention it deserves despite the level of malnutrition being, “far, far, far above what (we find) in an emergency situation” as stated by Dr Bamidele Omotola, a nutrition specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Apart from the famine, the nation is also going through deep recession. Toby Lanzer said, “The government’s capacity to run itself is very stretched”. The Nigerian currency, naira has lost value and inflation has caused food, fuel and commodity prices to rise uncontrollably.

With the calamity worsening every passing day, the United Nations has appealed to many international donors to contribute and save the nation from getting doomed. As rightly stated by a UN spokesperson, the Nigerian economic condition demands expectation from the international community to “step up” and offer the resources needed to save the country. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will introduce a plea for funding on Friday at the UN General Assembly meeting 23 September.

48 Million Indian Children Are Stunted: WaterAid Report

India, the second most populous country in the world, is the home to largest number of stunted children in the world due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices, says a report. The report ‘Caught Short – How a Lack of Toilets and Clean Water Contributes to Malnutrition’ was brought out by an international development charity, WaterAid.

The report estimates that India has 48 million stunted children, accounting to 30 percent of the total number of stunted children in the world. Two in every five children in India under the age of five are suffering from stunted growth.

Nigeria and Pakistan have 10.3 and 9.8 million stunted children respectively.

UNICEF India defines stunting as ‘chronic under-nutrition during the most critical periods of growth and development in early life.’

According to a report by UNICEF, 595 million people in India defecate in the open, elevating high infection risk.  50 percent of malnutrition cases are caused by the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices, leading to Diarrhoea and other diseases.

The Swacch Bharat Abhiyan initiative by Prime Minister Modi has brought the issue of sanitation and open defecation to the forefront. UNICEF, too, has come out with initiatives to curb the problem of malnutrition in India.

Nigeria fails in its attempts to end oil attacks

The government was in the talks with the oil rebels, whose attacks have hit production, said President Muhammadu Buhari; as the head of the state run firm disclosed the damage incurred by the sector.

He said on Thursday that his administration is talking to the militants through law-enforcement agencies and oil companies to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as oil majors Shell, Chevron and Eni have been under attack since February by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) group.

They have revived the grievances of the widespread poverty in the southern swamps and creeks and kidnappings in the area since the 2000’s; reported The Indian Express.

The developments by Friday evening were that the group refused to get into talks with the Government. They have cut the output and keep hammering the revenue.

The rebels have previously denied the claims they are involved in back-channel discussions and accused the government of not being sincere.

They said that the President knows their demands and if they want peace talks they can accept the demands.

Source : The Indian Express

Times Live

Oil prices slide as OPEC struggles over targets

On Wednesday, oil price saw a considerable fall from the previous sessions after Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts. The industry data also showed a build in US crude stocks.

However, Iran on the other side has made it a point that it will not restrain the production of oil after the international sanctions against it were lifted. It further called the joint Russian-Saudi proposal of output freeze, ‘laughable’.

Bijan Zanganeh told the Iranian news agency ISNA that some of Iran’s neighbours have increased their production to 10 million barrels a day in recent years and export this amount, and now they have the nerve to say everyone should freeze production together. While they freeze their production at 10 million barrels, Iran is to freeze at 1 million barrel, which is a laughable proposal.

The falls in U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures and International benchmark Brent futures were due to lack of cooperation between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members. They were unable to decide whether to freeze or cut production to control oversupply that has kept the prices low by 70 per cent since 2014.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Al-Naimi was of the view that a coordinated production cut by OPEC and non-OPEC exporters was not something that would happen because not many countries are going to deliver.

Russia, a non-OPEC member has tentatively agreed on freezing its output at January levels, which was when they hit a post-Soviet record.

To cope with falling oil revenues, even poorer OPEC nations like Nigeria have been forced to adopt austerity measures.


Sources: Reutersarabnews, The Economic Times

2 Female Suicide Bombers kill 58 in Nigeria

On Monday three girls who arrived at a camp in Nigeria, for people who had fled from the Islamist group Boko Haram were welcomed and given place to sleep. But in the wee hours of Tuesday, two of the girls blew themselves up with the bombs they had been hiding, killing 58 and injuring almost 78 people.

The people who were affected were among the 50,000 people who had been receiving refuge, after being forced to leave their households due to Boko Haram rampages, only confronted with the same dismay.

According to the Sani Datti of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, the attack which happened on Tuesday could have been much worse, but one of the bombers identified her family in the camp and detonated the bomb and surrendered to the police officials. She even warned them about the upcoming attack which was planned at the camp.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made destroying Boko Haram his main agenda ever since he took office. His cooperation with the neighbouring countries in the north and restructuring of the military has proven to be highly effective.  This offensive has scattered militants who previously dominated several villages.

The attack on the Dika camp follows a pattern of multiple attacks by Boko Haram since the Nigerian military began rooting militants from the strongholds in the northern part of the nation. Tuesday’s attack was apparently revenge after the Nigerian military had captured a market place in the Boboshe village which was operated by Boko Haram.

Sources: The New York Times, Deccan Chronicle

Boko Haram attacks notheastern Nigeria, kills 80

Islamist extremist group Boko Haram attacked northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 80 and leaving several injured in a rocket-propelled twin suicide attack. The attacks come in retaliation to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that is government ‘defeated the jihadis group’ and reduced its ability to carry out attacks.

Muhammed Kanar, area Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency in an official report said that least 30 were killed and more than 90 injured in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, in a series of blasts and shootouts.

Eyewitness have reported that two women blew themselves up at a market near a busy bus station, outside the mosque at around 9.00 a.m. While Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, commanding officer at northeast Adamawa State has confirmed the attack, the official number of causalities have not been released and is expected to increase, as reported by CNN.

In a similar incident in the Buraburin neighborhood, two women blew themselves killing several people. “We don’t know how many of these bombs or these female suicide bombers were sneaked into Maiduguri last night,” said Yunusa Abdullahi, a civil servant, to the New York Times.

Maiduguri, with a population of 1 million people and home to double the number of refugees, was the birthplace of Boko Haram. According to reports, over twenty thousand people were killed by the jihadist group in the year 2015 alone.

News source: CNNNew York Times