Tag Archives: Northern Nigeria

PROTESTS: Protect non-natives, Igbo communities in the North, Igbo Group appeals to Security Agencies

A front line Igbo organisation, OCHIE IGBO has called on security agencies in Northern Nigeria to help protect Igbo lives, businesses and interests in the region.

Ochie Igbo in a 5 paragraph letter, signed by its Coordinator, Mazi Benedict Okoro and made available to journalists said the civil disturbances in parts of the country, especially in parts of Rivers State is worrisome and capable of sending the wrong signals across.

While calling on Igbo youths to avoid violence and tow the path of peace, Okoro appealed that the security of Sabo Ngeris (non-natives) is very paramount in the 19 states of the North, especially in this trying times.

It said in parts:

“We write to call the attention of Security Agencies in Rivers State concerning the activities of some irrate youths at Oil Mill.

“The violent activities by a group of young men from the North brandishing matchetes, metals and dangerous weapons, whilst chanting Allahu Arkbar puts people at harm’s way.

“We wish to suggest that these chants have the capacity to create chaos, breakdown of law and order and cause anarchy.

“We urge the Security Agencies to ensure safety of lives and properties in all the Sabo Ngeris and Igbo settlements throughout the 19 Northern States.

“While the dogs of war are baying for blood, it is pertinent that we rise to the challenge of this season; together we shall overcome.

“OCHIE Igbo”.

INSECURITY: When Silence is no longer golden, elites should speak up, says Patriot Eholor

Considering the ugly security situations ravaging Nigeria and the inability of the Muhammadu Buhari led government to address the security challenges confronting our nation, a renowned activist and President of One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, also known as Democracy Observer-General, Federal Republic of Nigeria has condemned the inability of Nigerian elites to speak up against the wanton killings going across the nation.

Chief Eholor, in a statement through his media office said,
It is no longer exaggeration to say that since independence that Nigeria is currently facing the worst form of insecurity.

“The activities of killer bandits in Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Taraba states without anyone to challenge them is totally unacceptable. These group of killers go about with sophisticated weapons like AK47 to kill and maim innocent people. They burn houses, and take over people’s land by force. In fact some of their apologists have told the whole world that these people are from Chad, Niger and Libya and that they own the land of the proud Tiv people by conquest. These bandits had brought sorrow and misery to the people. These marauding bandits are bad news to the people of Nigeria as they have brought untimely death of up to 5,000 people and we are still counting.”

“Nigerians from every part of the country are complaining about the escalating crime wave in the country. People are disenchanted. There is fear of uncertainty about the future of our country. This explains why We hope and pray that the discontent in Nigeria will not escalate to violent demonstrations, as we have seen different groups protesting in Katsina, Abuja, Lagos,Ogun, Osun, Imo etc. “

The popular philanthropist also wondered why the elites are silent on the issue of insecurity

“What we hear and read everyday is the news of innocent lives being killed by people in the country. These killings happen at homes, on the road and in religious worshiping places. In fact, there is no safe place for Nigerians in their country. Every one of us lives like a captive or a prisoner. Those in power are the only few who get protection against attacks. You hardly hear about the kidnap of a governor, son of a governor, senator, son of a senator, a member of the house or his son. Almost in all cases, ordinary Nigerians are the casualties of violent crimes in Nigeria. The problem does not affect those in power. That’s why we shouldn’t expect banditry and kidnapping for ransom to end soon. It’s no surprise why they are silent on the issue of insecurity.”

“When a nation is adrift and the future seems shaky with attendant national disaster, it behoves on men of conscience and past leaders of such a nation to speak out and point out ways of avoiding the danger confronting such a nation.”

Northern Nigeria begins evacuation of Almajiri child beggars over virus fears

Hundreds of boys have their names and temperatures checked as they wait to board buses in a northern Nigeria’s city to transport them back to their villages.

The children are pupils of controversial Islamic schools who would usually be found begging in the streets of Kano for small change.

Now, they are the first batch in a programme that seeks to curb the spread of coronavirus by clearing some 250,000 children from the city’s streets and squalid seminaries.

“For now we have a total of 1,595 children which we are going to evacuate,” Muhammad Sanusi Kiru, Kano’s education commissioner, told AFP as the first buses readied to leave Tuesday.

“This is a gradual process, we are doing it in phases, we are picking them step-by-step.”

Usually a vibrant city of four million people, Kano is the third hardest-hit area by the virus in Nigeria, with 73 confirmed cases and one death.

Residents are under a week-long lockdown that has seen roads emptied and people largely remaining indoors.

As part of the clampdown, the authorities have also turned their attention to child beggars who, according to one estimate, could number several million in this state.

– ‘No graver risk’ –

For generations, parents in majority-Muslim north Nigeria have sent their sons from as young as six to learn the Koran with local clerics at unlicensed schools known as Almajiris.

The lessons are free, but the children must fend for themselves, usually by begging or performing menial jobs.

The seminaries — which often double as so-called “rehabilitation centres” for drug addicts — came into the spotlight last year after raids across northern Nigeria uncovered men and boys held in atrocious conditions.

Some residents were found chained up, while hundreds were crammed together in filthy rooms.

In an open letter to northern leaders last month, the civil society Almajiri Child Right Initiative called for the children to be taken home and feeding programmes to be laid on for those left behind.

“Formal schools in different parts of the country have been suspended to control the likely spread of the pandemic… (but) similar measures have not been implemented in Almajiri schools,” the group wrote.

Given the “dire” conditions these children already face, “we believe there is no environment of graver risk,” it said.

‘Scratch of the surface’

Kano is following in the footsteps of nearby Kaduna and Nasarawa states, which last month sent hundreds of children to their parents as part of a resolution by 19 northern governors to tackle begging in the fight against coronavirus.

A committee in Kano state said on Monday it had identified 251,893 child beggars to send back home.

The authorities made radio appeals to clerics to evacuate their pupils — and the 1,500 boys collected so far were those “willingly ready” to go.

“The teachers who brought these children to Kano are the ones voluntarily calling us now to come and pick these children,” education commissioner Kiru said.

“We are not compelling them to leave the state.”

But social activist Saminu Dala said the 251,000 young beggars “are only a fraction of the actual number and the government needs to widen its search.”

“In an emergency like this you need to be stern and employ the might of the state to take these children out.”

Even reaching the figure of a quarter of a million may be wildly ambitious.

According to a 2017 survey, three million children out of the 13.4 million population of Kano state were beggars.

In February, prior to the outbreak of coronavirus in the region, the state announced it was banning street pan-handling.

The state Sharia law police, known as the Hisbah, were ordered to arrest any clerics and parents who failed to comply.

But an initial crackdown saw only 1,500 children returned to their homes in neighbouring states before the enforcement lost steam.

87% of Nigeria’s poor people are in the North – World Bank

The World Bank on Tuesday estimated that 87 percent of all the poor people in Nigeria resides in the northern part of the country.

In a report titled: “Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria,” the World Bank compared Nigeria with the rest of the West African region, saying poverty reduction has been less responsive to economic growth.

The south-south part of the country, according to the Bretton Wood institution, recorded the most significant drop in poverty between 2011 and 2016.

It said Nigeria spends 0.6 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on social safety net programmes which contrasts with the objectives of the economic recovery and growth plan and despite evidence that links cash transfer programs to improve human capital.

It said: “Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016.

“Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 percent with little variation across zones. The south-south zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016. Poverty was significantly higher in rural areas of the country in 2016.

“An estimated 64 percent of all poor lived in rural areas and 52 percent of the rural population lived below the poverty line in 2016. In contrast, the poverty rate in urban areas remained stable at 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.”

“Despite being a middle-income economy, Nigeria fares astonishingly poorly in poverty and human capital-related outcomes.

“The number of people living in extreme poverty has gone up from 2011 to 2016, and many more are vulnerable to falling into poverty, especially in the northern regions of the country.”

Northern Nigeria More Educated Than Other Zones –Former Presidential Aspirant, Adamu Garba

Former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba has stated that the North is more educated than any other part of Nigeria.

According to the politician, who has been trending for sharing his opinion on polygamy and how he supports it, he took to Twitter to defend the North as being more educated than other parts of Nigeria.

He tweeted that the reason why people think the North is not educated is that the region (Northern region) doesn’t focus on English.

Adamu Garba who reacted to a Twitter user mocking the illiteracy level of the region responded saying:

“Your definition of EDUCATION is the English language. The north is much more educated in every way better than any other part of NIGERIA.

The only lag is in English and that’s not education, that’s language. Work harder.

“Many will tell you that the north is educationally backward, but their definition of EDUCATION is the English language.

The north is much more educated in every way than any other part of NIGERIA. They only lag in English & that’s not education, that’s language. Note this always.”