200 traders killed, kidnapped, raped in three months, Boko Haram alleges
- Over 200 market women in the North-East have been kidnapped, raped and, in some cases, killed by Boko Haram insurgents since January 2021, the Forum of North East Market Women said on Saturday.
- Expressing sorrow that they had been out of business as a result of insecurity in the region, the forum appealed to the President, Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action against the insurgents as some of its displaced members had fallen into drug use.
- They also lamented the activities of Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, claiming that their sources of livelihood have been taken away as a result of the insurgency.
Troops comb forests for missing Airforce jet, PDP, Ndume express concern
- THE search for the missing Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet entered its fourth day on Saturday with no sign of the wreckage of the aircraft.
- It was gathered that more troops and air assets had been deployed in the ongoing search of the jet which was believed to have crashed with two crew members, Flt Lts. John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele.
- The jet lost radar contact on Wednesday while on a counterinsurgency mission against Boko Haram in Borno State.
- The NAF spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet, an air commodore, told our correspondent on Saturday that more assets and troops had been pressed into the search for the crashed jet.
- Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, have expressed concern over conflicting reports and claims surrounding the ill-fated NAF fighter jet and its courageous pilots, who put their lives on the line for the security of our nation.
- The party, in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday, charged the gallant troops at the front not to allow the situation to dampen their spirits.
FG prepares 15 grazing reserves for herdsmen
- Over 200,000 hectares of land across 15 grazing reserves are being prepared by the Federal Government under the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
- It was also gathered that 22 states had so far shown interest in the livestock program that aims to address the incessant clashes between herders and farmers across the country.
- The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Andrew Kwasari, who coordinates the NLTP, told our correspondent on Friday that some participating states had already commenced training for the implementation of the scheme.
- Kwasari, who announced the commencement of the program had also stated that the President, Muhammadu Buhari secured a €400,000 grant from The Netherlands for the initiative.
- When probed further on the number of states that had commenced or were willing to start the livestock programme, Kwasara said 22 states had written to show interest in the livestock transformation plan.
- The NLTP, adopted by the National Executive Council in January 2019, was designed as a partnership with interested state governments to provide land for livestock farmers.
Under the scheme, livestock farmers will have access to land for ranching, as the land will be made available to farmers at affordable rates.
Buhari, Osinbajo, Obasanjo, Jonathan, govs, Tinubu, others mourn Odumakin
- The President,Muhammadu Buhari, ex-presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, governors, ex-governors and other eminent Nigerians on Saturday mourned the death of the Spokesperson for the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin.
- Buhari’s statement on Odumakin, who served as his spokesman when he contested the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, was signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
- Also, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who expressed shock at the news of Odumakin’s passage, commiserated with his wife, family and associates according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande. Akande said, “He prays that the Lord will comfort the family, and bless his memory always.”
- The deceased’s widow and popular gender activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said in a statement announcing the demise of her husband that, “A part of me is gone.” She added that her husband died after a brief illness.’’
- Okei-Odumakin said, “The sad event happened this morning (Saturday) at the intensive care unit of the LASUTH where he was being managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID – 19 which he had recovered from about a week ago. I appreciate the outpouring of grief and sympathy from home and abroad as I mourn my irreplaceable soul mate. I urge us all to remain steadfast in the cause of the masses to which he dedicated his life. Burial arrangement will be made public in due course.”
Nigeria exited recession faster than expected – World Bank
- The World Bank has said Nigeria moved out of last year’s recession faster than expected.
- Nigeria slipped into recession in the second quarter of 2020 amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic but emerged from it in the fourth quarter.
- The bank, in its newly released Africa’s Pulse report, said real GDP in West and Central Africa was estimated to have contracted by 1.1 per cent in 2020, less than projected in the October 2020 Africa’s Pulse forecast, partly owing to a less severe contraction than expected in Nigeria in the second half of the year.
- The Bretton Woods institution noted that Nigeria’s oil sector weakened in the fourth quarter of 2020 despite an increase in oil prices.
- According to the report, consumer spending and business investment are likely to remain subdued in 2021 as double-digit inflation, high unemployment, and the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine weigh on households’ real income and business confidence.
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