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Boko Haram’s Rise in Nigeria Sparks Civil War Fears

January 22, 2012 2 comments

voanews.com

A survivor of a bomb attack rests at a hospital bed in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
A survivor of a bomb attack rests at a hospital bed in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012.

Friday’s deadly bomb attacks in Nigeria’s second largest city, Kano, are the latest in a series of spectacular strikes by the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram. The coordinated series of assaults on police stations and other government offices killed at least 200 people. The rise of Boko Haram is sparking concerns that Africa’s most populous country may be edging closer to civil war.

Nigeria’s Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka predicted it; political analysts are regularly asked about it; and the Kano attacks prompted the Leadership newspaper to run as its weekend edition headline, “Finally, Boko Haram Launches War.”

The radical Islamist Boko Haram has made headlines with increasing frequency lately for a series of audacious terrorist strikes. Among them, a Christmas Day bomb blast that Read more…

Strike call as Nigeria doubles fuel price

January 5, 2012 1 comment

ft.com

Nigeria’s main trade unions have called for a nationwide strike and mass demonstrations from Monday to protest over the government’s scrapping of fuel subsidies.

Petrol prices have more than doubled since Sunday, when the subsidy was withdrawn. Taxi, bus and motorcycle fares shot up similarly, causing widespread anger and sparking two days of small but vocal protests in the major cities.

Cheap petrol – a litre cost 65 naira ($0.41), before January 1 – has for years been one of the only benefits most Nigerians get from the government. The National Labour Congress and Trades Union Congress said on Wednesday that if the subsidy was not reinstated they would launch “indefinite general strikes, mass rallies and street protests”, starting on January 9.

“All offices, oil production centres, air and sea ports, fuel stations, markets, banks, among others will be Read more…

Nigerian flooding claims 102 lives: Red Cross

September 1, 2011 Comments off

afp

LAGOS — At least 102 people were killed when a dam burst in torrential rain and flooding in southwest Nigeria, a local Red Cross official told AFP Wednesday.

“The death toll for now… is 102,” said Umar Mairiga, disaster management coordinator for the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

He said the Eleyele dam collapsed and several bridges were swept away at the weekend after heavy rains fell for more than seven Read more…

Nigerian Radicals Say They Bombed UN Center, Killing 18

August 26, 2011 Comments off

voanews

SaharaReporters, New York.©

A radical Islamic group in Nigeria says it carried out a car bombing that killed at least 18 people at the United Nations building in Abuja.

Witnesses said a vehicle forced its way past security gates at the sprawling complex and exploded inside the compound at about 11 a.m. Friday .

Rescuers raced to pull bodies and survivors from the rubble.

A spokesman for the radical group Boko Haram telephoned a VOA reporter (Hausa service) in Nigeria and said the bombing “is just the beginning.”

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he did not have exact casualty figures but predicted the toll would be “considerable.”

Mr. Ban told a meeting of the Security Council such “acts of terrorism are unacceptable,” and he warned the bombing signals that militants around the world increasingly view U.N. sites as “soft targets.”

About 400 Read more…

Nigeria imposes curfew on Abuja nightclubs and pubs

June 29, 2011 Comments off

bbc

Burning vehicles in police HQ car park The police HQ attack was an embarrassing strike at the very heart of the security establishment

The Nigerian authorities have imposed a curfew on nightclubs, beer parlours and cinemas in Abuja two weeks after a major bomb attack on the capital city.

These establishments must now close by 2200 local time (2100 GMT) and public parks that admit children should close at 1800 local time.

Eight people died in the recent attack on the police headquarters carried out by the Islamist sect Boko Haram.

It is also accused of Sunday’s attack on a beer garden in Maiduguri.

The group, which usually targets the north-eastern state of Borno, around Maiduguri, says it is fighting for Islamic rule, and campaigns against all political and social activity associated with the West.

Abuja city’s administration said it has also banned parking of vehicles on two roads where most government offices are located.

“These measures are necessitated by the need to ensure adequate security Read more…

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CBN’s quest for a cashless economy

May 17, 2011 3 comments

independentngonline

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently pegged a limit of daily cash withdrawal and lodgment with commercial banks by any individual and corporate customer to N150,000 and N1 million respectively, effective from June 1. This latest development, according to the apex financial regulatory authority is coming on the heels of increasing dominance of cash in the economy with its implication for cost of cash management to the banking industry, security, money laundering, among others. While some stakeholders said that the directive was in the right direction, others argued that the country has not developed enough for such policy. In this report, Group Business Editor, ROTIMI DUROJAIYE, samples the opinions of a cross-section of Nigerian and concludes that the CBN should be more creative in its drive towards cashless economy to avoid strangling the economy itself.

The banking regulatory authority, which disclosed the latest directive on April 28 in a circular entitled “Industry Policy on Retail Cash Collection and Lodgement,” signed by its Director of Currency Operations Department, Muhammad Nda, warned that individuals and corporate organisations that flout the limits would be charged penalty fees of N100 per thousand and N200 per thousand respectively.

CBN, which pointed out that the policy was adopted to reduce high usage of cash and  moderate the cost of cash management  as well as  encourage the use of electronic payment channels,  stated  that it took the decision in collaboration with the bankers’ committee.

It threatened to suspend any bank, payments scheme, processor, switching company or service provider that contravenes the policy for a Read more…

At least 500 dead in Nigeria election riots

April 25, 2011 Comments off

AP

BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — At least 500 people died in religious rioting that followed Nigeria’s presidential election, a civil rights group said Sunday, as volatile state gubernatorial elections loom this week.

Meanwhile, police in the northern state of Bauchi said at least 11 recent college graduates who helped run polling stations as part of the country’s national youth service corps have been killed in postelection violence, while other female poll workers have been raped.

The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria said that the worst hit area was Zonkwa, a town in rural Kaduna state, where more than 300 people died in rioting.

The Civil Rights Congress, led by a Muslim activist, said killings also took place in the towns of Kafanchan and Zangon Kataf, as well as the state capital of Kaduna.

Muslim opposition supporters began riots as results from the April 16 election showed Christian President Goodluck Jonathan had won the vote. Many here in predominantly Muslim north of Africa’s most populous nation felt the next president should have been from their region because a Muslim president died last year before he could complete his term.

Retaliatory violence by Christians soon followed, and officials say more than 40,000 people have now fled their homes. Authorities are fearful that releasing any official death toll will only prompt more fighting, but witnesses believe hundreds have been killed across the north.

The violence also took a toll on Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps. Authorities are trying to assure members they will be safe for them to take part in Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections being held in 29 states, though some have already fled their posts.

In Bauchi state, police have arrested 68 suspects in connection with the deadly riots that were sparked by the presidential election, Police Read more…