Borno, Kaduna, four other states to suffer worse insecurity, economic hardship in 2024 –W’Bank

Persistent insecurity, armed conflict, and deteriorating livelihoods will continue to affect local government areas in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara states, and the far north of Adamawa State in Nigeria until May 2024, the World Bank has predicted.

This is as it disclosed that poor macroeconomic conditions are restricting access to agricultural inputs in the country.

This is set to affect cereal production in the country. The global bank revealed this in its latest ‘Food Security Update.’

Estimated cereal production for the 2023/24 crop year is expected to be 76.5 million tons in West and Central Africa, which is a two per cent decrease from the previous season, but a three per cent rise from the average for the last five years.

Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria are expected to contribute the most to this decline.

The Bretton Woods institution said, “Projections indicate a decline in production from last year in Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. This decrease is attributed to dry spells during the growing season and insecurity that limited access to cropland in Chad, Mali, and Niger and to poor macroeconomic conditions that have restricted access to agricultural inputs in Nigeria.”

While overall, most of the sub-region’s areas will remain in the minimally food insecure (category from November to May 2024, some areas are classified as stressed and some in crisis.

It added, “Over the same period (November to May 2024), Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions, mainly caused by persistent insecurity and armed conflict, and deteriorating livelihoods, are projected to affect the following regions:

“Nigeria: Local government areas in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara states, and the far north of Adamawa state.”

The other places this will affect include places in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, and Niger.

In its latest update, the World Bank noted that between August and November, many low- and middle-income countries were battling with high inflation.

It stated, “Information from the latest month between August and November 2023 for which food price inflation data are available shows high inflation in many low- and middle-income countries, with inflation higher than 5 per cent in 61.9 per cent of low-income countries (no change since the last update two weeks ago), 76.1 per cent of lower-middle-income countries (3.9-percentage-point decrease), 50.0 per cent of upper-middle-income countries (no change), and 57.4 per cent of high-income countries (2.6-percentage point decrease).”

It noted that the most-affected countries are in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia. It further highlighted that in real terms, food price inflation has exceeded overall inflation 74 per cent in 167 countries.

In November, Nigeria’s headline inflation rose to 28.20 per cent while food inflation soared to 32.84 per cent.

(Punch)

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BREAKING: A’Court affirms Kaduna gov’s election, stops supplementary poll

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has set aside the order by the tribunal which declared the governorship election in Kaduna State inconclusive.

The court also affirmed the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress as the governor of the state.

Sani had polled 730, 001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Isah Ashiru, of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 719, 196 votes.

Displeased by the outcome of the election, Ashiru argued that Sani did not score the majority of the lawful votes in the election.

He also claimed that the margin of lead was less than the total number of people who collected their PVCs in the polling units where the election was cancelled/not held.

Giving judgment on the matter, the state governorship election petitions tribunal in a split judgment declared the governorship election inconclusive.

The tribunal led by Victor Oviawie directed that a supplementary election should be held by the Independent National Electoral Commission within 90 days.

The tribunal ruled further that INEC is to conduct elections in seven wards, four local governments, and 24 polling units consisting of 16,300 registered voters.

Seeking redress at the appeal court, Ashiru urged the court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal on the matter.

Delivering judgment on the matter on Friday,  the court held that the evidence relied on by the tribunal to declare the election inconclusive had discrepancies.

Details later…

(Punch)

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A’Court affirms Kaduna-South senator’s election, orders LP to pay =N=600,000 fines

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja has affirmed the victory of Senator Sunday Katung as the valid winner of the Kaduna South senatorial election.

The three-member panel presided over by Justice Moore Adumein in a unanimous decision, upheld the judgment of the National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Kaduna, which had dismissed the petition of the Labour Party candidate, Michael Auta for lacking merit.

The court held that the tribunal was right in upholding the victory of Senator Katung of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Justice Adumein said, “Even a casual reading of the judgment reveals that the tribunal was very articulate and thorough in its judgment.

“The tribunal was right when it held that Michael Ayuba Auta failed to prove that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices.”

The court held that Auta of the Labour Party failed to prove the criminal allegation of allocation of unlawful votes to the winner of the February election.

While dismissing the appeal, the court also awarded N600, 000 fines against Auta in favour of Senator Katung, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and PDP.

(Punch)

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Troops uncover gun factory, recover weapons in Kaduna

Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), a military taskforce maintaining peace in Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna states, have uncovered a gun factory at Kafachan, Jama’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.

Capt. James Oya, the Media Officer of OPSH, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

Oya said the troops also arrested one Napoleon John, a suspected gunrunner, and recovered various types of weapons and ammunition.

He explained that the feat was possible owing to a week-long operation conducted by the troops.

”In line with our resolve to deal decisively with sponsors and perpetrators of crime as well as mopping up illegal weapons in our joint operation area, our troops have uncovered a gun manufacturing factory in Kafanchan, Jama’a LGA of Kaduna State.

”This followed a week-long intelligence operations that finally led to the capture of a wanted gunrunner, Napoleon John who has been on our wanted list.

” The suspect, who confessed to the crime, led troops to a concealed factory where arms of different calibre were sold by another miscreant identified as Monday Dunia.

”Dunia confessed to have been in the business for more than five years, fuelling the crisis in Kaduna State and neighbouring Plateau.

”A thorough search of the factory led to the recovery of 22 different weapons, including seven pistols, two locally fabricated AK-47 rifles, two military grade AK-47 rifles and nine revolvers,” he said.

Oya added that the troops also recovered one submachine gun, rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, machine tools and a gas cylinder.

”In a follow-up operation held between Thursday night and early hours of Friday, troops raided another hideout in Adua 1 community of Kafanchan and recovered additional two AK-47 rifles, two revolver rifles, live rounds of 9mm and 7.62 ammunitions, six dangerous daggers, one hacker axe.

”Several empty cases of 7.62mm special rounds, two mobile phones, one fragmental jacket, two Police uniforms, one pair of military camouflage trousers, one ammunition magazine carrier, one pistol holster and one military grade camel pouch.

”We also recovered one police combat helmet, two masks, four identity cards, gunpowder, shrapnels, charms and amulets.”

(Daily Post)

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Coup: Military onslaught in Niger is war between brothers, El-Rufai tells ECOWAS

Nasir el-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna, has cautioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against military intervention in Niger Republic. 

President Bola Tinubu, chairperson of ECOWAS, said the bloc had resolved to use force as a last option if the coup leaders in Niger do not relinquish power to ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Last Thursday, after a meeting of the bloc’s defence chiefs in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, ECOWAS said it had begun the activation of its standby force in Niger.

Although the defence chiefs had backed calls for dialogue as a mediation tactic, the group said all elements that would go into any military intervention had been worked out and were being refined.

This included the timing, resources needed and how, where and the day to deploy such force.

In a tweet on Tuesday, el-Rufai said a war within the sub-region would be a war between brothers.

“As ECOWAS beats the drums of war, I recall the 1970s rock classic by Dire Straits – ‘Brothers in Arms’, because a war within our subregion is a war between brothers,” el-Rufai tweeted.

“Indeed, the people of Niger Republic are one and the same with those living in Northern Nigeria. Let us bend therefore over backwards to avoid this civil war between brothers.”

El-Rufai’s call to avoid military intervention in Niger is the latest from stakeholders in Nigeria’s northern region.

The Northern Senators Forum (NSF) had also asked Tinubu to exhaust all diplomatic means in resolving the crisis.

The forum warned that deploying Nigerian troops to Niger Republic will hurt seven northern states — Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno — who share borders with the landlocked West African nation.

Shortly after their warning, Tinubu met with governors of five of the states as part of his wider consultations on how best to address the situation.

(Cable)

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