Benin City (Nigeria) (AFP) When Bright stepped off the plane from Libya and heard that his home state in southern Nigeria had begun a rehabilitation programme for returned migrants, he thought it was another scam. “So many people cheated us in the past few months,” he told AFP on the tarmac at Lagos airport, where he arrived earlier this month with nearly 300 other Nigerians. After months of fear, torture and prayers in detention centres in Tripoli or Benghazi, the returnees registered their name, their former address and the telephoneRead More
Lagos (AFP) A live performance of an aria from an Italian opera, sung by a professional soprano, isn’t a common sound in Nigeria’s bustling commercial and entertainment capital, Lagos. But it’s not the most surprising thing for the performer, Omo Bello. News of her appearance at the MUSON School of Music has attracted a crowd, even when it’s only for a short rehearsal. “I didn’t realise to what extent I was recognised in Nigeria,” the 33-year-old admitted after singing “O mio babbino caro”, from Giacomo Puccini’s 1918 opera “Gianni Schicchi”.Read More
Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) Some 100,000 Nigerians made homeless by Boko Haram received formal identification papers on Wednesday, to help boost security and restore normality in the country’s restive northeast. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC) began documenting personal details of the displaced at the Dalori camp, just outside the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. Dangana Ibrahim, from the agency, told AFP: “We are capturing their data and issuing them with temporary ID pending the production of the ID card in the next week.” At least 20,000 people have beenRead More
Lagos (AFP) Violence in English-speaking areas of Cameroon over the last year is having a knock-on effect in neighbouring Nigeria, where thousands of refugees are seeking sanctuary. Some are fleeing the unrest while others are suspected to be secessionists in favour of armed struggle, who could use the Nigerian side of the border as a base. John Inaku, head of the Cross River state emergency management agency in southeast Nigeria, said over 28,000 people have arrived from western Cameroon since October. “But many of them have not been registered yetRead More
Abuja (AFP) Nigeria has replaced the officer leading troops fighting Boko Haram, the army said on Thursday, after a recent surge in deadly attacks in the country’s remote northeast. “A new commander has been appointed for Operation Lafiya Dole,” army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said in a statement, identifying him as former military logistics chief Major General Rogers Ibe Nicholas. He takes over from Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, who was appointed to the post just seven months ago and now has been reassigned to the army’s policy and planningRead More
Lagos (AFP) Idris Anjorin believes his life changed in 2009 when he turned up for work — late as usual — distracted and stressed after more than three hours stuck in Lagos traffic. “I wasn’t happy I came late again. A coworker who noticed my mood advised me to try a boat ride,” the retired banker told AFP. “The next day, I arrived at Bayeku jetty at 6:00 am and within an hour I had made it to the office. That was a turning point in my life.” Bayeku isRead More
Lagos (AFP) Nigerian migrants expressed relief as they arrived home on Tuesday from Libya, describing the “hell” of harsh conditions in detention camps where they had been held. African heads of state have condemned the treatment of undocumented migrants in Libya, including widespread violence and apparent slave trading. The 144 returnees who touched down late Tuesday, and another planeload expected to land shortly after, are part of a repatriation programme that Nigeria has stepped up in recent months. One man who gave his name as Franklin told AFP that heRead More
Lagos (AFP) It has been ranked among the happiest places in the world despite widespread unrest, political crisis and recession. Now one Nigerian state has a minister in charge of contentment. The commissioner for happiness and couples’ fulfilment is the brainchild of Rochas Okorocha, governor of the southeastern state of Imo. Okorocha, who was previously widely criticised for using public funds to erect statues of prominent African leaders, on Monday appointed his sister to the post. Ogechi Ololo now takes up the first such portfolio in Nigeria. She previously servedRead More
Abuja (AFP) Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan was a “vital witness” in the corruption case of his party’s spokesman, a court was told on Tuesday. But officials have made three unsuccessful attempts to serve the former head of state with a summons to appear at the trial of Olisa Metuh, the Federal High Court in Abuja heard. Metuh is charged with receiving 400 million naira ($1.1 million, 940,000 euros) from Jonathan’s national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki. Dasuki is accused of using some $2 billion in defence funds earmarked for theRead More
Abuja (AFP) Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, announced Sunday that he had rejoined the country’s main opposition party, the latest sign he aims to run for the presidency in 2019. In a live video broadcast on his Facebook page, Abubakar said he was again joining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) had failed to deliver on its promises since coming to power in 2015. “It is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down,” he said.Read More