Thursday

NIGERIA'S SILENT GENOCIDE: WHEN WILL THE KILLINGS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA STOP?


CC™ Opinion Editorial - By E.O. Eke

The Ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Christian community in Southetn Kaduna is the silent genocide.  

Saturday 2 March 2019, was an awful day for the people of southern Kaduna and Bare village in Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa as Fulani herdsmen resumed their ethnic cleansing, to celebrate the re-election of Mohammadu Buhari as president of Nigeria.

It was reported that 40 people were killed in a church in Southern Kaduna and several feared dead in Bare village, when Fulani herdsmen attacked.

This coming just days after Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was declared president, gave a glimpse of what Nigerians should expect in the next 4 years.

Buhari has already warned that his second term would be tough and it seem to have started early for the people of Southern Kaduna and Bare Village in Adamawa.

I know Southern Kaduna. It is inhabited by one of the kindest people on earth. Bare people are a peace loving people. The crimes of these people are protesting the grazing of cows in their farms and being of different ethnicity and religion.

They have suffered for welcoming the Fulanis to live in their midst. Now Buhari has a plan to extend Fulani enclaves around Nigeria so that Nigerians can receive the Fulani response to hospitality of their hosts.

Is it not strange that Fulani herdsmen terrorism was never mentioned during the election.

Since INEC declared President Buhari the winner of the presidential election, there has been an upsurge in Fulani herdsmen terrorism all over the country.

The ethnic cleansing in Southern Kaduna has claimed thousands of lives and many more Fulanis from other west African countries continue to pour into Nigeria to take over cleansed villages.

Both the Kaduna state and the federal government have failed to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice. It is clear that ethnic cleansing of Nigerian villages is the official policy of the Fulani oligarchy, which wants to take over Nigeria.

The 2019 elections revealed the extent underage children were registered in the North and that the Buhari government has used the registration of children to give Nigerian citizenship to Fulanis from other West African countries, thereby skewing the demography in favour of the North.

At the moment, the government has earmarked billions of Naira for the sole purpose of settling Fulanis from other West African countries in different regions of Nigeria in what it describes as Fulani colonies to continue a primitive life style that destroys the environment, by the methane gas which cows release, and increase desertification.

History has shown that Fulani communities forcefully take over land wherever they settle and pitch themselves against their host communities which they aim to take over, conquer and subdue.

We cannot have a Nigeria where Fulanis are free to graze their cattle on other people’s farm and commit crimes against humanity by engaging in ethnic cleansing, without consequences.

In July 2020, Fulani terrorists killed 10 persons in two separate attacks on three villages of Southern Kaduna, Jema’a and Kaura local government areas.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai had on 31 July of that same year extended the 24-hour curfew imposed on troubled Zangon-Kataf to Jema’a and Kaura LGAs to bring the situation under control.

The governor, on his Twitter handle at the time, said, “at the request of security agencies, the Kaduna State government has extended to Jema’a and Kaura LGAs the 24-hour curfew.

This time, the bandits attacked Zikpak, Ungwan Masara, in Fantsuam Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government and Maraban Kagoro, in Kaura LGA, around 7pm on Friday, 31 July 2020.

The attack on the three communities left nine persons dead on the spot, another one died a few hours later, while at least 12 people were said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries. Many houses were also razed.

The killings in Southern Kaduna was evidence that those who depend on the Fulani-led federal government of Nigeria to keep them safe would be killed.

What continues to unfold in Southern Kaduna and the Middle-Belt in particular is genocide. The federal government of Nigeria and its regional allies in the Northern part of the country, namely the Sultan of Sokoto and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, are using similar tactics used by the Nazis in Germany to exterminate European Jews.

They are using the army and police to stop the people from defending themselves.

They use the army and police to search the homes of indigenous Christian populations to confiscate any weapon they may use to defend themselves.

Then, when the army and police withdraw, the Fulani terrorists come and slaughter the helpless villagers.

Then the Myetti Allah, Kaduna state government and Buhari led federal government issue false statements claiming that the killings are reprisal killings by bandits for cattle rustling or blame the youth, who know nothing about it.

At the same time, the Kaduna state government and federal government do nothing, while Fulanis take over the villages whose population they have killed or displaced. There has been no concerted effort to seek out the terrorists in their camps and bring them to justice.

It is worth noting that both the Kaduna State government and Federal Government of Nigeria are headed by Fulanis. How can Nigeria be one country, when Christians are not safe under a government headed by Fulani Muslims? The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is also a Fulani Muslim and has been accused of providing cover for those accused of being sponsors of Boko Haram and other Islamist terrorist groups.

This is a heinous injustice and crime against humanity and it is obvious that those who are in position to stop and remedy it have turned a blind eye.

They have chosen to aid the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population because of who they are and it is very sad.

My heart aches. I ask; where are the so called Nigerian leaders? Where are the Gowons, Obasanjos, T. Y. Danjumas, the National Assembly ((NASS) and opinion leaders, while groups such as Miyetti Allah continue to fund terrorist Fulani Herdsmen and their atrocities all over Nigeria?

The United Nations has also been criminally silent while the ethnic and religious cleansing continues unabated, with the acquiescence of its Fulani Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, an ally of President Buhari and the Fulani cabal sponsoring the activities of the terrorists. 

The coming reprisals against the Fulani (which is inevitable) as a result of the inaction of the Nigerian government and the global community will make Rwanda look like child’s play, and it may ultimately engulf not just West Africa, but the whole continent of Africa.


Sunday

A powerful message from the late venerable Archbishop Benson Idahosa

CC™ Sunday Revival

This was a powerful message from the late Bishop Benson Idahosa. Simply riveting and worth listening to as we wade through this dark world of uncertainty and spiritual paucity.

Wednesday

Covid: Children's extremely low risk confirmed by study

CC™ Health Watch

The overall risk of children becoming severely ill or dying from Covid is extremely low, a new analysis of Covid infection data confirms.

Data from the first 12 months of the pandemic in England shows 25 under-18s died from Covid.

Those living with multiple chronic illnesses and neuro-disabilities were most at risk, though the overall risk remained low.

The conclusions are being considered by the UK's vaccine advisory group.

Currently, under-18s are not routinely offered Covid vaccines, even if they have other underlying health conditions that put them at risk.

Scientists from University College London, and the Universities of York, Bristol and Liverpool say their studies of children are the most comprehensive yet anywhere in the world.

They checked England's public health data and found most of the young people who had died of Covid-19 had underlying health conditions:

  • Around 15 had life-limiting or underlying conditions, including 13 living with complex neuro-disabilities
  • Six had no underlying conditions recorded in the last five years - though researchers caution some illnesses may have been missed
  • A further 36 children had a positive Covid test at the time of their death but died from other causes, the analysis suggests
  • Though the overall risks were still low, children and young people who died were more likely to be over the age of 10 and of Black and Asian ethnicity.

Researchers estimate that 25 deaths in a population of some 12 million children in England gives a broad, overall mortality rate of 2 per million children.

Current data shows some 128,301 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test since the pandemic started.


'Hospital stays rare'

Separately, scientists considered all children and young people in England who had an emergency hospital admission for Covid up to February 2021:

  • Some 5,800 children were admitted with the virus, compared to about 367,600 admitted for other emergencies (excluding injuries)
  • About 250 required intensive care
  • There were 690 children admitted for a rare inflammatory condition linked to Covid, called pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS)
  • Though the absolute risks were still small, children living with multiple conditions, those who were obese, and young people with heart and neurological illnesses were most at risk

Lead researcher Prof Russell Viner said complex decisions around vaccinating and shielding children required input from many sources - not their work alone.

But he said if there were adequate vaccines, their research suggested certain groups of children could benefit from receiving Covid jabs.

He added: "I think from our data, and in my entirely personal opinion, it would be very reasonable to vaccinate a number of groups we have studied, who don't have a particularly high risk of death, but we do know that their risk of having severe illness and coming to intensive care, while still low, is higher than the general population."

He said further vaccine data - expected imminently from other countries, including the US and Israel - should be taken into account when making the decision.

Dr. Elizabeth Whittaker, from the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health and Imperial College London, said it was encouraging they were seeing very few seriously unwell children in hospital.

She added: "Although this data covers up to February 2021, this hasn't changed recently with the Delta variant. We hope this data will be reassuring for children and young people and their families."


BBC NEWS

Sunday

Islamic State (ISWAP) moves N18B annual revenue through Nigeria's financial system under Buhari government - ECOWAS organization


CC™ Breaking News

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, established by the Economic Community of West African States, says Boko Haram splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province, moved about N18bn ($36m) generated from trading and taxing communities in the Lake Chad region through the Nigerian financial system annually.

The group, set up by ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in 2000, stated that both Boko Haram and ISWAP had continued to mobilize, move and utilize funds through the nation’s formal financial and commercial system.

It noted that the government lacked adequate insight into Boko Haram and ISWAP international linkages and abuse of the formal financial and commercial sectors.

It said even though the Department of State Services had significant ability to identify and investigate terrorist financing activity, and that it even conduct parallel financial and terrorism investigation, there was little evidence of the effectiveness of such efforts.


PUNCH NEWS

Saturday

Again, Nigeria must do away with Gernot Rohr as he is wasting away Nigeria's golden generation of players

Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr is not the future
CC™ Viewpoint - Editor-in-Chief

a) Gernot Rohr has been on the job going on five plus years and in that period, he has discovered zero viable Nigerian talent (at home or abroad).

b) Nigeria's talented players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun and Ndidi among others, have not fully developed under Rohr and in fact, some of them have regressed, namely, Leon Balogun and Iheanacho.

c) Rohr is tactically inept and is a lousy talent evaluator and as such, he has been unable to discover gems from the local league (like Westerhoff, Bonfrere and Keshi did) and instead has resorted to introducing mediocre players from lower divisions in European and backwater leagues.

d) Nigeria has not been able to discover and groom a solid goalkeeper under Rohr despite giving him and his crew all the support to do just that. Now, rather than watch the local league and work hard for once, he (Rohr) sought to introduce an Under-18 goalkeeper from England and also brought in an equally unproven goalkeeper (at the time) from the fourth-tier of the German league to a team of Nigeria's caliber. Although Maduka Okoye has been somewhat adequate between the sticks, he is still not of the same caliber as the legendary goalkeepers Nigeria has been blessed with in the past.

e) The Super Eagles are a global brand and Rohr is a classic square peg in a round hole. Nigeria is simply too big for him and his ambitions do not match that of Nigeria's players or its teeming and football crazy supporters. Rohr has reached his pinnacle with Nigerian soccer and may we never have a coach that celebrates a bronze finish in the AFCON again! Can anyone tell me who finished third at the 2013 AFCON that was won by Nigeria? No Google search allowed please. 

f) Rohr is stupidly stubborn, rigid and bereft of the requisite man-management skills to handle our players. 

g) Rohr is almost 70 years old. Nigeria needs a young and dynamic coach, local or foreign (if foreign, must be Dutch as the Dutch style of total football fits us perfectly) that will work with local and talented (equally young and dynamic) coaches to inculcate the unique Nigerian way of playing from the U-17 all the way to the Super Eagles. Rohr is just after his pension and he has sucked us dry enough already.

h) This upcoming crop of Nigerian players is probably the best in a generation and Rohr has already wasted a critical portion of their development years.

i) Rohr will not change and expect him to continue calling up the likes of Daniel Akpeyi (who has zero upsides) et al to camp when the Super Eagles camp reopens.

j) Rohr is LAZY and is not a winner! Simply put, if you have never won before, Nigeria is not the team to coach with subdued expectations as Nigerians expect a lot from the Super Eagles. In a nutshell, the Captain of the Super Eagles is the single most important person in Nigeria; even the President of Nigeria barely sniffs a semblance of importance next to him. 

The recent loss to the Central African Republic in Lagos of all places, as well as the lackluster performance of the team in the following games against the same CAR, Liberia and Cape Verde respectively, are warning signs the NFF and all football stakeholders must heed.

There seemingly has to be something unholy and untoward between Rohr and the NFF leadership, as most Nigerians continue to wonder exactly what the journeyman has accomplished to justify his retention as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

Gernot Rohr has absolutely nothing to offer Nigeria and it should not take anyone with any semblance of intellect and football sense to see that. 

Rohr needs to go!

Sunday

Steve Jobs died 10 years ago but his ideas about the future endure


CC™ ViewPoint

By Nick Kolakowski

Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died 10 years ago. With a decade of hindsight, we have an even greater sense of how deeply he impacted the tech industry—but also how the tech industry is beginning to move beyond some of the paradigms he established and the battles he fought.

Unlike many other tech CEOs who rose to prominence in the early part of the 21st century and subsequently faded away, Jobs continues to hold the public’s attention. He’s elevated as an icon of creativity, the rare executive who could not only run a business, but also predict what consumers really wanted. Apple’s track record during his tenure—from the iMac to the iPod and the iPhone—certainly bears this out. 

“As thoughts grew into ideas, however tentative, however fragile, he recognized that this was hallowed ground. He had such a deep understanding and reverence for the creative process,” Jony Ive, the former head of Apple’s design and a close friend of Jobs, wrote in a new piece in The Wall Street Journal. “He understood creating should be afforded rare respect—not only when the ideas were good or the circumstances convenient.”

Ive added: “Ideas are fragile. If they were resolved, they would not be ideas, they would be products. It takes determined effort not to be consumed by the problems of a new idea. Problems are easy to articulate and understand, and they take the oxygen. Steve focused on the actual ideas, however partial and unlikely.”

Jobs’s focus on high quality and aesthetics helped transform Apple into a multi-trillion-dollar company. Whether Apple continues its stratospheric growth for yet another decade may hinge on whether it can successfully evolve into a provider of cloud services in addition to hardware—a shift that Jobs dimly saw before his deathIn an October 2010 email, he suggested that the tech industry was on the verge of a “post-PC era,” and that 2011 would not only be “Year of the Cloud” but also see the continuation of Apple’s “Holy War with Google.” Unless Apple moved beyond an “old paradigm,” it would eventually fall behind its rivals.

While Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android still compete for their respective slices of the mobile OS market, Apple’s opponents have multiplied over the past decade. For example, Apple’s dedication to user data privacy under current CEO Tim Cook has put it in direct conflict with Facebook, whose business model hinges on vacuuming up as much data as possible from users. Apple has also been locked in a fierce legal battle with Epic Games, creator of the ultra-popular “Fortnite” game, over the size of Apple’s App Store commission

In addition, Apple must ensure that it can continue to compete with its rivals in cutting-edge technologies including (but certainly not limited to) artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and the cloud. Although Apple was one of the first companies into the digital-assistant game when it rolled out Siri in October 2011, it has since lost ground to Amazon’s ultra-popular Alexa and Google’s voice-activated assistant. While most of the company’s hardware devices remain society-redefining hits, if there’s one thing that Jobs understood, it’s that the tech industry can shift very quickly under your feet.

DICE 

Friday

Amina Mohammed, the United Nations and the Butcher of Daura

President Muhammadu Buhari and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed

CC™ ViewPoint

By the Editor-in-Chief

His name is Muhammadu Buhari. He is the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and supposedly hails from Daura in Katsina State. This would not be his first foray into the arena of governmental administration, as he was also the despotic and tyrannical head of a military dictatorship from 1983 - 1985. Her name is Amina Mohammed, current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and she is the Fulani parochialist who has made it her mission at the world body to sanitize a man whose hands drip with enough blood to fill oceans of water. This is why he has aptly been named the 'Butcher of Daura'

Muhammadu Buhari, much like he has never met a Fulani he did not like, regardless of what country they may be from (he even once supported a Fulani individual for a regional position at the expense of a well qualified Nigerian who was non-Muslim and from the Southern part of Nigeria), has also never seen a non-Muslim and non-Fulani blood he could not shed, so long as his Fulanization and Islamization agenda is enhanced in the process. 

Fast forward to September 24, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari stood before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and in addressing that August gathering, he lied repeatedly and shamelessly from both sides of his mouth. What was even more disturbing was that the United Nations, a body whose credibility and global standing has been on shaky ground for at least two decades, welcomed a mass murderer and unabashed ethnic cleanser into its midst, and essentially sought to aid in the sanitization of a blood-thirsty dictator.

For the record, Muhammadu Buhari, after his tyrannical reign from 1983-1985 had been soundly rejected three times by Nigerians of all ethnic backgrounds when he ran for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the elections of 20032007, and 2011. As a testament to his predisposition to blood-letting, he (Buhari) once issued a threat during his campaign for the 2015 Presidential Elections that "If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood".

In addition to his propensity for violence or inciting violence to achieve his objectives, there is nothing Muhammadu Buhari can do to extricate himself from the perception and indeed the reality, that not only is he an ethnic bigot, but he is also a jaundiced religious bigot. His credentials as a religious extremist is buttressed by his calls in 2001 for the comprehensive adoption of Sharia Law in Nigeria stating at the time, "God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of Sharia in the country."

His agenda of Islamization and Fulanization (putting his ethnic Fulani brethren who constitute a mere 5% of the Nigerian population in strategic positions of governance thus influencing key national policy agenda) has been evident since his second coming in 2015. The terrorist Fulani Herdsmen (designated by world bodies as being one of the five most deadly terrorist groups in the world) under the aegis of their benefactors, Miyetti Allah have been allowed to murder, usurp, rape and pillage at will. 

With the backing of the Buhari administration and the Fulani-born Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohamed Sa'ad Abubakar and the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, the likes of Boko Haram, ISWAP and the Fulani Herdsmen have continued with their systematic killing of those opposed to the Islamization agenda of the Buhari administration and the Northern Nigeria oligarchy. 

The credibility of the United Nations and its Fulani-born Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed (the resident apologist for the Buhari tyranny being unleashed on Nigerians) has been further damaged by the charade of September 24, 2021. The optics both inside and outside that August Gathering were indeed bad for both the Nigerian government and the United Nations.

That the Buhari administration went to the extent of paying non-Nigerians in New York at the UNGA gathering of world leaders, to counter the demonstrations against his autocratic rule, was evidence of the fact that the UN was in bed with a tyrannical despot, desperate for international credibility and acceptance. 

It was indeed a disgrace and a black eye on an increasingly discredited global body that now officially has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Nigerians on its hands.

The world is watching.

Sunday

White Privilege: 'Grey's Anatomy' star Isaiah Washington says Ellen Pompeo was secretly paid $5M 'to keep quiet about Patrick Dempsey's toxicity

Pompeo, Dempsey & Washington. Jon Kopaloff & Vera Anderson/WireImage

CC™ Entertainment News

Isaiah Washington said the "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo accepted "$5 million dollars under the table" to keep quiet and "not tell the world how toxic and nasty Patrick Dempsey really was" on set.

During an interview on Tavis Smiley's radio show on October 21, Washington said Dempsey "was not a nice guy from day one." He also referred to Dempsey as "a total tyrant" who had a reputation for being "pilot poison," meaning an actor who represents a liability to getting a show picked up for a series.

Washington said Pompeo took "hush money" from unnamed parties around the time that the #MeToo movement was first making headlines before she signed a $20 million contract to continue on "Grey's Anatomy" and become the highest-paid woman on television.

The #MeToo hashtag went viral in 2017, largely inspired by reports about the now convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Many women in Hollywood made sexual-abuse allegations and described gender-specific disparities.

Pompeo signed her $20 million contract with ABC "in late 2017," according to her January 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"And you want to run around here like you are the keeper of all feminine women and the feminist movement," Washington said, referring to Pompeo.

The "P-Valley" actor said he never felt supported on the set of the medical drama because he "was never wanted there."

"Every single day, I was a problem that was being reminded, 'You're No. 4 on the call sheet,'" he said.

Washington said that around the time he exited "Grey's Anatomy," his own behavior on set was being used to cover up Dempsey's. 

Washington was at the center of one of the first controversies on the set of ABC's long-running medical drama when multiple witnesses said he used a homophobic slur to refer to his costar T.R. Knight during a fight with Dempsey. Washington issued an apology for his actions to People in 2006 and was fired from the show the following year.

Reps for Pompeo and Dempsey didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

In "How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy," a recently released tell-all book about the medical drama by Entertainment Weekly Editor at Large Lynette Rice, the former "Grey's" executive producer James D. Parriott makes similar comments about Dempsey's behavior, saying the actor was often "terrorizing the set." 

"Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him," Parriott adds. "He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people."

Dempsey has never directly commented about any allegations regarding his behavior on set. In his 2015 "Grey's Anatomy" exit interview with Rice, he said leaving the show "unfolded in a very organic way" but added that "it happened very quickly." 

In November 2014, Dempsey went on a "hiatus" from the show for six episodes for reasons he didn't explain to Rice.

"They tried to keep it secret as best they could," he said. 

Dempsey did say his erratic hours were hard on his family.

"It's 10 months, 15 hours a day. You never know your schedule, so your kid asks you, 'What are you doing on Monday?' and you go, 'I don't know,' because I don't know my schedule,'" he said. "Doing that for 11 years is challenging."

He added: "What I would like to do is focus on not being spread so thin."

The next episode of "Grey's Anatomy" airs November 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Read the original piece by Esme Mazzeo on Insider

Saturday

Executive Overreach: Justice Mary Odili who is second most senior member of the Supreme Court declared missing after illegal raid on her home

Muhammadu Buhari's autocratic and dictatorial proclivities fully on display again

CC™ Breaking News

Justice Mary Odili of Supreme Court is reportedly missing after security operatives invaded her residence in Abuja.

According to reports, the illegal raid was signed off on by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. Justice Mary Odili is the second most senior justice at the apex court and this action by the EFCC, in conjunction with the police is seen by many as being politically motivated and a sinister move by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove her from the court and replace her with another Fulani and Sharia indoctrinated Supreme Court Justice, ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The residence of the Supreme Court Judge in the Maitama area of Abuja (the Nigerian capital) was said to have been raided by fully armed plain-clothed security men for undisclosed reasons at about 5 pm local time on Friday. 

The security operatives were said to consist of soldiers and officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) who identified themselves as members of a joint task force.

Security operatives guarding the house were said to have resisted the takeover of the house without a court order as they insisted on staying around the residence, waiting for the occupants to surrender so they could take over the house. 

Justice Odili has yet to be seen or to make a public statement since the alleged invasion of her residence.

However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied the reports that its operatives carried out an operation in the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency were alleged to have stormed the house of Justice Odili in the Maitama area of Abuja to execute a search warrant as part of investigations into her husband, Peter Odili, who served as Governor of Rivers State from 1999 to 2007.

However, the EFCC, while reacting via a statement on its official Facebook page, noted that its operatives did not carry out “any such operation as claimed by the media”.

Friday

Buhari admits to his own security failures as says 12 million Nigerian children afraid to go to school

INSECURITY HAS WORSENED UNDER THE BUHARI ADMINISTRATION 

CC™ Global News

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said 12 million children are scared to go to school in the country, where jihadis and heavily armed criminals have kidnapped hundreds of students for ransom.

The first mass school abduction in Africa's most populous nation was in the northeast in 2014, when Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from Chibok, triggering a global campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.

Since then, attacks on schools "have grown in number and spread across the northern part of the country," said Buhari on Tuesday, addressing a conference on safety in education in the capital, Abuja.

Gunmen in northwest and central Nigeria have increasingly targeted schools, kidnapping more than 1,000 students since December.

As a result, Buhari said, "there are more than 12 million children currently traumatized and afraid of going to school." Girls were particularly affected, he added.

Young girls who leave school early are at risk of being married off, experts warn.

Save the Children said earlier this month that an "estimated 44% of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th birthday, one of the highest rates of child marriage globally."

Most kidnapped students are released after negotiations with their captors.

But "even when the abducted students are released," Buhari said, "the trauma of the incidences remain long in their minds."

The retired general, first elected in 2015, said the government was "highly committed to prioritizing safety in schools."

"We have identified and put mechanisms in place … to ensure the safety and security of schools in Nigeria," he said.

But it "has been tough dealing with these security challenges and their effect," the 78-year-old added.

Military operations are underway across the country, but security forces are often described as overstretched and overwhelmed.


VOA

Thursday

Long Covid in children 'nowhere near scale feared'

Biden (L) and Trump (R) have politicized and weaponized the pandemic - AP/The Atlantic

CC™ Health Facts

By Nick Triggle

The risk of "long Covid" in children is much lower than many had feared, leading child health experts have said.

After the world's biggest study into the issue, the researchers, led by University College London, said they were "reassured".

They surveyed 11- to 17-year-olds testing positive for coronavirus in England between September and March.

The research suggests somewhere between 2% and 14% still had symptoms caused by Covid 15 weeks later.

The team said it was important those with persistent symptoms, which included headaches, tiredness and breathing difficulties, received support.

But there was little evidence huge numbers had sought NHS help for symptoms that had left them bedridden or unable to attend school.

The study, which has yet to be published in a medical journal, also gathered data from young people who had never tested positive, meaning more than 50,000 were surveyed in total.

And 53% of them had at least one symptom after 15 weeks, simply because they are common in the general population.

Among those who had tested positive, this proportion was 65%.

A more significant difference was seen among those 30% had three or more symptoms, compared with 16% of those who had never tested positive, suggesting 32,000 out of nearly 235,000 who were infected between September and March have developed long Covid.

But the numbers could be even lower.

Only 13% of those asked to respond to the survey did so.

Researchers believe those who are suffering ongoing symptoms would be more likely to complete the survey than those who are not.

If all those with long Covid were to do so among those who did so, that would suggest their actual number was just 4,000 or fewer than 2%.

The research team - including Prof Sir Terence Stephenson, from UCL's Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health infectious disease lead Dr Liz Whittaker, and Public Health England officials - will continue to follow the children in the coming months.

But Sir Terence said he was already "reassured" suggestions, at the height of the pandemic, that half of children could develop long Covid cases were wrong.

"It is nowhere near what people thought in the worst-case scenario".

Although, he said, the numbers were still "not trivial" and the issue needed to be taken seriously.

Most likely to report persistent symptoms were older girls who already had poorer physical and mental health.

Those struggling emotionally and mentally could be more attuned to even minor physical illnesses, the researchers said, and a positive coronavirus test could help trigger that.

Of all the children in the study, 40% reported feeling sad, worried or unhappy.

And the researchers said it was clear the pandemic had had a damaging effect on young people because of:

  • the closure of schools
  • not seeing their friends
  • concern about the risk from the virus

This showed how important it was to get "back to normal" and have schools open, Dr. Whittaker added.


BBC NEWS