Daily Archives: May 11, 2015

Nigeria’s Jonathan says friends abandoned him after defeat

Lagos (AFP) – Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Sunday that some of his friends deserted him shortly after he conceded defeat to his rival General Muhammadu Buhari in the March election.

Jonathan publicly conceded defeat to Buhari on March 31, a decision which was commended by local and foreign commentators and doused tension in the country.

“Some hard decisions have their own costs. No doubt about that. It is a very costly decision but I must be very ready to pay for it,” Jonathan said during a farewell church service in Abuja.

Jonathan’s public admission of defeat in the nail-biting election came more than six hours after he rang Buhari to concede, earning him widespread praise for statesmanship.

“If you take certain decisions, you should know that people close to you will even abandon you at some point. I tell people that more of my so-called friends will disappear.”

Many party faithful and erstwhile loyalists of Jonathan have either crossed over to Buhari’s All Progressives Congress or made harsh statements against Jonathan’s party or its leaders.

Jonathan said he was not surprised by the desertions or statements by his former loyalists, adding that former South African president Frederik de Klerk faced a similar situation when he decided to abolish minority rule in that country.

Jonathan said that de Klerk’s marriage to his wife, Marike, broke down after he took that decision.

“But that is the only decision that made South Africa to still be a global player. If by this time w still have minority rule in South africa, nobody would have been talking about South Africa in the present generation,” he said.

He said that ministers who served under him should brace themselves for “persecution” following his loss and his decision to concede defeat.

Buhari, a former military leader, is scheduled to be sworn into office on May 29.


Nigeria, Chad troops should cooperate in Boko Haram fight -Chad’s Deby

ABUJA (Reuters) – Chad’s President Idriss Deby said on Monday in Nigeria’s capital Abuja that the fight against Islamist Boko Haram insurgents was being hindered by failure of the two countries’ troops to work together. He said there were plans to form a rapid response force for the African Union from troops of the four countries around the Lake Chad basin – Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Nigeria’s outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, Deby said he was disappointed that a joint agreement with Nigeria was not working. Chad has repeatedly complained about the lack of cooperation between the two armies since they launched offensives against the Islamist militant group earlier this year.

Deby also met president-elect Muhammadu Buhari, who beat Jonathan in the March 28 polls.

“‎It is regrettable that the two armies, that is the Nigerian army and the Chadian Army, are working separately in the field… If they were operating jointly, they would have achieved more results,” President Deby said.

Having defeated al Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad’s military believes it could finish off Boko Haram alone. It has notched up victories that have pushed the Nigerian militants back from the Cameroonian border.

The insurgents seized control of a swathe of northeast Nigeria last year, killing thousands in an unprecedented land grab while increasing incursions on neighbouring countries.

Nigeria has managed to roll back most of the group’s gains since the start of the year with the help of offensives launched by Chad and Niger into Nigerian territory while Cameroon has repeatedly repelled attacks on its border towns.

Deby said that he did not know where Boko Haram’s elusive leader Abubakar Shekau was hiding. Earlier this year, Deby threatened the militant chief by saying he knew where he was hiding.

“I cannot tell you today that I know where Shekau is hiding ‎and even if I knew I wouldn’t tell you,” he said.

A statement from Buhari’s press team said Deby and Buhari discussed Boko Haram’s cross border activities and the impact on trade due to the destruction of key infrastructure, such as bridges, and how to work jointly to defeat the militants once the new administration comes into power.

“We know how Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been helping Nigeria to secure our border…we will sit and make sure we have a comprehensive review of the security situation in the northeast,” Buhari said.

(Reporting By Felix Onuah, Additional reporting and writing by Julia Payne; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Boy smuggled into Spain in suitcase

Border guards have foiled an attempt to smuggle an eight-year old boy into Spain in a suitcase.

The boy, from the Ivory Coast was discovered at the border of Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

The suitcase was carried by a young woman of 19, which was checked when she crossed into the small territory situated in the north of Morocco.

“Passing the suitcase through the scanner, the operator observed something strange, what appeared to be a person in the suitcase,” a spokesman for the Civil Guard said. “When he opened it, he found a child in a terrible state.”

The young woman who was with him, who is not believed to be his mother, was arrested.

A few hours later, the boy’s father was arrested while passing through customs. A native of the Ivory Coast, he lives in the Spanish Canary Islands and is thought to have been trying to smuggle in his son to join him.

Earlier this week, a 23 year old Moroccan migrant was found dehydrated in a container in the port of Melilla, another Spanish enclave in Morocco.

He had spent four days trapped without water and without food.


Beninese, Nigerian Arrested for Wildlife Trafficking

Four traffickers in protected wildlife species were arrested on Tuesday April 29, 2015 during two back to back operations carried out in Idenau and Limbe in the South West region by wildlife officials from the Fako divisional delegation of forestry and wildlife. The traffickers were arrested for illegal possession and commercialization of 10 sea turtle shells. The four suspected traffickers include 47-year old Akam Michael, 31-year old Kanghi Joseph who are both Cameroonians , 37-year old Fiongnon Kocou from Benin and Reuben Akpan Jack, a 43-year old Nigerian.
During the first operation, the Beninese used a couple of tricks as he attempted to sell his share of sea turtle shells. From every indication, the exchange of money and shells was supposed to take place near the Idenau council premises. So when he arrived some 20 metres to the council office, he alighted from a motorbike, shapely and nervously looked around, moved forward into the bush, shot one last quick look and hid the bag of sea turtle shells.
He then covered the remaining 20 m on foot, made a number of phone calls, returned and collected the bag of products. But before he could go too far, wildlife officials, accompanied by gendarmes from the Idenau territorial brigade who had been monitoring the comings and goings, immediately stepped forward to arrest him. Seeing that danger was coming too close, he dashed out in a desperate last minute attempt to flee but was quickly rounded up.
It was disclosed by sources close to the case that during investigations leading to his arrest, it was found out that he worked with a Nigerian who played the role of an undercover agent and this information led to his arrest.
Shortly after the operation in Idenau, the wildlife officials quickly boarded a car with the suspects to Limbe where two other traffickers were firmly under the radar of an investigation mission and this quickly turned into an operation as one of the two came forth to sell their own share of the sea tulle shells. They were equally rounded up before they could realize what was going on.
The operations were carried with technical assistance of The Last Great Ape Organisation – LAGA. A case file is being established in Limbe against the suspects arrested in the town while the Beninese who was arrested in Idenau and detained in Limbe is expected to be presented before the state counsel in Buea.
Sea turtle are totally protected wildlife species which are facing serious survival challenges following intense poaching for food. Its eggs are equally poached. But the beauty of its shell is considered to be the main reason behind the trafficking. The shells are generally used for decorative purposes. There are 6 species of sea turtle including the green sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, the loggerhead, the hawksbill, the flatback and the leatherback which is the largest and can weigh up to 680 kg comparable to the native African cow – the Ankole-Watusi that weighs a maximum 730 kg. The huge weight of these species may therefore explain why they are poached for food but the 1994 wildlife law prohibits trade in any protected wildlife species and anyone found with such species is considered to have killed or captured the said species.

Eric Kaba