Boko Haram run hundreds scared out of Nigerian town

Residents  of a northeast Nigerian town said Saturday hundreds of them have fled  their homes for fear of attacks by Boko Haram militants who killed 43  people this week in a nearby village.About 400 men fled Bama on  Friday to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, 35 kilometres (22 miles)  away following warnings from residents of Gombale village, where Boko  Haram Islamists gathered for a planned attack on Bama, Usman Adam, one  of the fleeing residents said.“All able-bodied men, around 400 in  all, have fled to Maiduguri after we received warning from Gombale  residents across the river that Boko Haram were converging in the town  for an impending attack on Bama,” Adam told AFP.Adam said only  men are fleeing because they are mostly the victims of Boko Haram  attacks as the assailants believe that some men, recruited as members of  a vigilante group (or civilian JTF – Joint Task Force), are aligned  with the army.“Boko Haram has declared war on the people and they  specifically target men because of the involvement of the Civilian JTF  in fighting them alongside the military,” he said.Another  resident, Ibrahim Kolo, said they took the warning seriously “given what  happened in Konduga on Tuesday which we don’t want repeated in Bama”.Heavily  armed Islamist extremists in 4X4 trucks attacked a mosque, markets and  government buildings in a massive assault on Konduga in the troubled  state of Borno on Tuesday.State governor Kashim Shettima said 39 people were killed in the raid, the latest in a series of attacks in Borno.Another  four people were killed Tuesday when gunmen opened fire in the village  of Wajirko in Borno, the epicentre of a gruesome Islamist rebellion that  has killed thousands of people across northern and central Nigeria  since 2009.Shettima told reporters at the scene on Wednesday that more than 70 percent of Konduga had been “razed to the ground”.Another 65 people were being treated for burn and gunshot wounds, a hospital source in Maiduguri told AFP.Bama,  a major town in Borno state, has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram  Islamists who raided military and police posts, a prison and government  buildings.

Uduaghan advocates community role in pipeline protection.

 Worried by the volume of oil theft in the Niger Delta region, Delta  State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has advocated the award of  contracts for the protection of pipelines to contractors within the host  communities as a way of curbing the scourge. His suggestion came in the wake of revelations that Nigeria has been  losing $6 billion (N105 billion) annually to oil theft, a situation  which the Federal Government said was undermining the implementation of  its transformation programmes. Speaking in Abuja, Governor Uduaghan said one way of eradicating oil  theft was to explore the option of awarding contracts for pipeline  surveillance to indigenous contractors within the communities to ensure  effective protection and collective responsibility by the communities  themselves. Uduaghan, who spoke on the occasion of the Global Memorandum of  Understanding (GMoU) fair and exhibition between the Nigerian National  Petroleum Corporation /Chevron Joint Ventures and the eight Regional  Development Committees in Abuja, said government was willing to partner  with all stakeholders to arrest the scourge. The Regional Development Committees are known as Egbema-Gbaramatu  Central Development Foundation (Delta State), Itsekiri Regional  Development Committee (Delta State), Ilaje Regional Development  Foundation; Dodo River Regional Development Committee (Bayelsa State),  Keffes Regional Development Committee (Bayelsa), Kula Regional  Development Foundation (Rivers State), Idama Regional Development  Foundation (Rivers State]) and Jisike Regional Development Foundation  (Imo State). These development committees work with their communities to produce  and implement development plans designed to improve their livelihood.

Nigeria in war situation —Aregbesola

 Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has declared that the Federal Government was waging war against its citizens with the reduction in the monthly allocations to states and local governments. Speaking, yesterday, in Ejigbo, Osun State, at the commencement of a retreat organised for members of the state House of Assembly on the 2014 Budget, Aregbesola  stated that “any nation that experiences what Nigeria is currently passing through is in a war situation”.  He added that  any country that has its revenue reduced by 40 percent consistently

Naira vows to die with Nigeria despite interventions stocks remained decline.

Nigeria’s central bank said it has adequate reserves to keep  defending the naira as the slumping currency prompted a selloff of the  country’s stocks, with the all-share gauge posting the world’s worst  performance today. “There is a great need to defend the currency because we don’t want  volatility,” Central Bank of Nigeria Deputy Governor Sarah Alade said by  phone from Lagos today. “Whenever there is need to intervene, we will  do so.” The naira strengthened 2 percent to 162.13 per dollar as of 4:05 p.m.  in Lagos, snapping three days of losses. The currency weakened 0.4  percent yesterday to 165.36 per dollar, the lowest level since Bloomberg  started compiling data in 1999. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share  Index (NGSEINDX) fell 1.6 percent by the close in Lagos, bringing its  weekly decline to 4.9 percent, the most since June. Stocks, bonds and currencies from developing nations have been sold  since the start of stimulus reduction by the Federal Reserve last month.  Equities in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, fell 6.2 percent  this year, compared with a 4.7 percent decline in the MSCI Emerging  Markets Index. The naira has retreated 1.1 percent this year while  foreign reserves that Africa’s biggest oil producer uses to bolster the  local currency dropped to $42 billion this week, the lowest since  October 2012. “All of these things are causing panic,” Pabina Yinkere, head of  research at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone.  “For an international investor, if the currency is going to devalue, it  will affect his own returns.” Dollar Auctions Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GUARANTY), the country’s biggest lender by  market value, dropped 5 percent to 24.73 naira, the lowest since Sept.  18. Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) retreated 2.4 percent to 142 naira, a  ninth day of declines in the longest stretch of losses since October  2008.

Our Problem’s Leadership – Buhari

A former military head of state and presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has blamed the problems confronting the country on the twin evils of bad leadership and insecurity, which he said could be addressed by a shift in the style of those in positions of authority.…

NUPENG PRESIDENT-”NUPENG strike is going to be worse than ASUU’S”

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has  threatened to embark on strike if the ongoing divestment in the oil  sector by some multinationals was not halted.Mr Igwe Atuche, the President of NUPENG, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.Atuche deplored the ongoing divestment, saying it was intended to  sabotage the Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the petroleum  sector.He said that the situation had raised concerns about the sincerity of government to refocus the sector.Atuche urged the government to demonstrate its resolve on the issue by checking the divestment trend.He also said that one of the drawbacks of withdrawal of interests in the sector would be loss of jobs by Nigerians.Atuche therefore called on the government to constitute a team to  look into the issue, warning that unless this was done, the union would  call out its members on strike.“We are actually planning a strike, going by the recent development in the oil sector.“We are concerned about the activities of the multinational  organisations, including Shell, Chevron, Mobil and others, where we  believe the government has 60 per cent investments, yet today, a lot of  divestment is going on in the sector.“In the last World Economic Summit, Shell said it was going to divest about one billion-dollar equity in Nigeria.“Our question is who gave the approval to divest. As I speak to you,  there is serious divestment going on in Shell, Chevron, Mobil, Total and  Agip,” he said.The union president said that if the union was pushed to embark on  strike, it might be worse than the recent one by the Academic Staff  Union of Universities.