Category Archives: AFRICA

Nigeria, UNHCR to tackle influx of refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, is partnering with the Nigerian Federal and State Governments to embark on emergency solutions over the influx of Cameroonian refugees fleeing to Nigeria.

External Relations Officer, UNHCR Mr Hanson Tamfu, said that the agency and its partners had commenced emergency activities to provide assistance and protection to the increasing number of refugees.

He explained that the refugees were fleeing from the North West and South West regions of Cameroon following the escalation of violence over the declaration of the independence of Southern Cameroon on 1st October, 2017.

The refugees are currently hosted in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and are mostly from Akwaya subdivision, of the South West region in Cameroon.

UNHCR, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and Rhema Care, will resume registration of the refugees on Thursday..

The influx of the Cameroonian refugees is believed to be adding more problems for the Nigerian authorities and humanitarian actors, as they prepare for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon, Chad and Niger.



99 indigent children get shelter in plateau

An NGO, Societal Socialize Children Villages International has given shelter to 99 indigent children in Plateau since 2010.

The Programme Director of the organisation, Mr Stephen Davou, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos.

Davou said that the beneficiaries had either lost a parent or about to lose, and thus, had no economic and emotional stability to secure their future.

He said that the children were selected from social development welfare offices across the 17 LGAs of Plateau with guardianship from the court of law.

The official said that the organisation had also trained youths on entrepreneurial skills and secured their internship in various organisations.

According to Davou, some of the youths eventually get employed in their places on internship.

He urged the Plateau Government to gazette the Child Rights Law passed in the state since 2005, noting that child abusers were perpetrating the act because the law had yet to be operational.

He said that crisis in Plateau had rendered many children homeless.

According to him, parents should be close to their children, know their friends, monitor where they go and sensitise them to the need to identify and report any form of abuse from anybody for appropriate actions.

NAN reports that the organization, which has headquarters in Austria was established to meet the children’s needs and protect their rights, with offices in seven states in Nigeria.


Partner to rebuild health system in Northeast, WHO tells FG

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has advised the Federal Government to engage development partners in rebuilding health systems in the Northeast of the country.

She gave the advice at the weekend during a two-day working visit to the country.

While commending the government for its emergency response in the zone, she said it was time to involve development focused partners, and transit from emergency to the phase of rebuilding.

“We are in a way going to be transitioning from an emergency phase to rebuilding and transitioning to a development phase in the Northeast. There have been huge investments in the response to the emergency as well as response to outbreaks in that context.


Osinbajo at RCCG, blames Church for graft

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Kingdom Summit 2017 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), blamed the Churches for not speaking against corruption.

Osinbajo, who was at the Kings Court Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, remarked that corruption in the country still existed because the church had failed to speak against.

They failed to speak against graft simply because those involved in graft had relationships with them.

Osinbajo also urged Christians against putting tribe above other things.

He said that at creation, there was no difference in the nature of man and everyone related in an atmosphere devoid of tribe or other differences.

“The canal nature of man is that he places his tribe above others but the only basis for the power and unity of the church is that there is no Jew or Gentile.’’

He also advised the faithful to avoid divisive issues as much as they did to foolish disputes.

Osinbajo added that it was wrong to seek vengeance as the gospel did not give Christians the power to habour hatred.

According to him, when the disciple, Stephen, was killed, if the Apostles had retaliated, there would not have been the gospel.

“The gospel of the Lord says you must overcome evil with good.’’

He said God had a purpose for the Nigeria with the kind of persons in authority.

But he warned that the strategic position God had placed the leaders would be meaningless if they failed to live by the gospel.

“I am so pleased and happy and I believe that the Almighty God has a plan for our nation by putting us in strategic positions in politics, business and everywhere.

“But, the strategic positions He has placed us will have no effect unless we are prepared to live by the gospel.

“There is no wisdom of man that can change men or change nations; it is the power and wisdom of God that can,’’ he stated.

The vice president, who titled his remark “Neither Jew, nor Gentile’’ noted that the gospel of the Lord was transformational, meant to turn the market place around by uniting God’s people.

According to him, the only way to transform the nation is to obey the gospel and to do so that citizens must free themselves from the canal and simply return to the gospel in their practices.

Osinbajo noted that sometimes people thought that God did not achieve His purpose in man because God’s gospel contradicted the purpose of man.

He said that many times, Christians interpreted the gospel to suit their purposes, which explained why it was easy for them to pray against their enemies that prayed for them.

“This canal nature cannot save us; we are completely different from God because the gospel is not a canal word,’’ he stated.

The vice president pointed out that the Bible was not just a book but the wisdom of God, which could not be trampled upon.

He noted that the power of the church lay in its unity.

He traced the history of creation where God made man in His own image, and that man fell apart because of sin, but salvation still came when Christ was born.

Osinbajo prayed for the country and the people and asked God to grant Nigerians faithfulness to Him and give everyone the grace to avoid every form of disunity.


Museveni urges more work, not prayers

Uganda’s leader since 1986, President Yoweri Museveni has urged the people to spend more time working, not praying.

The president said the people’s fundamental mission on earth was to work and invent ideas and solutions that would help them have dominion over all creatures.

He expressed the sentiments during Uganda’s 19th National Prayer Breakfast at Hotel Africana in Kampala that was organised by the Parliament.

The Ugandan leader pointed out that man’s fundamental mission, as stipulated by God in the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, is dominion over nature.

He said he hates the helpless approach of people, spending days and nights “praying…praying and shouting as if God is deaf,” while ignoring the fundamental role of dominion over nature.

For the last 500 years, President Museveni noted, Africans had absented themselves from the fundamental mission of dominion over other creatures.

In the last centuries, he went on, scientific discoveries had been made by Europeans, and although the Chinese were also absent when other nations were inventing, they have been active in copying what others invented, something that Africans were not doing.

Quoting from the book of Matthew 7:15; President Museveni advised people in the gathering to be aware of false prophets who come “…in sheep clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”.

In Uganda, prayer events were commonly organised by various preachers and churches. Those who turn up were often told that during such events, they would overcome joblessness, poverty, and other misfortunes.

President Museveni said he borrowed the idea of Prayer Breakfast from Mr Rudoff Daker of Germany and Dag Kook in the US.

“They are the ones who told me about prayer break, they invited me to Washington for a prayer breakfast. That is how we started it here,” he said.


6 die in Accra’s gas explosion

At least six persons were killed and 35 injured, mostly suffering burns, after an explosion at a natural gas depot in Accra, Ghana’s capital, fire service spokesman Billy Anaglate said on Sunday.

The explosion on Saturday evening at the state-owned GOIL liquefied natural gas station sent a giant fireball into the sky above the eastern part of Accra, causing frightened residents to flee their homes in large numbers. Others were forcibly evacuated.

Ghana, a relatively new oil and gas producer, has suffered several recent accidents including an explosion in 2015 that killed around 100 people.

Several onlookers at the scene of the explosion expressed anger on Sunday that the government had not done more to prevent another fatal accident.


Mugabe: Journalist granted bail after “underwear” story

A Zimbabwean journalist arrested for writing a story deemed insulting to first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, was granted bail on Wednesday, his lawyers said.

Kenneth Nyangani of the privately-owned Newsday newspaper was arrested on Monday over an article that the first lady allegedly donated clothes, including used underwears, to supporters of her husband’s Zanu-PF party.

Grace Mugabe is a notorious shopper with a penchant for designer goods, and just this week was reported by local press to have purchased a new Rolls Royce – in cash.

Nyangani was charged with “criminal nuisance,” which carries a maximum six-month prison term, and ordered released on bail.

Passmore Nyakureba from Legal Aid Group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said “Nyangani has been granted bail but we will go back to court on Oct. 18 for further remand.

“We are likely to challenge the charge.

“Nyangani has denied any wrongdoing; the charges are malicious and are a violation of constitutional rights.

“His right to practice his profession as a journalist has been seriously threatened.”

Zimbabwe ranks 128 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

The group described the media situation in the southern African country “oppressive” and noted that both local and foreign journalists regularly faced arrest.

London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International had demanded that the charges against Nyangani be dropped.

President Robert Mugabe, aged 93, ruled Zimbabwe for three decades and intends to contest elections in 2017.

The first lady has been widely tipped as possible successor.

Mugabe has been accused of vote-rigging, multiple human rights violations and embezzlement in a country where 63 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, according to UN World Food Programme.