News / Africa

Officials: Nigeria Secure for Economic Forum Despite Attacks

Sahadu is a civil servant who was catching a bus to work Monday morning, April 14, 2014 when a bomb went off, killing 75 people in the Nigerian capital. He says Boko Haram insurgents were once a northeastern issue, but the security crisis appears to be spreading, Abuja, Nigeria, April 16, 2014. (Heather Murdock/VOA)
Sahadu is a civil servant who was catching a bus to work Monday morning, April 14, 2014 when a bomb went off, killing 75 people in the Nigerian capital. He says Boko Haram insurgents were once a northeastern issue, but the security crisis appears to be spreading, Abuja, Nigeria, April 16, 2014. (Heather Murdock/VOA)
Heather Murdock
After the worst attack in Abuja’s history on Monday, officials say the Nigerian capital has been secured for the World Economic Forum for Africa next month. These comments come amid conflicting statements on the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls, and ongoing violence in the north. President Goodluck Jonathan summoned his security council.
 
The Nigerian capital is simultaneously recovering from a bombing that killed 75 people in the suburbs on Monday, and preparing for the World  Economic Forum for Africa - which is expected to draw more than 1,000 delegates, including many heads of state.
 
Minister of National Planning Ambassador Bashir Yuguda said Thursday there is no need for concern. “Security will be beefed up. The security of the delegates coming -- Nigeria is guaranteeing their security. We will do the best we can as a nation to do that because it’s our responsibility to protect the lives of the delegates that are coming.”     

Emergency rule

Three states in Nigeria’s northeast have been under emergency rule for almost a year, after Jonathan said Islamist insurgents known as Boko Haram had captured territories, threatening the country’s sovereignty.
 
Initially, the military and police secured cities in the northeast, driving insurgents into the countryside and into the forest. The violence appears to be escalating, however, and rights groups say more than 1,500 people have been killed this year alone.
 
At this hospital in the capital, far from areas under emergency rule, patients recover from the bombing of the bus station on Monday. It was the largest attack in the city since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, and the first in two years.
 
Like many of the victims, Sahadu is a civil servant who was catching a bus to work that morning. Also, like many of the victims, he said Boko Haram once was a northeastern issue, but the security crisis appears to be spreading.
 
The truth about the violence in the northeast, though, often is hard to discern.
 
Abducted schoolgirls

On Wednesday night, the Nigerian military said no more than eight of 129 girls who were abducted in Borno state Monday remain missing.
 
Other officials, however, say this is either untrue, or they have no knowledge of a rescue. On a scratchy phone line from a remote region in the northeast,Government Girls Secondary School principal Asabe Kwambura said, “We have not gotten any information that they have gotten the students yet. So all this information you got in the media is not true.”

The governor of Borno State, one of those under emergency rule, is offering a reward of about $300,000 for information leading to a rescue.

 "I want to assure you that we are willing to do anything to see that these innocent girls are rescued without any harm coming their way,” said Governor Kashim Shettima.

There were no initial claims of responsibility for the kidnappings. But the assault is similar to attacks that have been carried out by Boko Haram.
 
The group has been blamed for thousands of deaths in attacks on churches, schools, mosques, markets, government structures and security forces. The group says it wants to impose its harsh version of Islamic law, which includes banning all forms of Western education.

Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs