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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs