UN Workers Spend Three Months With Boko Haram As Agencies Vow Not To Pay Ransoms - IReporteronline
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UN Workers Spend Three Months With Boko Haram As Agencies Vow Not To Pay Ransoms

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Two workers with the United Nations aid agencies are currently languishing in the camp of the Boko Haram insurgents as the Nigerian government and the abductees’ host organisations have vowed not to pay ransom for their release or start a negotiation with the terrorists.

SaharaReporters learnt that the humanitarian workers have life insurance and the agencies would rather pay insurance claims to their families than save them from Boko Haram through ransom negotiations.

A top source added that the Nigerian government, which itself still has several highly-priced abductees with Boko Haram, has asked the agencies to secure the release of their workers – although they are Nigerians.

One of them is Garba Idris, a staff member of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who was abducted on Saturday, January 2 along the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road, in Borno State.

The second humanitarian worker in captivity is yet to be identified.

The insurgents had attacked some commuters near Matari village between Minok to Jakana road on the said day before picking Idris.

The terrorists had also ambushed vehicles conveying commuters near Matari village between Minok to Jakana highway, and the Boko Haram fighters held Idris, aka Alooma, a Senior Protection Assistant with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, during the attack.

A source said the terrorists, clad in military uniform, had placed a roadblock with three Hilux pickup trucks and motorcycles.

“Witnesses said while searching the passengers, Idris attempted to throw away his Identity card but one of the insurgents sighted him. He was then asked to step down from the vehicle along with two others. The rest were allowed to continue the journey.

“The other two passengers were later released on the ground that they are very poor people and of no use”, the source had disclosed.

Unconfirmed reports stated that the terrorists also abducted scores of the passengers on that journey.

Speaking with SaharaReporters on Monday, a top UN official confirmed that two staff members had been with the Boko Haram insurgents but there is no payment of ransom and no negotiation, which are both in line with the standard rules of operation of the organisations.

He said, “They (the Boko Haram) typically don’t release aid workers without collecting ransom which only the government can pay as aid agencies on principle don’t. So they make a spectacle of it by executing and releasing the video.

“So that Damaturu-Maiduguri Road had been closed to all UN staff since November when the situation escalated but the two aid workers abducted were on personal travels when armed fighters stopped their vehicles and identified them during search.

“The government feels they are aid workers and the aid agencies should pay the ransom and not the government. Recall that the International Committee of the Red Cross helped the government to negotiate the Chibok girls’ release. But the government dropped the money.

“So when the ICRC staff members were abducted and the government was asked to step it, they told ICRC to use their connection to free their staff. ICRC didn’t pay and the woman was killed.”

Source: Sahara Reporters

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JUST IN: Buhari Writes Senate, Seeks N2.3trn Loan To Finance 2021 Budget

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, urged the Senate to approve a new external loan of N2,343,387,942,848.00, about $6.183billion, for the Federal Government to finance the 2021 budget deficit.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan read Mr Buhari’s letter of request on the floor of the Senate at plenary.

More details later…

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Nigerians From South America, Europe Storm Paris For #HarassBuhariOutofParis Protest

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According to Sahara Reporters, Some Nigerians staying in South American countries and some European countries are set to join a protest in Paris, the French capital today over the insecurity and poor policies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The protest, codenamed #HarassBuhariOutofParis, has been slated for 12pm Paris time, which is being mobilised by various groups and individuals including former President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide, Reno Omokri.

A Nigerian has confirmed he is flying in from Rio De Janeiro from Brazil into Paris for the protest while others are joining in from other European countries contiguous to France.

On Monday, Omokri called for the #HarassBuhariOutofParis protest in the wake of Buhari leaving Nigeria for Paris on Sunday to attend the African Finance Summit.

The protesting Nigerians are angry that President Buhari left the chaotic state of Nigeria burning with insecurity and failed leadership, only to attend the Africa Finance Summit In Paris, France in a four-day visit.

“Get ready to join us today for #HarassBuhariOutofParis by 12 noon Paris time, at the Temporary Exhibition Centre, front of the Eiffel Tower. Buhari can’t be globetrotting, while Nigeria is drifting. He should back and fix Nigeria! And if he can’t do it, let him honourably resign

“This made my day. This is a patriot. Flying all the way from Rio de Janeiro to join the #HarassBuhariOutofParis protest tomorrow, 12 noon, at the Temporary Exhibition Centre, at the Eiffel Tower. @MBuhari can’t be globetrotting, while Nigeria is drifting. Go back and fix Nigeria,” Omokri said on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

On April 2, a crowd of Nigerians in the United Kingdom had also stormed the Abuja House, 2 Campden Hill, Kensington, London, demanding that President Buhari, then on medical leave, immediately return home.

#HarassBuhariOutOfLondon had trended after the president departed Nigeria for the UK to undergo a medical checkup.

Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, had also advised Nigerians in the UK to occupy the London hospital where President Buhari planned to have his medical checkup.

Sowore had described the medical trip to London as a waste of resources, noting that the President should do his checkup in the “world-class” hospital he built in Nigeria since he came to power.

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Don’t Be Afraid, Oduduwa Nation Is Here, Spiritual Leader, Sat Guru Maharaji Declares Support For Sunday Igboho

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A spiritual leader and founder of One Love Family, Sat Guru Maharaji says he is solidly behind the agitation of the Oduduwa nation as championed by a freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

This was revealed when Sunday Igboho paid a courtesy visit to the Maharaji religious village situated in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Monday.

In a viral video, as reported by the BBC Yoruba, Igboho commended Maharaji for throwing his weight behind the agitation of the Oduduwa nation which has gained prominence recently.

Igboho also urged Maharaji to publicly declare his support for the emancipation of the sovereign Yoruba nation, adding that Yoruba youths need his encouragement.

Reacting, Maharaji said all gods and oracles in Yorubaland stand with Igboho on his position on self-determination of Yoruba nation.

“All Sunday Igboho’s services and activities are geared towards preventing the fall and annihilation of the Yoruba race, and I’m certain that all gods in the land are with him.

“And he’s doing what is necessary to achieve this, so that there won’t be trouble, because I can tell you that the Yoruba political leaders are incapacitated by this agitation.

“We are not angry with other tribes, but we can’t be here suffering hunger and other injustices meted out to us. We cannot say our fortune and comfort are in heaven, we have to liberate ourselves while we are still here on earth,” Maharaji said.

The religious leader appealed to people to give their support to Igboho.

Maharaji also called on South-West governors to have the interest of Oduduwa agitators in their agenda, stressing that they should not expose them to any danger.

“Give them operational vehicles to facilitate the agitation. This is how the United States, Japan and other developing countries support their human rights activists. When they see truthful people, they support them. Don’t be frightened. Oduduwa is here,” Maharaji added.

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