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Four aid workers, one other abducted in northeast – report

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Islamist militants have reportedly abducted four aid workers and a private security worker in northeast Nigeria.

Referencing a video, Reuters on Monday said the hostages identified themselves and said they each worked for different organisations. With just their heads and shoulders showing against leafy plants outdoors, they named large aid groups Action Against Hunger, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and REACH.

“I am appealing to the International Rescue Committee to come and rescue me,” said one of the hostages, who gave his name as Luka Filibus.

The incident underscores the increasing risk for aid workers in northeast Nigeria, where a decade-long conflict with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s regional ally has fuelled one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

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The abduction is also a sign of how dangerous the region has become since Nigeria’s military withdrew into garrison towns they call “super camps”, leaving previously safe major roads, much of the countryside and smaller towns unprotected.

Nigeria’s army has this year touted major victories against the insurgents, but recent attacks and the abductions undermine the claims.

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While the hostages did not name Islamic State or Boko Haram, they referred to their captors as soldiers of the “khalifa”. Previously, captives have used the term to refer to Islamic State West Africa Province, rather than Boko Haram.

The IRC and Action Against Hunger said in separate statements they were working to secure the release of their colleagues.

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REACH did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Metro

Father demands investigation after son drowns in Russia river

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Prof Amaechi Ndubueze, the father of an 18-year-old medical student, Knowledge Ndubueze, who died after drowning in a Russian River, has demanded an investigation into circumstances leading to the sad incident.

Ndubueze, an indigene of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia, left to study medicine in 2018 at Yugoslavia State Medical University.

His father, a lecturer at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), received a call around 3:30 pm on July 9, informing them of his death.

“It was his guardian who stays at St Petersburg: another city different from Yugoslavia State, where the boy was studying that called to inform me about my son’s death. When I asked him what happened, he told me he was not there with him to actually say what happened.

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“But according to unverified source that spoke to him, the guardian, he learnt that the boy went for a picnic with others at a lake where the boy was said to have drowned and died instantly.”

Ndubueze suspected there could more to his son’s death than reported

“The news of my son’s death is rather unfortunate becaue we did not hear that he was sick as he has no previous sickness. So we suspect a foul play. We suspect that they are trying to use drowning to cover-up.

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“How can someone just call me and say Knowledge Uzochi Ndubueze is dead like that?

“We are pleading with the Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe, Orji Uzor Kalu and Theodore Ahamefula to intervene and order investigation into this death as it is rather unfortunate.

“The chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission Mrs. Dabire Abike Erewa, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia and other well meaning Nigerians should come to our help as we are helpless, there is definitely nothing we can do as this incidence is in far away Russia.

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“My son’s movement to Russia is through right and appropriate means. He has his papers intact. His passport too and visa where legally processed.

“It was education that took him to Russia. The proper thing is for an investigation to be conducted into the circumstances surrounding his death and those culpable if any made to face the full weight of the law,” he said.

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Charcoal fume Kills two in Anambra (Photos)

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A Nigerian woman identified as Mrs Obiageli Ezeuboaja, and her house boy, Chikamso, have been killed in their sleep in Umuchiana village, Ekwulobia, Anambra State.

Her husband, Bernard Ezeuboaja, reported the incident on Wednesday at Aguata Police Station.

Bernard Ezeuboaja discovered that his wife one Obiageli Ezeuboaja aged 65 years and her house boy one Chikamso aged about 12 years slept and never woke up after he opened the door and saw their lifeless bodies.

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Following the report, Police detectives attached to Aguata division visited the scene and rushed victims to the hospital for medical attention but they were all certified death on arrival by a medical doctor.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased set a charcoal fire in order to warm the room due to cold weather leaving all the windows closed and without ventilation.

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Meanwhile, the charcoal container was recovered as exhibit while corpses deposited at Ekwulobia hospital mortuary for autopsy.

An investigation is ongoing to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident.

See photos:

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B/Haram demands N20m ransom from blind man to free daughter, niece

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Boko Haram members are demanding a ransom of N20 million from a 75-year-old internally displaced blind man, Papa Jato Ndarfa before his daughter and niece will be released to him.

The traumatized blind old man who is currently living at the CAN Centre IDPs Camp Maiduguri told journalists that he has appealed to the insurgents to have mercy on him and release his daughter and niece as he could not to raise such amount of money being demanded.

The distraught old man narrated that his daughter, Lami Jato, 25 a graduate of Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education Maiduguri including his niece, Renita Bitrus were both abducted by some suspected Boko Haram terrorists two weeks ago at a farm in Tungushe, Magumeri Local Government area of Borno State alongside a tractor driver.

Tungushe is located along Maiduguri- Monguno road, just 15km, northeast from Maiduguri, the state capital.

Papa Jato informed that his children abductors made contact through his niece’s phone and requested for N20 million before his daughter, niece and the tractor driver will be released to him.

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The old man who fought with tear down his eyes lamented where and how he could raise such a huge amount of money to pay the terrorists but instead called on the insurgents to show mercy by releasing his children unconditionally.

He disclosed that his daughter Lami has remained the pillar of the family since 2014 when Boko Haram sacked their village and his three wives were missing up to this moment.

He added that Lami and his niece decided to engage in the farming venture so as to raise money for the sustenance of the family at the camp and his personal care as well.

His words:

“It was two of them, my daughter, Lami Jato and my niece, Renita Bitrus who is married with two children that were abducted by the Boko Haram. It is 15 days now from the day they were abducted when they went for farming in Tungushe, along Maiduguri-Monguno road.

“Initially they were 7 in number at the farm that were abducted. Five men, my daughter and my niece, but they later released four of the men and held one of the men, the tractor driver and my two children.

“I am not fighting or quarrelling with the Boko Haram, they are my children. I am appealing to them to please have mercy on me and release my daughter, niece and the tractor driver.

“I am a poor blind old IDP living in a Nylon House in a camp. There is no means of getting money to feed talk more of getting N20 million to offer. Please, my children, pity me and release the women who are also your sisters.

“I am also appealing to our hardworking Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum to come to my aid and intervene. I should not be allowed to die of frustration from what I am facing now. The situation is terrible for me here,” Papa Ndarfa appealed.

Another appeal made by the old man was for the IDPs at the CAN Centre camp to be considered by State Emergency Management Agency ( SEMA ) and the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEM) for the distribution of food, stressing that, “it has been a long time we received food from SEMA and NEMA at this camp.”

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Papa Jato, an indigene of Gava from Gwoza Local Government while speaking on his journey to IDP camp in Maiduguri said they fled to Maiduguri when Boko Haram attacked their village in 2014 and killed over 100 villagers and burnt down several houses.

He added that since 2014 they have been living in the CAN Centre IDPs camp.

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