Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Video - Unrest forces farmers off their land in Nigeria

Conflict between farmers and herders are affecting Nigeria's rising levels of poverty. Analysts say the violence is forcing millions of people, mostly poor farmers, from their lands.

20,000 Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali for prostitution

Nigeria's anti-trafficking agency says it has received concrete intelligence that around 20,000 Nigerian girls have been forced into prostitution in Mali.

Many of the girls are working in hotels and nightclubs after being sold to prostitution rings by human traffickers, according to a fact-finding mission carried out by the agency in collaboration with Malian authorities in December.

NAPTIP's Arinze Osakwe told CNN most of the girls said they were lured by human traffickers who promised them employment in Malaysia.

"The new trend is that they told them they were taking them to Malaysia and they found themselves in Mali. They told them they would be working in five-star restaurants where they would be paid $700 per month," Osakwe, who was part of an earlier NAPTIP rescue mission, said.

Some of the girls had been sold as sex slaves in gold mining camps in northern parts of Mali, he said.
Officials from the agency under Operation Timbuktu rescued 104 Nigerian girls from three brothels in Bamako, Mali's capital in 2011.

They were forced to become sex workers in mining communities in northern Mali.

"We brought back 104 girls just from three ramshackle brothels, and those were the ones that were even willing to come. They were mostly between the age of 13 and 25, and they had been trapped in the country for many years," Osakwe said.

"Since then, we have been working with local authorities and receiving reports from the Nigerian embassy in Bamako that the number of Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali has spiked tremendously," he said.

The agency said it is working with Malian authorities, the International Organization for Migration and National Emergency Management Agency to send the girls back to Nigeria.
Every year, tens of thousands of Nigerians are trafficked illegally to destinations abroad especially Europe.

Around 97 percent of victims are women, and 77 percent have been sexually exploited by their traffickers, according to IOM estimates.


Related stories: The illegal sex trafficking trail between Nigeria and Europe

Video - Nigerian women trafficked to Europe for prostitution at 'crisis level'

Outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday, declared an outbreak of Lassa fever in the country, following an upsurge in the number of confirmed cases recorded across states since 1st January.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, announced this in Abuja. He said: “There has been an increase in the number of Lassa fever cases reported from several states across the country since the beginning of the year. “As at January 13, 60 confirmed cases have been reported in eight states. “Given this increase in reported cases, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has declared this an outbreak.” He also said an Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, has been activated to coordinate the nationwide response to the outbreak, noting that the EOC includes World Health Organisation, WHO; mini-stries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, US Centres for Disease Control, among others.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Video - Nigerian woman tackles mental health stigma

A Nigerian woman is leading the fight against stigma associated with mental health. Hauwa Ojeifo was diagnosed with Bipolar and post-traumatic stress in 2015. She has not allowed it to bring her down. Instead, she is using her experience to raise awareness on mental illness -- in a country where 30 percent of the population is affected.

3 stabbed in All Progressive Congress party rally in Nigeria

At least three people were stabbed Tuesday after violence flared at a campaign rally in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria, police said.

Lagos state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode addressed thousands of supporters at the event, organized by Nigeria's ruling All Progressives Congress party.

Violence broke out after members of a transport union stormed the campaign venue, said Lagos police spokesman Chike Oti.

The violence was directed at supporters of a top transport union official, MC Oluomo (real name Musiliu Akinsanya), who was among those stabbed at the rally, according to police. Police said the union official and others were discharged following treatment at a hospital.
Video from the rally posted online shows men brandishing machetes as people cower and run for safety. Gunshots can be heard.

Three journalists covering the event were injured, a Lagos-based journalists' union said in a statement on Wednesday.

It called for a media boycott of political rallies by parties who cannot provide "minimum security" for journalists covering their campaigns.

Police said 16 people were arrested following an investigation. Tuesday's incident has sparked fears of election-related violence as Nigeria begins a heated campaign season leading up to a general election in February.