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3,500 children recruited, used by non-state armed groups in Nigeria – UNICEF reveals

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No fewer than 3,500 children, most of whom were aged 13 to 17, were recruited by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017 and have been used in the ongoing armed conflict in northeast Nigeria, UNICEF said on Friday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Chibok abduction.

The UN children’s agency said that these numbers are only those that have been verified, while the true figures are likely to be higher.

In addition to these children, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in north-east Nigeria in 2018.

Meanwhile, more than 100 of the abducted Chibok girls remain missing.

The anniversary of the abduction, marked on 14 April, is a grim reminder that widespread abductions of children and grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in the north-east.

“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and on their playgrounds at all times,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

“We are calling on the parties to the conflict to fulfill their obligations under international law to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools. This is the only way we can begin to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria.”

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Since 2012, non-state armed groups in northeast Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. Some of the girls become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention.

UNICEF continues to offer its support to the Government of Nigeria in its strong efforts to protect the country’s children. UNICEF works with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and other partners to support children who have been rescued or escaped from captivity.

In 2017 and 2018, UNICEF and its partners provided community-based reintegration services to more than 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities. These services help to trace children’s families, return them to their communities, and offer psychosocial support, education, vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods.

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Oyo NUJ mourns as another former union Chairman, Bode Oyewole dies

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council has mourned the passing of another former Chairman of the union, Elder Bode Oyewole.

Oyewole was Chairman of the NUJ between 1978 to 1980.

He was later Chairman of the Oluyole warriors, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan.

Oyewole recently spoke with the incumbent, Ademola Babalola on July 3rd, 2020 following the news of the demise of one of his sucessors in office, Joe Abiola (a.k.a. Atumah).

Abiola, who also died about three weeks ago, took over from Oyewole and was NUJ Chairman for two terms, spanning between 1981 to 1985.

Oyewole had assured Babalola through phone call that he would grace the burial of Abiola and especially tributes being planned in honour of the deceased by NUJ. It comes up this Thursday at 2pm in Iyaganku press centre.

Lamenting the death of the erstwhile union leader, Babalola in a statement signed by the Secretary of NUJ, Comrade Sola Oladapo, on Tuesdaydescribed Oyewole’s passing as “shocking, devastating, unexpected, sad and one that caught the Union unawares”, because of the outstanding career of the erstwhile Chairman.

Oladapo said the news came when the executive was planning a special programme in honour of Abiola, saying, “the news of his demise came at a time when his wise counsel, experience and charismatic attributes as a father figure in NUJ and the society in general are much needed.”

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The NUJ prays God to forgive Oyewole popularly called Uncle B.O, and grant him eternal rest.

It condole the family especially the wife, Mrs. Bose Oyewole, the children and the veteran journalists in the State and pray God to give them the fortitude to bear his irreplaceable loss.

 

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CBN to ban importation of maize

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Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all authorized dealers to discontinue the processing of Form M for the importation of maize with immediate effect.

The CBN gave this directive in a circular signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr Ozoemena Nnaji in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Form M, as reliably gatherer, is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into the country.

The bank directed all authorised dealers to submit the list of form M already registered for the importation of maize.

The apex bank, however enjoined the dealers concerned to do so on or before close of business on Wednesday.

It explained that the step was part of CBN’s efforts to increase local production and stimulate a rapid economic recovery.

The bank noted that the measure was to also safeguard rural livelihood and increase job which had been lost due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nigerian Army redeploys 37 generals, others

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The Nigerian Army on Tuesday disclosed that it has approved new postings and appointments of 37 generals and five colonels to different formations and units across the country.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Musa, in the statement explained that the postings which were approved by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, are a routine exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.

While wishing all the officers well in their respective appointments, the Chief of Army Staff said that all the postings and appointments take effect from July 20, 2020

According to the statement, Maj. Gen. L. Irabor has been redeployed from Defence Headquarters, Department of Training and Operations to Training and Doctrine Command, Minna, while Maj. Gen. F. Agugo was moved from 6 Division NA Port Harcourt to Headquarters, NA Signal Corps, Apapa, Lagos as Corps Commander Signals.

Also, Maj. Gen. M Mohammed was transferred from Headquarters, NA Signal Corps Apapa, Lagos to Office of the COAS and appointed Special Adviser, NA University, Biu, Borno State, while Maj. Gen. A. Dikko of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, was moved to NA Training Centre, Kontagora.

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The redeployments, as contained in the statement also affected Maj. Gen. U. Yakubu who was moved from NA Corps of Artillery Kontagora to Army Headquarters, Abuja.

Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. B. Sawyer was also moved from AHQ Department of Policy and Plans to NA Armour School Bauchi.

In a related development, this equally led to the transfer of Maj. Gen. I. Uzamere from NA College of Logistics, Lagos, to AHQ Abuja, Department of Logistics as Chief of Logistics (Army).

Others are Col. B. Sarki from Defence Intelligence College to 6 Military Intelligence Brigade as acting Commander; Col. K. Ogunsoya from DHQ to Headquarters, Directorate of Army Public Relations; Chief of Staff, Col. T. Antigha from Headquarters, Multinational Joint Task Force, Ndjamena, to Defence Headquarters as acting Executive Director, Armed Forces Radio.

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