ONE: The aftermath of the attacks in Kano that targeted police stations, immigration offices, the local headquarters of the secret police claiming at least 143 lives continues. This could possibly be Boko Haram’s deadliest assault so far. President Goodluck Jonathan has promised that Boko Haram will be brought to justice but so far, his tactics leave much to be desired. While apparently 158 suspected members of Boko Haram were arrested in Kano last week, government officials and clerics gathered for peace prayers. A Boko Haram spokesperson revealedthe reasons behind the group’s attacks in Kano stating that they had given warnings in the second week of December 2011. According to this spokesperson, Qaga a lot of ‘their people’ (including women and children) are being killed and tortured in Kano state by security agencies. Thus their violent attacks were an act of revenge.
President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged Boko Haram to identify itself and state its demands clearly in a move to initiate dialogue with the group. It appears he may have not come across the video of Boko Haram spokesperson explaining the motives behind their attacks and issuing new threats. Again it seems that President Goodluck does not know how to go about dealing with Boko Haram, that or he is deliberately refusing to make details on the group available to the public. When asked about links between Boko Haram and al Qaeda, he responded; “There is a lot of evidence there is linkages … no doubt about that. Meetings are being held in north Africa, the movement of people in these places have been monitored and noticed. The level of involvement and probably in terms of funding and equipment, I do not know.”
TWO: The events in Kano also brought to light the anger local youths felt towards both Boko Haram and the government. On Wednesday last week, a crowd of angry youth singing praises for Boko Haram and promising to kill any police officer overran a police station that had being bombed the previous day. While there were youths who vocally expressed disapproval of Boko Haram’s terror campaign and called on leaders to put a stop to them, on the other hand were the jubilant youths taking advantage of the chaos and confusion.
THREE: Last week, there were even more explosions, this time in Bauchi where eyewitnesses confirmed that they heard three loud explosions during the night. However these explosions are being attributed to a faulty electric transformer. The explosions were said to have gone off near IBB square, Jahun area and near a railway line in Bauchi township. It has yet to be confirmed if these explosions were the work of Boko Haram or due to the faulty transformer. At the same time a police station in Tafawa Balewa local government area and another military checkpoint was attacked.
FOUR: On Tuesday, the soldiers that had mysteriously appeared on the streets of Lagos following the protests against fuel subsidy removal were ordered to withdraw from the city by army authorities. On Monday, these soldiers appeared in strategic areas in Lagos sparking controversy. Lagos State Governor described the deployment as an undemocratic move.
FIVE: While most attention was on the fuel subsidy removal protests and #Occupy Nigeria, a British based man Gary Hyde was being arraigned in the UK over shipping 80,000 rifles and pistols as well as 32 million rounds of ammunition to Nigeria. The shipment is said to include 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols. These arms were shipped without permission from relevant UK government departments. Gary Hyde, along with his German business partner Karl Kleber acted as middle men between two Polish companies for Nigerian buyers and received commission payments totalling around £840,000 or N351 million. We still do not know who the Nigerian buyers are and if the guys reached their destination in Nigeria.
SIX: In a landmark decision, the Nigerian Supreme Court has ordered five state governors to step down immediately marking the end of a long legal battle about when exactly their terms in office began. These governors from the PDP won polls in 2007 and vote re-runs in 2008 in Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi, Adamawa and Sokoto.
SEVEN: At least 15 village traders were shot dead in Zamfara state by armed robbers as they returned from a market on Thursday night. Some bodies were burnt in a truck the traders were travelling in.
EIGHT: Moving on to more positive news, a Nigerian horticultural project aimed at empowering horticulturists, farmers and cooperatives with mobile technology for remote crop irrigation has won the Orange-sponsored African social ventures prize. This technology will allow the horticulturists and farmers to improve productivity while preserving water resources. The winners were declared in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday.
NINE: Despite the protests, the explosions, the shootings and killings, Nigeria’s economic outlook for the year is positive with a solid growth forecast. The Nigerians economy is expected to grow around 7% this year thanks to the solid performance in industries outside the oil sector.
TEN: Sunday Okpere, a Nigerian, built a car using locally sourced materials