ONE: Last week, the British government made attempts to justify the botched attempt at rescuing a British and an Italian that were kept in Nigeria as hostages. While Philip Hammond told the members of parliament that the rescue effort was the “best chance” for the hostages as the kidnappers may have figured out that authorities knew their locations, it was revealed that Italian authorities has not been informed of the rescue efforts. The hostages had been kidnapped for 10 months before they were killed.
TWO: A group of six men suspected of plotting the kidnapping of the Briton and Italian hostages mentioned above were captured by police after a raid in Zaria, Kaduna apparently while they were having a Boko Haram “meeting”. A fight between the men and the soldiers ensued during which both sides sustained injuries. When these men were presented before the press, it was noted that their faces were swollen due to undisclosed causes. Shortly after, it was reported that Abu Mohammed, possibly the mastermind behind the kidnappings had died in police custody apparently of gunshot wounds sustained when he was captured. Considering the history of extra-judicial killings carried out by the Nigerian police force, Abu Mohammed’s death is not promising in any way.
THREE: The suicide car bomb that went off in front of a Catholic church on Sunday a few weeks ago has resulted in increased tension in Jos. The car bomb killed at least 14 people, including soldiers, and set off violence in retaliation. Houses were burnt down by angry youths and soldiers are said to have started shooting indiscriminatingly in some neighbourhoods, claiming more lives. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram has been blamed.
FOUR: Last week, a top police official and three others died in a helicopter crash in Jos, including Haruna John, the deputy inspector general of police. Apparently they had been carrying out a routine patrol over Jos when the helicopter they were in crashed.
FIVE: It seems that the Nigerian government and Boko Haram have entered indirect talks with the aim of ending the violence waged by Boko Haram. It seems Boko Haram has appointed an intermediary to represent their interests and they have proposed a three month true if currently detained members are released and if the government stops further arrests. It remains to be seen how successful these talks will be. I only hope the government has some idea of the complexities behind ‘Boko Haram’ and that they keep those ideas in mind. Richard Dowden’s “Boko Haram – More Complicated Than You Think” brings the complicated nature of ‘Boko Haram’ to light.
SIX: In continuation of last week’s wahala between Nigeria and South Africa over the deportation of 125 Nigerian passengers due to what were said to be faulty yellow fever vaccination forms, South African President, Jacob Zuma came out to apologise to Nigeria. In his apology, President Zuma informed President Goodluck Jonathan that his cabinet was not part of the decision to send the Nigerian passengers back at the South African border. While insisting that there would not be any kind of compensation to the deported passengers, President Zuma assured that the South African government was currently investigating the event.
SEVEN: 120 Nigerians who were deported from Britain for a number of immigration offences arrived Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos in the early hours of Friday, the 9th of March. They were taken to Nigeria by a cargo aircraft that landed at the cargo section of the international airport. They were moved in such circumstances in order to reduce public attention to the deportation.
EIGHT: In related news, a Nigerian asylum seeker in the UK who was set to be deported on March 8 found his deportation delayed. The young man to be deported genuinely fears for his life as a gay man whose sexual orientation was callously disclosed to his extended family by a cousin while he was studying Business Administration in a British university. Since then, he was disowned by his family.