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No Military Officer Has Visited Us Since NAF Bomb Our People – Buwari, Yobe Youth Leader

Buwari

No military officer has visited us since NAF bomb killed eight of our people – Buwari, Yobe youth leader

Alhaji Ali Buwari is a 30-year old father of four and youth leader in Buwari community, Yobe State. His grandfather, grandmother and uncle were injured when the Nigerian Air Force jet mistakenly bombed the community on Wednesday, last week.

Has the community been attacked by Boko Haram before?

Well, there have been Boko Haram terrorists hibernating around the eastern and western axis of the village where their camps are. From there, they drive into the village on their motorcycles. They have been coming to the village to steal and commit other atrocities but for quite some time now the villagers have chased them out of the village to the dessert. It has been long since they were chased out of the village but you know, they will always find their way into the area once in a while especially when there is no presence of security personnel. That we cannot rule out but they are mostly camped in the dessert. And, in this rainy season, I can say categorically that there is no Boko Haram coming into the village because the river has blocked them from having access with their motorcycles and you know there has been an outbreak of cholera in the village. That has also barred them from entering because they too are afraid of the disease.

How did attack by the Air Force happen? Can you give a vivid account?

The day that unfortunate incident happened was on a Wednesday. The villagers were already prepared to go for the weekly market at Geidam. As early as 7:30am some had set out for the market when, from nowhere, we heard the sound of an aircraft coming from the western axis and then, heavy sounds of bullets shelling everywhere. Then the jet passed through the eastern axis. Instantly, three people died. Before we knew what was happening, we heard loud cries of people as they were running helter skelter trying to hide thinking it was an attack from the insurgents. In the process of running to safety, some got hit by bullets, some by metallic substances while others got hit while trying to tend to the those that died from the bullet. We saw houses on fire but we were not after the houses or material things, we were more interested in saving lives of those affected.

We immediately arranged for vehicles and began to transport the injured victims to Geidam general hospital. We transported 28 people. Among them were women and children while eight persons lost their lives.

When it started, what did you think it was?

Initially when the shooting started we thought it was Boko Haram terrorists that had attacked us. When we discovered it was a military jet, we thought maybe Boko Haram had invaded the village but we then realised that there was no Boko Haram infiltration as such we wondered what happened. We then called our local government chairman and the member representing Yunusari at the state assembly and informed them of the development. They, in turn asked us to evacuate those that sustained injuries to the hospital where the chairman came and met us.

Can you name the victims and the families affected?

In Buwari we are all brothers and sisters because we are all related and it is a relatively small settlement. Everybody knows everyone and everyone is related to all.

I cannot give actual names of those affected by the incident because we are still trying to get the best medical attention for the injured victims while the eight dead bodies have already been buried; so it will be difficult to say so so person is affected but my grandfather, my uncle and my grandmother sustained injuries from the aerial attack by the fighter jet.

Among those killed were women and aged men.

Those who sustained injuries that were taken to the hospital in Geidam are 28, among whom are over10 women and children. Most of the affected persons are aged men, Women and children. The youth are not many.

One particular eight-year-old child was hit by a metal on his forehead and blood was rushing profusely from the wound. When he was brought to the hospital, the doctor recommended the child be rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he could receive proper medical attention. As we speak, he is in Maiduguri now but I cannot say anything about his condition.

One of the men that sustained injury and taken to Geidam hospital was, on Saturday referred to Damaturu for further medical attention.

A woman had a broken bone. The bone was badly broken that she too was referred to a hospital in Damaturu.

What is the extent of damage?

I cannot quantify the extent of the damage at this moment because we have yet to take inventory of the property destroyed by the aerial attack. We are not concerned about the property or houses destroyed because we believe it is the will of God and it was ordained by God to happen the way it happened. We are also busy with the injured victims here in the hospital. But houses were burnt down. Properties worth millions of naira were lost in the fire inferno that arose as result of the persistent firepower from the fighter jet.

The eight people that were killed were buried in the evening of that same day in a mass grave.

It will interest you to know that, when we heard that there was a metallic substance that had penetrated the ground in the village, we reported to the military but up till this moment, they have not stepped their feet into the village. Since that attack, no single soldier or policeman has gone to see the level of damage Air Force has done in our village.

What do you want from government?

To start with, Buwari village is the second biggest ward in the Yunusari LGA. We deliver some of the largest number of votes to the ruling APC. Since the return of democracy, we have always voted for the party and candidates the government wants us to vote for. In each of the previous elections, we have always delivered not fewer than 3,000 votes to the government. But that is where it ends. We do not have a single government presence in our village. Even the only local market we built from our hard earned money has been closed. There is no good access road to our village, nothing. Our aged parents living in the village live in perpetual fear of possible attack from the Boko Haram terrorists because there are no security forces around the village.

To paint the whole picture in the right perspective, in all the elections that have been conducted in this country, the ad hoc staff and all security personnel have never got to the village, what we usually do is to hire buses and transport all the electorate from the village and take them to Geidam to cast their votes, after that, we transport them back when they finish voting in the evening.

In the past few weeks, Cholera has killed over 10 people in Buwari village and over 100 are currently receiving treatment at Geidam general hospital. Cholera has badly affected us to the extent that the hospital doesn’t have the facility to contain all patients therefore they only treat the patients and send them back home to return at appointed times for check-up.

This disease is as a result of bad water we consume from the river surrounding the village. We do not have a single source of potable water supply.

Lastly, I want to tell the Governor, Mai Mala that his effort is being sabotaged by those parading themselves as his loyalists from that area because they have continued to take advantage of the insecurity situation in the area to enrich themselves. I have useful information I want to tell him but this powerful aides have continued to frustrate and block me from having access to him. But if he gets to read this interview, tell him that the security situation in Buwari is getting worse and his efforts are being undermined by his subordinates.

Environment

Lagos govt shuts 367 churches, mosques, others over environmental violations

The Lagos State Government has shut 367 churches, mosques, night clubs and others over environmental violations in the last three months.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Services, Tokunbo Wahab, at a ministerial news conference on Friday.

Wahab said the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) undertook the 367 enforcement activities in households, markets, hotels, warehouses, service centers, eateries, stores, church, mosques as well as 140 hospitality facilities including; Supermarket, Nightclubs, Bake houses with a view to ensuring compliance with the state environmental laws.

He said 76 abatement notices were served to individuals and organizations violating laws on indiscriminate discharge of raw sewerage into the lagoon or other forms of water and land pollution, saying that a 25% compliance rate with environmental laws was recorded compared to the previous year.

Wahab also warned residents of the State to desist from unhealthy environmental practices that could undermine government effort in protecting the environment against degradation and other climate change effects.

He added that its various agencies on environmental sustainability have been empowered to prosecute individuals or organizations that may be caught degrading the environment in any form .

Wahab revealed that the State government is committing huge resources on environmental protection against all forms of degradation, especially, the fight against climate change and its attendant effects on human health and the ecosystem.

He revealed that the State government would intensify efforts on enforcement to ensure compliance with the environmental laws to achieve a vision for a sustainable environment.

Wahab warned that LASEPA has been empowered more than before to ensure total compliance with State environmental laws 2017 across the State to safeguard the environment against further degradation because of its consequences on human health and the ecosystem.

The Commissioner, who explained that various enforcement operations carried out by his Ministry and its agencies across the State were in the interest of the public, noted that the State government would not fold its alms while allowing selfish few to continue undermining its reform efforts in preserving the environment for a better living and sustainable growth.

Wahab, who expressed worry over poor air quality level in many parts of the State as contained in LASEPA ‘s weekly reports of the Air quality index of the State warned against unfriendly environmental behaviours that could trigger climate change action

He stressed the need for green and improved air quality across the State to ensure healthy living for the citizenry, noting that the present air quality in many parts of the State as indicated in LASEPA’s report of the State’s Air Quality Index is unhealthy.

The Commissioner who highlighted some likely consequences of poor air quality as indicated in the index, stated that people in the affected areas may suffer from respiratory-related diseases such as lung infections, asthma, cystic fibrosis,   mesothelioma, pulmonary hypertension and running nose among others.

Other common diseases that may be found in areas with poor air quality, according to Wahab, include; high blood pressure, sight problems, irritation, heart problems, worsened underlying health conditions and other related health issues.

He, therefore, warned against activities that might lead to air pollution such as generator and vehicular emissions, industrial and agricultural activities such as burning of cow skin and electronic wastes, bush burning among others.

Wahab urged people to join the State government’s various advocacy programs targeted at improving the state of the environment for the better.

“The current air index reports in many parts of the State are not acceptable, this is largely caused by poor and unfriendly environmental behaviour which needs urgent change, we should be guided that whatever we do to the environment, it throws it back at us, we must therefore be conscious of what we do to the environment to enable us to live in peace” the Commissioner warned.

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Environment

NiMet predicts 3-day sunny, cloudy atmosphere

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has forecast cloudiness and sunshine from Friday to Sunday across the country.

NiMet weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja forecast sunny skies in hazy atmosphere on Friday over the northern region, with exception of Taraba State, where pockets of clouds could be visible during the forecast period.

The agency said sunny atmosphere patches of clouds are anticipated over the North Central region during the forecast period.

It stated that the cloudy atmosphere is expected over the southern region, with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

According to the agency, later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Abia, and Imo states.

NiMet predicted sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere on Saturday over the northern region, with prospects of afternoon and evening thunderstorms over parts of Kaduna state.

It envisaged sunny skies with patches of clouds over the North Central region during the morning period.

Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi, and Plateau states.

Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the southern region, with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers states in the morning hours.

Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over the region,” it said.

According to NiMet, sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere are expected over the northern region during the forecast period on Sunday.

The agency predicted a sunny atmosphere with patches of clouds over the North Central region during the morning period.

NiMet forecast isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory later in the day.

NiMet predicted a cloudy atmosphere over the southern region, with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Lagos, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River states.

It anticipated isolated thunderstorms over parts of Edo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Imo, Ekiti, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Lagos states later in the day.

“Strong winds may precede rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur; the public should take adequate precaution.

“Airline operators are advised to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations,” NiMet added.

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Environment

31 states, 148 LGAs risk severe floods, FG warns

The Ebonyi State Government has denied that it  borrowed from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund contrary to a report by the Debt Management Office.

The DMO had reported that the Ebonyi State under the current administration led by Governor Francis Nwifuru, was among the 17 states that had borrowed $125.1 million (N111.24 billion) from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Debunking the report, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Leonard Uguru, said  Nwifuru had not borrowed from either internal or foreign creditors since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

He said:  “Since the inception of this administration, the Ebonyi State Government has not borrowed any money, whether foreign or domestic loans. So, any organisation that’s writing that Ebonyi is among the states that have borrowed money, I don’t know where they are getting their data.

“Among the South East states, Ebonyi is still the least in both domestic and foreign debts. Even though we have a trace of debt, which is the 150 million dollar loan from Africa Development Bank and Islamic Bank inherited from the past administration in the reconstruction of Ring Road, which is what made the loan increase, it is worth it as the road cuts across various local government areas of the state. Outside that, I don’t think there’s any other debt owed by the previous state government.”

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