Latest Nigeria News

  • Niger army fights Boko Haram for Lake Chad island after attack Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Niger's army is fighting to recapture an island in Lake Chad after it was seized by hundreds of Boko Haram militants aboard motorised canoes, army sources said on Sunday. Boko Haram, hardline Islamists who want to establish a caliphate in the region, attacked the island of Karamga at dawn on Saturday, their second attempt to capture it since February, army and government sources said. Lake Chad's islands, which lie in dense swampland, are an ideal base for mounting surprise attacks on the countries bordering the lake: Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. More »

  • Pleas for mercy rain on Indonesia's president as executions near
    Pleas for mercy rain on Indonesia's president as executions near Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    By Kanupriya Kapoor CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Relatives of several convicts on death row in Indonesia made emotional last-ditch appeals for mercy on Sunday, adding their voices to foreign governments and the head of the United Nations who called for the group of nine to be spared the firing squad. Indonesia this weekend informed the group of drug-crime convicts, which includes nationals from Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Australia, that they would be executed in a matter of days, possibly as soon as Tuesday. The appeals for clemency were directed at President Joko Widodo, whose determination to deal harshly with drug crimes has won popular support at home. "There are nine people with families that love them ... so we ask the president to use his powers to intervene and save their lives," Chintu Sukumaran told reporters after visiting his Australian brother, Myuran, at a high-security jail on Nusakambangan Island in central Java. More »

  • South Africa says committed to good relations with Nigeria after diplomats  …
    South Africa says committed to good relations with Nigeria after diplomats  … Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    South Africa remains committed to maintaining friendly relations with Nigeria after Abuja recalled its ambassador to Pretoria in the wake of attacks on immigrants, the department of international relations said on Sunday. Acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham and Deputy High Commissioner Uche Ajulu-Okeke were asked to return to Nigeria for consultations in the latest sign of African countries' discontent over South Africa's handling of attacks on foreigners. South Africa has been criticised by several governments, including China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for failing to protect foreigners from armed mobs. Nigeria is the only country to have recalled its ambassador, the department of international relations said in a statement. More »

  • Boko Haram attacks Niger army base, defense ministry says Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Suspected Boko Haram fighters in motorized canoes attacked a Niger army base on an island in Lake Chad, the body of water touching all four countries that have been targeted by Nigeria's Islamic insurgency, Niger's defense ministry said Saturday. More »

  • Nigeria recalls envoy to South Africa over attacks on foreigners Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Nigeria recalled its ambassador to South Africa on Saturday in the latest sign of African countries' discontent at Pretoria's handling of attacks on immigrants. Acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham and Deputy High Commissioner Uche Ajulu-Okeke had been asked to return to Nigeria for consultations, a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. "The invitation is in connection with the on-going xenophobia in South Africa targeting foreigners, mainly African migrants," the statement said. Seven people have been killed in attacks on migrants since March 20, when Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini spoke out against foreign workers. More »

  • Two Nigerian soldiers die in accidental explosion - army Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Two Nigerian soldiers were killed accidentally in an explosion in the central Plateau state on Saturday as they transported ammunition meant to be destroyed, a military spokesman said. "Some of the unserviceable ammunitions exploded in the process of moving them to the demolition site in the bush," Colonel Sani Usman said on Facebook. "Unfortunately, two soldiers lost their lives and one sustained injuries." Nigeria's military has been fighting a six-year insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram which has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in a battle to establish a caliphate. With help from armies in Chad, Niger and Cameroon, Africa's largest economy has sought to crush the group in the past two months, pushing them into what the army says is their last known stronghold in Nigeria's Sambisa Forest. More »

  • Countdown appears to start for execution of foreigners in Indonesia
    Countdown appears to start for execution of foreigners in Indonesia Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Randy Fabi and Kanupriya Kapoor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has asked foreign embassies to send representatives to a maximum security prison ahead of the expected execution of 10 drug convicts, although an official 72-hour notice of execution has not been given yet, diplomats said on Friday. Among the convicted drug offenders set to face the firing squad are nationals from Australia, Brazil, France and Nigeria and the case has strained relations between the governments of those nations and Indonesia. The Attorney General's Office said it expected to announce the date of execution in the next few weeks. Embassy officials received text messages from the government to send representatives on Saturday to the prison island of Nusakambangan, where the executions will soon take place. More »

  • Indonesia hopes to announce execution date for 10 drug convicts 'soon&# … Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    More than half of the 10 prisoners facing the firing squad are foreign nationals, and the case has strained Jakarta's relations with Australia, France and Brazil. "We hope the Supreme Court's decision on the last case will come as soon as possible so that we can determine the date (of execution) soon," said Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney general's office. The Supreme Court this week rejected the final appeals of a French and a Ghanaian prisoner according to media reports. Others in the group are from Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and Nigeria. More »

  • Nigerian rights group calls for ICC probe of Zulu king Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    A Nigerian group called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday to investigate Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for "hate speech" blamed for a wave of violence against immigrants in South Africa. South Africa this week deployed soldiers to try to quell anti-immigrant unrest that has killed at least seven foreigners, after being criticised by China, Zimbabwe and Nigeria for failing to protect their citizens against armed mobs. Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project in a statement called on the ICC to "investigate allegations of hate speech by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, which has resulted in killing, violence and discrimination against Nigerians and other African citizens." Zwelithini has since defended his speech as having been taken out of context, saying attacks on immigrants are "vile". More »

  • Boko Haram regroups en masse in stronghold area: vigilante
    Boko Haram regroups en masse in stronghold area: vigilante Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Boko Haram fighters have amassed in the group's Sambisa Forest stronghold in northeast Nigeria, as a military offensive tries to flush them out, a civilian vigilante told AFP on Thursday. More »

  • Nigerian soldiers retreat from mined Boko Haram stronghold
    Nigerian soldiers retreat from mined Boko Haram stronghold Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    By Ardo Abdallah BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian soldiers retreated from Islamist group Boko Haram's last known stronghold in the country's northeast on Thursday, concerned the area was booby-trapped after three pro-government vigilantes were killed by a landmine. A vigilante and a security source both confirmed the pullback from the Sambisa forest, a day after an offensive aimed at rooting out the insurgents. The Sambisa forest, a former colonial game reserve, is about 100 km (60 miles) from the village of Chibok, from where Boko Haram abducted more than 200 secondary school girls a year ago. The militants controlled an area the size of Belgium at the start of the year, but have since lost much of that ground after a concerted push by militaries from Nigeria and neighbours Chad, Niger and Cameroon in the past two months. More »

  • Nigerian forces invade last known stronghold of Boko Haram Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    By Ardo Abdallah BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian forces backed by warplanes invaded Islamist group Boko Haram's last known stronghold, the Sambisa forest, on Wednesday, in an effort to finally defeat their six-year-old insurgency, two military sources said. Armies from Nigeria and neighbours Chad, Niger and Cameroon have in the past two months launched a concerted push to try to crush the insurgents, who have killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in their battle to establish an Islamic state. The Sambisa forest in northeast Nigeria, a vast former colonial game reserve, is about 100 km (60 miles) from the village of Chibok from where Boko Haram abducted more than 200 secondary school girls a year ago. U.N. Special Representative for West Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas said this month that Boko Haram militants seeking shelter in the Sambisa Forest may be using some of the captured girls as human shields. More »

  • Nigeria summons South Africa ambassador over attacks on immigrants Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Nigeria's foreign ministry has summoned South Africa's high commissioner over anti-immigrant violence in which at least seven people have been killed, it said in a statement on Wednesday. South Africa deployed soldiers on Tuesday to try to quell the unrest after being criticised by governments including China and Zimbabwe for failing to protect foreigners from armed mobs. "The essence of the summon was to register Nigeria's protest over the on-going xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa," the ministry said, adding that the meeting had happened on Monday. It also called on the South African authorities to quell the unrest and bring those involved to book. More »

  • How the 'Godfather' of Lagos could shape Nigeria's government
    How the 'Godfather' of Lagos could shape Nigeria's government Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    I put talents in office, I help them," says former Lagos state governor and opposition alliance leader Bola Tinubu, being quite open about his role as one of Nigeria's most powerful political godfathers. "I use the best hand, the best brain, the best experience for the job," he told Reuters after voting this month in a governorship election in Nigeria's economic capital which, as expected, his hand picked candidate Akinwunmi Ambode won. His support for former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari was seen as a key factor in the latter's win against President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election in Africa's biggest economy and oil producer. The pro-Buhari alliance that Tinubu headed, the All Progressives Congress (APC), rallied elites around Buhari in the southwest, Nigeria's wealthiest region. More »

  • South Africa sends soldiers to anti-immigrant hotspots
    South Africa sends soldiers to anti-immigrant hotspots Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    By Zandi Shabalala JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa sent soldiers on Tuesday to help stop anti-immigrant violence in areas of Durban and Johannesburg where at least seven people have been killed in the past three weeks. South Africa has been criticised by governments, including China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for failing to protect foreigners as armed mobs were shown on TV looting immigrant-owned shops and front-page photographs in a Sunday newspaper showed a Mozambican man being beaten and stabbed to death in broad daylight. Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said a Zimbabwean couple were shot in the Johannesburg shanty town of Alexandra on Monday night but survived. Briefing reporters on the deployment of troops to Alexandra and to the coastal town of Durban, where the violence started, she said: "There will be those who will be critical of this decision but the vulnerable will appreciate it." Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini defended himself on Monday against claims that previous comments he made about foreigners sparked the anti-immigrant attacks. More »

  • 800,000 children 'forced to flee' Nigeria violence
    800,000 children 'forced to flee' Nigeria violence Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    The UN releases a report on the impact of armed conflict on children and their families in Nigeria. More »

  • At least 23 killed in central Nigeria communal clashes: police
    At least 23 killed in central Nigeria communal clashes: police Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    At least 23 villagers have died in clashes between two mainly fishing and farming communities in central Nigeria's Benue state, police said Sunday. More »

  • 'Mysterious' Disease Kills 18 In Nigeria
    'Mysterious' Disease Kills 18 In Nigeria Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    A "mysterious disease" has claimed the lives of up to 18 people in Nigeria, the government has revealed. The disease, whose symptoms include headaches and blurred vision, has been blighting the southern town of Ode-Irele, in Ondo state since it was first discovered earlier this week. "Twenty-three people (were affected) and 18 deaths were recorded," the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, told news agency AFP. "Common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within 24 hours," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. More »

  • Boko Haram slit throats of 12 as army tries to save civilians - sources Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Boko Haram militants have slit the throats of 12 people in northeast Nigeria as the army was trying to evacuate civilians from the area, a military source and a witness said on Friday. The Islamist group has been driven out of much of the huge swathe of territory they controlled at the start of the year, thanks to a concerted push by troops from Nigeria and neighbours Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The town of Gwoza, in mountainous terrain, was one of the last places to fall, on March 27, and there remain pockets of Boko Haram activity in the area, security sources say. "Just as troops were trying to evacuate some civilians from the hills so as to safeguard them from a planned air strike ... some Boko Haram attacked them and slit the throats of 12 people," a military source said of Wednesday's attack. More »

  • Odemwingie close to Stoke return after eight months
    Odemwingie close to Stoke return after eight months Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    (Reuters) - Peter Odemwingie has returned to full training after eight months' absence and should be back in the Stoke City team before the end of the season, manager Mark Hughes said on Friday. The Nigeria striker needed knee surgery after suffering an injury against Manchester City in August. More »

  • Boko Haram attacks 2 villages in Cameroon, kills 12 Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Boko Haram militants killed at least 12 people in attacks on two Cameroonian villages on the northern border with Nigeria, a senior military official said Friday. More »

  • CORRECTION: Boko Haram-UN story Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — In a story April 16 about negotiations for a U.N. mandate for a multination force to fight Boko Haram, The Associated Press incorrectly stated that a Chapter 7 mandate requires military enforcement. Some articles in Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter ban military enforcement. More »

  • Boko Haram militants kill at least 10 in north Cameroon - army Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Fighters from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram killed at least ten people in overnight attacks on two villages in neighbouring northern Cameroon, two senior army sources told Reuters on Friday. Solders from Nigeria, alongside troops from neighbours Chad, Niger and Cameroon, have driven Boko Haram out of many border areas seized by the group this year, and this was the first attack reported in Cameroon in weeks. "There were consecutive attacks by Boko Haram in Bia and Blaberi in the district of Kolofata in the early morning," said one Cameroonian officer, who asked not to be named. He said the militants had fled across the nearby border into Nigeria by the time the army arrived. More »

  • Man indicted in US for drug deal elected senator in Nigeria
    Man indicted in US for drug deal elected senator in Nigeria Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A man indicted in the United States for allegedly smuggling heroin, in a case that was the basis for the TV hit "Orange Is The New Black," has been elected a senator in Nigeria. More »

  • Italy's migrant crisis intensifies with murder arrests, drownings Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Stephanie Nebehay and Wladimiro Pantaleone GENEVA/PALERMO, Italy (Reuters) - Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified. Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal, after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians. More »

  • Exclusive - How Nigeria's 'smooth' election nearly went wrong
    Exclusive - How Nigeria's 'smooth' election nearly went wrong Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Ed Cropley and Tim Cocks ABUJA (Reuters) - As Muhammadu Buhari closed in on Nigeria's presidency, an aide to election commission chairman Attahiru Jega sent a text message to an independent voting monitor, warning of an imminent threat to the electoral process. The aide had unearthed a plot by supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan to disrupt the public announcement of the national election results and kidnap Jega in a bid to wreck the count, according to pro-democracy advocates and a Nigeria-based diplomat. Central to the plan, they said, were Jega's security detail and Godsday Orubebe, a former cabinet minister from Jonathan's Niger Delta, an area whose leaders feared a change of power would mean an end to the perks it enjoyed under Jonathan's presidency. The commission, called INEC, also declined to comment and turned down requests for an interview with Jega, whom Reuters was unable to reach independently. More »

  • Nigerian military focus on area abducted girls believed held
    Nigerian military focus on area abducted girls believed held Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian military operations against Boko Haram are focusing on a northeastern forest where officials believe more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped a year ago are being held, the government's counter-insurgency spokesman said Wednesday. More »

  • A year after kidnap of schoolgirls in Nigeria, hope dwindles
    A year after kidnap of schoolgirls in Nigeria, hope dwindles Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — They have been gone a year now, the hundreds of girls abducted by Islamic militants from their school in northeastern Nigeria. More »

  • Nigeria marks anniversary of Boko Haram schoolgirl kidnappings
    Nigeria marks anniversary of Boko Haram schoolgirl kidnappings Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Nigeria and the world marked the first anniversary of Boko Haram's abduction of 219 schoolgirls with protest marches, candlelit vigils and pledges of solidarity. More »

  • NIGERIA ABDUCTION Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Map shows details of the 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls in the village of Chibok, Nigeria.; 3c x 4 inches; 146 mm x 101 mm; More »

  • Nigeria's new president pledges effort to free girls kidnapped a year a … Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    By Alexis Akwagyiram ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's President-elect Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Tuesday to make every effort to free more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants a year ago but admitted it was not clear whether they would ever be found. The abduction of the girls from a secondary school in Chibok in the country's Northeast last April drew international attention to the humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram's attempt to establish a medieval-style caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer. "My government will do everything in its power to bring them home," added the former military ruler, who said his approach would differ from that taken by President Goodluck Jonathan. Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Jonathan's National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki said his government was making every effort to bring the girls back safely, adding that "all Boko Haram camps, except Sambisa forest, have been destroyed." "All known Boko Haram camps will be taken out. More »

  • Nigeria's Violent Year Since 'Bring Back Our Girls'
    Nigeria's Violent Year Since 'Bring Back Our Girls' Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Last April, the social-media campaign #BringBackOurGirls helped galvanize international outrage about the plight of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped from the village of Chibok by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. As that campaign joins Kony 2012 in the junkyard of digital activism, Boko Haram continues its campaign of violence. Nigeria's deteriorating security was one factor in President Goodluck Jonathan's loss in the country's March presidential elections. Young men and boys have also been kidnapped, forced to join to Boko Haram, or killed for resisting. More »

  • Report: At least 2,000 women abducted by Boko Haram
    Report: At least 2,000 women abducted by Boko Haram Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Many of those captured in Nigeria since start of 2014 forced into sexual slavery, Amnesty International says. More »

  • Nigeria's Boko Haram abducted 2,000 women and girls - report
    Nigeria's Boko Haram abducted 2,000 women and girls - report Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    By Emma Farge and Alex Whiting DAKAR/LONDON - Boko Haram Islamic militants have kidnapped at least 2,000 girls and women since the start of last year, turning them into cooks, sex slaves and fighters, and sometimes killing those who refused to comply, Amnesty International said on Tuesday. The human rights group's 90-page report based on dozens of interviews with witnesses and escaped abductees comes a year after the group seized more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, a community deep inside an area of northeastern Nigeria the fighters claimed as their caliphate. Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, claims the girls had been "married off" to his fighters. Amnesty's report said that Boko Haram, meaning Western education is sinful in Hausa, routinely rounded up women and girls after taking control of a town and held them in houses or prisons. More »

  • Nigeria president-elect: Can't promise to find Chibok girls
    Nigeria president-elect: Can't promise to find Chibok girls Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — President-elect Muhammadu Buhari says he cannot promise to find the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists one year ago from a school in northeastern Nigeria. But he promised his administration will do everything in its power to do so. More »