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Shrinking Lake Chad affecting 30 million people, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said there is a need for the urgent recharging of the Lake Chad, saying the shrinking of the lake has adversely affected the lives of more than 30 million people. President Buhari, who spoke on Saturday at the State House in Abuja, while hosting the President of the Republic of Chad, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, on a one-day official visit, also pointed out that the lake had lost more than 90% of its original size to the shrinking.

According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari said it had become imperative that the countries on the Lake Chad Basin transfer water into the lake from the Congo Basin, in order to preserve it. “It is imperative that there be water transfer to the Lake Chad from the Congo Basin, so that the people can resume their normal lives,” President Buhari said.

He added that with inter-basin water transfer, farming, fishing, animal husbandry would resume, and curtail irregular migration of youths, who now dare the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, to get into Europe, seeking greener pastures. “I’ve been engaging with the relevant stakeholders in Africa and beyond, on why we need to recharge Lake Chad. Nigeria will benefit more, but it is also advantageous to everyone,” President Buhari added. He appreciated Chad for its role in curbing insurgency in the region, particularly the Boko Haram challenge.

“We appreciate what you are doing on security. When I first came to office in 2015, I came to see you, as well as leaders of other neighbouring countries, because it makes sense to be in the good books of our neighbours.” President Buhari wished Marshal Itno well in the general elections coming up in his country in April. The Chadian leader thanked President Buhari for receiving him, saying, “We are neighbours facing similar challenges.”

He added that he was also around to explore other bilateral issues, in addition to security. On the recharge of Lake Chad, he counseled the Nigerian President to consider convening an international summit to move the idea forward. “Regarding the transfer of water into the recharging of Lake Chad, in 2018 there was a summit meeting of the heads of state of the Lake Chad countries and President Muhammadu Buhari was appointed as the champion for this recharging of Lake Chad. Nigeria paid the money for a feasibility study to be done on this recharging of Lake Chad.

“So the issue is really now its financing because we have a feasibility study. It’s something that’s going to be very capital intensive, cost a lot of money and we’re going to have to depend on technical partners, financial institutions and other partners to help to finance this. It’s something that is not just for Africans, the environmental impact of a shrinking Lake Chad, but it affects humanity and so everybody has to really mobilise to find the means to be able to carry out this recharging and the beneficiaries will be the whole of humanity. So the hope is there that we will achieve this, but the challenge is for us to be able to now realise the dream of recharging Lake Chad,” it stated.

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Army: We follow int’l procedure in treating ex-insurgents, not pampering

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The army is not pampering surrendered Boko Haram terrorists, Christopher Musa, the theatre commander of the North-East Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai, has said.

He stated this in an interview with journalists on Wednesday, explaining that the military’s decision to allow insurgents to surrender to troops was in line with international laws and best practices.

According to him, when an enemy surrenders during combat, the capturing forces are, by law, not to shoot that individual.

He said the army is also expected to treat the surrendered enemy humanely.

“I don’t know if people misunderstood humane treatment as being pampering, because if he is sick, we are supposed to treat him. If he is hungry, we are supposed to give him food; we are supposed to provide him shelter just like any other person and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

He also said, “There is no aspect of pampering. We are just keeping them as humans to ensure that they are fit enough to go through proper procedure and they will definitely go through this procedure.

“Again, let me assure the public that there is no aspect of pampering. We are sorting them out so that those that didn’t play any part will be handled separately, while those ones that took part actively — the combatants — will be treated separately.

“We want to reassure the citizenry that we are on top of the game. We assure them that we will continue to do our best to ensure that peace returns to the North-East, which is our mandate.”

The theatre commander advised other insurgents to also surrender now that they had the opportunity to do so.

“I am sure that even they too want their children to have a conducive atmosphere, where they will grow and where there will be development. This is because staying in the bush and killing people will not provide that,” he said.

“They should not allow anybody to deceive them into taking arms against the nation. They will never win and they can never win.

“It is important for them to understand that anybody who disarms will be treated fairly according to international laws.”

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UNGA: Nigeria ready to reverse biodiversity loss, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government has initiated some specific actions to reverse the severe trend of biodiversity loss affecting the world.

The President spoke in New York, at the hybrid High-Level event tagged “Transformative Actions for Nature and People” on the margins of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76).

Buhari championed regional and inter-regional cooperation towards addressing the scourge.

He outlined other measures to include: “Expansion of protected areas including the establishment of ten (10) new National Parks across the country as well as the creation of Marine Protected Areas pursuant to the 30X30 Agenda of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD); and domestication of relevant International Agreements, Conventions as well as Laws and Policies for the protection and conservation of biodiversity.”

The President, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, added, “Leveraging the cooperation and partnerships of the development partners as well as international organisations and coalitions for concrete action against deforestation and biodiversity loss; and promotion and increased investments in climate-positive and nature-positive economy for sustainable environment and land use practices” were other areas being worked on to confront the challenge.”

He expressed gratitude to the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, whose country currently chairs the High Ambition Coalition for Nature & People (HAC) of which Nigeria is also a member and co-chair for the opportunity to be part of “this great event.”

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IPOB: There’ll be one-month lockdown in south-east if FG fails to bring Kanu to court

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says the south-east region will go on a one-month lockdown, if the federal government fails to bring Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, to court on October 21.

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On July 26, Binta Nyako, judge of the federal high court, Abuja, adjourned the trial of Kanu till October 21, owing to the failure of the federal government to produce him in court.

In June, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and extradited to Nigeria to face trial. He was remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) after he was re-arraigned before the judge.

On August 9, the proscribed group announced the enforcement of a lockdown every Monday until Kanu is released but later suspended the directive, a few days later.

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Reacting, IPOB, in a statement, by Emma Powerful, its spokesperson, alleged that the federal government has perfected plans not to bring Kanu to court on the next adjourned date.

The group said its “peaceful resolution” towards the trial of Kanu should not be misconstrued as weakness, while stressing that there will be one month lockdown in the south-east, if the federal government fails to bring Kanu to court.

“The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great prophet and liberator of our time, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the plot by Nigeria government and DSS in Abuja not to produce our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to court on 21st October 2021, the date he is due to appear in court to start his case,” the statement reads.

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“The federal government of Nigeria has again perfected plans not to bringing him to court on that day. Their wicked plan is to perpetually keep him behind bars without trial to see if they can demoralise him and Biafrans but they are late.

“If the federal government refuses to bring him to court in his next court appearance on October 21, 2021, the entire Biafra land will be on total lock down for one month. The federal government will know that they cannot take us for granted any more. Our peaceful disposition as a people should not be misconstrued as weakness.

“Their plan is to suppress agitation and force everyone into submission but Biafrans won’t succumb to their intimidation.”

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