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Nigeria, Ghana, Clash in CHAN Semi-Final Tonight

Two West African soccer powerhouses, Nigeria and Ghana, confront each other in what promises to be a thrilling encounter tonight in a semi-final CHAN clash at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The free-scoring Super Eagles of Nigeria underlined their attacking prowess last Saturday when they came from three goals down in the first half to send the Atlas Lions of Morocco out in a remarkable quarter-final contest.

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Market Stalls in Agadez, Niger Republic-Photo Credit: Jim Staley

Suicide Bombers Kill 20 Soldiers In Niger Republic, Nigeria Mounts Troops Across Borders With Niger
By SaharaReporters, New York

Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa  (MUJAO),  an Islamic group which claims to be committed to the enforcement of Shariah law in West Africa, has claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing attack this morning at the Nigerian/Niger border in which over 20 Nigerien soldiers were killed.

A journalist in transit in the area told SaharaReporters that the terrorists also injured about 15 other soldiers, while four of their own were killed.

West Africa Civil Society Urges ECOWAS President to Save Credibility By Ostracizing Obasanjo From Monitoring Elections

Olusegun Obasanjo

By Saharareporters, New York

General Olusegun Obasanjo’s sinking international reputation as a misfit in democracy circles took a deeper plunge today with members of the Civil Society community in West Africa distancing themselves from his “utterances, positions, recommendations and past records” while on Elections Observation duty in several countries in the region.

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Human Rights Advocate, Innocent Chukwuma, to Lead Ford Foundation’s Office for West Africa

Innocent Chukwuma

By SaharaReporters, New York

Innocent Chukwuma, a globally-renowned advocate for human rights and good governance as well as a leading scholar on police and criminal justice reform in West Africa, was tapped this week to oversee all the work of the Ford Foundation in West Africa.

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Togo Opposition Vows Sex Strike Against President Gnassingbé-CNN

From Erick Kaglan, For CNN

Lome, Togo (CNN) — A Togolese opposition leader is calling on women to go on a weeklong sex strike to demand the freedom of protesters detained ahead of elections in the West African nation.

Police arrested about 120 opposition supporters last week during clashes between protesters and security forces, according to Togolese human rights groups.

Government officials said all but eight had been released, and those still detained were in possession of knives.

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Rift in Boko Haram, ‘Ansaru’ Splinter Group Emerges, Calls BH ‘Inhuman’ To Muslims

There are indications that an ideological feud within the rank and file of the Boko Haram sect may have led to a breakaway faction.  The new outfit calls itself ‘Ansaru.’

In a statement circulated in Kano, Ansaru gave its full name is “Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan,” meaning Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa.  Its motto is “Jihad Fi Sabilillah,” meaning it is fighting and sacrificing for Allah’s cause.  The statement was signed by one Abu Usamata Al’Ansari, who claimed to be its leader.

Ansaru expressed displeasure with Boko Haram’s style of operations, which it described as inhuman to the Muslim Ummah.  It vowed to restore dignity and sanity to the “the lost dignity of Muslims in black Africa” and to bring back the dignity of Islam in Nigeria and the Sokoto Caliphate, founded by Othman Dan Fodio in 1804, which spread across Niger Republic, Cameroon and some West African countries.

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PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
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PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
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PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
Zoom Info
PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
Zoom Info
PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
Zoom Info
PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
Zoom Info
PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria
Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.
Gallery: SaharaReporters.com
Zoom Info

PHOTONEWS: Femi Falana and Seun Kuti Join #Occupy Nigeria

Son of afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti jointhe mass movement in Lagos protesting against IMF/World Bank induced withdrawal of gasoline subsidy in Lagos.

Boko Haram: Southern Kaduna Festival Cancelled; Jonathan Vows Fight ‘To The End’

Out of fear of possible Boko Haram bombing, the 2012 Afan Festival, also known as Kagoro Day in Southern Kaduna, has been cancelled. The event, the largest and most popular ethnic festival in Northern Nigeria, is normally held on the 1st of January.

The cancellation is in recognition of the bombings the Boko Haram sect vowed to unleash on Christian communities on 31st December 2011 and 1st January 2012.

The cancellation came today as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was vowing in Abuja that his government will fight Boko Haram, the “group of evil-minded people who want to cause anarchy, to the end”.

Mr. Jonathan was speaking to Mr. Mohame Bazoum, Deputy Prime Minister of Niger Republic, who brought a solidarity message and condolences to Nigeria for lives lost during the Christmas Day attacks from President Issoufou Mahamadou.

Today’s unprecedented cancellation of Kagoro Day was contained in a statement SaharaReporters received today in Kagoro, Southern Kaduna. 

Signed by Sunday Gwafan, National President of Kagoro Development Association, it said, “The Traditional Council and the Kagoro community in Kaura local government area of Kaduna State, wish to inform the general public and in particular, the friends and well wishers of Kagoro Chiefdom that because of the current mood of the nation the usual National Afan Festival which holds every 1st day of January of the year will not hold in the usual manner.
 
“Instead, the Kagoro community being predominantly Christian, has decided to observe the festival in a solemn manner in all Churches, praising and worshiping our God and thanking Him for all the blessings of the year past and praying for peace, protection, unity and more blessings for the chiefdom, state and nation at large.  We therefore invite all Kagoro sons and daughters, including friends and well wishers, to come home for these prayers that will be held on the 1st January 2012 in all Churches in Kagoro land. The Chief of Kagoro and other government functionaries will worship at ECWA Hausa Fadan Kagoro by 10:00 am.”

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Nigeria: President Jonathan Declares State Of Emergency In Parts Of Nigeria

The Nigerian presidency has just issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in certain parts of Nigeria as follows:

Fellow Nigerians, it has become necessary to address you on recent events in some parts of the country that have threatened our collective security and shaken the foundations of our corporate existence as a nation.

  • You are all aware of the security challenges which the activities of the Boko Haram sect have foisted on the country. What began as sectarian crises in the North Eastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security.
  • Government in an effort to find a lasting solution to the security threats occasioned by the activities of the Boko Haram sect, constituted a Presidential Committee under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the crises. While efforts are being made to implement the recommendations of the Committee, the crises have assumed a terrorist dimension with vital institutions of government including the United Nations Building and places of worship becoming targets of terrorist attacks.

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    Family Of Four Killed In Machete Attack In Plateau - Reuters

    A family of four people was killed in a machete attack in Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously mixed Plateau state on Wednesday, the state government’s spokesman said.

    Plateau is a tinderbox of ethnic and religious rivalries over land and power between local people and migrants from other areas. These often take the form of sectarian strife between the state’s Christian and Muslim communities.

    A series of bombings by Islamist militants across Nigeria on Christmas Day killed over two dozen people, raising fears that they are trying to provoke a sectarian civil war.

    The attacks included a bombing at a church in the Plateau state capital of Jos which killed no one, although a policeman died in a subsequent shootout with militants.

    "This attack is regrettable coming at a time when the state government has put … measures for security (in place)," state government spokesman Abraham Yiljap told local broadcaster Plateau Radio Television. He gave no further details.

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    Jonathan's Budget Presentation: National Assembly In A Lockdown

    Workers at Nigeria’s National Assembly today got more than what they bargain for as the combined team of  security agencies subjected them to rigorous screening as Jonathan submits 2012 budget.

    A team of heavily armed anti riot mobile policemen and plain cloth operatives were stationed at the main gate. Also a mobile scanning vehicle was stationed at the main gate scanning all vehicles coming in and out of the National Assembly complex.  At the second gate where a dusty car park was located staff were asked to line up in a single file for check.

    Soldiers were also stationed beside the gate brandishing with guns . But the entrance of the white House (main building) was a different ball game as  staff were asked to follow the Senate or House of Rep. wing entrance after a long walk from the main gate.                 

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