By Ezinwanne Onwuka
● Fire Burns more than 1,000 shelters in IDP camp, kills 2
Devastation descended upon the Muna Alamdari IDP camp in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday. A raging fire that swept through the camp claimed two lives and razed more than a thousand shelters.
The inferno is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of approximately 3.6 million displaced populations in the BAY states of Northeast Nigeria [Borno, Adamawa and Yobe]. TruthNigeria recently reported that the true number of homeless displaced Nigerians far exceeds 5 million nationwide.
The flames sparked at dawn around 6:00 a.m. and reigned for over an hour before it was brought under control by emergency firefighters. Security agencies and some internally displaced persons [IDPs) in the camp also assisted in quenching the fire.
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency, headed by Dr Barkindo Muhammad, has begun assessing the damage. The agency is also providing instant humanitarian support to the victims. “We are immediately providing 500 bags of rice, blankets and other non-food items to mitigate their suffering,” he said.
● Workers in Nigeria return to work after two-day work strike
Nigerian workers returned to their various workplaces today after a largely successful two-day work strike following directives from the leadership of the country’s top labour unions. Workplaces were shut down completely across Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] and the Trade Union Congress [TUC], suspended the strike Wednesday night after the executives reached a truce with the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and other top government officials.
● Nigeria’s inflation rate rises yet again
Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped in October to 27.33%, a 0.61% rise from September’s 26.72%. On a year-on-year basis, the inflation rate is 6.24% higher than the 21.09% recorded in October 2022.
The data is from the Consumer Price Index [CPI] report for October 2023 published on Wednesday by Nigeria’s national statistical office. The latest figure marks the tenth consecutive rise in the country’s inflation rate this year.
The prices of goods and services in Nigeria have continued to skyrocket since the federal government removed fuel subsidy in May, coupled with the rapid depreciation of the naira against the dollar on both the official and parallel markets due to dollar shortages.
Food inflation in October stood at 1.91%, which is a 0.54% decline compared to the 2.45% recorded in September. On a year-to-year basis, however, the food inflation was 31.52%, 7.80% points higher than the 23.72% of October 2022.
● Nigerian secret police prosecute Boko Haram mosque bomber
The Department of State Services [DSS] on Wednesday brought Husseni Ismaila, a Boko Haram suspect, before an Abuja court to answer to four charges.
Ismaila was arrested in 2021 for allegedly being involved in a bomb explosion at the Great Mosque of Kano in the northern city of Kano on November 28, 2014. Al Jazeera put the death toll at about 81 with 150 casualties.
Ismaila pleaded “not guilty” to the charges heaped upon him, including professing to be a member of the terror group Boko Haram and participating in the disastrous 2014 Kano Central Mosque bombing which led to the death of many Nigerians, including police personnel. The court adjourned the hearing of the matter to February 7, 2024.
● Army nabs terrorist agent in Borno
The Nigerian Army has arrested one Aji Dala for allegedly working for a gang of ISWAP jihadists that terrorize the people of Monguno County of Borno State.
Dala was arrested on Tuesday [Nov. 14] over a threat letter purportedly from the terrorists warning the villagers of an impending attack, according to Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency publication in Lake Chad.
The letter signed by one Amir Hallat Muhammed reads: “People of Monguno should be prepared. We [ISWAP] are coming to attack you on Wednesday [yesterday] by 5:00 p.m.” The letter sent the community into panic mode but the military has assured that they are prepared to counter any threat.
Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.