President Muhammadu Buhari (76) has sworn for a second term to lead Nigeria, struggling with a sluggish economy, a growing threat of radical Islam insurgency, and expanding extreme poverty.
Buhari won 56% of votes in presidential election in February after promising to end conflict in the northeast, extend welfare programs and launch growth with infrastructure constructions. Creation of jobs and reduction of the extreme poverty (87 million) remain the most challenging tasks for the second Buhari’s mandate.
Fighting with the radical Islam militants of Boko Haram and other groups affiliated to Al-Qaida attempting to reconstruct Sokoto Caliphate, has been the ultimate challenge for Buhari since his first mandate. In spite of the considerable efforts, the insurgency did not show any sings of fatigue.
The violence in the northwest has forced 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger.
According to the UN latest report, Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most extreme poor people in the world. The struggle to lift more citizens out of extreme poverty is an indictment on successive Nigerian governments which have mismanaged the country’s vast oil riches through incompetence and corruption.
Islamic State (IS) terrorist group killed 10 Nigerian soldiers in an assault on the northeastern town of Magumeri, the group claimed through related news agency AMAQ.
The organization leading jihad said the attack on the soldiers took place in the town in northeastern Borno state on May, 1. It published atrocious pictures of burned barracks and dead bodies claiming they are from the site.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province faction of Boko Haram in trucks and on motorcycles stormed into the base in the town of Magumeri, around 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Borno state capital Maiduguri, AFP reported.
Several sources in Nigeria, including one military, confirmed the killings, adding that the fighters stormed the town at roughly 1745 local time (1645 GMT), overran military personnel and raided local shops.
Islamic State claims killings of 30 Nigerian military in an attack on January 26 in northeastern Borno state, a claim disputed by the Nigerian Army.
A Nigerian Army spokesman said an attack on troops by insurgents in the Borno village of Logomani was repelled, and eight soldiers were hurt, none with life-threatening injuries.
The information spread by Caliphate via their online Amaq news agency contradicts the statement of Nigerian officials, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a village it referred to as Lomani, and also gave different account of the losses during the combat. (Image: illustration)
According to the other sources Boko Haram is responsible for the attack in Logomani, and Pulka.
Niger governmental troops have eliminated more than 280 Boko Haram militants in combat and in air strikes since an operation against the radical Islam group last week, the defence ministry said.
Boko Haram has intruded Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to establish a religious Islamic state – Caliphate.
The defence ministry informed that the army mounted an intense operation against the militants in the end of 2018 along the Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.
More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops in combat it said.
Boko Haram jihadists have killed another kidnapped aid worker in northeast Nigeria, the government said, the news came a month after one of her colleagues was murdered.
Information minister Lai Mohammed did not identify the victim but described her killing as “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly”, and vowed to push for the release of two remaining female captives — an aid worker and a 15-year-old girl — held since earlier this year.
Three female health workers were kidnapped during a Boko Haram raid on the remote town of Rann, in Borno state, on March 1, during the same raid three other aid workers and eight Nigerian soldiers were killed.
Attack attributed to Boko Haram jihadists in the Lake Chad region left behind 18 people dead, a Chadian military source said on Sunday.
“Boko Haram elements attacked a village south of Daboua,” not far from Chad’s border with Niger, at around 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) on July 19, the military source said. The assailants “cut the throats of 18 people, wounded two others and kidnapped 10 women”.
Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency has devastated the region since it took up arms in 2009 in Nigeria, leaving more than 20,000 people dead, forced to displace more than two million others and triggered a humanitarian crisis.
Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria to crush Boko Haram. Chad has seen a recent increase in activity by the group.
The number of violent incidents involving jihad groups in Africa has increased by +300% between 2010-2017, while the number of African countries experiencing sustained militant activity has more than doubled to 12 over the period, according to Africa Center.
The number of African countries experiencing sustained militant Islamist group activity has grown to 12: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Tunisia). In 2010, there were just five (Algeria, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia.
There has been a shift in the face of Islamist militancy in Africa over the 8-year time frame. In 2010, it was largely dominated by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al Shabaab. Now it is shared with Boko Haram and the Islamic State (ISIS). The number of active groups has also grown steadily. In 2010, there were five recognized militant Islamist groups operating on the continent: al Qaeda (in Egypt and Libya), al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Shabaab, Hizbul Islam, and Boko Haram. By end of 2017, the number was over 20.