Sudan: Ethiopia Blocks Fleeing Nigerian Students, Factions Agree 72-hour Ceasefire
The Federal Government, on Monday, confirmed that some Nigerian students fleeing the conflict in Sudan were denied entry into Ethiopia, but stated that the situation was being handled.
The Federal Government said Nigerian authorities in Ethiopia were addressing the issue, as they had sought clearance for the fleeing students, stressing that it was, however, risky for the students to have embarked on such a journey.
This was as the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday that Sudan’s warring generals had agreed to a three-day ceasefire starting Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday), after previous bids to pause the conflict quickly disintegrated.
“Following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours,” Blinken said in a statement two hours before the truce was to go into effect.
READ ALSO: Relief As Sudan’s Rival Factions Agree To three-day Ceasefire
“During this period, the United States urges the SAF and RSF to immediately and fully uphold the ceasefire,” Blinken said.
Blinken said the United States was also working with partners to set up a committee that would negotiate a permanent ceasefire in Sudan, where the conflict between rival generals descended into deadly violence 10 days ago.
Foreign countries rushed to evacuate their nationals from Sudan as deadly fighting raged into a second week between forces loyal to two rival generals.
More than 420 people have been killed and thousands wounded, according to UN figures, amid fears of wider turmoil and a humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest nations.
The Director, Special Duties, National Emergency Management Agency, who doubles as the Chairman, NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of the Stranded Nigerians from Sudan, Dr Onimode Bandele, told The PUNCH that the students’ case was receiving the required attention.
READ ALSO: Sudan Crisis: FG Sends Message To Nigerian Students Trapped
“Yea, you must have been reading on social media that some students got into a town at the border of Ethiopia and they have not been able to grant them passage.
“The Nigerian Ambassador in Egypt, Nura Rimi, confirmed to me that the ambassador in Ethiopia is working on that, and hopefully they should be able to get a passage,” Bandele stated.
He, however, explained that “In our own humanitarian assignment, self-evacuation is at the risk of the person that is involved. If you decide to self-evacuate, whatever you meet is your headache, because you did not listen to the authorities that are supposed to cater for you.
“We empathise with them; we understand their situation; some of them are doing that out of panic or running to safety. But at the same time, self-evacuation has its own disadvantages.
“So, our appeal to Nigerians is that wherever they are, they should please wait for further instruction from the Federal Government, especially the ambassador that is with them in Sudan. He is there with his family too. It is not that he has run out and left them,” Bandele stated.
READ ALSO: FG Uses Vehicles To Evacuate 5,500 Students, Others From Sudan As Crisis Worsen
The NEMA official also said the Federal Government had considered using the services of the United Nations in evacuating Nigerians stranded in Sudan.
But this, according to him, did not work, because the UN said it could not support anyone now, due to the loss of five UN staff in Sudan.
“We were looking at the possibility of using the UN Utility Service and he (Rimi) said the UN had released a message that they cannot guarantee helping anybody.
“This is because the UN has already lost five staff in Sudan. So they are looking for a way to protect themselves and cannot guarantee anybody,” Bandele stated.
Govs Back Tinubu On Subsidy Removal
State Governors on Wednesday expressed strong support for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy payments in the country and other early policy initiatives of the administration.
The governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, expressed their support to President Tinubu during the first meeting the President was having with them at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The state chief executives, who took turns to speak at the meeting were led by the NGF Chairman and governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who expressed happiness with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership and statesmanship.
They congratulated President Tinubu for tackling the fuel subsidy behemoth, promising to work with him to ameliorate the short-term impact of the decision.
President Tinubu had earlier called on the governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country, saying the level of impoverishment was unacceptable.
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The President advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people.
“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary, it is from the society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation-building,’’ he said.
President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.
“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering on results,’’ he added.
The President said good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
READ ALSO: Presidential Tribunal: Peter Obi Tenders Results Of 8 More States In evidence
“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.
“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations that are over a hundred years in democracy.
“We have managed ourselves very well to have a democracy. We have campaigned and arrived at our present destination. We must work for our people,’’ President Tinubu told the governors while assuring them that he would maintain an open-door policy.
The President said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.
“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room before the nation sinks.
“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanize the economy, and put resources in place? We must think and perform.
“After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,’’ he noted.
READ ALSO: Tribunal: How Peter Obi Rigged Out Atiku In Anambra – Witness
President Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury:
“How do we address the unacceptable level of poverty? How much are we investing in education, which is the only tool against poverty? I am ready to collaborate with you.’’
The President also drew attention to the security problems in some states, admonishing the governors that all efforts should be put in place to tackle the security situation, without thinking it’s only for those facing it.
The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRasaq, thanked the President for the invitation to deliberate on the challenges of poverty and security, promising that the governors would support the Federal Government in meeting the targets of human development.
“The NGF will follow the tradition of working constitutionally and harmoniously with you,’’ he said.
The meeting, which was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima and new Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, had 22 governors and two deputy governors from Edo and Niger States, in attendance.
The governors made suggestions highlighting the plight of citizens in their states, assuring the President of their support in proffering solutions through the National Economic Council.
3 Months After Arriving UK, Nigerian Masters Student Arrested For Allegedly [email protected] Minors
A Nigerian man identified as Cyril Kenneth has been arrested by the police after being accused of dating minors in Belfast, UK.
According to a video shared by Warriors of Children, Kenneth who arrived in February for his Masters degree, was arrested after multiple children between the ages of 14 and 15 reported him with evidence of him gr%oming and s£x¥ally hara§§ing them.
In the text messages he had with some of the victims, Kenneth sent his unsolicited indecent pictures, asked some of them for their house addresses, invited one of them to his house for s+x, amongst other di§turbing messages.
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The suspect, however, confessed to the crime and blamed it on temptation from the devil.
He said he contacted the kids because he needed friends as he was new to the country. He was subsequently handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Nicki Minaj Sued For Allegedly Damaging Borrowed Jewellery
American rapper, Nicki Minaj has been dragged to court over alleged unpaid bills for custom jewellery.
A West Hollywood jeweller, Roseark Jewellery store, is suing the rapper after she damaged some bling they loaned her.
Meanwhile, Nicki’s attorney said she’s not responsible, claiming the jeweller is just using her for publicity.
According to a new lawsuit, Nicki’s stylist, Brett Alan Nelson, signed a contract with Roseark Jewellery Store, with Roseark agreeing to loan Nicki jewellery for a public appearance.
The store also said the contract called for Brett to return the bling within a week and pay for any damages the jewellery might incur under his watch.
READ ALSO: How Nigeria Can Repay Its Debts Within 90 Days – Jimoh Ibrahim
However, Nicki’s stylist failed to return 66 pieces of jewellery by the agreed-upon deadline, and, when he finally did, there was noticeable damage to a set of earrings and a leaf ring.
A source close to Nicki told TMZ that everything was returned on time as promised, and it was only after items had been in the jeweller’s possession for some time that the store complained about a missing stone.
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