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Boko Haram: Narrow escape from theatre of death

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Victims recount ordeals

The clock kept ticking for 17-yearold Nadia to take a decision that will most probably determine if she lives or dies. She could either accept the amorous adventure of one of the Boko Haram kingpins or be forced to undertake a deadly mission – as a suicide bomber. Boko Haram had kidnapped her alongside other female victims, but she was cherry picked for a second wife by an ugly, dirty bearded insurgent.

The moment was so traumatizing!

“He came that night and tried to rape me,” she said, her diamanté earrings glinting through her pale blue hijab.

“We wrestled seriously. I thought, this is a life-or-death situation he probably has an STD which would kill me anyway, so I might as well die honourably.

I used all my strength to fight him, and he was so angry when he couldn’t succeed in raping me. In the morning he went out and called his boys and told them to take me out and flog me.” According to Ruth Maclean, in her report published by theguardian.co.uk, Nadia remained resolute not to allow the Commander have his way, despite being aware her boldness could lead to her early death.

However, her long procrastination came to a head three months later when Nadia woke up in the morning only to see her waist had been strapped with explosives – she had been pressganged into undertaking a suicide mission.

The Commander’s men put her and two others on a motorcycle which dropped them at Gamboro, a town in Borno State.

They were asked to blow themselves up in a big crowd if possible. But the hatred, anger and disgust Nadia had for the Boko Haram was deep prompted by when in her presence they snatched and shot his father in their community in Borno.

Nadia narrated how the girls had decided amongst themselves that should they ever be forced to carry out any suicide bombings they would simply hand themselves over to the Joint Task Force without detonating the bombs. And on this occasion that is exactly what they did, as they got near they shouted to the JTF operatives: “We are carrying bombs, we were forced to.

We shouted this while lifting our veils.”

For Odion Imatidon, his escape from the deadly Boko Haram invasion in their local Community in Damaturu, Yobe State was predestined. The young man fled unhurt after his parents were killed in the attack that left their village home burnt to ashes.

The attack led to loss of valuable items including his certificates.

“My Mother died and my sister too, I was aimless, homeless and wandering.” Imatidon escaped Nigeria into an African country on transit to Italy where he finally settled seeking political asylum and refugee status.

According to another report published by the New York-based Human Right Watch, in 2014, who spoke to well over 47 witnesses and victims who managed to escape the Sambisa forest of death, “their tale was that of rape, forced marriage and forced participation in Boko Haram’s crimes against humanity.” A teenage victim, (names withheld) told how she was forced into marrying an insurgent after repeatedly being raped each night. “

He soon began to threaten me with a knife to have sex with him, and when I refused, he brought out his gun, warning that he would kill me if I shouted.

The huge man raped me every night.” Another victim, a19-year-old woman, said she was ordered to kill a Nigerian soldier she was forced to lure into a trap set by the militant group.

“When they (Nigerian troops) followed me for a short distance, the insurgents swooped on them. They slit the throats of four men as they shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, then I was handed a knife to kill the last man. I was shaken with horror and couldn’t do it.

The camp leader’s wife took the knife and killed him.” The multiple tales underscore the heinous crimes against humanity and unnatural killing project embarked by the insurgents in the country.

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Health benefits of cucumber (3)

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Cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trailing or other supporting frames, wrapping around supports with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. Face Mask: For oily skin – grate 1/2 cucumber into a bowl and add one tablespoon of honey.

Apply to the T-Zone, which is the forehead, nose and chin. To reduce pores and tighten skin – apply the mixture all over the face including under the eyes and eyelids. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water, Pat dry with a clean towel.

 

Fighting cancers: Cucumber is known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol which are linked to a reduced risk of several types of cancer. Controlling blood pressure: Cucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and phytonutrients that work effectively for regulating blood pressure.

 

Aiding digestion: Their high water and dietary fiber are very effective in driving away the toxins from the digestive system. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation. Relieving gout and arthritis pain: Cucumbers are rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium.

 

When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering uric acid levels. Cucumbers also contain a substance needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin. Researchers have found that sterols in cucumbers help reduce cholesterol levels. It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.

 

Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut. It is a very good source of  potassium, an important intracellular electrolyte.

 

Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte that helps bring a reduction in total blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium. Cucumbers contain unique antioxidants in moderate ratios such as ß-carotene and a- carotene, Vitamin- C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein.

 

These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Cucumbers have mild diuretic property, which perhaps attributed to their free-water, and potassium and low sodium content.

 

This helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure. Ongoing research indicates that Cucumbers play a key role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

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We will not condone Cattle Rustling in Kogi – Government

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The Kogi State Government has warned cattle rustlers that their nefarious activities will not be condoned in the State.

Speaking through his Director of Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, in Lokoja, Governor Yahaya Bello said the state’s hospitality should not be taken as gateway for criminal elements, assuring the people that government will protect them from the hands of criminals.

“The reports of cattle rustling in Mopa is regrettable. Security agencies will investigate the matter and bring perpetrators to justice. The State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara, is working with security agencies to ensure that criminal elements do not have a place in our society.

“Our open arms is no invitation to criminals. Our first responsibility as a government is to ensure the security of lives and property in the state.”

The Governor assured the Management of Daniyan Farms that thorough investigations will be done to get to the root of the matter, appealing to the people of the area not to take the laws into their hands.

“Daniyan Farms has existed for decades, providing food for our people and empowering our youth and women. Government will not allow criminals to destroy those legacies.

“Government has also directed security agents to strengthen surveillance and intelligence gathering as rustlers are not known to reside in a particular place. They move from place to place to perpetrate their crimes.

“The good thing is that the leadership of the Fulanis in the State are working with security agents to ensure peace and harmony. We shall spare no criminal who is fomenting trouble in the State.”

Fanwo said the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC) in Mopamuro has been strengthened to support other security agencies to ensure peace in the area, saying the administration of Governor Bello will not tolerate acts capable of endangering the lives of the people. He also said the State Government has invested heavily in training men of the Kogi State Vigilante Service to ensure security at the grassroots.

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Farmers get N1.4bn fertilizer subsidy in Sokoto

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Sokoto State Government yesterday expressed its readiness to spend N1.4 billion to subsidise cost of fertilizer for farmers in the state in the 2018 farming season.

 

Governor Aminu Tambuwal stated this in Sabon Birni Local Government Area during flagoff of fertilizer sales for dry season farming and distribution of improved seedlings to farmers across the state.

 

“We have bought 500,000 bags of fertilizer at the cost of N6,800 per 50kg bag, but we have decided to sell the product to our farmers at the subsidized cost of N4,000 per bag. In all, we are spending the sum of N1.4 billion to subsidise the product.

 

“This intervention had become necessary in view of our determination to boost agriculture in the state and to encourage new entrants into the sector. We will continuously explore other avenues to grow and improve the agriculture sector bearing in mind that it is the largest employer of labour for majority of our citizens.”

 

However, Tambuwal said the government would buy 25,000 metric tons of fertilizer at the cost of N3.4 billion for the dry season farming alone in the state, saying the government would construct 1,000 tube wells to assist dry season farmers as a result of shortage of water being experienced at the Goronyo Dam.

 

On the seedlings, the governor said the Ministry of Agriculture had already procured faro-brand rice seedlings at the cost of N281 million for distribution to dry season farmers free of charge, while another N9.5 million worth of carrot, onion, water melon and garlic seedlings had been bought for the farmers to improve their yields.

 

He added: “This is in addition to the payment of N20 million counterpart funding to the State Agricultural Development Project (SADP) for the provision of tube wells to farmers as well as motorcycles to monitoring officers in 2017.

“The government has paid the sum of N40 million as counterpart funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and N56 million for the World Bank funded-Fadama III Project, which are all aimed at improving farming activities in the state.”

In his remarks, Commissioner for Agriculture, Umar Nagwari said the ministry achieved 80 per cent of its target in 2017, and vowed to do more this year for the benefit of the farmers.

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