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United Nations High Commission for Refugees57,000 Nigerians now refugees.


 

Despite  the fact that Nigeria is not at war, Nigerians are now refugees in neighbouring countries as more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic as a result of insurgency by Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.

The world body also disclosed that about half a million people have been internally displaced in the country which it described as a very alarming situation.

Spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Mr Adrian Edwards, who spoke with reporters in Geneva said of 57,000 people who fled Nigeria, 17,000 are registered as Nigerians while the rest are nationals from neighbouring countries who have

been living in Nigeria for ages.
He disclosed that Niger received the majority — some 40,000 concentrated in the Diffa region, a desert in the country’s eastern edge.

According to him, many of those fleeing North-Eastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions, adding that besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

57,000 flee to Cameroon,  Chad, Niger

He said: “Since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the three states in May 2013, more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Some 17,000 of these are registered Nigerian refugees. The rest are nationals of the surrounding countries who had been living in Nigeria for decades.”

Edwards noted that newly arrived refugees interviewed by the staff of the UNHCR in Niger have spoken of atrocities on the shores of Lake Chad in Borno State.

According to him, “One woman described corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water. She said people feared staying even to bury their dead or find missing relatives. Others recounted fleeing a village shooting incident and said women and children were being kidnapped and taken away by unidentified assailants.

“We’ve had some other accounts of shooting in villages there with women and children being kidnapped and taken away. So, it’s really a spreading of this horrible conflict we’re seeing outside of the towns and into some of the rural areas of North-East Nigeria.

“It’s hard for us to get full visibility of the situation inside North-East Nigeria, simply because we don’t have the access. And you have to remember that in addition to people fleeing Nigeria, you have got close to half a million people internally displaced inside the country. And that’s according to the government’s figures. So, these are really very high numbers and reflects what seems to be a very alarming situation.

2,000 people cross to Niger

“The latest attacks are reported to have begun in mid‑February and were continuing five days ago. In all, some 2,000 people have crossed into south‑east Niger’s Diffa region over the past four weeks.

“In addition to the attacks on Lake Chad, some of the new arrivals have come from areas near Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri, that have been affected by fighting.”

He maintained that the UNHCR reiterates to all parties to the conflict in north‑eastern Nigeria, the vital importance of protecting civilians from harm.

He said the UNHCR was working with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighbouring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open and also ensure that they help people on arrival.

Wounded Boko Haram members captured —DHq

Meanwhile, following military bombardments of Boko Haram terrorists by the Nigerian Army using artillery fire and infantry soldiers swooping on their camps, scores of the insurgents have been captured as they attempted to flee across the borders through Lake Chad and Cameroon as well as Niger.

Vanguard gathered that the bombardment was jointly carried out by the Nigerian Air Force using Mi‑35 helicopter gunships while the army launched its offensive from the ground.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said: “Scores of wounded terrorists who escaped from various camps under the fire of security forces have been captured in the fringes of Lake Chad.

“The captured terrorists, some of whom are fatally wounded, are already making useful statements to interrogators of the Multi‑National Joint Task Force.

“Others were captured by troops in locations around Dikwa, Cross Kauwa, Kukawa and Alargarmo.

“In their confessions, it was revealed that some of the camps have been disbanded following the directive of their clerics who declared that the operation of the sect had come to an end as the mission could no longer be sustained.

“The terrorists, who are giving useful information as to the locations of their remnant forces, are full of apologies and pleas for their lives to be spared, promising to cooperate.

Starvation major problem

“They confirmed that starvation was a major problem in addition to ceaseless bombardments on the camp locations even when they kept relocating.

“They also confirm that several members of the group have been wounded and no treatment was forth coming. Troops have continued their assault on other locations across the states covered by the state of emergency.

“Meanwhile, members of the public who have started visiting to engage in sight seeing in some dislodged camps and fringes of  forests such as Sambisa and others have been warned to desist from doing so as the tendency will no more be condoned where operations are still ongoing.

“The general area still remains a theatre and movement remains restricted as the environment has to be cleared for safety of citizens.The public will be informed when the locations are safe enough.”

BY MICHAEL EBOH & EDIRI EJOH

Source: Radio Biafra.

RNC Building Database of Obamacare Cancellation Victims.


Republican National Committee data scientists are building a list of the millions of Americans who lost their insurance policies through Obamacare in hopes of aiming campaigns at those people this year and in the 2016 presidential election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

“Getting that information and having good data as to who votes, who doesn’t vote, voter registration, party affiliation, consumer characteristics, cross-referenced with that kind of information, I think, is important for us to have,” Priebus told the Washington Examiner  after participating in a Conservative Political Action Conference panel talk on Saturday.

Priebus said the RNC has not had difficulty finding tech staffers, and has brought in some top engineers from sites like LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Facebook to work on the data projects.
The cancellations stand to play a key role in this year’s midterm elections, with many Democratic Party leaders urging candidates to talk openly about Obamacare issues while offering their own solutions to fix them.

The new approach, Democrats say, is based on polls such as a CBS News survey in January, which showed people agree the healthcare law has some good aspects, but changes are needed to make the law better.

In Colorado, where Fox News reported late last year that 250,000 people received cancellation notices, Obamacare is expected to make a huge impact on elections.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November, and Udall has been arguing about whether the figures are valid, The Denver Post reports.  But Jo Donlin, director of external affairs for the state insurance division, insisted the figures are right, saying many people have renewed policies, but “regardless, they received cancellation notices.”

The Obama administration also eased some election pressure on Democrats about a week ago when it announced a directive allowing insurers to keep offering health plans that did not meet minimum Obamacare coverage requirements, reports The Hill.

Without the delays, another wave of health insurance cancellations would likely have hit this fall, just before voters headed to the ballots in November.

“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

‘Growing Crescendo’ in GOP to Hold Lerner in Contempt


There’s a “growing crescendo” to hold retired IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her repeated refusal to testify about the tax agency’s targeted scrutiny of tea party groups, one House Oversight Committee member said Wednesday.

In the wake of a contentious less-than-10-minute hearing where Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination — triggering an angry exchange between committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa and ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings — North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows said “The American people … want to hold those people accountable.. and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“There is a growing crescendo that they should hold her in contempt of Congress and the American people get what they deserve,” Meadows told Fox News.

Among the GOP chorus calling for a contempt charge is House Speaker John Boehner.

“She has to testify or she should be held in contempt,” the Ohio Republican said after the hearing, saying he’d wait for a report from Issa.

A contempt vote could lead to a criminal prosecution — and fan the controversy that erupted last year when the agency’s extra scrutiny of tea party-backed nonprofits came to light.

Issa’s committee since then has held five hearings, issued three subpoenas for documents and interviewed IRS officials.

Democrats howled after the hearing, where Cummings had demanded he be given a right to speak before adjournment — but instead had his microphone turned off.

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America,” Cummings yelled as Issa dismissed the meeting and cut of microphones. “I am tired of this.

“We have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that. And, it’s absolutely un-American,” Cummings yelled.

“We had a hearing. We are adjourned. I gave you an opportunity to ask a question. You had no questions,” Issa, a Republican from California, responded.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, slammed Issa for conducting a “witch hunt.”

“What we’re seeing in the House today is a sign of larger dysfunction and partisanship on behalf of Republicans,” Van Hollen told MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” according to Politico.

“Darrell Issa has been conducting this political witch hunt for a long time now. He’s frustrated because he hasn’t been able to come up with any evidence of intentional political wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration, and so he’s getting frustrated and making stuff up.”

Democratic National Committee chair, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, called Issa’s conduct at the Wednesday hearing comparable to oppression in Ukraine and Venezuela, according to Politico, saying she was “stunned” that Issa would try to silence Cummings by cutting off his mic.

Cummings continued speaking for about 10 minutes; Lerner remained seated.

Issa said he’ll decide by next week whether his committee will seek to hold Lerner in contempt.

Lerner first appeared before the committee last May, when she also invoked the Fifth Amendment after maintaining that she was innocent of wrongdoing. The committee determined the following month that Lerner waived her right against self-incrimination by making that statement.

A Treasury inspector general’s report has since determined the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups, though it found no evidence of a political motivation.

The Justice Department is involved in a criminal probe of the matter.

The IRS has since proposed new rules for handling social welfare groups engaged in political activity, though conservative groups have called them too restrictive.

Bloomberg news contributed to this report

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers and Cathy Burke

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