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Cameroon separatist invading Nigeria communities – Senator Bwacha

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Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South has raised the alarm that Nigeria’s territorial sovereignty is under threat following the invasion of Manga community in Takum local government area by Ambazonia separatists from Southern Cameroon.

Coming under a point of order, the lawmaker during the commencement of plenary bemoaned the killing of the village head of Manga community and some residents.

He said the invasion of the community by the separatists from neighbouring Cameroon led to the sack of residents of Manga village.

According to the lawmaker, Manga village is 20 kilometers away from Kashimbilla Dam.

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He, therefore, called on the military to immediately swing into action to prevent the eventual occupation of Manga community by the separatists.

He said, “I rise this morning to draw the attention of our country men and particularly our security agencies to this unfortunate incident which undermines our integrity and sovereignty as a nation.

“Takum local government houses the 23 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, and so Mr. President, it is my humble submission that the Nigerian Army should rise to the challenge and curb this wanton territorial expansion.

“Their (Separatists) motive is yet unknown, whether they want to expand territory or lay claim for Southwest Cameron is not yet clear.

“As I speak, a number of individuals have gone missing and their whereabouts are yet unknown. The village also is razed down.”

The Senate, thereafter, held a minute silence to honour those killed by the Ambazonia separatists from Southern Cameroon in Manga community.

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IPOB condemns bandits comparison by Sheik Gumi

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has voiced its condemnation at the Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, for comparing it to bandits recently pronounced a terrorist group by an Abuja court.

“In case, Gumi has forgotten, Fulani bandits and herdsmen are already designated the fourth deadliest terror organisation in the world. But IPOB as a peaceful Movement maintains its presence in over 100 countries of the world without any molestations,” the spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Sunday.

“It’s only in Nigeria that Gumi and his likes will liken IPOB to a terror group that it is not. What a blackmail.

“Can the mischievous Gumi be honest to tell the world if IPOB has kidnapped anybody at any time and demanded ransom for him to liken us with bandits?”

Mr Powerful added IPOB will maintain its peaceful nature with a vision of restoring the Sovereign State of Biafra.

“We believe in peaceful restoration of Biafra and our philosophy has not changed.” he noted.

IPOB also would like to remind Nigerians what Sheik Gumi’s true colours are.

“It’s because of hypocrites like him that bandits and terrorists keep spilling blood across the country as they know he will always make a case for them.

“Were Nigeria to be a sane society, Gumi and his types should have been serving their jail terms for their unhidden sympathy for terrorists.

“An advocate of bandits can’t claim to be a true Islamic cleric,” Mr Powerful concluded.

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PCR tests can detect Omicron, further research still ongoing, WHO says

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While PCR testing can identify Omicron infection, research is being conducted to see whether the Covid-19 variant of concern has any effect on other test types, according to the WHO on Sunday.

“The widely-used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants,” WHO said in an update about the new variant.

“Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.”

The WHO classified Omicron, discovered earlier this month in southern Africa, a threat on Friday. The categorization placed Omicron among the universally dominant Delta and its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.

Global border closures and further restrictions were reported on Sunday as Omicron spread around the world.

The strain has placed doubt on global attempts to fight the pandemic, causing governments to reimpose safeguards they had thought were no longer necessary.

The WHO stated it was “not yet clear” if Omicron spreads more readily or induces more severe illness than other strains.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the UN health agency said.

While early data show a higher likelihood of reinfection with Omicron in those who previously had Covid, data is limited. The WHO said it was studying the variant’s influence on current countermeasures, including vaccinations.

“WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand Omicron,” it said. “More information will emerge in the coming days and weeks.”

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South African airports grind to a halt, passengers stranded due to Omicron

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The discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant disrupted flights and sparked worries of a hard shutdown in Africa’s most industrialised economy, causing shock and panic in South Africa.

Flights from South Africa to the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European countries were quickly halted after South African scientists reported the virus strain’s discovery on Thursday.

“This is absolute chaos. Nobody can tell us what is possible in terms of travel at this point,” said stranded passenger Steve Lawrence in OR Tambo, one of Africa’s busiest airports.

Since early November, the number of daily coronavirus infections has increased thirteenfold, with 3,220 new cases recorded on Saturday alone. 89,791 people have died in South Africa since the outbreak began.

Panic caused 600 passengers on two KLM aircraft from Johannesburg to Amsterdam to be stuck on the runway at Schiphol Airport.

“It’s naïve for developed countries to believe they can stop the spread of this variant with a blanket ban on countries in southern Africa.

The virus has already found its way into these societies from individuals that haven’t even travelled to or come into contact with anyone from southern Africa,” said Shabir Madhi, a South African vaccinologist, to Al Jazeera.

Flight cancellations increased immediately after the unexpected suspension of aircraft startled the tourism sector.

The South African tourism industry lost $10 billion in bookings in 2020 due to a decrease in international tourists, and an estimated $10 million each week due to airline cancellations.

The South African government labelled any travel restrictions on the nation “misdirected”, while the WHO urged for calm.

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