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Boko Haram strengthens ties with Islamic State group

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Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are strengthening ties with the Islamic State group, as shown by reports that Nigerian militants are fighting in Libya, recent arrests in Lebanon and India and the blocking of thousands of suspected extremists from leaving Nigeria.

Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS in March and in June declared its West African province. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since President Muhammad Buhari was elected in March and pledged to halt the 6-year-old Islamic uprising blamed for the deaths of some 20,000.

An estimated 80 to 200 Boko Haram fighters are in the Libyan city of Sirte, according to Nigeria analyst Jacob Zenn, in The Sentinel magazine of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.
Algerian security forces believe Boko Haram fighters have joined other militants in northern Niger, he wrote.

“The openness of migration routes from Nigeria through eastern Niger to Libya makes travel … fairly straightforward, and the Islamic State can easily afford to pay smugglers to carry militants (and weapons) along that route,” wrote Zenn.

Further evidence of Boko Haram’s links with IS is the arrest on August 15 by Lebanese authorities of hard-line IS cleric Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut airport. They said he planned to fly to Nigeria on a forged Palestinian passport with a Nigerian visa.

The Nigeria Immigration Service reported barring 23,472 people from leaving the country between January 2014 and March 2015. “There have been reports in recent times of some Nigerians departing to join terrorist groups especially in the Middle East and North Africa,” said PR Nigeria, which publishes government news.

Two Nigerians studying in India were arrested August 7 as they tried to cross illegally into Pakistan, planning to join IS in Iraq, it said. (AP).

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War: China, India, Tajikistan, others to send troops to Russia

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China’s People’s Liberation Army will send troops to Russia to participate in the “East-2022” drills.

The East-2022 is also called the Vostok-2022 and this was disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, according to CNN.

“China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries,” the ministry added.

It further explained that the Asian giants’ participation would enhance the level of strategic cooperation among countries involved.

The exercise would further strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats, according to the defense ministry.

It, however, added that the exercise is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.

Other nations to join in the exercise are India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries.

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Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of three additional orthopedic hospitals.

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement on Wednesday at the inauguration of the Primary Health Care(PHC) Leadership Challenge at the State House.

The event was organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in collaboration with development partners.

Ehanire disclosed that the President approved siting of the orthopedic hospital in three regions.

“North-East has one; the North-Central has one and the South-South has one; in Benin, Jos and Jalingo respectively”, NAN quoted him saying.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said N471.9 billion had been disbursed to states under the $1.5billion World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.

She added that all the 36 states had fully domesticated the fiscal reforms in their public financial management system.

Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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BREAKING: Electricity workers call off strike

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National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called off its nationwide strike.

The decision followed an emergency meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday.

The minister’s spokesman Olajide Oshundun, announced that Ngige intervened in the industrial action.

NUEE Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, assured that electricity would be restored across the country tonight.

The workers shut down all Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN) offices earlier today.

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