The Big 5: “Boko Haram wants N100bn for Leah Sharibu;” 5 Shi’ites reportedly killed in clash with soldiers | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Fifty-seven Chibok school girls being held by Boko Haram have been reportedly sighted in Garin Magaji and Garin Mallam villages of Marwa in Northern Cameroon, Daily Trust reports.

According to the Chairman of Chibok Girls Parents Association, Yakubu Nkenke, “seven of the abducted Chibok girls are living in Garin Magaji, while 50 others are held in Garin Mallam where they live with their husbands and children.” 

In a related development, Members of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a factional Boko Haram sect, who kidnapped Leah Sharibu alongside no fewer than 109 students in Dapchi, Yobe in February, have demanded N100bn ransom for her release.

Sunday Punch reports that a diplomatic source who spoke with them on Saturday, claiming to be involved in the negotiation for the release of the schoolgirl, said the government was however considering the other implications of giving such huge sum of money to the terrorists, including using the cash to acquire weapons to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians in the future.

“But we are aware that the terrorist organisation holding her is demanding N100bn.  Though no amount is too much to get the soul of one innocent person out of danger, I think the government of Nigeria is considering many things,” the sources said.

Five members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) are feared dead in a clash with soldiers in Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Shi’ites who were in a procession from Suleja in Niger, to Abuja for a three-day mass protest were said to have resisted a directive at a military checkpoint which resulted in an argument, leading members of the group to resort to hurling stones at the soldiers, who in turn allegedly opened fire on them and killing five people in the process.

IMN spokesperson, Abdullahi Musa who confirmed the death of his members is quoted to have said “I want to assure you that we are not disturbed with this onslaught. The more they kill us, the more people are coming out to protest.”

More reactions have greeted the statement by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday, urging the people of South West to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections in order to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023.

National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, reacting to the issue has said the Minister was using it as a campaign strategy to get the support of the South West for his party, as he called on Ndigbo to convoke a general meeting on the issue noting that he does not expect an Igbo Presidency to happen without a struggle.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo on Saturday said that N5bn out of  the N12.6bn Paris Club refund paid to the state recently would be used for the payment of pensions, adding that N9bn would be set aside for the payment of salaries.

Okorocha, who stated this on Saturday while swearing-in eight new commissioners, said the state government would source for funds in addition to left over of the Paris club refund to pay salaries in advance, as he said the state was not owing workers any outstanding salary.

“N20bn will be injected into the economy of the state,” he added.

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