NCDC confirms additional 13 new cases of Lassa The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed 13 additional new cases of Lassa fever in seven days from five states,which were; Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Ebonyi and Imo. The NCDC in its epidemiological report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, said that, since the beginning of 2022, 70 per cent of infections had come from three states: Ondo (31 per cent), Edo (26 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent).
NAN reports that Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus.
People usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats – present in several West African countries where the disease is endemic.
The virus could also be spread through infected bodily fluids.
The public health agency said that the country had recorded 165 deaths in 17 states.
The agency said,” In week 31 (Aug. 1 to 7), the number of new confirmed cases increased from 10 in week 30, 2022 to 13 cases.
These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Ebonyi and Imo states.
“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 31, 2022, 165 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (23.1 per cent).
“In total for 2022, 25 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 100 Local Government Areas.
“Of all confirmed cases, 70 per cent are from Ondo (31 per cent), Edo (26 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent) States,”.
The NCDC stated that the predominant age group affected were 21-30 years (Range.
zero to 90 years, Median Age: 30 years.
It said that the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases was 1:0.8. “The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. “No new Healthcare worker affected in the reporting week 31,” it said.
The NCDC, however, said that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) had continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.
NAN recalled that the number of suspected cases had increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. Meanwhile, the agency did not state if there were any new Healthcare workers affected in reporting week 31. Lassa fever was first discovered in Nigeria when two missionary nurses became ill with the virus in 1969. Its name is derived from the village of Lassa, where it was first documented.
Lassa fever is a viral infection carried by the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis (M.
This is one of the most common rodents in equatorial Africa, found across much of sub-Saharan Africa.
Lassa fever mainly occurs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria.
However, the Mastomys rat is common in neighbouring countries, so these areas are also at risk.
Once a Mastomys rat is infected with the virus, it can excrete trusted sources of the virus in its faeces and urine, potentially for the rest of its life.
As a result, the virus can spread easily, especially as the rats breed rapidly and can inhabit human homes.
The most common method of transmission is by consuming or inhaling rat urine or faeces.
It can also be spread through cuts and open sores.
The rats live in and around human habitation, and they often come into contact with foodstuffs.
Sometimes people eat the rats, and the disease can be spread during their preparation.
Person-to-person contact is possible via blood, tissue, secretions or excretions, but not through touch.
Sharing needles may spread the virus, and there are some reports of sexual transmission.
Lassa fever can also be passed between patients and staff at poorly equipped hospitals where sterilisation and protective clothing are not standard.
Meanwhile, a new vaccine shows promise to fight the Lassa virus.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have achieved success with a new vaccine developed to fight Lassa Virus, a pathogen that causes Lassa fever.
Lassa fever is lethal in humans and nonhuman primates with a mortality rate as high as 70 per cent in hospitalized cases.
As many as 500,000 people are infected each year in West Africa.
Lassa fever may also induce serious long-lasting effects in survivors.
As many as one-third of those infected suffer hearing loss or other neurological complications.
The study, “A recombinant VSV-vectored vaccine rapidly protects nonhuman primates against heterologous lethal Lassa fever,” was published July 19 in Cell Reports.
Nigerian mission celebrates life, legacy of late Amb. Eloho Otobo Nigerian mission celebrates the life, legacy of late Amb. Eloho Otobo News Analysis by Cecilia Ologunagba, News Agency of Nigeria On Tuesday, August 9, the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN in collaboration with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office joined family, friends and former colleagues at Nigeria House, New York for the celebration of life of a renowned diplomat and leader, Amb. Eloho Otobo.
Diplomats both retired and serving were at the memorial event to pay tributes to late Otobo, an upright Nigerian citizen, prominent diplomat, dedicated foreign service officer and a brilliant ambassador.
Otobo, 70, retired with the UN headquarters, having served as a Director and Deputy Head, UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) of the Peacebuilding Commission at the UN Headquarters from 2006 to 2013. Until his death on June 23, he was a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Peacebuilding and Global Governance Institute in Brussels, Belgium and a prolific writer.
Paying tribute to Otobo, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, described Otobo as a passionate diplomat and a brilliant scholar, who advocated tirelessly for peace on the Africa continent.
In a written remark read by Mr Bolade Sobola, President of UN Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC) Nigerian Association, Mohammed said Otobo would be greatly remembered for his contributions to the UN and Nigeria.
Amb. Shola Omoregie, Representative of Nigerian Retired Ambassadors and former Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau paying tribute to Amb. Eloho Otobo at a memorial event in his honour at Nigeria House, New York. Also speaking on behalf of the Nigerian retired ambassadors, Amb. Shola Omoregie said Otobo embodied the best in every person, adding ” he was generous in providing advice and counsel.
” Omoregie, a former Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, recalled how he succeeded through the support and advice Otobo gave him.
“Following my appointment, he advised me to leave a legacy behind in Guinea-Bissau.
What legacy, I asked?
He said I should make my priority to work toward placing Guinea-Bissau on the Agenda of the UN Peacebuilding.
“I took his advice and we worked closely to garner support from the UN Secretariat, including most importantly, the full weight of his former department, the UN PBSO to successfully place Guinea-Bissau of the Agenda on the UN Peacebuilding Commission,”he said.
Also paying tribute to the late leader, Ms Foluke Ojelabi, Vice President of UNSRC said Otobo contributed immensely to the growth of the association.
Ojelabi recalled how much time and attention Otobo gave to the members of UNSRC Nigerian association, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, advising and supporting the members.
“He was a mentor.
He believed in one and united Nigeria,’’ she said.
In his exhortation, Pastor Gabriel Adejimi of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Restoration Pavilion, New York, urged the family members, former colleagues, and friends to take solace in God over the demise of Otobo.
Energy Capital & Power (ECP) (https://EnergyCapitalPower.com) is proud to announce that HE Bruno Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo and President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has been confirmed as a speaker at MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Exhibition 2022 (https://bit.ly/3a4fuRb), now less than three weeks away.
HE Minister Itoua will join the respective ministers of Senegal (HE Sophia Gladima), Mauritania (HE Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Salah), Gambia (Hon. Abdoulie Jobe), Guinea-Bissau (HE Dionisio Cabi) and Equatorial Guinea (HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima) together with the Director General of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate in the Office of the President, Foday Mansaray, addressing the delegates gathered at the ministerial forum that followed President HE Macky Sall's speech on September 1 in Dakar.
Since assuming the OPEC presidency in January from neighboring Angola, HE Minister Itoua has led the Congo through a robust oil-led economic recovery, achieving solid 5% GDP growth while mitigating production declines.
to stabilize the country's production at 275,000 barrels per day.
Thanks to HE Minister Itoua's vision, the 13 oil-rich nations that make up OPEC, which control 40% of the world's oil supply, have been able to return demand to pre-COVID-19 levels, removing restrictions of 10 million barrels per day imposed.
during the 2020 recession and seeing global commodity prices hit a high of over $100 a barrel in April, which represents a seven-year high.
HE Minister Itoua's leadership role as Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo gives him a wealth of experience to share with the emerging energy mega-players of the MSGBC basin.
With a mature extractive sector dating back decades, Congo-Brazzaville has 2.9 billion barrels of crude oil and 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas reserves, lauded for its private-sector involvement by companies like Perenco.
, Eni and TotalEnergies, with upstream oil representing 50% of national GDP, 70% of government revenues and 80% of net exports.
By contrast, the MSGBC nations boast 50 tcf of natural gas, 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent between them, but remain at the start of world-class production levels, $9 billion in oil projects, and gas that will come into operation next year.
MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 host nation Senegal has 500,000 barrels of oil in Sangomar and Gambia has potentially triple that with discoveries by Australian mega-company FAR.
All MSGBC nations are ramping up exploration similarly to the Congo with license rounds ranging from five to 27 blocks hitting the market this year.
In short, HE Minister Itoua's presence at the MSGBC ministerial forum could be a game changer, contributing unprecedented strategic insights to forge strong public-private partnerships and ties with a new slate of multinationals to join a set of companies.
international oil companies (IOCs) and investors who diversify rapidly.
to the region from Africa, Europe, Asia, America, Australia and the Middle East. Currently active in the basin are companies such as bp, Woodside, Kosmos, FAR, Petronas, PetroNor and Tullow Oil, however the Congo triad of Perenco, Eni and TotalEnergies represent some of the largest IOC investors operating in Africa, responsible for many of the largest hydrocarbon developments in West Africa in recent years.
The Director of the ECP International Conference, Sandra Sheikh, states that, “HE Bruno Itoua brings to the table unique global and national policy experiences in shaping sustainable hydrocarbon sectors for social and economic benefit, driving development.
His insights at the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 Ministerial Panel this September are particularly welcome and appreciated, recognizing the basin's nascent but thriving industry with billions of dollars of investment already underway, expected to be double in the decade.” For more information on MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022, which takes place in less than a month in the Senegalese capital Dakar, please visit https://MSGBCPOilGasAndPower.com.
African participants in the first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) taking place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from Sept. 1 to Sept 3, 2022, would enjoy visa waiver requirements for passport holders from 24 African countries.
The development was contained in a statement signed by Deborah Ross, Senior Public Relations Director, BrandComms, on Thursday.
According to the statement, the benefitting countries would have otherwise needed visas to enter Barbados.
It said that citizens of the remaining African countries do not require visas to travel to Barbados.
It added that citizens of the 24 countries who register to participate in ACTIF2022, would be eligible for the visa waiver programme which allows covered visitors to enter Barbados without visas and to stay for up to 90 days.
“ACTIF2022, which is being held under the theme “One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”, is being hosted by the Government of Barbados and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
“The 24 African countries to which the visa waiver decision applies are: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti.
“Others are Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sao Tomé and Principe, Sudan, South Sudan and Togo,” it said.
The statement quoted Kay Sealy, acting Permanent Secretary, Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who said that the move to add these countries to Barbados’ visa waiver list was to enhance business and investment opportunities.
She added that the visa waiver, also being extended to 19 non-African countries would facilitate the ease of travel for tourists.
“Participants in ACTIF2022 will include African and Caribbean heads of state and government, senior government representatives, business leaders, representatives of business associations, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions, think-tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean.
“ACTIF2022 is being held in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
“It is co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados,” she said.
Guinea dissolved the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (Front national pour la défense de la Constitution, FNDC), a prominent coalition of Guinean civil society groups and opposition parties, for political reasons on August 8, 2022, noted Human Rights Watch.
The measure of the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization of the country seriously harms the return of the country to a genuine democratic government.
The coalition had no opportunity to effectively challenge the decision, which was based on vague and generalized allegations, before an independent judicial body with the authority to overturn the order.
"The Guinean transitional government already tightly controls the political space," said Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“This move against the FNDC will only further undermine democracy by discouraging any meaningful opposition.” The order accuses the coalition of organizing armed public demonstrations, using violence, inciting hatred, and acting as "private militias."
This decision came hours after the coalition announced new demonstrations in Guinea and abroad calling for a credible dialogue between the transitional military authorities and opposition parties and civil society.
On September 5, 2021, Guinean army officers from the self-proclaimed National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (*Comité national du rassemblement et du développement, *CNRD) overthrew the government of Alpha Condé.
In May, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who has headed the military junta since September 2021, pledged to hand over power to civilians within three years.
But national actors, including the FNDC coalition and regional bodies, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), rejected this timeline as too long.
The coalition was founded in April 2019 to protest Condé's plan to revise the constitution and run for a third term.
The group has faced a spate of intimidation and abuse from the Condé and Doumbouya governments.
On July 30 and 31, security forces arrested three prominent coalition leaders in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, and charged them with illegal protest, destruction of public and private property, assault and battery.
In May, the military junta banned any public demonstration that could be seen as a threat to public order, drawing criticism from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The government's decision to dissolve the coalition violates freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and democratic participation, Human Rights Watch said.
These rights are guaranteed by international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Guinea ratified in 1978, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
In an August 10 statement, the coalition called the government's decision "illegal, unfounded and arbitrary" and called for nationwide protests on August 14.
Alseny Sall, a prominent human rights activist in Conakry, told Human Rights Watch: “This is a huge step back from Guinea's efforts to restore democratic rule after the military takeover and yet another way to silence dissent”.
Guinea's military authorities must immediately reverse their decision and allow the process toward free and fair elections to proceed with full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, Human Rights Watch said.
Guinea's international partners should denounce this setback and call for a return to political pluralism and democratic rule.
“This attack on anyone who opposes the military government does not bode well for the transition and the upcoming elections,” Allegrozzi said.
"The Guinean government must undo the dissolution of the FNDC and end interference in opposition parties and civil society."
Forty-two Malian soldiers died in a sophisticated weekend attack by suspected jihadists using drones and artillery, authorities said Wednesday, the latest violent incident to rock the troubled Sahel country.
The toll is one of the bloodiest in Mali’s decade-long insurgency, which has spread from the north of the country to the centre and south and into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
A document naming the dead was authenticated to AFP by several senior military officials, while the government later confirmed the toll in a statement that said 22 soldiers were injured and 37 “terrorists” were neutralised.
The attack occurred on Sunday in the town of Tessit, in the troubled “three-border” region where the frontiers of the three nations converge.
On Monday, the army had said 17 soldiers and four civilians had died.
Relatives of the victims, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that some of the civilians had been elected officials.
Monday’s statement pointed the finger of blame at the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), saying its members had deployed “drone and artillery support and (used) explosives and an explosives-laden vehicle”.
The last time Mali’s armed forces sustained such losses was in a string of attacks in the same region in late 2019 and early 2020.
Hundreds of soldiers were killed in assaults on nearly a dozen bases, typically carried out by highly mobile fighters on motorbikes.
The raids prompted the Malian, Nigerien and Burkinabe forces to fall back from forward bases and hunker down in better-defended locations.
In January 2020, France and its Sahel allies agreed on a push against the ISGS at a summit in Pau, southwestern France.
Several of its leaders were targeted and killed, including its founder, Abu Walid Al-Sahraoui, but local people say the group has continued to recruit and carry out its operations.
HotspotTessit is one of the hotspots in the three-border area.
The ISGS is fighting for control of the strategic, gold-rich area against an Al-Qaeda-linked alliance, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
In March 2021, 33 soldiers were killed in an ISGS-claimed ambush as units were being rotated, and in February this year, around 40 civilians — suspected by the ISGS of being in league with Al-Qaeda — were massacred.
Mobile phone connections to the area have been frequently cut over the last few years and physical access is hard, especially during the mid-year rainy season.
Thousands have fled Tessit to the nearest large town, Gao, which is located some 150 kilometres (90 miles) to the north.
Across the Sahel, the jihadist campaign has claimed thousands of lives and forced more than two million to flee their homes.
Sporadic cross-border attacks have also occurred in Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin to the south, amplifying fears of a jihadist push towards the Gulf of Guinea.
Secretary Blinken is traveling to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda this week, where the United States has been deploying resources and working in partnership with African governments, institutions, businesses, scientists, and other leaders to prevent hunger and combat the global hunger crisis.
food security and, at the same time, address the rising rates of malnutrition, which has hit the African continent the hardest.
At the G7 summit in June, President Biden and the G7 leaders announced more than $4.5 billion to address global food security, more than half of which will come from the United States.
This $2.76 billion in funding from the US government will help protect the world's most vulnerable populations and mitigate the impacts of growing food insecurity and malnutrition, including from Russia's war in Ukraine, by building more resilient agricultural and food production and systems around the world, and responding to immediate emergency food needs.
We have recognized the need for immediate action to avert far-reaching consequences, and we are responding with targeted support for Africa's own plans for food security and food systems transformation.
Of this $2.76 billion, $760 million will go to short-term sustainable food assistance to help mitigate further increases in poverty, hunger and malnutrition in vulnerable countries affected by high food, fertilizer and fuel prices.
Of this amount, we are working with Congress to appropriate $336.5 million for bilateral programs for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and regional programs in Southern Africa, West Africa, and the Sahel.
Also of this $2.76 billion, USAID is programming $2 billion in emergency food security assistance over the next three months.
As of August 8, 2022, the US has provided nearly $1 billion specifically to countries in Africa for this $2 billion commitment, including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali , Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.
In addition to the President's G7 commitment, the US has announced the reduction of the balance of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Fund, an effort in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture that will provide an additional $670 million in food assistance to respond to historical levels of acute food insecurity around the world.
The funds announced in July and August 2022 will be used to purchase food products from the US to bolster existing emergency food operations in countries facing severe food insecurity.
The resources will be delivered to: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
President Biden also announced that the United States is expanding sustainable food production in Africa through the US government's flagship global food security initiative to eight additional African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
This expansion brings the number of priority countries globally to 20 and delivers on President Biden's commitment in September 2021 to work with Congress to provide $5 billion through Feed the Future to end hunger and malnutrition.
in the world and build sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems abroad.
Finally, the US government will also contribute to international efforts to support livelihoods and nutrition and help vulnerable countries build resilience to shocks, including food price volatility, supply chain issues, climate impacts and other long-term threats.
Subject to notification from Congress, the US plans to provide $120 million for the following efforts: The African Development Bank's (AfDB) African Emergency Food Production Fund (AEFPF) to increase production of wheat, maize, climate-adapted rice and soybeans for the next four growing seasons in Africa.
The Crisis Response Initiative (CRI) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help protect livelihoods and build resilience in rural communities.
The Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) to develop a portfolio of bankable projects in Africa, to leverage private capital.
The Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program (ADRiFi) to help African governments respond to food system crises by increasing access to risk insurance products.
A fertilizer efficiency and innovation program to improve the efficiency of fertilizer use in countries where fertilizers tend to be over-applied.
Support to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will fund multi-country mapping of soils to provide insights that enable smarter water use, greater fertilizer conservation and better climate resilience impacts .
Dr Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has directed the immediate suspension of staff recruitment.
He has subsequently set up a panel to investigate alleged malpractices in the recruitment process.
Tunis gave the directive in a statement issued by the parliament’s Communications Division.
The suspension follows allegations by the Nigerian delegation at the parliament that the country’s candidates were being marginalised in the recruitment exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian representation to the bloc had threatened to withdraw its membership as its citizens were being margininalised at the parliament in respect of employment and promotions.
The speaker had received written complaints from the 1st Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Musa Sani Nuhu. According to the statement, the work of the eight-man independent Ad Hoc Investigation Committee is expected to start on Aug. 2022 and its findings are expected to be made available to the speaker within a week.
A bureau meeting will be convened immediately to consider the report for onward submission to the plenary.
“The action of the Honorable Speaker is in conformity with Rule Thirty-three (33) and Thirty-four (34) of the Rules of Procedures of the Parliament which provides that a Special Committee may be set up to address specific matters.
“The Ad hoc Committee would be headed by Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Committee on Administration, Finance, and Budget.
“Other Members of the Committee include:Hon. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu from Nigeria and Hon. Fatoumatta Njai from the Gambia.
“Hon. Amadou Djibo Ali from Niger, Hon. Kounon Nahou Agbandao from Togo, Hon. Caramo Camara from Guinea Bissau, Hon. Moussokora Chantal Fanny from Cote d’ Ivoire and Mr. Arboncana Oumarou Dicko to serve as Clerk to the Committee.
“The Terms of Reference of the Ad Hoc Committee shall be as follows: Investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct in the ongoing recruitment process at the ECOWAS Parliament; Investigate allegations of marginalization of Nigerian Candidates in the current recruitment process; “Investigate and determine if indeed the plenary adopted any Resolution concerning the subject matter (Recruitment of Staff), using normal parliamentary procedure; “In the execution of its mandate, the committee shall be granted access to all documents relating to the recruitment exercise and work with the Advisory Committee on Recruitment and Promotions at the ECOWAS Parliament, to under-study and review the exercise.
“The Ad hoc Committee would be guided by the provisions of the Supplementary Act and the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.
The leadership of the parliament has said it is devoted to upholding and protecting the rights of all citizens of the community to aspire to positions in any ECOWAS institution, in line with the provisions of the group’s staff regulations and all related protocols.
Nigeria on Sunday emerged as the third overall best team at the just concluded 19th Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) Western African Championships in Guogaduoguo, Burkina Faso. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN) karatekas participated only in the female event in the Senior Category which held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 7. Silas Agara, KFN President who confirmed the result to NAN on Sunday, said that Team Nigeria dazzled in the event, finishing as the third overall best team out of a total of 14 countries which took part in the six-day championships.
He explained that the tournament was a developmental event towards the All Africa Games, Commonwealth and the Olympics for Nigerian karatekas in the country.
He revealed that in preparation for the tournament, the Nigerian team camped at the National Institute for Sports in Lagos from July 27 to Aug 1. “The KFN attended the 19th UFAK Western African Championship in Guogaduoguo the Capital of Burkina Faso which was an excellent outing for Nigeria as our karatekas gave a good account of themselves.
“We returned with a superlative performance of three gold, three silver and one bronze out of six medal events to finish third with an all-female team coached by Amenze Atoe-Jude and assisted by Efezino Akpotu.
“Ngozi Okoro won gold in the +50kg category, while Godfirst Samson also won gold in the +55kg.
“Choima Ani got the third gold medal in the +68kg category.
“The duo of Elizabeth Ogaga and Ibiene Finebon won silver medals, while Alice Henry also won bronze in the -68kg in the KATA (the performance of a series of predefined sequences) event,” he said.
NAN also reports that hosts Burkina Faso topped the medals table with 14 gold, 14 silver and 35 bronze, while Cote d’ Ivoire finished second with 12 gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze.
Both Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire competed in all the categories including the Cadet, Junior and Senior events, while Nigeria only took part in the senior event of the female category and completely dominated the event.
The list of countries which participated in the championships include: Ghana, Togo, Benin Rep, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Gambia, Serria Leone, Mali and Guinea.
The Nigerian Navy shipped military hardware and contingent to Guinea Bissau on Saturday on peace keeping mission on the auspices of ECOWAS.
Guinea Bissau has experienced four coups since independence from Portugal in 1974 and is currently in turmoil.
“Nigeria’s effort towards peace-keeping and peace enforcement in Guinea Bissau becomes germane while the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s synergy will become a hallmark as it continues to operate.
“The role the Nigerian Navy is playing today by NNS KADA conveying military hardware is one of the roles assigned to the Nigerian Navy Constitutionally.
“By moving this equipment, we are supporting ECOWAS with the stabilisation support force that is established in Guinea Bissau,’’ he said.
The FOC also said that the movement of the equipment through NNS KADA showed that the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Armed Forces had come of age to conduct such operations successfully.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff brought it together to show the manifestation under the leadership of the Minister of Defence.
“At the end, we will continue to showcase the capability, capacity and competence of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the whole world while keeping peace within our sub-region.
“This positions Nigeria as a regional power and continues to show that we are in the lead,’’ he stressed.
Wambai recalled that in 1990, the Nigerian Navy conducted a similar exercise using NNS AMBE and NNS DAMISA to convey equipment and personnel to help to stabilise Liberia.
The exercise was conducted on the platform of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG).
ECOMOG is a West African peacekeeping force that began with approximately 3,000 troops and has grown to between 10,000 and 12,000 troops, the vast majority being Nigerians.
ECOMOG included forces from five countries of ECOWAS: Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, later joined by Mali. According to Wambai, “we did the same thing in Sierra Leone; three years ago in Gambia and now we are doing it in Guinea Bissau.
“We will continue to showcase our role and big brotherliness by assisting and coming to the aid of these West African countries whenever there is the need,’’ the FOC declared.
He said that the ECOWAS standby force was still in existence and that the Nigerian Navy would use that umbrella to continue to work and function to support peace and stability within the West African sub-region.
Wambai advised the contingent en route Guinea Bissau to adhere to integrity, professionalism and team work in all their operations.
“I must remind you that the rules of engagement in the mission area demands that you exhibit utmost professionalism in the discharge of your responsibilities.
“Also, I must urge you to respect religious and cultural sensitivity of the host nation in the course of discharging your duties,’’ the FOC told the departing contingent.