Five more hostages of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack have been released and this includes a victim shot while in captivity, Mukhtar Shuaibu. Shuaibu was shot during a “friendly fire” while in the den of the terrorists. Tukur Mamu, the Publisher of Kaduna-based Desert Herald and Media Consultant to the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who withdrew as one of the negotiators, confirmed the release of the five hostages. Those released include a medical doctor from Usman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Mustapha Imam, Akibu Lawal, Abubakar Rufai and Mukhtar Shuaibu and Sidi Sharif. Mamu said the terrorists released them on Tuesday and that the victims were in his office to thank him. The release of the fourth batch of the five victims on Tuesday brings the number of those released to 26 while 35 victims are still in the terrorists’ custody. The terrorists had earlier released 11 victims in the first batch, seven victims in the second, three in the third, and five victims in the fourth, respectively. Meanwhile, the FG has said the Abuja-Kaduna train service would resume commercial activities when all the passengers who were abducted in the Kaduna-Abuja have been rescued and reunited with their families. Speaking on Tuesday while inspecting the railway facility at Idu, Abuja, the Minister of Transportation, Engr Mu’azu Sambo, stated that “it is very important to get those Nigerians that have been kidnapped reunited with their families before the train service will resume.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has missed its target of having 100 million voters for the 2023 general election. 12.2 million new prospective voters had completed their registration when the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) wrapped up at the end of July, the latest CVR update released on Monday showed. In June last year, INEC flagged off the CVR with a projection of registering 20 million new voters and a total voter base of 100 million for the 2023 general election. That number was 87 million in the 2019 polls. During the last CVR, 3,444,378 new voters registered online while 8,854,566 registered physically. There were slightly more new female voters (6,224,866) than males (6,074,078) and 87,083 of new registrants were people living with disabilities. The new voter registrations bring the total number of eligible voters for the 2023 elections to 99.2 million.
The challenging economic situation in the country has forced over 5 million Nigerians to abandon their bank accounts, the latest data published from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) shows. It said the total number of inactive bank accounts stood at 57.9 million in 2021, an 11 percent when compared to 52.2 million in 2020 inactive accounts. That number is expected to rise as Nigerians continue to battle high unemployment. rising inflation and stagnant wage growth.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre on Tuesday named a co-founder and spokesman of the Islamist terror group al Shabaab, Mukhtar Robow as minister for religious affairs, a move that could either help strengthen the fight against the insurgents or provoke further clan clashes. Mukhtar Robow had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head after he co-founded al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab and served as the group’s spokesman. Robow’s new job sparked a flurry of hashtags on Twitter crowing he had made it #FromPrisonertoMinister. He had been held under house arrest until recently. His appointment could help strengthen government forces in his native Bakool region, where insurgents hold substantial amounts of territory but where Robow also commands support. Or it could fan flames with the region’s president, who sees him as a political rival. Al Shabaab insurgents have killed tens of thousands of people in bombings in their fight to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed central government and implement its interpretation of Islamic law. Robow split from the group in 2013 and publicly denounced al Shabaab when he came to the government side in 2017. But the relationship soured after he grew too politically powerful. Somalia’s previous government arrested Robow in December 2018 as he campaigned for the regional presidency of the southwest state.