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Nigeria: Commerce and poverty

At least 12 new private jets ordered by rich Nigerians will be delivered this year and private jet manufacturers will deliver 70 more within the next five years. The state-of-the-art private jets are being flown by professionals, politicians and even pastors. Each jet will cost between $30m and $65m. Many are optimistic about the business aviation market but it takes time. Infrastructure is needed. Meanwhile on Tuesday the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has reiterated the need for the Nigerian economy to grow faster in order to turn the tide on poverty. She said the chronic lack of electricity across the nation holds back businesses. ‘In the villages there are welders, plumbers and carpenters telling us their problem is uncertainty of power supply.’ Solving this power deficit would give a huge boost to Nigeria’s economy. She added Nigeria's rapid growth faced ‘vulnerabilities’. See also:

Pray: into the vulnerabilities of: poor infrastructure, corruption in business, terrorism attacks on the church, government and education systems. Pray for God to turn around Nigeria’s stunted growth. (Is.1:4)

More: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/okonjo-iweala-nigeria-must-turn-the-tide-on-poverty/175131/

Nigeria: Dangers of rising youth unemployment

The increasing number of unemployed graduates is threatening the sustainability of the nation’s economic development and sending disturbing signals to the global environment. Hundreds of thousands of university graduates are without jobs and over two million graduates join them every year. Youth unemployment rate is over 25%. There are several incidents of exploitation of job applicants by various government and private employment agencies. They charge desperate applicants a certain amount for an empty promise of securing jobs for them. Rather than reimburse the applicants for travelling long distances to write aptitude test, the agencies ask these very poor unemployed citizens to pay for being given the opportunity to participate in the recruitment exercise. Also many in the region are saying that local unemployed youth are being recruited by Boko Haram's brutal campaign of violence. There is an urgent need for job creation, reducing poverty and informal work.

Pray: for fair access to job opportunities;ay for ‘tomorrow's leaders’ to have opportunities to grow and develop their gifts and talents. (Ps.25:12-13)

More: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/dangers-of-rising-youth-unemployment/174483/

Nigeria: National conference starts in Abuja

Despite its vast resources Nigeria is among the most unequal countries in the world. Poverty in the north is in stark contrast to the developed southern states, while residents in the oil-rich south-east complain that all the wealth they generate flows up the pipeline to Abuja and Lagos.This week, one hundred years after the mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south were united, Abuja hosts a National Conference of 500 delegates representing ethnic, linguistic and religious groups to discuss Nigeria's future. The conference will last three months and division of oil money and powers will be the main issues. Some Nigerians want more powers to be delegated to the country's 36 states. Some believe President Goodluck Jonathan wants to use the conference to change the constitution.The conference comes ahead of next year’s elections and amid almost daily attacks by militants wanting Islamic law in the north. (See Article 4 below). Discussing whether the country should be divided is barred. Some say they will still raise this issue.

Pray: that God’s purposes would be central to all discussions around economic and social situations. May every group discussion be free of hostile dialogue; may every ethnic group have a say in the nation’s future. (Ps.85:8)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26613962



Nigeria: Weekend violence

More than 2,000 people in northern Nigeria risked their lives by turning out for Sunday Mass while their city was being bombed. Describing St Patrick's Cathedral, Maiduguri, as ‘packed’, Father John Bakeni, the celebrant at the Mass, said people told him afterwards that if the attacks worsened they would prefer to die in church than anywhere else. Sunday's Mass took place after Boko Haram extremists launched one of their biggest armed campaigns of recent months, firing rocket-propelled grenades and mounting a massive assault on a military barracks. Hundreds died in the attacks, which were repulsed by the Nigerian military, but there were growing concerns about the government's capacity to hold back the extremists. The priest called on the world, ‘Please pray that this violence will stop.’

Pray: for religious freedom in Nigeria, pray protection for the church, pray the present persecution would end. (Job 34:24)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigerians.risk.death.to.attend.mass/36251.htm

Nigeria: a state of war as Islamist insurgency rages

More than 1,300 people have died in the past two months as an insurgent Islamist group, Boko Haram, wages a rebellion rooted in poverty, corruption, religion and geography. Boko Haram is believed to be responsible for killing at least 1,300 people in the past two months and more than 130 people in the past week. The radical sect claims ties to al-Qaida and has ambitions to impose sharia law on Nigeria's 170 million people. In Boko Haram's heartland, even the national military is outgunned in what is fast becoming a lesson to the world in how not to tackle an Islamist insurgency. ‘What is clear is that they are as ruthless as any Islamist group or terrorists anywhere in the world,’ said Antony Goldman, a west Africa risk analyst at London-based PM Consulting. ‘They're quite happy to hit soft targets, including schools. Some in the Nigerian administration expect this to be a problem for another 10 years.’

Pray: that ways will be found to control Boko Haram and bring peace to Nigeria. (Ps.46:1)

More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/08/nigeria-state-war-islamist-insurgency

Nigeria: Insurgency continues - 150 people have been killed since Friday

‘Boko Haram has stepped up its violent campaign, with hardly a day going by without reports of a deadly attack by militants’, says BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross. Boko Haram gave a week’s warning that it would attack Mafa. Schools were shut and most residents fled to Maiduguri city (28 miles away). Military reinforcements were sent to Mafa, but soldiers lacked the firepower or numerical strength to confront the militants and when the attack took place on Monday they ran away with the villagers. There was no resistance. Also, two policemen were killed by a bomb on Monday morning and fourteen soldiers were missing. On Saturday night fighters destroyed the entire village of Mainok when gunmen attacked with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives, killing 47 people. Earlier on Saturday two bombs killed 50 in a densely populated area of Maiduguri - a city which Boko Haram has often targeted. On Friday 20 died in an army air raid on Daglun village. See also

Pray: for more international support for Nigeria’s counter-terrorist mission. (Ps.22:11 & 46:1)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26418161

Nigeria: School raid in Yobe state leaves 29 dead

At least 29 students have been killed after Boko Haram militants attacked a boarding school in the middle of the night in north-east Nigeria. All victims were teenage boys who were in their dormitories, 11 others were seriously injured. Most of the school was burned to the ground. Islamist militants have attacked dozens of schools in north-east Nigeria. Last September, 40 students were killed at an agricultural college during another night-time raid. Teachers said the gunmen gathered the female students together before telling them to go away and get married and to abandon their education. Nigeria's armed forces are facing increasing criticism for failing to protect civilians or to respond to raids by the militants. Many suspect there are individuals within the armed forces with sympathies to the militants. Boko Haram tends to attack schools that teach Nigeria's national curriculum, which the militants consider to be Western.

Pray: for Nigeria's military whose duty it is to contain militants and pursue attackers. (Ps.81:15-16)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26338041

Nigeria: Latest Boko Haram attack

Islamist militants have killed over 100 civilians in the Christian village of Izge, near the border of Cameroon in north-eastern Nigeria, according to reports. Armed men attacked the remote village on Saturday, slaughtering dozens of innocent people and forcing many others to flee. They also detonated bombs and set fire to homes, terrifying the local community in another string of recent attacks. Izge’s population is largely Christian. It has been under emergency rule since May last year when President Goodluck Jonathan authorised increased military powers to tackle ongoing violence in the north-eastern regions of Nigeria. However, there were no military forces present in the village on Saturday. ‘A hundred and six people, including an old woman, have been killed by the attackers,’ confirmed Senator Ali Ndume. A local resident told the Guardian that ‘the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets. We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes.’

Pray: God’s perfect peace and protection over Christians in central and northern Nigeria, who are suffering intense persecution and living in fear of their lives. (Ps 18:2).

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigeria.latest.boko.haram.attack.kills.106/35881.htm

106 Killed in Village Attack

Suspected Islamist militants have raided a Nigerian village and murdered dozens, according to witnesses.  The gunmen reportedly rounded up a group of men in Izghe village and shot them, before going door-to-door and killing anyone they found.  Officials said they suspected the Boko Haram group was behind the attack.  Boko Haram, which claims to be fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, is notorious for extreme violence and indiscriminate attacks.  Bodies in the streets: The senator for Borno state, where the attack took place, told the BBC's Newsday programme that 106 people - 105 men and an elderly woman trying to protect her grandson - were killed in the latest attack.  Ali Ndume said around 100 Islamist militants attacked Izghe for five hours on Saturday evening, without any intervention from the army. He said the military recently withdrew from the area after nine soldiers were killed in an ambush last week.

Pray: for an end to bombings, killings and abductions, provisions for widows and orphans without a source of livelihood and for desperate communities to know hope, peace and restoration. (Is.54:5; Pr.2:12)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26220300 

Nigeria: 60 Christians helped, 80 waiting for prosthetics

While the assaults by Boko Haram in Nigeria have faded from the news, the attacks on Christians have continued to escalate. What would you do? Go to church knowing you could be attacked? Avoid sharing your faith? Or even deny your faith to save your earthly body? These are very hard questions and Christians in Nigeria (mostly the north) face this dilemma almost daily. In recent years Boko Haram has burnt churches and beheaded Christians. Another tactic is that of severing a limb, usually a leg. In response to these attacks The Voice of the Martyrs has built a prosthetics clinic in northern Nigeria. With the help of technicians donating their time along with quality materials shipped from the US they have been able to assist 60 of our persecuted brothers and sisters with prosthetic limbs in the last 12 months and have identified 80 more Christians needing one.

Pray: for God to protect and encourage Nigerian believers living in fear, and pray for those ministering to victims of persecution. (Ps.69:32-33)

More: https://secure.persecution.com/email/prostheticclinic2014.aspx?source=EMAIL115

Nigeria: Soldiers join slaughter of Christians

Survivors of the January 6th slaughter of 33 Christians in a village in Plateau State said Special Task Force soldiers stationed to protect them turned their weapons on those fleeing the attack. Speaking from her hospital bed with bullet wounds in her legs, Antele Alamba said hundreds of Muslim Fulani herdsmen armed with guns and machetes attacked Shonong village burning homes and butchering women and children. ‘The soldiers stationed in the village to protect us joined the Fulani herdsmen in shooting and in the process most of our people were killed.’ Alamba said as tears dripped down her cheeks. ‘I was shot by soldiers as I ran away for protection. We were all trapped in the village as there was no way of escape for us. We ran to the church and soldiers followed us there. They were shooting, and the herdsmen were shooting too. It was chaos and confusion everywhere.’

Pray: for God’s comfort and provision for the survivors and the families of the dead. Pray against corruption in the security forces. (Ps.18:6-9)

More: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2014/s14010033.htm

Nigeria: Dozens killed in fresh attacks

About 40 people were killed in coordinated attacks on four Christian-dominated villages in the central Nigerian State of Plateau. Local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor report that the assailants, believed to be members of the Fulani tribe, came at around 2am on Tuesday morning, attacking the Berom communities in the villages of Katu Kapang, Daron, Tul and Rawuru. In a statement, Captain Salisu Mustapha, Media Officer of the government's Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, said the ‘attackers killed 13 persons in Katu Kapang, eight in Daron, nine in Tul and seven others in Rawuru. About five others were also reported to have sustained injuries’. Those killed included a one-year-old boy shot at close range, a four-year old and several women and other children, villagers told local media. The Chairman of the State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Soja Bewarang, condemned in ‘strong terms’ the ‘barbarous act’ in which pregnant women and children were killed.

Pray: that solutions will be found to stop the attacks of terrorists in Nigeria. (Dt.22:26)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/dozens.killed.in.fresh.attacks.in.central.nigeria/34862.htm

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