“They forcefully took us away and kept us like prisoners,” Lydia Musa, a former Boko Haram captive who was abducted at the age of 14 during an attack on her village in Gwoza, in Nigeria’s north eastern Borno State, tells IPS. Musa and two other underaged girls were captured and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters in spite of their protests that they were too young to marry.
Nigeria is mourning along with the rest of the world after the downing of Ethiopian Airlines Flight, which claimed all of the 157 lives onboard. The fatalities included people from 35 countries, 19 United Nations officials and two Nigerians, one of whom was regarded as Africa's leading academic and labelled a genius by many.
Nigeria accounts for some of the largest number of irregular migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.
“Don’t assume if you attempt the journey your fortune will change for the better,” a woman says over the public address system in the crowded Uselu market in Benin City, the capital of Nigeria’s Edo State. “Many embarked on the journey and never made it. Many people are dying in the Sahara Desert.”
The International Organization For Migration (IOM) has taken its campaign against irregular migration to schools in Nigeria. The school campaigns are meant to educate children who are among victims of human traffickers.
Thousands of migrants mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa have died or ended up in slavery as they attempt to travel to Europe irregularly through the desert and across the sea. Many were recruited by traffickers who deceived them into believing that the passage to Europe would be safe and easy.
The International Organization for Migration has taken its campaign against irregular migration to the airwaves in Nigeria. Working in conjunction with some Nigerian radio stations, the United Nations Migration Agency has launched a radio series on safe migration.
Hundreds of desperate young Nigerians die yearly in the Sahara Desert or at sea while making irregular journeys to Europe. The desperation to reach Europe at all cost, irrespective of the risks, is a major social problem in Africa’s most populous country.
The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world. Pesticides and insecticides used on crops grown for fabrics together with the chemicals used in the production of fabrics cause enormous damage to the environment.
Women make up about half of the over 120 million people whose livelihood depend on the blue economy. But women play only a marginal role in the blue economy with most of them earning subsistence income. Women are mainly excluded from more important aspects of the Blue Economy like shipping and large scale fishing.
HIV among teenagers is devastating families in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, where AIDS has become the No. 1 killer of adolescents.
With a production capacity of over 3 million barrels of crude oil per day Nigeria is Africa’s top crude oil producer and the continent’s largest economy. But Nigeria’s wealth has only benefited a privileged few while majority of the citizens remain poor. Poverty and inequality in Nigeria have increased crime rate and heightened crisis including the insurgency of the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Two years ago, Shola* was kicked out of the family house in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, after testing HIV-positive at age 13. He was living with his father, his stepmother and their seven children.
Tope Tayo’s marriage broke up 11 years ago after she tested positive for HIV. Her angry and embarrassed husband took away their only child. Three months later, when the one year old boy tested positive, the husband dumped him with Tayo and absconded.
Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. A significant percentage of this pollution takes place in the Niger Delta region thanks to the existence of multination oil companies and the activities of hundreds of illegal refineries where local people process stolen crude oil.
For a country that is at the receiving end of the environmental impact of climate change, there is a growing sense that this West African country should curb its emission of greenhouse gases. Private initiatives and effective legislation are likely to play crucial roles in Nigeria’s drive to curbing its emissions.
Time for Nigeria to Curb its Own Emissions from IPS News on Vimeo.
Nigerians are beginning to adjust to the sad reality that they live in a country where suicide bombers and terrorists could be lurking around the next corner thanks to a ready supply of advanced weapons smuggled through the country’s porous borders.
Nigeria experienced its worst flooding which left a trail of destruction in 2012. Meteorologists are forecasting more flooding this year but, beyond warning those who face flooding, the government has not done much to move them as it lacks the money to relocate them.
The women of Makoko, a low-lying slum close to the Lagos Lagoon along Nigeria’s Atlantic coast, always sleep with one eye open. Many live in fear that when they go to sleep at night they will wake to flooded homes and business.
Women in West Africa have over the years relied on fishing and farming as their traditional source of income. But as Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos, changing weather patterns caused by climate change have put their livelihood under threat.
The worst day of Olaniyi Emiola’s life was Mar. 17, 1998. At least it was for Olaniyi Emiola, 22, the spare motor parts trader. For Olaniyi Emiola, the armed robber, it was a lucky escape as another man with the same name had been wrongly sentenced to death for a crime he committed.
Security experts say that unless something is done to regulate the high level of illicit transactions and proliferation of commercial explosives in Nigeria, scenes like the United Nations suicide bombing will become more frequent.