By Vanguard Staff Reporter
A round up of the biggest news and newsmakers from the past week.
1. Rescued girl not part of Chibok schoolgirls and Obasanjo believes they may never return
A girl that was last week rescued after being abandoned by her captors is not one of the schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram, the leader of the Chibok Elders’ Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, announced yesterday.
The girl of about 20, was found after she was dumped at an unidentified location from where she trekked for three days to a village near Mararraban Mubi, where she was found by villagers and taken to a nearby police station.
However, it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the girl was not one of the abducted Chibok girls.
Dr. Bitrus said, “We have confirmed that she is not from Chibok and is not one of the girls abducted in April, but the remaining story is with the security agencies because she is in their custody.”
Meanwhile former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has dashed the hope of families of the abducted Chibok girls saying many of the girls may never be reunited with their families.
“I believe that some of them will never return. We will still be hearing about them many years from now, some will give birth to children of the Boko Haram members, but if they cannot take care of them in the forest, they may release them,” he said.
The former President had said in June that he could negotiate the release of the girls if the government gives him the permission to do so.
2. Nigeria contains Ebola while over 3000 deaths have been recorded in rest of West Africa
This week, the Nigerian government announced that it had contained the deadly Ebola virus, leading to teams of American health officials going to Lagos to learn from Nigeria’s experience in defying expectations and stopping the outbreak before it could wreak havoc.
Since July 20, the day Nigeria’s so-called “Patient Zero” arrived in Lagos, officials have recorded a total of only 19 cases, with no new cases since Aug. 31. Last week, on the same day the US confirmed its first case of Ebola, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) proclaimed that Nigeria had stopped its outbreak.
“Because of a rapid public health response, effectively tracking nearly 900 contacts, it appears they have been able to stop the outbreak in Nigeria. Though we can’t give the all clear yet, it does look like the outbreak is over there. I’m confident that wherever we apply the fundamental principles of infection control in public health, we can stop Ebola” CDC Director Tom Frieden said on Sunday.
The World Health Organisation estimates that the world’s worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed 3,439 people. There had been 739 deaths in Guinea and 623 deaths in Sierra Leone by beginning of October and 2,069 deaths in Liberia by end of September, the data showed. There have also been eight deaths in Nigeria, the U.N. body said.
–vanguardngr.com, csmonitor.com, toledoblade.com
3. TB Joshua sends money, anointed water and maize meal to SA families
Nigerian pastor TB Joshua has sent teams of his “evangelists” across South Africa to drop off hand-outs of R5000, maize meal and anointed water to family members of those killed when his church guesthouse collapsed in Lagos.
Several families said this week they had been presented with gifts on behalf of Joshua but not all were impressed. So far six families have indicated their intention to take legal action against the church and two legal firms have offered their services.
Kirsten Nematandani, a former president of the South African Football Association and a “fellow” of TB Joshua’s church, confirmed that several teams had visited each affected family.
“In fact this is the second round of visits. We are assisting the families with whatever they need, school fees, rent, groceries and toiletries. The families are so grateful for the help … we take the message from the man of God that they must pray with him for the loss of their loved ones. We give them the anointed water to strengthen them” he said.
Meanwhile, the bodies of about 80 South Africans killed in the building collapse more than three weeks ago are decomposing in inadequate Nigerian mortuaries while officials there frustrate the South African government’s efforts to accelerate the identification of the remains.
It is understood that in some mortuaries the bodies are being kept cool only by fans, with no refrigeration. The Nigerian government has denied this, insisting it has adequate mortuary facilities to properly handle the 116 people who died.
4. Lesetja Kganyago appointed new governor of Reserve Bank
President Jacob Zuma announced that Mr Lesetja Kganyago has been appointed the new governor of the Reserve Bank on Monday.
Mr Kganyago is set to take up the post on November 9, replacing Gill Marcus.
“I am truly honoured that the leadership of the country found that I will be suitable to execute this mammoth task. I will not disappoint … I don’t have to reinvent anything, I just have to carry on from where (Ms Marcus) left,” he said.
Mr Kganyago joined the public service in 1996, beginning at the Treasury and was promoted to the position of director-general in 2004. He began his career in accounting at FNB before working for both the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the African National Congress.
The rand strengthened to a high of R11.26 to the dollar at the news of the appointment.
5. Acclaimed lawyer Amal Alamuddin marries Hollywood actor
Amal Alamuddin, a London-based dual-qualified English barrister and New York litigation attorney who has long been a high-profile figure in international refugee and human rights law, has gone against the trend for professional women in her field and married Hollywood actor, George Clooney.
Alamuddin, 36, has notched up many career highs, including representing the controversial WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange, and also has fluency in English, French and Arabic.
Alamuddin and Clooney wed in a private ceremony in front of friends and family at the Aman Canal Grande hotel in Venice, Italy. Wedding attendees, who arrived via a fleet of vintage water taxis along Venice’s Grand Canal, included U2’s Bono, Matt Damon, Cindy Crawford, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour.
While little is known of Alamuddin earlier relationships, Clooney, 53, was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993, has famously said over the years that he’d never get married again but that changed after being spotted with Alamuddin in late 2013 as the pair got engaged this past April.