Alleged forced abortions: US lawmakers ask Biden to rescind military helicopter sale to Nigeria
A pair of lawmakers have called on the United States to rescind a nearly $1 billion helicopter sale to Nigeria, saying that allegations of a forced abortion program have renewed concerns on human rights.
Congress had delayed the sale over concerns about the Nigerian army’s commitment to protect civilians as it battles a jihadist uprising in the northwest, as well as the bloody repression of protests against police violence in 2020.
But President Joe Biden’s administration approved the sale of the 12 Viper attack helicopters last year, saying the equipment would promote security in Africa’s most populous country.
Representatives Chris Smith, a Republican active on human rights and strong opponent of abortion, and Sara Jacobs, a Democrat who formerly worked for the State Department, said that Nigeria’s armed forces had a consistent record of abuses and that past aid had done little to boost security.
“Therefore, we believe continuing to move forward with the nearly $1 billion arms sale would be highly inappropriate and we urge the administration to rescind it,” they wrote in a letter to Biden this week.
An investigation by Reuters last year found that Nigeria’s military has conducted a years-long illicit program to carry out abortions among victims of jihadists, with some girls and women who refuse being beaten, held at gunpoint or drugged.
The military denied the report. The US lawmakers’ call comes amid sporadic violence ahead of February 25 elections in Nigeria.
A State Department spokesperson, asked about the letter, said that the United States vets Nigerian forces before they receive US assistance.
“The Department does not provide assistance to a security force unit if there is credible information indicating the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights,” she said.
“We consistently raise concerns about credible allegations of human rights violations and abuses at the highest levels and urge the Nigerian government to thoroughly and transparently investigate and hold to account those responsible for wrongdoing.”
By Agency Report
Gov. Sule of Nasarawa State wins second term bid
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have declared
The incumbent Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) winner of last Saturday’ governorship election in the state.
Governor Sule, who was declared winner on Monday morning, defeated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, David Umbugadu, by a margin of 64,193 to emerge winner.
While declaring the result, the INEC Collation Officer, Prof. Tanko Ishaya, said Sule scored 347,209 votes to defeat his closest rival David Umbugadu of People’s Democratic party (PDP), who polled a total of 283,016 votes.
Candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Abdullahi Maidoya came third with 11,726 votes, while that of Social Democratic Party, (SDP) Mohammed Alfa Nyas got 9003 votes.
According to INEC, Sule won seven out of the 13 Local Government Areas in the state.
The state Collation Officer, said the total number of registered voters were 1,899,244, while the number of accredited voters were 668,978
Abia APGA rejects Governorship Poll results as Labour Party leads
The results of the March 18 governorship poll in Abia state has been rejected by the All Progressives Grand Alliance. The Independent National Electoral Commission has so far announced results in 10 LGAs. In a statement signed on Monday by the APGA Chairman Abia State, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, the party said it would not accept an election “marred by irregularities.” It, however, urged supporters to remain calm as they await the conclusion of the process. The statement read partly, “The results so far announced did not in any way reflect the will of the good people of Abia voters as demonstrated at the various polling units.“We are highly disappointed that the votes cast for our candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, were suppressed and not credited to him.“Regrettably too, there were brazen irregularities, including snatching of ballot papers, over-voting, unprecedented manipulation and violence against the opposition.“Most of the results were collated without recourse to BVAS machines, hence, they cannot be relied upon.“We appeal to our members to remain calm and watch things unfold. We firmly believe that light will triumph over darkness, and Abia emancipated from the chains of undemocratic forces.“The election was marred with irregularities in all parts of the state, and APGA cannot accept a highly flawed election.” Only ten local government results have so far been collated, and they include; Ukwa East, Umunneochi, Ukwa West, Bende, Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South, Arochukwu, Ugwunnagbo, Isuikwuato and Ikwuano. So far, the results announced puts the Labour Party in the lead with a margin of 13,132.
BREAKING: INEC Declares PDP’s Mutfwang winner of Plateau Gov Election
The Plateau State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Caleb Mutfwang, has been declared as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.The result declared by the INEC Presiding Officer, Musa Yusuf, after counting the votes scored by parties that participated in the election shows that Mutfwang had the highest votes beating the All Progressives Candidate, Nentawe Yilwatda.Recall that the PDP governorship candidate was reported to be taking an early lead as of 11 am when INEC resumed collations of results from the 17 local government areas of the state.Details later…
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