Tag Archives: Nigeria

Taking Cue From Obama, Nigeria Plans Big Phone Giveaway

Remember this lady?

She and her friends were going to vote for Obama because he was giving out free phones. Of course, the Democratic party did not buy phones from her but did it matter? She got a phone and she was voting for the guy who got it for her.

Today the BBC is reporting that a political party in Nigeria wants to give out free phones to country’s poor.  According to the agriculture minister the phones will be paid for by a tax and given to women and rural farmers.

Like the Lifeline program the phones may not be directly handed out by politicians but one has to wonder how many will believe they’re getting their free phone courtesy of the political party currently in office?

BBC: All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) General Secretary Tijani Tumsa said the plan was a “mischievous vote-catching exercise” for the 2015 elections. Last week, the agriculture minister said the phones would help farmers “drive an agriculture revolution”. Akinwumi Adesina said their purchase would be financed 100_0875through a tax. He denied reports that the government had already set aside $400m (£249m) to buy the phones.

Mr Tumsa told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme the scheme was a ploy by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to “connect” with voters in rural areas in the build-up to elections. He said he doubted the plan would boost the farming sector. “You are just creating business for the telecom companies. You are not impacting on agricultural production in Nigeria, unless the purpose is to have more phone coverage,” Mr Tumsa added.

Defending the scheme, Mr Adesina said Nigeria had the highest number of mobile phones in Africa – an estimated 110 million – but many Nigerians in rural areas did not have them.

Read the complete article at the BBC News.

Over 160 dead at the hands of Islamist in Nigeria

Reuters

Already responsible for close to 200 dead this year, Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram is said to be the cause of over 160 deaths in attacks which began Friday night. The attacks where on various mosque, churches, and government buildings to include the local headquarters of the national intelligence services. Boko Haram is waging jihad across the nation in an attempt to impose Sharia Law. A person claiming to be a spokesman for the Islamist group said the reason for the attacks is because of authorities refusal to release its members.

There was also a shoot-out at the headquarters of the state police in the city’s eastern district of Bompai, a BBC report said. Andrew Samuel, a local man, described one of the blast: “I was on the roadside and I just heard a ‘boom’. As I came back, I saw the building of the police headquarters crashing down and I ran for my life.” Witnesses said the bomber who attacked one of the police stations pulled up outside the building on a motorbike, dismounted and ran inside holding a bag. Some unconfirmed reports have claimed suicide bombers carried out some of the attacks. The city was placed on a 24-hour curfew as many stayed in their home as soldiers and police patrolled the streets and set up roadblocks. Gunshots could be heard through some areas of the city into Saturday morning.

President Goodluck Jonathan promised those responsible would “face the full wrath of the law,” and “As a responsible government, we will not fold our hands and watch enemies of democracy, for that is what these mindless killers are, perpetrate unprecedented evil in our land,” he said.

AFP