American kidnapped in Niger regains freedom

An American citizen, Philip Walton, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Niger earlier this week has been freed, the country’s defence minister told AFP on Saturday. “I confirm the American hostage was released last night,” without disclosing details of the circumstances that led to the release of the hostage’s whereabouts, minister Issoufou Katambe said. Philip Walton, the hostage, is the son of a missionary living in Niger, he was abducted on Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village town about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

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#Endinsecuritynow# protest rocks kaduna and Niger State.

There was a new twist to the raging #EndSARS protests on Thursday as some youths launched #EndInsecurityNow protests in Kaduna and Niger states. The youths, who took to the streets in the two states, said the Federal Government should scrap the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and redeploy its operatives to tackle insurgency in the Northeast and banditry in Northwest and Northcentral. Launching #EndInsecurityNow version of the protest in Kaduna, the protesters under the auspices of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), called for an immediate end to insecurity and killings in the region. They urged the Federal Government to deploy operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to combat kidnapping, armed banditry and terrorism in Northern Nigeria. Leader of the protest and coordinator of the Kaduna chapter of the CNG, Sa’ad Bako said, though they stand against reported harassment of citizens by the operatives of the disbanded SARS, the “North’s problem is not SARS, but insecurity”. He listed security, occasioned by incessant killings by bandits and terrorists, as well as kidnapping for ransom as the North’s major challenges. The protesters who stormed the streets of Kaduna around 9:30am marched from Muhammadu Buhari Way to the House of Assembly through Ali Akilu road. At the Kaduna State House of Assembly Complex, they demanded immediate end to banditry, terrorism and kidnappings in Northern Nigeria. The protesters carried placard and banners with various inscriptions: “The North is Bleeding”, “Stop the killings in the North’s”; “End Boko Haram Now”; “End Banditry Now”; “Empower SWAT to End Insecurity; “All Lives Matter”; and “Stop Rape Now”; among others. They were, however, prevented from gaining access by armed security personnel. But they converged on the Coronation Crescent, the road in front of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, preventing traffic flow. The protestant vowed not to leave the road until the Speaker, Yusuf Zailani, listened to their demands. They said the armed security personnel should go after the kidnappers and bandits, instead of scaring innocent[…]

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