A Week in Nigeria: 13 October

Nigeria’s former vice president Atiku Abubakar emerged as the opposition PDP’s presidential candidate

In this week’s round-up: Atiku emerges as Buhari’s main challenger in next year’s election, Oby Ezekwesili enters the race and a militia group in northeast Nigeria releases more than 800 child soldiers.

Floods this year have hit a third of Nigeria’s 36 states since late August, affecting 1.92 million people
  • President Buhari asked parliament to approve the issuance of a $2.8 billion Eurobond, in a letter read to lawmakers. Nigeria, which emerged from recession last year, approved a three-year plan in 2016 to borrow more from abroad so that 40 percent of its loans would come from offshore in an attempt to lower borrowing costs. Buhari, in the letter, said he wanted the Eurobond to be issued in the international capital market for the “implementation of new external borrowing” that had already been approved in the 2018 budget. The money was sought to help finance the budget deficit and to fund infrastructure projects.
  • And the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) - a militia created in northeast Nigeria to fight Boko Haram - released 833 children from its ranks, according to UN children’s agency UNICEF. Some were as young as 11. The CJTF signed an action plan in September 2017 to end child recruitment. The release of the children, 40 percent of whom were 15 or younger, was its first formal release. UNICEF said the released children were among 1,175 boys and 294 girls who had been identified as being associated with the CJTF in the city of Maiduguri, although the total has yet to be verified and could include another 2,200 or more children.

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