- A Nigerian PhD Student Died in Malaysian Detention
Orhions Ewansiha Thomas, a Nigerian PhD student in Malaysia, died in detention on Tuesday following an immigration raid around apartments in Desa Aman Puri on July 4th.
Thomas, 34, who was a student at a private university ‘Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’ before his death, was arrested with 20 other foreigners at Desa Aman Puri in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Thomas was detained despite having a valid student visa and providing it on request during the operation that led to his arrest.
Immigration Department, Kuala Lumpur office, said Thomas tried to flee the scene with others but was successfully detained by immigration officers, therefore, raising doubt about the authenticity of the documents he presented.
“The person in question (Ewansiha) had also fled but was successfully detained by officers,” said Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the Director-General Immigration Department.
In a statement released on Friday, the Immigration Department said “At around 12.05am on July 9, the officers on duty were told by the other detainees that the subject had a seizure in his sleep.
“Immediate aid and medical checks were conducted and the hospital was contacted to assist as well.
“An ambulance from HUKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Hospital) as well as an assistant medical officer arrived at 12.30am and they had attempted to help the subject.
“However, he was then pronounced dead,” Khairul Dzaimee stated.
Nigerian students in Malaysia, however, refuted immigration account of the situation, saying it is not possible for Thomas, a PhD student with a valid document, to attempt an escape as claimed.
The students, who protested at the Nigerian embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, said he was a well educated 34 years old man who knows his right. Therefore, he might have demanded to know why he was being arrested with other illegals after providing valid documents.
This, according to them, is likely to have aggravated the officers that went for the operation, hence, possible maltreatment and detention that led to his death.
The students complain that Malaysian immigration and police officers have attacked and manhandled African students in the last 2 months in the name of raiding to eliminate illegal students.
Several cases of excessive force during raiding have been reported and in some cases, victims sustain severe injuries.
The protest forced Malaysian Immigration to release a statement on Friday 12, three days after Thomas died in their custody. Another indication of gross disregard and abuse of power.
Limkokwing University on Thursday said Ewansiha “was an inspired young man. We offer our condolences to his family and many close friends.”
In another tweet, the university said: “It is with the deepest regret that we report the demise of Orhions Ewansiha Thomas. Pursuing his PhD in Management, Mr Thomas was an inspired young man.”
“All of us at Limkokwing University wish to express our heartfelt wishes of love and support to all affected.”
Thomas left behind two kids and a loving wife.
UK Provides £29 Million to Support People Affected by Conflict in Northern Ethiopia
The Minister for Africa Vicky Ford has announced an additional £29m of humanitarian aid to people affected by the catastrophic conflict in northern Ethiopia.
The announcement marks World Food Day today [16 October] and increases the UK’s commitment to the crisis to more than £75m – making the UK the second largest donor.
The Minister is also calling on all parties in Ethiopia to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid through and for the Ethiopian Government to lift the de facto blockade of humanitarian relief into the Tigray region. The people of Tigray need 500 trucks of critical assistance per week, but less than 10% of this has been met since June.
The conflict has caused a humanitarian catastrophe, with the UN estimating that 5.5 million people face acute food insecurity. Over 400,000 people in northern Ethiopia are experiencing famine-like conditions – more than in all of the humanitarian crises in the rest of the world combined.
Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said:
The Ethiopian people are facing a humanitarian catastrophe and are in urgent need of support.
This pledge will provide vital food, water and healthcare to the hundreds of thousands of people facing famine in northern Ethiopia.
This is a man-made crisis. I urge all parties to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach starving people.
The new funding comes as the UK’s Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, recently concluded his third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the conflict in November 2020, where he pressed for improved humanitarian access to the areas affected by conflict.
Special Envoy Nick Dyer said:
On my third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the Tigray conflict, I saw a further deterioration of the crisis and the conditions for humanitarian operations.
We are pleased to provide more funding but humanitarian agencies need access into all areas where people are in need now, so that lives can be saved and catastrophic famine avoided.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia has spread beyond the borders of Tigray now, so we are expanding UK funding to reach those in urgent need in Afar and Amhara.
The funding will be delivered by UN agencies and NGOs, including the WFP, UNICEF, and the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund. Our partners expect to deliver lifesaving nutrition treatment for more than 100,000 malnourished children, and 27,000 pregnant and new mothers.
The pledge will also deliver clean water and sanitation for 26,000 people and provide services to prevent and respond to gender-based violence for almost 3,000 women and children.
It will also support people who have been forced to flee their homes by the spread of conflict across northern Ethiopia, providing shelter, healthcare, and support to children who have been separated from their families and to survivors of sexual violence.
Air Passenger Traffic Rises by 9 Percent in Q2, 2021
Drawing on data provided by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its latest report on air passenger traffic. The report estimates total traffic in Q2 ‘21 at 3.2 million passengers, representing an increase of 9% q/q and 72% y/y.
However, despite this impressive year-on-year increase, the aviation sector is still recovering from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic as overall passenger traffic is still below pre-pandemic levels.
Based on the national accounts, Nigeria’s air transport segment grew by 4.9% y/y in Q2 ‘21 compared with a contraction of -11.8% recorded in the previous quarter. The reopening of airports and the reinstatement of flights, following the ease in movement restrictions and positive base effects contributed to the uptick in the segment’s growth rate.
For Q2 ‘21, passenger traffic on departures accounted for 50% of total domestic air travel and 51% of total international air travel. According to the report, 86% of total air passengers in Q2 ‘21 were domestic travellers, pointing to a 9% q/q increase.
Passenger traffic in the Lagos domestic airport increased by 13% q/q to 861,320 passengers. As for Abuja, there was a 9% q/q increase to 1 million passengers in Q2 ‘21. The Abuja airport accounted for the largest share (37%) of total domestic passengers during the quarter under review. While Lagos and Port Harcourt accounted for 31% and 7% of total passenger traffic (domestic) respectively.
As for international travel, air passenger traffic grew by 4% q/q and 2179% y/y. We suspect the growth mirrors the lifting of international travel restrictions and the rollout of vaccines globally.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global international air travel will continue to recover in 2022. However, low vaccination rates in Africa may remain one of the key obstacles to quicker air travel rebound.
iReader Joins Publiseer’s Expansive List of Store Partners
Publiseer, Africa’s leading digital content distributing platform, on Monday announced that iReader, China’s leading mobile reading platform with over half a billion users, has joined its expansive list of online retail store partners.
iReader has a global reach, as it distributes over 600,000 book titles to 70 million active book readers in over 150 countries. This addition is to help Publiseer authors reach iReader’s global audience.
Publiseer is a digital platform that helps independent and underserved African writers, musicians, filmmakers, and video game developers, typically those from low-income and disadvantaged communities, to earn above the minimum wage and live above the poverty line from the sales of their creative works. Every day, Publiseer discovers extraordinary local African creatives and gives them the platform to focus on doing what they love doing the most, which is to create, while Publiseer handles the tedious but important business of transforming their creativity into wealth for them.
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