We are leading with another incident of kidnapping in Niger State, the roll-out of vaccines to states across the federation, and the global celebration of women.
Another Abduction In Niger State
Women and children were among 25 individuals abducted in another kidnap operation carried out by gunmen in Niger State on Monday.
According to residents of Kutunku community in Wushishi Local Government Area, the armed men began shooting sporadically around 10 am as they carted away about 20 persons.
Meanwhile, five persons were also abducted in Rafi Local Government Area and several other persons were injured at Panku Gari Council Area.
An eye-witness said the bandits, who were well-armed with dangerous weapons, carried out their operation brazenly in broad daylight.
State authorities, including the police, were yet to comment on the attack as of Monday evening
Context: Niger, the largest state in the country which shares a long border with the Federal Capital Territory, has experienced similar attacks in recent times. In February, tens of schoolboys were kidnapped in Kagara, a community in the state. Some 53 travellers, including 20 women and nine children, were also abducted while transiting on a state-owned bus earlier that month, although they have now been released.
The insecurity in Niger shadows the general situation across the country, although the Federal Government has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to restoring peace.
States begin to receive Covid Vaccine
Ogun State became the first regional government to receive the Covid vaccine after taking delivery of 50,000 doses of the Astrazeneca-Oxford jab.
The State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, promised that the doses will be immediately deployed to all the Local Government Areas in the state and across its 236 wards.
He added that the state is still awaiting the second batch of another 50,000 doses.
Strategic Leaders: Members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid, including Chairman Boss Mustapha, publicly received their first jabs of the Astrazeneca vaccine in Abuja on Monday.
According to Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the decision to administer the vaccine on members publicly was to help the government combat vaccine hesitancy, which the task force identifies as a potential challenge that needs to be addressed urgently as the roll-out to states commences.
NCDC: The country recorded 371 new cases of the virus and 13 deaths on Monday, the disease control agency said.
Stream of Messages on Women’s Day
Monday was International Women’s Day and, expectedly, individuals, organisations, governments published messages in support of, and in admiration of women.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement, said women can perform creditably well if given the opportunity, although women make up less than 20 percent of his cabinet.
After a long silence, first lady Aisha Buhari signed a statement urging Nigerian leaders to bring an immediate end to the incessant spate of abductions of women and girls in the country.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Governor’s Wives Forum asked the Federal and State Governments to involve more women in policy and decision-making.
This year’s IWD theme was #ChooseToChallenge.
Superwoman: Saadat Aliyu from Kano State has developed an android application ‘Helpio App’ for reporting cases of sexual abuse.
What else is happening?
Sheikh Gumi: The Nigerian Army has refuted claims made by the Islamic cleric that some of its troops are deliberately deployed to kill worshipers of a certain religion.
Namadi Sambo: The former Vice President met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday and gave an update on his assignment as the ECOWAS Head of Mission on the election in the Republic of Niger.
INEC: The electoral commission has commenced preparations for 2023 as it directs resident electoral commissioners to take inventories of election materials under their care and make a report to headquarters.
NDLEA: The drug-focused law enforcement agency has arrested a ‘notorious drug trafficker’ and also recovered cocaine hidden in a Monarch’s palace in Anambra State.
Edo State: The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin-City has set aside the judgement of the High Court which nullified the candidacy of APC’s Deputy Governorship candidate, Audu Ganiyu, in the 2020 Edo Governorship Elections. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in an appeal filed by the APC and its chieftain, Williams Edobor, challenging the certificate presented by Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2020 election.
Senegal: A judge charged opposition leader Ousmane Sonko with rape and freed him from detention pending an investigation on Monday, after his arrest last week sparked the West African state’s worst unrest in years.
Novak Djokovic: The Tennis superstar set a new landmark of 311 weeks as world number one on Monday, one week longer than Roger Federer whose tally of a record 20 Grand Slam titles is now firmly in the Serb’s sights.
Video of the day
A chieftain of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Abdullah Shinkafi says (video above) some politicians in Zamfara State offered about 57 million naira to bandits, asking them not to release the Jangebe abducted girls.