Secession Agitation: To Say We Are Silent Is Not Correct – South East Leaders

A file photo of youths during a demonstration for Biafra in the south-east region of the country.

 

Leaders in the South East have faulted the notion that they have been unbothered about the agitation for secession by some youths in the region.

Amid the continuous call for a breakaway from Nigeria by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the leaders said they have risen to the occasion at various times in the past and recently.

Ebonyi State Governor and the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, briefed reporters at the end of a meeting of governors, ministers, as well as religious and traditional leaders in the region on Saturday in Enugu State.

“The impression that South East leaders are silent over some of our youths’ agitation for secession is not correct; South East Governors, Ohanaeze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations,” he said.

READ ALSO: South East Governors Condemn Violent Secessionist Groups, Back United Nigeria

The governor added, “We condemn in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in the South East and elsewhere, we firmly proclaim that we do not support them, they do not speak for South East.

“In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, South East leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears.”

He explained that arising from a meeting held on Friday last week with a presidential team led by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, they hold a further discussion to articulate their position.

Governor Umahi affirmed that the people of the South East were committed to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equity of rights, fairness, love, and respect for one another.

According to him, the leaders have noted the threats by some groups against the people of the South East and will protect them and everyone from other regions.

The governor, however, pleaded with leaders of other regions to protect the Igbo people living in their regions.

He also called on members of the National Assembly from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“We condemn the killing of security agencies, burning of strategic infrastructure, and killing of civilians in South East and other regions. We request our security agencies to please discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law.

“Meeting directed our governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions of the nation Nigeria to assure them of their people’s safety in South East,” Governor Umahi briefed.

Mob Sets Truck Ablaze For Killing Motorcycle Rider, Passenger

A file photo of a truck involved in an accident.

 

An angry crowd has set a truck ablaze following an accident that led to the death of two persons in Ogun State.

The incident occurred along the Ibeshe Road in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Sources said the truck had veered off its lane and faced an oncoming motorcycle before it crushed both the rider and the passenger to death.

The spokesman for the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, also confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Saturday in Abeokuta, the state capital.

He noted that an angry mob descended on the truck and set it ablaze while the driver of the vehicle took to his heels.

READ ALSO: South East Governors Condemn Violent Secessionist Groups, Back United Nigeria

“It took the intervention of the police and officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to calm the angry mob,” said Akinbiyi, adding that “The case is being handled by the Dangote Plant Police Post.”

He disclosed that the body of one of the victims was deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital in Ilaro while the other victim has been buried by the family members.

The TRACE spokesman condoled with the families of the victims over the loss and warned motorists, especially truck drivers against reckless and dangerous driving.

He stressed that this was important to reduce avoidable crashes and deaths on all roads in the state.

Police Warn Edo Vigilante Groups Against Detention Camps, Illegal Duty

Police-Policeeeee
A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

Any vigilante member who engages in illegal duty or other criminal activities will be arrested and prosecuted, the police have warned.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Isaac Akinmoyede, also cautioned vigilante groups against maintaining detention camps.

He stressed that all suspects arrested should be immediately handed over to the police for diligent investigation and possible prosecution.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the zone, Tijani Momoh, revealed in a statement on Friday that the AIG issued the warning on Tuesday at a meeting with the leaders and members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante), and top police officers in Edo.

READ ALSO: South East Governors Condemn Violent Secessionist Groups, Back United Nigeria

This followed an incident of murder, arson, and sporadic shooting at Ugonoba community in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state.

On Sunday, the police received information that the house of the community leader was set ablaze by hoodlums as a result of the killing of a member of Ugonoba.

Thereafter, police operatives from Okhauhie Division were mobilised to the scene and while the Divisional Police Officer was addressing the aggrieved youths of the community, some vigilante officials were said to have arrived in three vehicles and started shooting sporadically.

This left the DPO and two other policemen, as well as an unspecified number of residents injured, leading to the directive of the AIG that the case be thoroughly investigated and all those involved in the shooting be brought to book.

He also called for strict supervision and regulation of the activities of vigilante groups operating in Edo and asked the Commissioner of Police in the state to profile all the vigilante officials to avoid a situation where criminals infiltrate their ranks.

Akinmoyede informed the meeting that soon, training would be organised for the vigilante members to enable them work hand in hand with the police, especially in the area of intelligence gathering and operational duties.

He, however, acknowledged the contributions of the vigilante members in aiding the police in the fight against crime and charged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.

Sanwo-Olu’s Wife, Women Pray Against Insecurity In Nigeria

L-R: Wife of the Vice Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Arinola Ajose; General Secretary, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs Yewande Olorunrinu; Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamzat; and COWLSO Ex-Officio, Mrs Rhoda Ayinde, at a special prayer by Lagos women for peace and security in Nigeria on June 18, 2021.

 

The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Friday led women in the state to pray against insecurity in Nigeria.

In her address at a special prayer service held at the Lagos House, she stated the present situation required all hands to be on deck to seek God’s face to return peace and tranquillity to the nooks and crannies of the country.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamzat, explained that the prayer session became imperative in view of the challenges confronting the nation.

“As mothers in the land, we have come together under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) to seek the face of God and pray for the peace and security in Nigeria,” she said.

The governor’s wife added, “Any situation in God’s control can never get out of control. This prayer session is part of the seven-day National Prayer Programme declared by governors’ wives across the country.”

Describing prayer as the master key and potent solution to all mysteries and challenges of life, she stressed that the country was going through difficult times judging by the increase in cases of kidnapping, banditry, domestic and sexual violence, among other social ills.

“In the absence of peace, there can be no development. We are truly and genuinely interested in the progress of this country.

“When women pray, speedy answers are granted from above, and this is why I am confident that as we lift our voices to God today, He will hear us and deal decisively with those troubling the peace of this country,” the first lady told the gathering.

She, however, reiterated the need for residents, especially women to be security conscious and be mindful of movements around them.

Sanwo-Olu asked them to swiftly alert their neighbours and promptly report strange or suspicious movements to the security agencies.

Prayers were offered by religious leaders in the state at the event attended by members of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), among other women groups.

Six Adamawa Commissioners To Swap Positions In Cabinet Reshuffle

A file photo of Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri. Source: @GovernorAUF

 

Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, has approved a minor cabinet reshuffle of the State Executive Council.

Six commissioners affected by the development will swap positions, said a statement on Friday by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou.

Mr Sanusi Jauro who until recently was the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development was redeployed to the Ministry of Special Duties.

His counterpart at the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mohammed Umar, was also directed to move to the Ministry of Land and Survey.

Umar has been replaced by Ibrahim Mijinyawa who now serves as the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs in the state.

Similarly, Alloysious Babadoke moves from Special Duties to Youth and Sports Development, and Umar Daware and Dr Dishi Khobe are to swap positions.

Daware takes over at the Ministry of Agriculture while Khobe takes over at the Ministry of Tertiary and Professional Education.

According to Wonosikou, the redeployment is intended to create a new vigour and vitality for service delivery which has been the hallmark of the Umaru Fintiri administration.

He added that the postings were with immediate effect and Governor Fintiri has directed the commissioners to hand over and move to their new postings without delay.

El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State says the government has begun to implement its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees.

He, however, stated that the state government had yet to disengage any civil servant as only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff.

The governor who briefed reporters on Thursday listed those affected to include the 23 local government councils, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and the Primary Health Care Board.

He explained that the disengaged political appointees constituted 30 per cent of the total number of political office holders in the state.

‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs, but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” said Governor El-Rufai.

He added, “We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees, and we have done that.”

The governor stated that the rightsizing of civil servants would still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that were accruing to the state government from the federation account.

He added that rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details were clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.

Governor El-Rufai clarified that civil servants whose veracity of data had raised questions have been given a chance to clear the doubts before any action would be taken.

He disclosed that the government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University, as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

The governor also faulted the claims that the salaries of political appointees accounted for the bloated personnel cost of the state government.

‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights, and other personnel costs.

“So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,” he stated.

Governor El-Rufai added, “Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84 per to 96 per cent of our revenues to pay salaries of less than one per cent of the population.

“The rest of our people – all 99 per cent of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets, and support for agriculture to make a living outside the government.”

He also promised that the state government would not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

Five Rescued As Troops Engage Abductors Of Kebbi Students

A screengrab showing a part of the school in Kebbi State.

 

One of the abducted students of Federal Government College Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State has died.

However, five others, comprising four students and a teacher have been rescued by the Joint Taskforce Component of Operation Hadari Daji.

The Deputy Force Commander of the Joint Taskforce in the North-West Zone, Air Commodore Abubakar AbdulKadir, confirmed this on Friday to reporters in Zamfara State.

He explained that the troops came in contact with the bandits in the early hours and engaged them in a gun duel, which forced them to abandon five of the students and a teacher.

One of the students whose identity was not revealed later died, although the military officer did not specifically state how it happened.

“In the early hours of this morning, we have come across the kidnappers. They came to our blocking point, and we engaged them,” Abdulkadir said.

He added, “At that point, they abandoned five of the students and one of the teachers. Unfortunately, I think we have lost one of the students.”

The Deputy Force Commander also disclosed that the troops recovered 155 rustled animals at the Jageme area in Magami District of Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

He said they got credible intelligence about the rustled animals and troops were instructed to lay an ambush which led to their recovery.

AbdulKadir said the animals in about 12 trucks were sold to some persons at Yartasha Market in Magami District while the troops have been trailing the rustled animals for about five days before they were recovered on Thursday night.

According to him, investigations are ongoing to apprehend other buyers and sellers of the rustled animals.

Bandits Hijacked Judge’s Car To Abduct Kebbi Students – Police

The crest of the Nigeria Police Force crest is on a police officer’s uniform. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Police authorities in Kebbi State have given more updates on the abduction of an unspecified number of students from the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri.

Mr Nafi’U Abubakar, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, disclosed that the gunmen used a stolen vehicle to convey the abducted students.

He made the disclosure in a statement on Friday in reaction to reports that the bandits who attacked the school used a police vehicle to kidnap about 50 students from the school.

Abubakar explained that the assailants used a white Hilux van marked KBSJ 29, which was hijacked along the Birnin-Yauri Road, to perpetrate the crime.

He insisted that the bandits never used any police van as claimed, adding that the number of students missing after the incident was still unknown.

According to the command spokesman, a rescue operation to ensure the safe return of the students is ongoing by the security agencies.

He promised that the police would give more updates on the progress made as events unfold and warned against spreading false information.

Read the statement from the police below:

Court Acquits Senator In Money Laundering Case

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has acquitted and discharged the lawmaker representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, of the allegation of laundering N322 million.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove the elements of the offence against the lawmaker.

He also cleared Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd.

The judge held, among other things, that the EFCC’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify” and prove the money laundering charge.

Nwaoboshi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arraigned alongside his companies in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.

This necessitated a re-arraignment before Justice Aneke in October 2018.

The prosecution had alleged that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey building property, known as Guinea House, on Marine Road in the Apapa area of Lagos for N805 million between May and June 2014.

According to the anti-graft agency, N322 million out of the N805 million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act of fraud”.

The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals which was accused of aiding the accused to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.

The alleged offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (2) (d) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, it claimed.

But Senator Nwaoboshi had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

How Bandits Fulfilled Their Promise To Attack Kebbi School – Lawmaker

 

A member of the House of Representatives, Tanko Sununu, has described the attack on the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi State, as a promise fulfilled by bandits.

The lawmaker who represents Ngaski/ Shanga/ Yauri Federal Constituency noted that Thursday’s incident was the latest in the chains of attacks on communities in the area.

While featuring as a guest on Sunrise Daily on Friday, he narrated what transpired in the build-up to the attack that left a yet-to-be-ascertained number of students of the school missing.

“What really happened is that about two weeks ago, we had an episode when bandits residing within parts of the areas bordering Zamfara, Niger, and Kebbi came up through one of the villages in my constituency.

“They killed a policeman and found their way until they reached Ibeto area where we have a quarry, killed some security men and kidnapped some of the foreign workers in the quarry and left,” the lawmaker said during the Channels Television breakfast show.

He added, “10 days later, they came back to the same area and entered into my constituency bordering some villages, and they had more than a seven-hour field operation going from house to house, room to room, collecting money, phones, cows, and any machine they deemed useful for their operations, and they left a message behind that they would soon be back.

“To fulfill their promise yesterday, we had intelligence that they were on their way coming. Around 10:30 in the morning, they reached their final destination – the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri.”

 

A Major Success

Sununu noted that as soon as the bandits got to the school, they were faced with a tough task as they were initially resisted and engaged in a gunfight by operatives of the Mobile Police and Police Counter-Terrorism Unit stationed at the school.

He disclosed that the fire exchange lasted for a long period before the bandits overpowered the security operatives due to their large number.

Mr Tanko Sununu

 

The bandits, the lawmaker stated, succeeded in killing a policeman and gained access into the school and abducted an unspecified number of students and five teachers.

He explained that it was difficult to ascertain the exact number of students abducted as parents from nearby villages and towns raced to the school to take their children away immediately after the incident.

Sununu, however, gave an assurance that the military has swung into action, noting that progress has been made.

He said, “As at last night, I had a discussion with the Field Commander of Operation Hadarin Daji who said that they have succeeded in entering into the den of the kidnappers and I think this is a major success because the security agencies are now taking the fight to the base of the kidnappers.

“I was also told that over 800 cattle that were rustled some days back have been recovered and as of now, the military has combed the area where we are expecting that the students are with the bandits. They have also succeeded in creating many casualties on the part of the bandits.”

At Least Three Killed, 13 Injured As Gas Tanker Explodes In Lagos

A screengrab taken on June 18, 2021, captures the scene of the explosion.

 

No fewer than three persons have been confirmed killed in a gas tanker explosion in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.

Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed this in a telephone interview with Channels Television on Friday.

The incident occurred on Thursday night after a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker exploded at Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, affecting a plaza housing dozens of organisations.

“The latest is that we just recovered three dead bodies this morning, which was beyond our expectation,” said Farinloye while giving an update on the incident on Sunrise Daily.

He added, “Yesterday, we made a headcount and management officials of the plaza were around, officials of all the organisations using the plaza were around; only one boy was claimed to be missing and unfortunately, we could not trace the boy yesterday night.

“Unfortunately, when we got there this morning, we saw three dead – one Mr Balogun who was the manager of the Chinese restaurant. He was recovered with two other personnel of the restaurant.”

 

The NEMA spokesman noted that the victims seemed to have made an attempt to escape from the building when the incident occurred.

He explained that this possibly led to their death, while the boy said to be missing since Thursday night had yet to be found.

The explosion, said to have been caused by a leakage while the LPG tanker was in motion, threw the environment into panic as a result of the huge fire that ensued.

This also left some people wounded with four of them taken to the Trauma and Burns Centre at the General Hospital, Gbagada.

Farinloye noted that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, led a team of policemen to the scene on Friday in a bid to restore normalcy in the area.

“Recovery effort will continue this morning. Thirteen people sustained injury – four women and nine men. 25 vehicles were destroyed completely.

“The police personnel were left behind to take care of the whole situation. The whole situation is under control,” he said.

El-Rufai Seeks Support In Kaduna By-Election

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is optimistic that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will be victorious in the by-election for the vacant seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed Saturday to conduct the bye-election for the Sabon Gari Constituency seat.

Addressing the people of Sabon Gari ahead of the poll, Governor El-Rufai led some top APC members in the state to the final campaign rally to canvass support for the party’s candidate, Musa Musa, on Thursday.

He stated that the APC has done well for the state in delivering its campaign promises to deserve the mandate of the people in the election.

The governor called on all registered voters to come out and vote on Saturday for the continued progress and stability of the constituency.

The seat which was initially occupied by the former Speaker of the House, Aminu Shagali, was declared vacant in April.

This followed an allegation the former speaker absconded from all legislative activities for more than a year without any reason.

In declaring the seat vacant, the members of the Assembly based their action on Section 109(1) (f) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.