The Kaduna State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized a total of 1,721 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa from illegal drug dealers in various parts of Kaduna State.
The items were seized between January to May 2021.
The command also arrested 89 suspects for illicit drug-related offences across the state.
The state NDLEA commander, Uche Samuel while addressing journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday said some of the seizures and arrests were made in the Kudenda industrial layout in Kaduna South Local Government and Kasunwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government respectively.
Displaying the seized illicit substances to reporters, the NDLEA commander, warned drug peddlers to desist from illegal activities or be ready to face the law, stating that the command is committed to rid Kaduna state off drug peddlers.
He explained that since the beginning of this month, four suspects were arrested in possession of 328.1kg of Cannabis Sativa in Kudenda and Kasunwan Magani while the command successfully convicted eight persons to various jail terms for drug-related offences.
Southern Nigerian Governors Forum (SNGF) are currently meeting in Asaba, Delta State capital to discuss issues of insecurity and other matters affecting the regions and Nigeria as a whole.
Those physically in attendance include Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Rivers State Governor, Nysome Wike; Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi; Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun; Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano; Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; among others.
They were received by the host, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
17 Governors from the Southern part of Nigeria have arrived at the Delta State Government House in Asaba for the Southern Governors Forum Meeting. pic.twitter.com/uoMtbpiHfV
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s spokesperson, Gboyega Akosile, in a statement on Tuesday said the meeting is an intervention by the governors to jointly brainstorm and address burning issues in the Southern part of Nigeria.
The regional security meeting is holding less than twenty hours after Governor Sanwo-Olu hosted a very crucial stakeholders meeting on security in Lagos, to address the challenges posed to the state.
Like Lagos, the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum meeting is expected to critically evaluate the current security situation in the country, the implications for southern Nigeria and proffer an immediate and long-term solution so as to keep the region safe and secure for the citizens.
The Southern Nigeria Governors Forum is the umbrella body for all the seventeen governors in the South-West, South-South, and South-East geo-political zones of Nigeria.
President Muhammad Buhari on Tuesday continued his meeting with the country’s security chiefs, in search of solutions to the security challenges that have bedevilled the country.
The President during the meeting outlined new security measures for the South-East and South-South zones of the country to restore peace in the region.
The approval comes after a third security council meeting held in the last two weeks.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba while addressing journalists after the meeting declined to provide details but told state house correspondents that this strategy is geared towards changing the narrative.
President Buhari equally approved a memo presented by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, on the control of drugs, which he said are enablers of Insecurity.
The National security adviser who noted that the nation is fighting unknown enemies underpinned that the meeting sought to address the security challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months.
Tuesday’s meeting, the third in less than three weeks, continues a series of meeting which started on Friday, April 30 as violence and kidnappings continue to rock parts of the country.
As with previous meetings, the latest is being held behind closed doors, and it remains unclear the details of the discussions beyond the drive to secure the nation.
Beyond the President and the security chiefs, the meeting was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Security Concerns, Calls For Unity
Over the past three weeks, the security challenges that have led to the recent change of the service chiefs and the security meetings have continued. In the South, security formations and police stations have been attacked and operatives have battled kidnappers, gunmen, bandits, and suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In the north, bandits have continued their reign of terror attack in villages and kidnapping people for ransom.
The security agencies and government has also recorded wins with the release of abducted students in Kaduna, Benue, and Asia while several bandits have been killed and some leaders arrested.
Although the details of the security meetings have been kept under wraps, both the President and his vice have called for unity and an end to the violence.
President Buhari last week lamented that despite the closure of the borders to control the smuggling of arms and ammunition, “Some people are mercilessly against this country.”
He charged the leadership at every level to go back to the basics, noting that a bottom-up approach was necessary, from ward to local council, states, and federal.
Osinbajo in a wake-up call on the elites in the country urged them to rise up and speak the truth against forces of division in the country.
He explained that this has become necessary to preserve the unity of the nation as Nigeria cannot afford a war.
“We cannot afford a war in this country … it is the political elite that will determine what will take place,” the Vice President said.
The Spokesperson of Ondo State police command, Tee-Leo Ikoro confirmed the incident to Channels Television noting that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Bolaji Salami has ordered the immediate search and rescue of the pastor.
He noted that a combined team of security operatives including the police, Amotekun, the military, the vigilante as well as the NSCDC have started combing the bush around the area to rescue the victim and equally apprehend the culprits.
The Nigerian army says the troops of 17 Brigade and police officers prevented bandits from abducting several worshippers in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina on Monday.
Military Spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima in a statement on Tuesday disclosed that a large number of bandits came firing sporadically in an attempt to disrupt the prayers and abduct worshippers from Magama Central Mosque.
He said the abductors were forced to abandon the hostages after a hot pursuit and the victims have been reunited with their families.
“On getting the information, the combined team mounted a pursuit on the bandits, forcing them to abandon most of the hostages while fleeing with an unknown number.
“The rescued victims have since been reunited with their families while further efforts are ongoing to rescue the others in collaboration with neighbouring military establishments including those of Niger Republic,” Yerima said.
Yerima in the statement explained further that the bandits were overwhelmed following efforts of the combined team.
“They were met with overwhelming firepower from a combined team comprising troops and police personnel who were tactically deployed in the town following earlier Intelligence received on the planned attack.
Late-night prayers are very common among the Muslim faithful particularly in the last days of the Holy Ramadan season.
The military also assured that the situation in Jibia is under control as reinforcements have since arrived the area in order to facilitate the rescue efforts.
The local inhabitants are advised to go ahead with their normal business and report any suspicious activity to the security agency nearest to them.
A growing number of current and recovered Covid-19 patients in India are contracting a deadly and rare fungal infection, doctors told AFP Monday as the vast nation battles to contain a massive outbreak of virus cases.
The world’s second-most populous nation on Monday reported nearly 370,000 coronavirus infections to take the overall number of cases to just under 22.7 million and more than 3,700 new deaths.
Experts warn that the actual number of cases and fatalities could be much higher.
Mucormycosis, dubbed “black fungus” by doctors in India, is usually most aggressive in patients whose immune systems are weakened by other infections.
Medical experts said they had seen a rise in cases in India in recent weeks, while the health ministry on Sunday released an advisory on how to treat the infection.
“The cases of mucormycosis infection in Covid-19 patients post-recovery is nearly four to five times than those reported before the pandemic,” Ahmedabad-based infectious diseases specialist Atul Patel, a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce, told AFP.
In the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial hub Mumbai, up to 300 cases have been detected, said Khusrav Bajan, a consultant at Mumbai’s P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce.
Some 300 cases have been reported so far in four cities in Gujarat, including its largest Ahmedabad, according to data from state-run hospitals.
The western state-ordered government hospitals to set up separate treatment wards for patients infected with “black fungus” amid the rise in cases.
“Mucormycosis — if uncared for — may turn fatal,” the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the scientific agency leading the government’s response, said in a treatment chart released on Twitter.
Covid-19 sufferers more susceptible to contracting the fungal infection include those with uncontrolled diabetes, those who used steroids during their virus treatment, and those who had prolonged stays in hospital ICUs, the ICMR added.
Treatment involves surgically removing all dead and infected tissue and administering a course of anti-fungal therapy.
But Yogesh Dabholkar, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Mumbai’s DY Patil Hospital, told AFP that the drugs used to treat those infected with the fungus were expensive.
One of the treatment drugs was also running short in government hospitals due to the sudden spike, he added.
“The mortality rate is very high… Even the few that recover, only recover with extensive and aggressive surgery,” Bajan said.
“This is a fast-moving infection. It can grow within two weeks… It’s a Catch-22, coming out of a virus and getting into a fungal infection. It’s really bad.”
The army has said it also stopped another 69 Syrians in the last week of April.
Security sources told AFP that the number of smuggling attempts has been on the rise since last month.
Lebanon, home to more than six million people, is just 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Cyprus.
As well as hosting more than one million refugees from war-torn Syria, Lebanon is grappling with its most severe economic crisis for decades.
Tens of thousands of people, including Syrian and Palestinian refugees, have lost their jobs or seen their income slashed since 2019.
Their plight has pushed many to attempt sea crossings to EU member Cyprus, which has struck a deal with Lebanon for its navy to intercept such bids.
Nicosia says Cyprus has become the EU’s frontline for managing migration and asylum from the eastern Mediterranean.
In March, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic, called on “Cypriot authorities to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out into allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment (of migrants) by members of security forces”.
She acknowledged sea crossings and arrivals pose considerable challenges for Cyprus, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, but stressed human rights obligations must be “respected.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is demanding the investigation, prosecution, and immediate sack of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over alleged mismanagement of over N165billions in the agency.
The party also claimed that the wife of the Minister of Transportation, Mrs. Edith Amaechi is involved in an N48 billion contract scam in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony.
“Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
“This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision,” the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said in the statement.
The Party added that the audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.
The PDP, therefore, demand that both the minister and the NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution.
Officials of the Ondo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun have arrested a four-man kidnap syndicate in Akure, the state capital.
The commander of Amotekun in the state, Adetunji Adeleye, while parading the suspects said they were apprehended after kidnapping three persons along Oda road in Akure during a night operation while it was raining.
According to Adeleye, the suspects initially kidnapped four persons, but one person was able to escape while they took the rest of them to their hideout.
Troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army operating in Zamfara and adjoining States say they have made tremendous progress in the ongoing fight against banditry and other violent crimes in the North West.
The troops in a statement signed by Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the Director Army Public Relations said they successfully cleared many bandits’ camps in Jaya, Kadaya, and Bayan Ruwa amongst several others and successfully neutralised 48 bandits.
They added that the bandits’ leader in the area Jummo sustained a gunshot wound to his leg and the troops rescued 18 kidnap victims from the bandits’ enclave.
Moreover, eight AK-47 rifles and one G3 rifle, as well as one PKT and a Machine Gun were recovered from the Bandits.
The Division had earlier launched Operation Tsare Mutane following the directives of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru for the Division to stabilise the area in order to facilitate the return of socio-economic activities.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Division, Maj Gen Usman Yusuf launched the first phase of Operation Tsare Mutane which lasted from 23 March to 2 April 2021 in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State.
In continuation with the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane, troops sacked several other bandits’ camps around Gabiya, Bozaya, and Mereri and the adjoining forests in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State from 19 April to 3 May 2021.
“The areas which were heavily infested by bandits were successfully cleared by the highly spirited troops.
“Key bandits’ leaders including Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina, and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari were neutralised in the process while the main leader Nasanda narrowly escaped with fatal injuries.
“Equally neutralised in the operation was one Isan Heshi who is a close ally of a notorious bandit called Nagala. Isan Heshi was the second in command to Heshi before he joined Nagala following Heshi’s death in an earlier operation,” the statement read in part.
Items recovered in the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane include 4,600 rounds of ammunition, two AK-103 rifles, eight AK-47 magazines, 1,628 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, fifty-four rounds of PKM as well as one motorcycle and five Techno mobile phones.
Midfielder Seth Mayi scored his first goal of the season to secure a 2-1 win for Akwa United over Sunshine Stars and extend the unbeaten run of the Promise Keepers to ten matches as action resumed in Nigeria Professional Football League.
Mayi who was voted the club’s best midfielder in the first stanza of the league confirmed his quality when he scored from close range in the 68th minute.
Charles Atshimene shot the hosts into an early lead in the 20th minute. Two minutes later, Atshimene gave a fine pass to Mfon Udoh but his strike was stopped by goalkeeper Ariyo.
In the 34th minute, the productive Sadeeq Yusuf scored his 9th goal of the season to put the visitors into the contest.
In the second half, Coach Kennedy Boboye’s team mounted pressure on coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s team until Mayi scored the winner. Waheed Adebayo had a chance to score but his effort went wide. The defeat for Sunshine Stars took their winless run to thirteen matches.
Coach Gbenga Ogunbote says careless defending cost his team victory. “We lost the match to a careless moment and we were unable to make up for it. That is the price for being careless.”
Up next for Akwa United is Dakkada FC while Sunshine Stars will host Jigawa Golden Stars in Akure.
In Enugu, Rangers International FC beat Enyimba 2-0 in a rescheduled matchday 19 fixture. Both goals were scored from the penalty spot. Christian Nnaji and Elijah Ani got the goals for the Flying Antelopes. The victory took Rangers to 5th on the log with 33 points while Enyimba dropped to 7th with 31 points.
Without Ahmed Musa, Kano Pillars almost secured away victory over Warri Wolves in Ozoro. Malam Ali’s goal in the 58th minute was looking good for Sai Masu Gida until the 86th minute when the home team scored from the spot through Mark Daniel.
In Lafia, Nasarawa United beat this season’s surprise package, Kwara United 2-1 to record their first win in the second stanza of the league. Goals from Anas Yusuf and Silas Nwankwo did the job for coach Bala Nikyu’s team. Wasiu Alalade’s goal in the 90th minute was mere consolation for the Harmony Boys who are now third on the log.
Katsina United recorded the biggest win of matchday 20 with a 5-1 spanking of Wikki Tourists at the Muhammed Dikko Stadium in Katsina. Joseph Atule got the goal-scoring party started in the 16th minute while Rasheed Ahmed registered a brace. Samuel Nnoshiri and Samuel Kalu also scored to give the Changi Boys an important victory.
In Jos, Coach Abdul Maikaba earned his first win over Coach Imama Amapakabo as Plateau United beat Abia Warriors 2-1. Man on fire, Ibrahim Mustapha sealed victory for the Peace Boys. Fatai Abdullahi scored the only goal for the Warriors.
Former Plateau United striker, Sunday Adetunji scored again as Rivers United beat Dakkada 2-0 in Port Harcourt while Heartland FC secured a vital away victory, beating Adamawa United 1-0. Kingsley Maduforo’s goal in the 80 minutes made the difference.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah was walked over by MFM FC after the Nnewi-based team failed to show up in Enugu for the encounter.
On Saturday, Jigawa Golden Stars kicked off the second stanza of the league with a 2-1 win over Lobi Stars.
“Meanwhile the hoodlums in a bid to escape set ablaze a Toyota Corolla parked not very far from the station. An investigation is ongoing and efforts are in top gear to arrest the perpetrators of the ugly act. However, normalcy has been restored in the area,” he added.
Last week, two police officers were killed during an attack on Obosi Police station, Idemili North local government area of Anambra State.
They also razed the station and two operational vehicles.
The attacks are the latest in the series of attacks on security facilities and officials in the southeast region of the country.
The government blamed a secessionist group, IPOB, and its security arm, ESN, for the attacks but the group denies responsibility for the attacks.