Man Abducted On Christmas Day In Ekiti Regains Freedom

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A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

Mr Happiness Ajayi, the businessman who was abducted on Christmas Day in Ekiti State has regained freedom.

This comes three days after Ajayi was abducted along with another person at gunpoint in Oye Local Government Area of the state.

But the other victim was swiftly rescued by the police, in collaboration with the officials of the Amotekun security outfit, as well as some vigilantes and village hunters.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Two Men On Christmas Day In Ekiti

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the release of Ajayi to Channels Television on Monday.

He explained that the businessman was also released by his captors as a result of the sustained collaboration between the police team, as well as Amotekun and local hunters in the area.

Abutu gave an assurance that the police command in Ekiti would not fail in its statutory duty of protecting the lives and properties of the people of the state.

Ajayi and the other person were riding in a Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) along the Isan-Iludun Ekiti Road on Friday last week before they were accosted by armed men who abducted them in the process.

Third Mainland Bridge Closed For Three Days

 

Lagos residents might be faced with traffic difficulties amid the Christmas holiday following the full closure of Third Mainland Bridge on the midnight of Christmas Day.

The bridge will remain closed until midnight of December 28 as it is undergoing repairs.

Federal Government had earlier announced that the bridge will be shut for 72 hours to cast concrete on the expansion joints.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians Celebrate Christmas In An ‘Unusual’ Way

Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Olukayode Popoola while making the announcement said it is to prevent vibration of the bridge.

“There is going to be a total closure of Third Mainland Bridge in order to allow for the casting of three number expansion joints on the Island Bound lane. The effective date of the closure will be from 12:00 midnight of 25th of December. So people will be allowed to use the Third Mainland Bridge to celebrate Christmas.’’

“By the time the Christmas is winding down which is 12:00 midnight, we are going to close it, so that we will be able to cast the concrete on Saturday the 26th and on 27th we cast again. And we need about 72 hours for this concrete to set. Therefore, the opening will be on the 28th December midnight, that is 72-hour closure,” he said.

Popoola explained that the full closure of the bridge is necessary because, “If we allow vehicles to be moving on one lane, there is going to be vibrations and the concrete will not set properly.”

He also announced that there will be a partial closure of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for 48 hours, beginning from Monday, December 28 to Tuesday, December 29, for the completion of some repairs.

The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos was partially shut on July 24 for rehabilitation works and a series of repairs.

The repair expected to last six months was extended by one month due to the  #EndSARS protests in Lagos extending the completion date from January 2021 to February.

The thirdmainland bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

Christmas Day: Two Killed, Five Crashes Recorded On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

 

A total of five road crashes were recorded at various sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Christmas Day.

Spokesperson for the Ogun State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Florence Okpe, confirmed this in a situation report forwarded to Channels Television on Thursday.

The first crash was said to have occurred at about 04:48am on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway around RCCG CAR PARK C.

This involved a tanker laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, which crashed into the road barriers.

 

Although two persons were involved and none sustained injury or died, the incident impeded traffic for several hours on the outward Lagos section of the highway.

Similarly, a second crash occurred at about 06:55am involving another truck that spilled its alcoholic beverages it was conveying on the road.

Two persons were also involved but no injury or death was recorded from the crash.

The third crash occurred about three hours later also on the highway, claiming the lives of two persons.

 

“A total of five persons were involved, all male adults,” the Sector Command spokesperson said, adding “three persons were injured but two male adults were killed.”

According to her, the cause of the crash was as a result of route violation at a high speed that led to a loss of control.

Florence explained that the vehicle was driving against traffic before it collided with pedestrians waiting to board commercial vehicles.

She noted that the injured victims were rescued and taken to a hospital in Sagamu while the bodies of the killed victims were deposited at a morgue.

 

The fourth crash also occurred on the same route with three vehicles involved but this time, under the Sagamu Interchange Bridge at about 5:30pm.

Two tankers conveying petroleum products were said to have crashed into each other on the outward section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Both vehicles went up in flames due to the impact of the crash and this impaired traffic while the section of the road was temporarily closed to traffic.

 

Six people were involved and no injury or death was recorded from the crash.

About six hours later, the fifth crash occurred around J5 Park at Ogere along the highway, involving three persons.

The three victims were injured but no death was recorded.

Man Stabs Boy To Death In Ogun

Police Nab Suspects With 'Biafra Currency' In Abia
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A 21-year-old man allegedly stabbed an I8-year-old boy to death in Ogun state on Christmas day.

According to the state police command, the incident occurred following a misunderstanding between the two, over a phone.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi who said the incident occurred at Ope-Ilu area of Agbado Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun state on December 25, however, noted that the suspect has been arrested.

”Trouble started when an argument ensued over a missing phone of which the deceased accused the suspect of being in his possession.

This infuriated the suspect consequent upon which he took one of the beer bottles around, broke it and stabbed the deceased on the chest.”

”He was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital but gave up the ghost before reaching the hospital. The father of the victim Kolawole Abiola lodged the complaint at Agbado Divisional Headquarter and the DPO, CSP Omonijo Sunday, deployed Police detectives to the scene where the suspect was promptly arrested.”

”Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police CP Ahmed Iliyasu has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to Homicide Section of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation,” the PRO added.

Police Building Collapse: Force Commits To Personnel Welfare

Police Building CollapseThe Nigeria Police Force has reiterated its commitment to the welfare of its personnel, in a bid to ensuring the efficiency of its workforce.

The Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police-in-charge of Zone 2, Lagos, Mr Kayode Aderanti, said that the well-being of the officers and men was paramount to the force’s authorities.

Mr Aderanti made the remarks on Tuesday shortly after he visited the site of a collapsed building at the Police Barracks in Ikeja.

He appealed to those who have been served notices of evacuation to vacate the blocks for further action.

The AIG went on the inspection visit in company of senior officers from the Lagos State Police Command in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

The visit follows the mishap at the Area ‘F’ Police Command where the “w” block of the barracks partially collapsed on Christmas Day.

The incident led to the death of a sergeant and a civilian.

Officials of the National Emergency Maintenance Agency were at the site of the collapsed building while a vacation order has been issued to the occupants of the remnant.

Six People Missing Following Australia Flood

Australia Flood, RainfallSix persons are missing following the record amount of rainfall at the famous national park at Uluru in Australia.

Waterfalls appeared all over the landmark, also known as Ayers Rock, at the heart of the park in central Australia.

The park has been close as six persons, including an infant, have not been heard from since Christmas Day.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) described the massive storm as a twice-a-century weather event.

Flash floods in the remote town of Kintore also forced the evacuation of dozens of residents.

Northern Territory Police disclosed that about 25 houses were flooded in the town, near the border with the state of Western Australia.

Buhari Urges Nigerians To Pray For Divine Guidance

Buhari Urges Nigerians To Pray For Divine GuidanceFew hours ahead of Christmas day, Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, has sent a yuletide message urging Nigerians to pray for divine guidance in the face of the country’s challenges.

In a statement released on Saturday, the President said:

“Dear Compatriots, I heartily rejoice with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

“As we celebrate this year’s Christmas, I believe that it is very appropriate for us to reflect on the love of God aptly espoused in the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.

“During his earthly sojourn, Jesus Christ repeatedly reminded his disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.

“There is no better time than now in our nation’s history to pray for divine guidance to get over our current challenges.

“We can have peace in Nigeria if we all learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority; and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.”

Furthermore, he stated that: “During this period, we should remember to offer special prayers to God for all our heroic citizens who paid the supreme price to restore peace and security in the northeast and other flash points in the country.

“Let us also remember in our prayers the security forces in the front-line in the continuing battle to rid our nation of terrorism and violence.

“We must not forget the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in our midst and those who have suffered untold hardship as a result of activities of insurgents and terrorists.

“Our immediate priority is to alleviate the poverty of Nigerians by quickly stimulating the economy. I assure Nigerians that our government is doing its best to make life easier for all,” he said.

“Let us therefore, renew our hope in the God-ordained unity, progress and prosperity of our great nation.

“I wish all travellers safe movements and a memorable holiday as we celebrate with our family and friends, Merry Christmas!” the President prayed.

PPMC To Prosecute Pipeline Vandals, Commence Truck Tracking

PPMC on Pipeline VandalsThe Managing Director of the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, has warned that any oil pipeline vandal caught, will be prosecuted with their assets destroyed to serve as deterrence.

Mrs Nnamdi-Ogbue, who spoke to reporters when some pipeline vandals were apprehended on Christmas day, said that the pipelines are the only effective way to distribute petroleum products nationwide and must be allowed to function.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said that Nigeria cannot give in to the point where vandals and saboteurs become more powerful than the government.

“Oil pipelines in Nigeria serve two purposes: to distribute crude oil to the country’s three refineries for processing and to distribute refined petroleum products across the country for easy supply to consumers.

“Frequent pipeline vandalism has made these two functions ineffective for several years,” he said.

Tracking Petrol Distribution Trucks

Mr Kachikwu said that sabotage cannot be totally foreclosed given the technological know-how required to break the pipe and siphon oil.

“The target of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and PPMC is to repair the pipelines routes from Lagos to Port-Harcourt.

“This will make it possible to pump fuel all the way through Lagos-Ibadan and Ilorin to relieve the coastal cities and bridge the north and from Port-Harcourt through Makurdi and up to Yola”, he said.

While these are on, the PPMC boss said that real time tracking of petrol distribution trucks will commence fully by January 2016 which will totally eliminate diversion of petroleum products and the resultant scarcity of petrol.

Christmas Day Blaze Guts Australia Homes

blaze guts Australia homesOfficials have said that a Christmas Day bush fire has destroyed more than 100 homes in Australia’s Victoria State.

They said that 98 homes have been razed in Wye river and 18 at separation creek. no injuries were reported.

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blaze along the famous great ocean road in Victoria’s south-west, popular with holidaymakers.

A change to cooler weather and rain has greatly reduced the threat, but some emergency warnings remain in place.

Some 1,600 residents and tourists from the popular tourist spot of Lorne were evacuated on Friday amid fears that a wind change would push the fire towards the town, but were allowed to return on Saturday.

Many of those forced to leave their homes had to spend Christmas night in hastily-arranged shelters.

Victoria is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world.

Many bush fires were started by lightning strikes, while others were sparked accidentally by campers or discarded cigarettes. Some are the work of arsonists.

In 2009, more than 170 people died in Victoria during Australia’s worst ever bush fire disaster.

Pope Francis Condemns Religious Violence In Christmas Address

Pope-FrancisPope Francis has denounced the “brutal persecution” of religious and ethnic minorities, in his traditional Christmas Day address.

In his second  Christmas message, the pontiff highlighted the plight of victims of conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Pope Francis also urged dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians and condemned Taliban attacks in Pakistan.

Tens of thousands of people turned out on St Peter’s Square to hear the Argentine Pope deliver his annual message.

He said Christians in Iraq and Syria had endured conflict for too long, and “together with those belonging to other ethnic and religious groups, are suffering a brutal persecution”.

Christmas Day: Jonathan Asks Politicians To Moderate Utterances

ChristmasPresident Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerian politicians to moderate their utterances as they carry out the 2015 election campaigns.

He was among the Christian faithful that worshipped at the St. Matthews Anglican Church in Maitama, Abuja, on Christmas Day.

The President described as embarrassing, some statements by politicians which are capable of setting the country ablaze.

He wondered why anyone would talk of setting up a parallel government just because he fails in an election.

He urged the politicians to desist from sowing the seeds of discord, saying that the country does not belong to politicians alone.

The President described the security challenges as temporary and asked the church to continue to pray.

The sermon, delivered by Primate Of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, also challenged Nigerians on the preparation towards the 2015 general election and the need to keep reminding political office holders of the expectations of Nigerians as politicians jostle for power.

There were also prayers for the church and the world.

The church prayed that God would bless Nigerian rulers from the federal to local government, that people might seek the common good.

Highlight of Christmas Day service was the thanksgiving session that enabled all to dance to the alter in celebration of the day.

President Jonathan and members of his family were joined by Christian faithful in the Federal Capital Territory to mark the 2014 Christmas celebrations.

The President last visited St Matthews Church as a Vice-President.

 

Ebola Crisis: Sierra Leone Declares Three-Day Lockdown In North

EbolaThe deadly Ebola virus crisis in Sierra Leone has cancelled Christmas celebration for some people.

The government has declared lockdown of at least three days in the north of the country to try to contain the epidemic.

Shops, markets and non-Ebola related travel services will be shut down, officials said.

Muslims and Christians are not allowed to hold services in mosques and churches throughout the lockdown except for Christians on Christmas Day.

Only vehicles officially assigned to Ebola-related assignments would be allowed to operate during the period.

The lock down would operate for at least three days but this could be extended if deemed necessary, officials said.

The Word Health Organization (WHO) says more than 7,500 people have died from the outbreak in West Africa so far,with Sierra Leone the worst hit.

Sierra Leone has the highest number of Ebola cases in West Africa, with more than 9,000 cases and more than 2,400 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

Sierra Leone has been in a state of emergency since July.