Gunmen on Sunday killed a guard and kidnapped seven foreign workers from the Setraco construction company site in Jama’are town in Bauchi State.
The Associated Press, quoting the Local government Chairman, Adamu Aliyu reported that those kidnapped were from Britain, Italy, Greece and Lebanon.
The Commissioner of Police in Bauchi, Mohammed Ladan, who confirmed the incidence, said the gunmen attacked a police station and a prison overnight before storming the construction firm’s compound in Jama’are town.
“We repelled the attack on police station and the security men at the prison yard also repelled the attack, but they burnt two vehicles in Jama’are police station,” he said.
“They then attacked Setraco construction, killed a local security guard and they succeeded in kidnapping people.”
The Italian foreign ministry confirmed one of its nationals was taken in the raid. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Abuja said it was investigating.
Setraco Nigeria, a construction and civil engineering company, is a subsidiary of Setraco International Holding group.
The Nigerian company, which was established in 1977, is currently working on expanding a major road in northern Nigeria.
Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says he is ready to establish a massive farm project of about 10,000-hectares in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, if the council and the people of the area will provide land for the scheme.
He was speaking during a town hall meeting with the people of Oyigbo Local Government Area at the Oyigbo Council headquarters in Afam yesterday.
Governor Amaechi who promised to give them an agricultural project that will employ people in that area said, that would be the first step to solving economic crisis, especially now that crime is providing the people as source of livelihood.
shortly after being welcomed by the people of Oyigbo local government area led by its chairman and counsellors, chief, elders, men and women also the youths, Governor Amaechi soon took over the stage as he enumerate the achievements of his administration in Oyigbo.
He used the opportunity to emphasize that education at the primary and secondary school level were free and directed that school principals found to have collected any form of fees from pupils and students be suspended.
Later at the interactive session, participants who came forward to ask questions praised Governor Amaechi for his people-oriented projects in the state.
Welcoming the governor to his council in an address, the Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area, Felix Nwaeke, noted that Governor Amaechi’s policies has had positive impact on all Rivers people of Oyigbo Local Government Area.
Nwaeke also used the occasion to listed some of his achievements in Oyigbo Local
The town hall meeting is a regular interactive forum between the state governor and the people of the 23 local government councils in the state as it gives the people of the state irrespective of class to participate, an opportunity to ask governor Amaechi questions on his governance in the state.
The crisis rocking the recent elections of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) took a new dimension as hoodlums attacked the entourage of the newly elected president in Jos on Thursday with accusing fingers pointed at one of the contestants.
The newly elected president of National Association of Nigerian Students, Yinka Gbadebo and some members of the association escaped an attempt on their lives in Jos, north central Nigeria while on tour of campuses across the country.
Comrade Yinka Gbadebo in a press briefing in Jos narrated how a group of assassins attacked him and his entourage at a hotel in Ray field area of Jos with guns and machetes and kidnapped one of his colleague as well as destroying the association vehicle but one of the assailants was apprehended and handed over to the police.
“Prince Miaphen sent a group of assassins after me and my entourage on Thursday 7th Feb, 2013. The assassins arrived Rayfied area in Jos at about 7:30 a.m. with guns and matchete but they couldn’t locate me. Unfortunately, they kidnapped one of my colleagues, comrade Dimeji Azeez of the University of Ibadan,” he said. Mr. Gbadebo added that despite coming 7th out of 12 candidates in the election, Mr. Miaphen has been parading himself as the elected president of NANS. The union leader said he got 32 votes out of the total votes cast during the convention to emerge President of the Association, while Mr. Miaphen got 18 votes.
Addressing pressmen on the assassination attempt on his life, Yinka Gbadebo expressed concern on the attitude of the contestants that has been parading himself as NANS president with a final onslaught on his life.
The outgoing NANS president, Dauda Mohammed had a dose of the attack as his vehicle was vandalized and lost some valuables to the attackers.
The matter is being investigated by security agencies as it needs to be urgently addressed with adequate legal steps taken towards the prosecution of the accused which will serve as deterrent to others in the future.
A diplomacy and security analyst, Femi Adegbulu has identified the increasing gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria as a great inducement of criminality in the country.
Mr Adegbulu, who disclosed this on Monday while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, advised the Federal Government to deal with the issues of corruption, unemployment and poverty in Nigeria as the sustainable way of solving insurgencies in the country.
He said, “You see an individual, who has stolen the whole community dry, who has mortgage the future of his own people and he is given a slap in the wrist. No deterrent. People who are not in that position will be gearing up to get there so that they can also steal with impunity.
“Until we deal with the culture of impunity in the country, there can be no end to the Boko Haram thing; there can be no end to kidnapping; there can be no end to ritual murder; there can be no end to all these criminalities we see.”
The capacity of the Nigerian Police Force is currently being overstretched by the insurgency in the North, abuses against ordinary citizens and undermines of the rule of law. According to a report of the Human Rights Watch, Nigerians don’t trust the police; citizens generally have a bad impression of police officers because of their perceived brutality and corruption. Despite the huge budgetary allocation to the force – N311 billion ($1.99 billion) in 2013 – the Nigerian police are haplessly often overpowered by criminals whose activity affects those in high and low places.
At the heart of the problem of the police force is training, there are seven police colleges in Nigeria and new recruits are expected to undergo about 13 months training in these institutes.
However, this video report focuses on the deplorable state of the police college in Ikeja, Lagos.
A Professor of criminology and social sciences at the University of Abuja, Femi Odekunle has described Nigeria as a place where politicians engage in political and economic racketeering for their selfish purposes. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odekunle said Nigerians should disregard the comments of ministers and other government, officials, who often say that Nigeria’s macroeconomic indices are growing.
“Of course, nobody would deny that we are growing but the growth is not translating to development. Development has to do with impacting on the socioeconomic and political lives of the average citizen. It has to do with distribution of the dividend of development,” he said.
The professor said the reason why the dividend of development is not getting to the ordinary Nigerian was because of corruption.
“The consequences of the resulting underdevelopment cannot be divorced from our level of insecurity which has been worsening, if you allow me to say, from the 60s to today,” Mr Odekunle said.
A security expert and National Coordinator of the Network on Police Reform, Emeka Nwanevu has said that the opaque processes by which Inspectors-General of Police are appointed, the absence of secured tenure for those that occupy that office and high turnover in the leadership of the police make planning for improvements in the performance of the force rather difficult in Nigeria.
Mr Nwanevu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the lack of security of tenure for the Police Inspector General as well as interference of politicians into the operations of the police make the position of IGP one of the most unstable leadership positions in the country.
He said since the President was the one who can hire and fire the IGP; he has enormous power to control the activities of the police boss. “An Inspector General cannot flaunt the orders of the person who appoints him,” Mr Nwanevu said.
The security expert is calling for the amendment of Section 215(1) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides that the IGP “shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from amongst serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”
A lawyer and member of the Crusade for Justice, Richard Nwankwo has described the efforts by the leadership of Nigeria in fighting corruption as superficial and designed to achieve nothing. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Nwankwo said the present leaders in the country lack the political will and determination to conduct a genuine crusade against corruption in Nigeria.
“When you are fighting corruption from the general point of view, the leadership must show some measure of political will and determination and some measure of drive to demonstrate to everybody that actually there is a massive campaign against corruption and that is clearly not been done here,” he said.
Doctors in Nigeria under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday advised the federal government to liberalize the policy of gun ownership as part of efforts to effectively curb all forms of insecurity in the country.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the National President of the association, Osahon Enabulele called on the government to be alive to their constitutional responsibility of guaranteeing the security and welfare of the citizens until when the concept of state police is accepted by the federal government.
“Nigeria is fast descending into a hobbesian state as insecurity remains highly prevalent in Nigeria, with the possibility of violent death lurking at every corner and at every time,” he said.
Mr Enabulele said that the security situation in Nigeria continued to deteriorate “despite the publicized past and current statements of government that they are ‘on top of the situation’ with recurrent reshufflement of the security apparatus of the country.”
He called on the “governments at all levels to truly be ‘on top of the situation’ with respect to effective address of the state of insecurity in the country”
The association attributed the problem of insecurity in Nigeria to the rising unemployment rate in the country.
“We strongly call on governments at all levels to provide, as an interim/stop-gap measure, meaningful unemployment and social security monthly allowance for unemployed Nigerians and elderly Nigerians,” Mr Enabulele said.
The NMA president, who condemned the unfortunate murder of Cynthia Osokogu said there is a need for drugs to be sold only to persons upon the production of a medical/dental practitioners prescription.
He said the association “observed with dismay the events surrounding the tragic and unfortunate murder of a vivacious and up-coming young Nigerian lady, Miss Cynthia Udoka Osokogu, and efforts made to apprehend her killers.”
Mr Enabulele said the events surrounding murder of Miss Osokogu, “underscores the need for drugs to be sold to the citizens of Nigeria only upon the production of a medical/dental practitioner’s prescription.
“The NEC therefore calls on the Federal Government to strictly enforce Prescription Rights in Nigeria, and to duly sanction violators of Prescription Rights. We also call for speedy dispensation of justice in the murder case.”
We reject N5000 note
The doctors condemned the planned introduction of the N5000 note and the conversion of N20, N10 and N5 notes to coins saying it will have a negative implication for the nation’s economy.
Mr Enabulele advised the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido to “review his planned introduction of the single N5000 note, and N20 and N50 coins, on account of the likely negative implications for the economy.
“The Association notes that despite several similar changes made in the past no significant improvement in the economy was witnessed. Increased inflation rate have more often than not been the lot of similar policies in the past.
“We therefore advise that rather than waste the country’s resources in such an unprofitable venture, such should be channelled into viable poverty reduction schemes to alleviate the sufferings of toiling Nigerians.”
The State Security Service has arrested seven individuals suspected to have a hand in the kidnapping of United Arab Emirates national, Mohammed Khamis Ali, who was released from captivity on March 19 after being held for 60 days.
The SSS said on Thursday that the seven-man gang had lured the Emirati business man into Nigeria on 20 January, under the hoax of a business deal in the nation’s commercial hub of Lagos. He had been seized and held prisoner in a remote locale near Osun state.
“(Al Ali) was lured to visit Nigeria for a phantom business transaction by a fake company, Finuche Investments, was abducted by a kidnap syndicate and held hostage for about 60 days,” SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar told reporters.
Kidnapping has become a major enterprise in Africa’s most populous nation, with the vast majority of the victims being Nigerian, but in recent months, a number of foreigners have been abducted, including the British and Italian nationals that were abducted and killed shortly before a failed rescue operation by British and Nigerian forces.
Ogar reporters that while the seven gang members, who had been tasked to guard al Ali during his captivity, are now in their custody, the masterminds of the attack still remain at large.
She addressed reporters, with the suspects behind her as she spoke. The suspects claimed that they had released the Emirati after it had become apparent that their bosses were no longer contacting them with further instructions on what to do with their victim.
Neither Ogar nor the suspects mentioned payment of a ransom.
The SSS spokesman said the seven suspected kidnappers will be charged to court while investigations continue in order to fish out the kidnapping mastermind.
In order to revive the already existing trade relations between the Rivers state government and the United States of America, the Rivers state governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on Monday called for the review of the US travel advisory to the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Mr Amaechi was speaking when the deputy commander of civil-military activities of the United States, Africa command (AFRICOM), Sir Anthony Holmes led a delegation on a courtesy visit to him at government house, Port Harcourt.
The governor said the review of the United States’ travel advisory on the Niger Delta would open up huge opportunities of investment and trade for both the rivers state government and the United States of America, at the sub-national level.
Currently, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have travel advisories on the Niger Delta that do not favour the oil-rich region.
Mr Amaechi said that the Niger Delta region have had tremendous improvement in security to warrant the American and UK government to change their position on their travel advisory.
“The American and British travel advisories are currently unfavourable to the Niger Delta, foreign construction firms from Israel, Lebanon, Italy amongst other countries had completed and currently carrying out capital-intensive infrastructural and power projects in Rivers state, without any molestation or security threat to their lives,” he said.
He further said that an American company was bidding to partner with the state government to build a 1000-bed hospital and that during their several visits to the state; the company’s staff did not face any security threat.
The governor therefore urged the United States’ government to reconsider its stance on the nicer Delta so that their citizens can freely come to the region.
Stating the reason for the visit, Mr Holmes said they were in Rivers state as part of the American government efforts to engage with and assist the military in Africa, and to promote and create security for the benefit of all Nigerians, including people in Rivers state and those of other African nations.
He said the significance that Nigeria has on the continent of Africa in terms bilateral relationship and the key role that Rivers state plays in Nigeria in terms of population, resources, and its strategic location has brought them to learn, listen, and to understand the various challenges they face particularly in the area of maritime security
A forth night ago, the United States ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley was in the state to meet with Mr Amaechi.
The wife of the Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, George Thompson Sekibo who was kidnapped last Thursday in Port Harcourt has been rescued, a family source said on Monday.
Asime sekibo along with two other ladies was abducted under the Obiri Ikwerre Bridge (still under construction) along the East-West road at about 7:00pm, while returning from the University of Port Harcourt, Choba.
A reliable family source told Channels Television news that Mrs Sekibo was rescued from her abductors by security forces somewhere close to Bayelsa along the East-West road at about 5:30pm on Monday.
The family source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said no ransom was paid to the kidnappers, adding that the Senator’s wife has since been reunited with her family.
The spokesman of the Rivers state police command, Ben Ugwuegbulam (DSP), could not confirm the rescue of Mrs Sekibo. He said “I have heard of the development, but I’m still waiting for the details of how it happened”.
The Kidnappers had reportedly contacted Senator Sekibo to demand for an undisclosed amount of ransom money.