Three Confirmed Dead As Lassa Fever Outbreak Hits Kogi Community

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

The Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State has been hit by Lassa fever with three patients reportedly dead.

Also no fewer than 20 patients are currently being treated at the Iruah Teaching Hospital in neighbouring Edo State.

The situation has reportedly caused panic in the local government area where there is no functional hospital to take care of the disease resulting in their transfer to Iruah.

READ ALSO: Fire Guts Section Of CBN Office In Makurdi

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Abu Okikiri, said, “As of today, the cases of Lassa fever recorded for Ibaji LGA currently in care at Iruah Specialist Teaching Hospital are just three. However, it is an outbreak.”

A source from the local government area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the number of people affected who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital was more than the figure the governor’s adviser disclosed.

A former Chairman, Ibaji Local Government Council, David Ogwu, and one-time member, Kogi State House of Assembly, said, “It is real that there is an incidence of Lassa fever in Aya and neighbouring communities in Ibaji Local Government of Kogi State.

“The first incident is that about four persons fell ill and died mysteriously without anybody diagnosing the disease or cause of death. After that, others who manifested similar symptoms were taken to Iruah Specialist Hospital, in Edo State.

He said about nine persons had been diagnosed with the disease in Iruah.

Police Deny Reported Kidnap Of 15 Passengers On Anyigba-Itobe Highway

A police officer wields a gun at a polling unit on November 6, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A police officer wields a gun at a polling unit on November 6, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

The Kogi State Police Command has debunked the news that 15 passengers were kidnapped on Anyigba-Itobe Highway Estate.

The police in a statement titled ‘Over 15 Passengers Missing As Kidnappers Stormed Anyigba-Itobe High Way’ said the news is totally false, malicious, and highly mischievous.

According to the statement, one Toyota bus conveying 16 passengers from Abuja heading to Benue State ran into kidnappers at Ojuwo-Ajebgo village along Anyigba road but the Commissioner of Police Edward Egbuka got the information and immediately moved to the scene and the passengers were rescued.

“On Wednesday 6/4/2022, the Command received a report that one Toyota bus with Registration Number Benue 192 XA driven by one Benard Ejeh conveying 16 passengers from Abuja heading to Benue State via ANKPA ran into kidnappers at Ojuwo-Ajebgo village of Ofu Local Government Area along Anyigba road.

“Immediately the operatives of Quick Response Unit stationed at Itobe promptly swung into action pursued the hoodlums into the bush and rescued 12 passengers including the driver while 4 other passengers are yet to be seen.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Egbuka who was on a visiting tour at Kogi East Senatorial Zone got the information while he was on his way to Ejule, immediately moved to the scene met with the rescued passengers, and ordered that they should be moved to Itobe Division for debriefing,” the statement signed by the police spokesperson in the state, William Aya read in part.

The statement added that the Commissioner of Police immediately deployed a tactical team to the area to continue trailing the hoodlums with a view to rescuing other victims.

The police, therefore, urged members of the public and social media handlers to always verify facts of incidents from the Police before publishing stories to guard against misinforming the general public.

APC Convention: All Concerns Have Been Addressed – Yahaya Bello

File photo of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said that all concerns regarding the outcome of the just concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) convention have been addressed appropriately.

Governor Bello stated this on Monday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Bello asserted that all rifts and displeasures within the ruling party have been ironed-out, adding that the APC remains united under the guidance of President Muhammadu Buhari. According to him, the outcome of the convention so far has put paid to all agitations before the meeting.

READ ALSO: [2023] APC Needs A Competent Candidate No Matter Where He Comes From – Gov Bello

“If the agitations were not laid to rest or the concerns were not laid to rest, or even addressed, you would have seen a rancorous convention,” Bello said.

“There are several concerns, agitations, and expectations and that should be expected from a large party like ours; of course today we have over 41 million members with their PVC as members of our great party and this is a party to beat.

“So, such concerns will always be expected but you can see the ways and manner in which we conducted ourselves at the convention, very joyously; elaborately we conducted the convention and everybody, those who needed to step down in the interest of the party in respect for our leader – President Muhammadu Buhari – stepped down and by the special grace of God, we had a very successful convention.”

The governor further assured that the APC is stronger than ever before, especially because of the kind of leadership that was selected over the weekend.

He described the new APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, as a father, one with requisite experience and knowledge to efficiently manage the affairs of the ruling party even as another election year draws near.

EFCC Returns ‘Hidden’ N19.3bn Kogi Salary Bail-Out Funds To CBN

A file photo of EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has returned the sum of N19,333,333,333 which was recovered from the Kogi Salary Bailout Account ‘hidden’ in Sterling Bank.

EFCC’s Head of Media, Wilson Uwujaren disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the receipt of the funds.

He said the development “effectively puts to rest the campaign of misinformation and unconscionable denials by the Kogi State Government that no fund was recovered from its bail out account”.

READ ALSO: Kogi Govt Accuses EFCC Of ‘Incompetence’

The apex bank in a letter referenced, DFD/DIR/CON/EXT/01/099 and dated 9th November, 2021 informed the Executive Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa that it has received the money.

The letter reads in part: “We refer to your letter dated November 5, 2021 with Ref. No: CR:3000/EFCC/LS/CMU/REC-STE/VOL.4/047 on the above subject and wish to confirm the details of the receipt of the amount as stated below: Bank: Sterling Bank Plc; Amount: N19, 333, 333,333.36; Date of receipt: 04 November, 2021.”

Uwujaren explained that the return of the money to the apex bank is in compliance with the October 15, 2021 Order of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos directing the unfreezing of the Kogi State Salary Bail-out account to enable Sterling Bank to remit the balance in the account to the Central Ban of Nigeria.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke gave the Order pursuant to an application filed by the EFCC.

The Commission had told the court that the management of Sterling Bank Plc, where the account was domiciled had acknowledged the existence of the said account with the staggering sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 in its books.

The Commission further brought to the attention of the court that “The sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 is still standing in the credit of the account frozen”, adding that “the management of Sterling Bank PIc, has, pursuant to a letter dated 15 September, 2021, signed by its Managing Director, indicated intention to return the total sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 back to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

The EFCC prayed The court that it “is expedient for the instant suit to be discontinued and the account unfrozen to enable the management of Sterling Bank Plc effect the transfer/ return of the sum of the sum of N19, 333, 333, 333.36 back to the coffer of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where the said bailout funds was disbursed.”

EFCC’s spokesman declared that the transfer has put paid to any further controversy regarding source and ownership of the funds and most importantly, aborted the funds dissipation.

On August 31, 2021, Justice Tijani Garba Ringim, a vacation Judge, had ordered the freezing of the account, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.

The EFCC, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the ex-parte application, had stated that it received a credible and direct intelligence, which led to the tracing of the funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities in account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, Plc with the name Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.

After listening to the EFCC application, Justice Ringim on August 31, 2021, ordered the freezing of the account and directed the publication of the order in a national newspaper by the EFCC.

Gunmen Kill One, Abduct Two Others In Kogi Church Attack

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others

 

Gunmen have attacked an ECWA Church in Okedayo along the Kabba – Okene road in Kogi State.

A source told Channels Television that the gunmen stormed the Church on Sunday morning while the service was ongoing and started shooting sporadically.

According to the source, a member of the church was killed by a stray bullet while two others were abducted by the gunmen.

Those who were whisked away include: Elder Oshadumo Julius, Elder Abiodun T.O. while Mr Reuben Gbenga was killed.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP William Ayah, also confirmed the incident.

Read Also: 114 Out Of 240 Inmates Who Escaped From Kogi Prison Recaptured

Ayah said those who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

He said the command will not relent in its effort to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and the abductees are rescued.

The PPRO also appealed to the general public to furnish the police with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the gunmen.

This comes just days gunmen invaded the Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre, killing two security operatives in the process.

240 inmates also escaped in the process. But 114 were later recaptured.

Four Killed As Gunmen Attack Kogi Community

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

At least four persons have been killed and scores injured late Tuesday after gunmen attacked Bagana community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.

A resident of the village explained that the gunmen invaded a shop located at the heart of the community, killing the sales representative and three customers who came to buy some items.

The attackers had gone on a shooting spree inflicting injury on many.

READ ALSO: [Banditry] Like Zamfara, Kaduna Govt Bans Sale Of Petrol In Jerrycans
Gunmen Kill Senator’s Son In Kaduna
Three Killed As Gunmen Attack Zangon Kataf Again

[Banditry] Zamfara Govt Bans Sale Of Petrol In Jerry Cans

While confirming the incident, the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Idrisu Dabban told Channels Television on Wednesday that the assailants came to attack one person simply identified as Musa.

“The figure known to us is that four people were killed. The 13-year-old salesman and three other customers.

“We were told that they came to attack one Musa who was not available and they went ahead to attack innocent people,” Dabban said.

He explained that no suspects have been arrested and that investigation has been launched into the incident.

Gunmen Kidnap Six Ceramic Workers In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

Gunmen on Wednesday morning kidnapped six staff of West African Ceramic Company in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The incident happened in the early hours of the day within the Emiworo community under the Ajaokuta Council.

Sources say the workers were abducted while loading stones which were expected to be delivered in the ceramic site located at Itobe in the same council area.

The suspected criminals who were fully armed whisked the six victims away to a yet-to-be-disclosed destination.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Couple Over Alleged N935m Ponzi Scheme In Lagos

Kaduna has been a target for kidnappers in recent times.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kogi State Police Command DSP William Aya, said officers are operating in collaboration with other security agencies to see that the victims are rescued.

According to him, the operatives are still combing the bushes in the local government to see if the gunmen might be lingering close by.

Kidnappers Killed While Collecting Ransom In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

It was another bad day for some criminal elements operating in Kogi State as two kidnappers were gunned down in the early hours of Tuesday while collecting ransom from the families of their victims from one of the neighboring states.

Following an actionable intelligence report, professional hunters in the Okehi Local Government Area of the Kogi ambushed the kidnappers who came out in the Abobo area behind the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, to collect the ransom demanded before the release of their victims.

Two of the three kidnappers were killed in the process while one escaped into the bush with gunshot wounds. The captives were also freed in course of the operation.

READ ALSO: Police Discover Remains Of Lady Missing In Ondo, Ask Family To Provide Suspect

Speaking to newsmen, the Divisional Police Officer, Okehi Local Government Area, Mr. Ovanja Yakubu said men of the Nigerian Police in his division have been drafted to join the professional hunters to fetch out the third kidnapper dead or alive.

In his reaction, the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, maintained that the state cannot accommodate any criminal who wants to deprive the people of their peace.

The governor said he was elected and sworn-in to protect the lives and property of the people and will ensure such a covenant is kept for posterity.

He commended the professional hunters and the conventional security agencies in the state for their tireless efforts in rooting out criminal elements from the state.

Kamaru Usman Visits Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

 

Nigerian-American welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, has visited the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

The welterweight champion visited the governor on Thursday shortly after he arrived in Nigeria.

He had first arrived in the nation’s capital, Abuja before proceeding to Kogi State.

The visit comes months after Usman defeated his challenger, Gilbert Burns, extending his seemingly impregnable reign at the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division.

 

We Need A Sincere, Patriotic Nigerian To Fix This Nation – Yahaya Bello

 

Governor Yahaya Bello says Nigeria needs a credible and patriotic leader to fix the myriads of challenges besetting the nation.

Briefing the media after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Governor Bello said the position of president should not be determined by zoning but by sincerity and competence.

The Kogi governor was of the opinion that the security challenges the country faces at the moment are mostly politically engineered.

According to him, fairness, justice, and equity will play a great role in restoring lasting peace in Nigeria.

Bello who said he may contest the 2023 presidential election because Nigerians have been calling him to serve, argued that competence should be the requirement for electing the next president and not his ethnicity or religion.

READ ALSO: We Don’t Have Power To Alter All Parts Of The Constitution – Deputy Senate President

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

“For once let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practiced a seeming rotational presidency since 1999 to date, let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then, and now.

“Why don’t we simply go for the best, after all, we copy this democracy from America and some of the developed world, how many of these countries are practicing rotational presidency? You see, we are where we are today not because we are practicing rotational presidency. If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. And if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I don’t think you should exclude where I come from. That’s number one.

“Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic Nigerian to fix it,” the governor told newsmen.

Bello said when eventually he will answer the call of Nigerians to serve the nation, his first strategy will be to be fair, just, and equitable. He added that he will ensure that all persons are included regardless of tribe and religion.

He was of the opinion that once there is a sense of justice, fairness, and equity in the land, insecurity will automatically drop to the barest minimum.

‘All Nigerians’ Are Asking Me To Run For President, I Will Not Disappoint – Yahaya Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday said he is considering running for President in 2023.

He made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Nigerians, the youth and women, and all Nigerians, including very objective elites are asking me to run for President in 2023,” he said.

“And I believe it is high time that we look into capacity, who can do the job, who is going to unify this country. And I think they are seeing something in me that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country.

 

“My answer will be in the affirmative in a few time from now.

“I want to urge each and every one of us that are urging me to come to be patient. It’s a work in progress. And by the grace of God, I am not going to disappoint you when the time comes for me to give a response to that.”

Defending Buhari

Governor Bello, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress,  spent the bulk of his more than 20-minute interview defending President Muhammadu Buhari’s record, especially on restructuring and insecurity.

He said calls for restructuring Nigeria should not be made in ways that appears to antagonise the President who he said was already reshaping the country through Executive Orders granting autonomy to the judiciary and local governments.

“We got where we are today as a result of maladministration of successive administrations, not just President Muhammadu Buhari,” Governor Bello said.

“I continue to say that he has done greatly. Do we need to do more? Are there other areas to improve upon? Yes, there are several, but it is not a one-man job. It is our collective responsibility.”

Ban on Open Grazing

The Governor said while he does not criticise the decision of 17 southern Governors to ban the open grazing of cattle on Tuesday, there is a need to find solutions that accommodate others.

“I have not banned open grazing in Kogi State because there is no provision for ranching yet,” Governor Bello said.

“Should I send the millions of Fulani that are living their normal lives, that have been living with us peacefully over the years? Should I send them away? Rather, let me devise a way of integrating them by ensuring that the conflict between farmers and herders does not exist.”

He claimed that farmer-herder crisis has been solved in Kogi State “with the cooperation of my traditional rulers, the youths, farmers and even the Fulanis themselves.

“We know that the land is not enough but we can accommodate each other within the limit of what we have. We can’t just send them out.”

2023 Presidency: I Am Focused On Kogi Development, Says Yahaya Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.

 

Governor Yahaya Bello has reacted to calls for him to contest in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election noting that he is focused on delivering his mandate of developing Kogi State.

The governor said his administration’s ability to curb insecurity in Kogi State and massive youth empowerment has been attracting support leading to the calls for him to join the 2023 presidential race, a call he does not want to be distracted with.

READ ALSO: Those Who Doubt FG’s Resolve To Protect Nigerians Are Mischievous – Garba Shehu

Bello said this on Monday through his Chief Press Secretary, Nnogwu Sani Mohammed at the ongoing security and economic summit of the Northcentral Governors Forum in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

“Nigerians across all divide are calling on the Governor to run for the presidency in 2023 but His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello is totally focused and committed to delivering the mandate given to him by the people of Kogi State to run for the second term.

“By January 27, 2021, he will be one year in office, that is for the second term, so he has a lot to do and he has a lot of time to spend with the people of Kogi State to deliver the dividends of democracy to them,” Mohammed said.

He, therefore, called for support to deliver his second term mandate of rebuilding Kogi State.

Bello said the issue of the 2023 presidency should not be put on the front burner and heat the polity and assured that he is focused on his mandate of improved security, economy, and youth employment.