The Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, December 26 & 27, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year 2017 celebrations respectively.
The declaration was made on Wednesday on behalf of the government by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).
General Dambazau enjoined all Christians and Nigerians in general to remain committed and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his sustained efforts towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria.
He also urged the citizens to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity and peaceful co-existence across the country.
The minister wishes all Nigerians at home and abroad, a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammadu Maccido.
Twenty-three officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service have been relieved of their jobs for their alleged role in the jailbreaks that occurred recently at Kuje Medium Security Prison in the Federal Capital Territory and Koton-Karfe Prison in Kogi State.
This decision was approved at an emergency meeting of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board in Abuja on August 11.
A statement from the Nigeria Prisons Service indicates that 17 junior staff of the Kuje and Konton-Karfe prisons have also been sacked in connection with the jailbreaks.
In addition, the officer in charge of the Nsukka Prison in Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Okonkwo and 10 other staff of the facility have been suspended, to allow for an investigation of the escape of 15 inmates from the prison last week, though six of them were said to have been re-arrested.
The sack comes on the heels of the three jailbreaks that occurred between June and August in Kuje, Koton-Karfe and Nsukka prison facilities, all in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government will soon commence the reconstruction of security formations in the northeast destroyed by Boko Haram militants, a government official has said.
The plan is part of the reconstruction process of the northeast region that has seen over six years of insurgency that left over two million persons displaced.
After a tour of the region to get the extent of the damage by the insurgents, the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), told reporters that the reconstruction would create a conducive atmosphere for the officers and men of the services.
Lieutenant General Dambazau had, during his one day visit to the state, inspected the destroyed Damaturu Satellite Prison where 41 inmates were freed by the insurgents in 2013 as well as self-established camp at Kukareta which is currently housing displaced persons from Yobe and neighbouring Borno state.
The visit, according to the Minister, “is in response to request by the Minister of Defence to deploy paramilitary security force so as to establish civil authority in the areas liberated by security forces in the ongoing war against insurgency.
The Minister said that after his team’s report had been looked into, a better decision would be taken on the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) under a well thought out security arrangement that would give the civil population the needed protection.
He lauded the state government’s massive support to the IDPs and security operatives in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and hoped it would continue up to the full restoration of peace in the area.
The Minister was accompanied by the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase, the Controller General of Prisons and immigration as well as the Commander General of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps among other top officials of the ministry of interior.