Confirming the development in a statement, the Kaduna state Commissioner for internal security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said initial debriefing of the rescued victims revealed that they were kidnapped around the Gurara Dam area.
The nine rescued persons according to the commissioner, will undergo further debriefing and examination before being reunited with their families.
He also disclosed that the troops recovered 90 rustled cattle left behind by the fleeing bandits, stating that the recovered animals will be handed over to the Kaduna State Livestock Regulatory Authority for proper identification.
Further clearance patrols to Bawa Rikasa hill led to the recovery of four motorcycles belonging to the bandits.
US authorities announced a ban Friday on the import or sale of communications equipment deemed “an unacceptable risk to national security” — including gear from Chinese giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE.
Both firms have been on a roster of companies listed as a threat by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the new rules bar future authorizations of their equipment.
The move is the latest in a series of actions to limit the access of Chinese telecom firms to US networks, and comes during a long-running standoff between the world’s two biggest economies.
US officials have shown growing wariness in recent years of Chinese telecommunications companies and technology.
“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders,” said chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement.
She added that the new rules are a part of ongoing work to guard against security threats.
A Huawei spokesperson offered no comment on the ban when contacted by AFP.
The order also affects other companies, including video surveillance equipment firms Hangzhou Hikvision and Dahua Technology.
The FCC said Friday that it was also seeking comment on future action relating to existing authorizations.
Previously, Washington had banned Huawei from supplying US government systems and strongly discouraged the use of its equipment in the private sector, with fears that Huawei equipment could be compromised by Chinese intelligence.
In 2019, it put Huawei on a trade blacklist that barred US suppliers from doing business with it, cutting off the Chinese firm — also a top smartphone brand — from Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The United States has cited national security fears as well to restrict the operations of China’s big three state-owned mobile carriers.
Speaking on Wednesday during the Emblem Appeal Launch for the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the Council Chambers, the President reassured Nigerians of his determination to make Africa’s most populous nation safer for everyone.
President also announced a N10 million donation towards the appeal fund, urging Nigerians and corporate organisations to support the country’s veterans and the families of the fallen heroes, whose past sacrifices have kept the country together.
Buhari further commended the nation’s armed forces for their efforts toward making the country a safer place for all citizens and visitors.
In attendance at the luncheon are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan; ministers, security chiefs, senior government officials, and dignitaries from various sectors were among those in attendance.
This will be their first meeting for the year after they gathered in January 2022. They had also met on June 11, 2021, when they had joint security deliberations with the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbeshola, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabour, and other service chiefs.
A communique will be issued at the end of the closed-door meeting. But sources expect the governors to also discuss the issue of the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu who is still being held in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on various treason and terrorism-related charges.
Two weeks ago, the Appeal Court in Abuja dropped all charges against separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu after ruling that he had been illegally arrested abroad.
Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie who led the appellate court’s panel had on 13 October held that the Federal Government broke local and international laws by forcibly re-arresting and returning Kanu to Nigeria.
However, in a ruling on Friday, Haruna Tsanami leading a panel of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja, ordered that the enforcement of the judgment releasing Kanu be put on hold.
The Federal Government had applied that the execution of the judgment is suspended pending the resolution of its appeal filed at the Supreme Court.
He charged governors to be far more proactive than they have been in tackling threats to the peace and safety of lives and property.
“From my own experience, the primary responsibility when taking the oath of office is about the protection of lives and properties,” he said.
“For those that have the problems starting in their place, it is their own responsibility. The President will not approve any Certificate of Occupancy for you to build a house in any state of the federation, it is the governors that do.
“If the governor approves the C of O of your house, you don’t expect Buhari to build a fence for your hose or provide security for you.
“If a government will dedicate the entire resources and budget on security to ensure that everybody sleeps in his house and you don’t have money to build roads, go to the President and say ‘I have secured my state, everybody sleeps with his eyes closed and business is going on. I don’t have any money, will you please support me with N20, N30 billion so that I can build roads? The President will do that.”
According to him, governors have made a covenant with the people of their states to secure them and their properties.
He, therefore, asked the state governors to be alive to their responsibilities and the Chief Security Officers, rather than always blame President Buhari for the attacks in their domains.
Do watch Newsnight on Monday, October 31 at 9 pm here on Channels Television
Former Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has said there is still hope for Nigerians despite the security challenges facing the country.
He stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight, a pre-recorded show that airs on Mondays. Imoke, a former Minister of Power and Steel Development, noted that though the security situation has worsened than it was in 2019, he is optimistic that next year’s general elections will still hold.
Recalling the security threats in the last eight years, he stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was still able to conduct the 2015 and 2019 elections respectively. This, he stated, is a result of close collaboration between the electoral body and security agencies in the country.
“The security situation in the country now is worse than it was in 2015, that is a fact. In fact of that, I believe that there is still hope for a better future,” he said.
“That is the basis of strengthening not just the electoral commission, but also that is the basis of the security agencies working hard to build confidence among the electorates that they can secure the nation for the purposes of the elections.
“Working collaboratively, we should be able to conduct elections across the country in spite of the current security situation.”
The former governor commend security agencies for making concerted efforts in tackling some of the security threats.
He also hailed the electoral body for carrying internally displaced persons along by ensuring that voting is held in the IDP camps in line with the current Electoral Act.
INEC has fixed February 25 for the commencement of the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections. The electoral body also released the schedule of activities for the election, paving the way for political parties to commence their campaign as of September 28.
Watch the full interview on Monday by 9:00 pm on Channels Television.
Senchi also spoke about the security situation along the Abuja-Kaduna Road, saying the route has been relatively peaceful with travellers moving without fear of being kidnapped.
This, he attributed to measures put in place to stem the tide of banditry along the road for a while.
He added, “Yes, we have some security challenges here and there but you will also agree with me that today, there is a tremendous improvement in the security situation in this country.
“We are all witnesses; we have seen how many Boko Haram/ISWAP followers have been surrendering to the military.
“We also know that many of these bandits have been eliminated. That is why we are able to move about today. For long, we have not heard of any security issues along Kaduna-Abuja Road. It has been peaceful and is because of the measures we have always put in place.”
He also spoke on the readiness of the Police Force with respect to the 2023 general elections, vowing neutrality for security operatives.
According to him, the Force would do everything possible to ensure that the polls are free, fair, and credible.
Nigeria will be a safer and more secure country before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office on May 29, 2023.
This is according to the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who spoke on Sunday at the 20th convocation lecture of the graduating cadets of regular course 69 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
Gambari reiterated his principal’s commitment to tackling the menace of banditry, terrorism, and other violent crimes ravaging different parts of the country. According to him, the President is consistently supporting the nation’s armed forces with the necessary and most sophisticated equipment to enable them to perform their constitutional duties effectively.
“It is on record that he has provided the military with sophisticated equipment with which to perform their duty,” he said.
“By the end of his tenure around May next year, Nigeria will (be) a safer, more secured country than when he assumed office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic.”
While saluting the military for displaying professionalism in defending the nation’s territorial integrity, Gambari said the Federal Government has taken the welfare of personnel a priority.
He equally said the Commander-in-Chief is more concerned about the security of Nigerians, adding that the deployment of ICT has helped the military in confronting some security challenges.
National security, the President’s aide, said is a collective responsibility and as such, Nigerians should not just leave the matter to security agencies.
Gambari’s remarks come a day after President Buhari said his administration has taken steps to address the security challenges across the country.
In his last Independence Day Anniversary address on Saturday, Buhari said he has made “appreciable progress” in core areas of economy and security since he assumed office in May 2015.
He also identified with the pains of millions of Nigerians, assuring them that their resilience and patience would not be in vain.
“As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at the inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.
“I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges,” the President said.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has scored the Federal Government high in tackling insecurity, saying the challenges met in 2015 have been largely solved.
Bello stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight, a pre-recorded show which airs every Monday, adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has not failed to deliver on its electoral promises to Nigerians.
He also commended the APC-led government for improving the equipment of security agencies as well as taking care of the welfare of personnel.
“On security, the challenges of then have largely been solved. We are facing emerging challenges not only in Nigeria but across the world, ” he said.
“If you compare it with the situation before the 2015 general elections, the difference is very clear. There are several other things that are done to prevent this insecurity that can never be brought to the media to discuss.
“This is the first time we have a President that could buy hardware that was never in existence (before). Some were obsolete and some were just not in existence before today.”
While admitting that a lot more needs to be achieved in tackling what he described as the emerging security threats in the country, Bello expressed confidence that the armed forces are capable of dealing with the situation.
The Kogi governor commended President Buhari’s government for making things better than it was in 2015.
On the economy, Bello said the current administration has done well, regardless of some challenges, especially with regard to inflation.
He explained that the corruption war is being fought to expose individuals that have stolen from the nation’s resources.
Bello added, “Which country of this world is having it rosy? There is still a lot more that needs to be done, I know that very well.
“It is this administration that will rather expose the few corrupt elements in our midst. In the past, you dare not talk about it.”
Watch the full interview on Newsnight on Monday at 9 pm
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has accused the Federal Government of granting a security outfit in Katsina State right to bear arms whilst same privilege has not been granted to Amotekun Corps.
In a statement on Thursday, Akeredolu referred to a video on social media wherein the security outfit in Katsina was empowered to carry AK-47 to tackle internal security challenges.
He accused the Federal Government of double standards, saying allowing the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and denying the Amotekun of same rights means “we are pursuing one country, two systems.”
Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said that equity and justice are required in the Federal Government’s relationship with all the component units.
He insisted that Ondo State will defend its people, stating that the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the state violated the tenets of federalism.
“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms is fraught with great dangers,” the statement read.
“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism, which we have been clamouring for.
“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question.
“If the Katsina situation confers advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.”
“The Independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics.
“We must go back to that agreement. Denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. It is also deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.
“We want to reiterate that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity has decided to fulfill its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the state, by acquiring arms to protect them. This is more so, given that the bandits have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.
“The state government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.”
He described insinuations soldiers were leaving the military due to poor working conditions as “a concoction of the imagination of the unrepentant enemies of the nation and mischief makers and should be outrightly discountenanced by the public.”
“The subjective and unethical report is a distraction and another failed attempt at dampening the morale and fighting will of the loyal, dedicated and patriotic fighting force of the NA,” the statement added.
“Perhaps these impenitent mischief makers need to be schooled to understand that the NA is not a conscript Army and that recruitment into the NA is voluntary with extant policy on discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers respectively, like other organizations. This provides its personnel the opportunity to apply for voluntary discharge, when they deem fit and meet the terms and conditions as stipulated in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/ratings/airmen (Revised) 2017.
“It is thus, the inalienable right of a personnel to voluntarily or on medical grounds apply for discharge, if they meet the terms. It is therefore not an aberration that the COAS granted approval for 91 NA/32/4792 WO NDAGANA ISHIAKU and 242 others to voluntarily discharge from the NA, as being unprofessionally manipulated by some media.”
The army said such reports were targeted “at deflating the high morale of troops by downplaying recent critical interventions by the COAS Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya on troops’ welfare, which include car loans, housing loans, extensive construction of new accomodation, massive renovation of old and dilapidated accomodation, building of befitting residences and issuing of vehicles to Regimental Sergeant Majors, scholarship awards to children and wards of fallen heroes and other unique interventions in the theatres of operation to sustain the heightening morale of troops.
“These interventions evidently account for troops’ game changing onslaught in the North East.
“It must also be mentioned, that the quantum of equipment that have been injected into the theatres and prompt payment of operational allowances, have all turned the tide against the insurgents. Also worthy of note is the welfare flight for troops, which has significantly reduced the burden of troops travelling in and out of the theatres, in addition to huge commitment on the medical needs of wounded-in-action soldiers and the barracks communities. Equally important, is the fact that troops are now being regularly and consciously rotated from the frontline, hence, issues of overstay and battle fatigue are gradually being overcome. Suffice to say, that some of these recently discharged soldiers are beneficiaries of these giant strides.
“The COAS, once again congratulates the discharging personnel for their gallantry, patriotism, loyalty and courage while in service and wishes them the very best as they successfully exit active service from the NA. He also reiterates his avowed determination to continue to have direct impact on the welfare and wellbeing of both serving and retired personnel. He is also assuring the retirees that soon, their various commanders would organise a farewell luncheon in their honour, as it is the practice in the NA since Gen Yahaya took over command.”