Nigeria Has Become Attractive To Kidnappers, Says Governor Masari

 

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State says Nigeria has become economically attractive to kidnappers and bandits within the Sahel region of the continent. 

The governor who on Wednesday was on Channels Television’s Politics Today strongly opposed the idea of granting blanket amnesty to the bandits, stating that the idea is enabling the miscreants to continue with their crimes.

Masari argued that the security situation in the country has improved since the All Progressives Congress took the reigns.

“When we started in 2015 in the North-West, it was cattle-rustling. Gradually, it now developed into banditry, rape, kidnappings. When all that they (bandits) can steal from the villagers along the fringes finished, they moved to the rustling of goats, sheep, and even chicken.

“What we should do and what the government should do now is (about) high-profile kidnapping. In my state, they kidnapped four relatives of very senior government officials. When they cannot get anything to sustain themselves, they resort to high-profile kidnappings for money in cities and towns. That is the danger, that is something we must work hard to stop,” the governor opined.

READ ALSO: $1.5bn Rehabilitation Of Port Harcourt Refinery: I Will Not Jubilate – Wike

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on March 17, 2021.

 

Masari also kicked against the intervention of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi in quelling the banditry activities in the northwest.

He questioned the cleric’s knowledge on security issues.

“Was he there? What did he know about what we did in Kaduna? I challenge Gumi to come and tell us if he knows what we did in Kaduna,” the governor asked in reaction to Gumi’s stance on how the state government should handle banditry.

Speaking further on why he does not support Sheikh Gumi’s intervention, Masari said the cleric did not go about it the right way.

“I expect him to, first of all, preach to them (the bandits), the implication of killing innocent people and also the implication of abducting people and its consequences. That is what I expect a clergyman first and foremost to do,” the governor noted.

VIDEO: How Thugs Attacked RRS Vehicles In Lagos, Causing Policemen To Flee

 

Thugs at the Yaba area of Lagos State on Monday attacked vehicles belonging to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Trending videos that made the rounds earlier on showed the thugs pelting the officers with stones, forcing the RRS operatives to abandon their truck and vans and scamper to safety.

There were claims that the hoodlums went on to attack the police station within the area but those claims were never substantiated.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Nigerian Governors Appeal To Demonstrators To Call Off Protests

The attack on the RRS official came a few hours before hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protest in Edo State and used it as a medium through which they unleashed an attack on a maximum prison, freeing many inmates.

The hoodlums exchanged fire with security operatives at the Maximum prison in Benin City, leaving many wounded.

There are still no reports as regards the actual casualty figures. It is also not clear how many inmates escaped following the attack on the prison.

Following the guffaw at noonday in Edo State, the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, said it is sad that hoodlums have hijacked the protest in Benin.

According to Mr. Shaibu, the incident made it important for the Edo State Government to impose a 24-hour curfew across the state.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr. Shaibu said the curfew will help curtail similar attacks and protect the lives of the protesters and innocent bystanders.

APC Screening: Ignore My Disqualification Rumour, Says Akeredolu

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

 

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has condemned the reports that he has been disqualified by the Governorship Election Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Oyewamide Ojo, the governor insisted that he was very much in the race.

He stressed that claims that he had been screened out by the committee from participating in the APC governorship primary election scheduled for July 20 were untrue.

“It’s a ploy to distract you,” Governor Akeredolu was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added, “They are scavengers and will stop at nothing to sustain their trade of deceit. Ignore them, remain firm; be dedicated and be prayerful.”

The governor’s aide described the reports as another distraction unleashed with the aim of deceiving the unsuspecting public and diverting attention from the “self-imposed pains” on the part of the purported sponsors.

He added that it was obvious that the reports originated from those he said have chosen the perfidious political path, stressing that Governor Akeredolu would not just participate in the primary but would be “re-elected by the grace of God come October 10, 2020.”

Ojo stated that the governor has appealed to all his supporters to ignore the rumour and dedicate the period to God for his continuous grace, favour, and protection.

 

Aspirants Cannot Dictate

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the APC has cautioned aspirants against calls for a specific mode of primary to pick the party’s candidate for the forthcoming election.

The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, swears in Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee during a virtual meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at the Council Chambers of the State House Abuja on June 25, 2020.

 

In a statement on Sunday by its Ondo State Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, the party said no aspirant has the right to determine what mode of primary to be adopted.

It, however, stated that only the APC leadership at the national level has such prerogative, according to the party’s constitution.

The statement said, “We wish to place it on record that it is inconceivable that aspirants would dictate to the party on which mode to adopt.

“The chapter is duty-bound to underscore a salient point; that it is the prerogative of the national secretariat to decide which of the modes, spelt out in the party constitution, should be adopted for each state at any point in time.”

The party, therefore, called on all aspirants to abide by the rules and guidelines from the national secretariat, so long they were not at variance with the content of its constitution.

“For the sake of emphasis, the party’s constitution approves three modes of primaries to select its candidates for an election: direct, indirect and consensus. Any of these could be chosen at random, depending on the discretion of the supervising authority.

“The supervising authority in this regard is the Governor Mai-Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee and saddled with the responsibility to decide the option for Ondo State 2020,” it added.

Court Dismisses Six Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu, Others

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Malabu Oil To FGA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed six count of the eleven count charges preferred against the self-styled leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, as well as three other accused persons.

Justice Binta Nyako dismissed the counts for lack of proof of evidence.

The charges dismissed included charges three, five, seven, nine and 11.

Specifically in count 11, she said claims by the prosecution that the defendants are researching how to make Improvised Explosive Devices cannot hold waters, because there was no proof that they were doing it.

On count five which borders on belonging to an illegal organisation, Justice Nyako ruled that nothing was placed before the court to indicate that it was an illegal organisation.

On count seven which borders on importation of radio transmission equipment, Justice Nyako also said that the prosecution did not furnish the court with any proof to suggest that the importation was illegal.

She, however, retained five other counts bothering on treason, terrorism and possession of arms.

The accused persons are being re-arraigned again in the remaining charges.

This is the fifth time Nnamdi Kanu and his co-defendants are being re-arraigned.

Meanwhile, on the issue of preventing journalists from covering the trial, Justice Nyako said she would report to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court because according to her, she never gave such orders to the security agencies.

Police Arraign Two LAPO Microfinance Bank Staff In Osun

49 Escapee Inmates Re-Arrested In Imo stateThe Osun state police has arraigned two staff of LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited for unlawful detention of a customer identified as Ekemenah Godwin.

The two staff; Obasekore Tunde and Ogbeide Faith, were arraigned on charges for conspiracy and unlawful detention.

The prosecutor, Mr Mereti Wilson, told the court that Obasekore Tunde, Ogbeide Faith and others now at large, committed the offence on July 19, 2016, around 2:00 pm at the LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited, Igbona in Osogbo.

He said “Obasekore Tunde and Ogbeide Faith did conspire together to commit offence of unlawful detention or deprivation of personal liberty

“They unlawfully deprived one Ekemenah Godwin Christopher of his personal liberty by detaining him for a period of three hours in a store at LAPO Microfinance Bank LTD, Igbona Osogbo against his will.

Wilson said the offence contravenes section 365 and 517 of the criminal code cap 34 vol. II laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

The duo however pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.

Meanwhile, the counsel to the two accused persons, Mrs Bose Poopola, prayed the court to grant bail to her clients on the most liberal terms.

She pleaded that they were ready to provide a reliable surety and won’t jump the bail if granted.

The Magistrate, Mr Olushola Aluko, then admitted the two accused persons on bail in the sum of 50, 000 Naira with two sureties who are expected to be civil servants, not less than level 8.

Subsequently, the case was adjourned till March 20, 2017.

Vehicle Explodes After Driving Into Australian Christian Lobby

car-crash1A vehicle, filled with gas bottles exploded in Australia, after the driver, rammed into the country’s Christian Lobby (ACL), headquarters in Canberra.

Police say, the man appeared to have ignited the gas cylinders within the vehicle, however according to them, the incident was not “politically, religiously or ideologically” motivated.

The 35-year-old driver suffered serious burns after the explosion destroyed the vehicle and damaged the empty office.

The incident took place on Wednesday night after which the man walked to Canberra hospital for treatment.

The police confirmed that he remains in a critical condition.

“We do not believe there is any threat to the community as a result of this particular incident,” Commander Mark Walters said.

House Of Reps To Amend 1999 Constitution

House Of Reps To Amend 1999 Constitution The House Of Representatives Special Ad-hoc Committee, says it has introduced new initiatives in the review process of the 1999 constitution.

This according to them, would be presented as individual bills to ensure flexibility.

The Deputy Speaker who also doubles as the Chairman of the Review Committee, Lasun Yusuf, gave the hint at the end of the three-day retreat on the review of the constitution held in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital.

He said this is a departure from old practice when the amended sections were being presented together as a document for the President’s signature.

Some of the topical issues deliberated upon at the retreat included: administrative and financial autonomy for local government, devolution of power, separation of the duties of the attorney general from the office of the Minister of Justice, among others.

Guantanamo Bay: US In Largest Detainee Transfer Under Obama

Guantanamo, obama, prisonUnited States President, Barack Obama is still making efforts to close the Guantanamo bay prison before he leaves office, as the United States says it has sent 15 detainees to the United Arab Emirates.

This is the largest single transfer during President Obama’s administration.

According to the pentagon, the transfer of 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans brings the total number of prisoners down to 61 at the US facility in Cuba.

Most of the inmates there have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade.

Obama revealed his plans to close the prison in February but many Republican lawmakers as well as some fellow Democrats have opposed his decision.

“In its race to close Gitmo, the Obama administration is doubling down on policies that put American lives at risk,” Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

“Once again, hardened terrorists are being released to foreign countries where they will be a threat,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Amnesty International’s U.S. Director for Security and Human Rights, Naureen Shah, said keeping Guantanamo open gave cover to foreign governments to ignore human rights.

“I think we are at an extremely dangerous point where there is a significant possibility this is going to remain open as a permanent offshore prison to hold people, practically until they die,” Shah told Reuters.

“It weakens the U.S. government’s hand in arguing against torture and indefinite detention”.

Former US President, George Bush opened it to accommodate foreign terror suspects after the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the US.

Niger State Government To Pay Students’ NECO/WAEC Fees

NigerThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has announced the continued payment of Senior Secondary School Certificate examination fees for students in public schools in the state.

This is in fulfilment of the social contract of salvaging and restoring the education sector in the state.

Governor Abubakar Bello directed principals of public secondary schools to maintain government’s policy on payment of examination fee for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE).

The directive was contained in a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Jibrin Baba Ndace in Minna.

According to the statement, parents of Basic 12 (SS3) students are to pay for either West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or National Examination Councils (NECO), while the state government will be responsible for the other.

With this directive, school principals are permitted to collect the fee for only one of the two examinations.

The Governor directed that school principals should adhere strictly to the policy, warning that any principal that flouts the directive would be dealt with.

The statement concluded by saying that parents are to report any principal that may want to force them to pay for the two examinations.

Kogi Governor, Wada Briefs Journalist On Administration’s Achievements

Kogi StateThe Kogi State Governor, Mr Idris Wada, says his administration has made substantial progress in infrastructural development, agriculture, education, health, road construction and human capacity development amongst others.

Wada stated this in lokoja on Thursday in an interactive session with journalists in the state as part of activities to mark the 23rd anniversary of the creation of the Kogi State.

Journalists in the state, commissioner for information, and the Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to the Governor, Jacob Edi, all gathered in the governor’s residence for the briefing. It is the state’s 23rd anniversary and the journalists said there was a need for them to be briefed on some of the government achievements in the last two and half years.

Wada, who described the journey so far in the 23-year history of kogi State as very eventful, said that the state had been kept relatively secured and safe for citizens to go about their business. The governor stressed that his administration had been able to eliminate thuggery and youth restiveness and had focused on youth development

He further stated that his administration had brought agriculture to its prominence in all parts of the state.

“People now embrace agriculture with renewed interest, vigour and determination to make agriculture a business. Kogi State now partners with the Federal government who has supported the ideas of this administration,” he said.

While lamenting on the damaged caused by the 2012 flood that ravaged the state, Wada assured the people that the state was now better equipped and prepared for such disaster, with all machinery on standby. He emphasised that the recent launch of Lokoja Metro Bus Service was aimed at subsidising the transport needs of the people.

He said that in the area of health, his administration had provided free medical programme which was embraced by the people. “All the general hospitals in the state are undergoing renovation and we have upgraded the diagnostic hospital to a teaching hospital in Anyingba as means of to providing for the manpower need of the people in the state.”

While soliciting the continuous support of the people for his administration to succeed, the governor thanked the people for their support so far, assuring them that with the developmental programmes of his administration, he would leave the state better than he met it.

WHO Says 490 Million Dollars Needed To Contain Ebola

Ebola
WHO Assistant Director General, Aylward, speaks during a press briefing on combating Ebola, at the UN headquarters in Geneva

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could infect over 20,000 people and spread to more countries, the U.N. health agency said, warning that an international effort costing almost half a billion dollars is needed to overcome the outbreak.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced a $490 million strategic plan to contain the epidemic over the next nine months, saying it was based on a projection that the virus could spread to 10 further countries beyond the four now affected – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

With the IMF warning of economic damage from the outbreak, Nigeria reported that a doctor indirectly linked to the Liberian-American, late Patrick Sawyer who brought the disease to the country had died of Ebola in Port Harcourt, Africa’s largest energy hub.

In Britain, drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline, said an experimental Ebola vaccine is being fast-tracked into human studies and it plans to produce up to 10,000 doses for emergency deployment if the results are good.

So far 3,069 cases have been reported in the outbreak but the WHO said the actual number could already be two to four times higher. “This is not a West African issue or an African issue. This is a global health security issue,” WHO’s Assistant Director-General, Dr Bruce Aylward, told reporters in Geneva.

With a fatality rate of 52 percent, the death toll stood at 1,552 as of August 26. That is nearly as high as the total from all recorded outbreaks since Ebola was discovered in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.

The figures do not include 13 deaths from a separate Ebola outbreak announced at the weekend in Congo, which has been identified as a different strain of the virus.

Aylward said that tackling the epidemic would need thousands of local staff and 750 international experts. “It is a big operation. We are talking (about) well over 12,000 people operating over multiple geographies and high-risk circumstances. It is an expensive operation,” he said.

The operation marks a major raising of the response by the WHO, which had been accused by some aid agencies of reacting too slowly to the outbreak.

Medical charity, Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), welcomed the WHO plan but said that the important thing was now to act upon it.

“Huge questions remain about who will implement the elements in the plan,” said MSF Operations Director, Brice de le Vingne. “None of the organizations in the most-affected countries … currently have the right set-up to respond on the scale necessary to make a serious impact.”

 

Fashola Tells Politicians To Imbibe Strong Values And Ideology

Babatunde_Fashola&Timipre_SylvaThe Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has urged Nigerian political leaders to imbibe strong values and ideology as a driving force in the political arena, describing the ruling party as not being truthful in power.

Fashola, in a lecture delivered at the 50th Birthday celebration of a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, titled “The Challenge Of Democratic Governance”, held in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital, expressed disappointment over a statement being made by some leaders that part of their achievements, is the freedom for people to express themselves.

“If the only options left for me to choose; freedom and development, I for one will rather surrender development than freedom. So I worry as you all worry when I hear some people today say is part of their achievement that they allowed us to express ourselves, I think that is utter rubbish,” he pointed out.

However, he stressed that if democracy could be achieved, then the vehicle of politics and political parties would develop as a  first class institution, emphasising that the first thing to seek is the idea behind governance often contained in the program of political party.

“The question of ideology is important because it lies at the heart of the choice making of people, who participate in election to choose their representative,” he said.

Ideological Difference

Fashola maintained that the party in governance had lied on the stability of electricity and identified the ideological differences of the political parties’ structure. “The party in government has lied about when there will be stable electricity for 16 years,” explaining that the  All Progressives Congress , the party he belongs to, has led the way to show what is possible with its “power initiative”  in Lagos  State and various parts of the state by delivering power plants that would be installed later in the year.

According to Fashola, the government in power cancelled the concession of moribund refineries, condemning the ruling party’s insistence on importation of fuel with the “attendance destruction and monumental corruption”.

Fashola criticised the ruling party over their negligence on major issues surrounding the country’s development and emphasised that the party indulged in corruption .

“If on  major policy issues such as power, security, agriculture , corruption and unemployment, the main opposition had disagreed with the party in government and has criticised his choices, I wonder what else the party needs to do to prove that their is a difference”,

“If you look at the level of progress and development in the states governed by the old and new opposition parties and governors, there is a clear daylight in terms of development,” he said.

Governor Fashola condemned a system where political office holders give out  items to the electorates to lure them to vote for them, accusing the ruling party of under performance.

In a paraphrased statement of what political office holders do, he said: “We care about you, but you do not need development, so we will not do any developmental work in three years and  in the fourth year the government say that they will give money, kerosene and will give you rice. Please vote for us and use the money we give you to provide your own road, schools, hospital and security, until we see you again in four years time”.

He emphasised that campaign manifesto should be designed to address contemporary issues, dismissing the ruling party’s claims that opposition parties were doing all they could to bring down the government, as a tissue of lies.

“At first they (ruling party) said were those undermining security were in the government, now they have changed to say it is the opposition. They will accuse you of trying to bring down the government, truly this is a tissue of nothing but lies. They have lied about security,” he stressed.

Fashola  also noted that people had misunderstood the ideology of endorsement for ‘godfatherism’, drawing the difference between Godfatherism and  endorsement. He said: “Endorsement process is the emergence of candidate.”