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Criminals Now Demand Ransom In Drugs – Marwa

'We’ll Smoke You Out Big Time, Marwa Tells Drug Barons

The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd), on Thursday, disclosed that kidnappers and other criminals now demand ransom in drugs from their victims.

The spokesperson of the agency, Femi Babafemi, noted Marwa expressed concern during the inauguration of a “Special Purpose Committee” of the agency to mobilise against drug abuse, peddling and trafficking.

Marwa charged Nigerians to take ownership of the renewed fight against the menace of drug abuse in the country.

He noted that the role played by Nigerians in the fight against drug abuse will safe the country at large from great danger.

He said, “Use of drugs in Nigeria today is at an epidemic proportion of approximately 15 million, nearly three times global prevalence. No wonder, so much criminality everywhere in our land and it is increasing instead of abating with such symptoms as kidnapping, insurgency, banditry, rape, and assassinations.”

“Behind it, all is drug use. Criminals now ask for ransom in drugs and unless we get to this root cause, we will only be scratching the surface, as the criminalities will continue to flourish.”

“Unfortunately, drug use does not show in the face, but we all know somebody or someone who knows somebody doing drugs and that is why we all need to come together as Nigerians to fight the menace.”

“Today, I am deployed to serve with the patriotic officers and men of the NDLEA, the lead agency for controlling, coordinating and taking charge of the war against drugs throughout Nigeria. The fight cannot be ours to fight alone. It must be a collective fight. We need the collaboration of every segment of Nigeria society.”

“The committee, being inaugurated today, is the first step in involving our society in this fight. With your membership coming entirely from outside the agency, you will serve as our Think Tank. You will be involved in public policy discourse on drugs with us in the NDLEA, you will help us with advice and suggestions and may even participate in the implementation of some of your own suggestions if the situation warrants.”

“Assembled here today are – academic, civil society practitioners in drug rehabilitation, medical professionals, youth, women groups representatives, media, public advocacy groups, religious bodies and more. One passion connects us all: a passion to eliminate drug use from families, streets, communities, public places and in short Nigeria as a whole.”

According to him, it was in realisation of the problems of drug abuse that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, in 2018, with the mandate to bring to him recommendations on how best to tackle and eliminate the drug scourge within the shortest possible time.

“No president before him has shown so much passion in the drug scourge menace. I should take this opportunity to recognise the interventional efforts of our esteemed First Lady, Her Excellency, Dr Aisha Buhari towards the creation of PACEDA and her personal participation in PACEDA and that of Her Excellency, wife of the Vice President who also has demonstrated commitment and zeal”, Marwa stated.

A former Director-General of NDLEA, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, who served as the coordinator of PACEDA assured that the purpose of mobilising the professionals for the campaign against drugs would be achieved.

Present at the event were the representatives of the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari; wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo and that of the Edo State First Lady, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, while the Benue State Governor’s wife, Mrs Eunice Ortom attended personally.

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Boko Haram Abducts Travellers On Damaturu-Maiduguri Road

Boko Haram Insurgents Capture Borno Community, Hoist Flag

Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday abducted travellers along Damaturu-Maiduguri Road.

Military sources that spoke with SaharaReporters on the incident noted that the terrorist group attacked travellers at Garin-Kuturu near Auno in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State at about 1:30 pm.

It was disclosed the insurgents who were dressed in military uniforms placed a roadblock on the highway with five Hilux vans before taking away the passengers.

The gunmen also set ablaze two vehicles, a Volkswagen Golf and a Peugeot car.

Some of the passengers fled into the bush but most of them were abducted. Two vehicles were also set ablaze. Other passenger vehicles belonging to the abducted travellers were also abandoned at the scene while their properties were looted.”

“As soon as we were alerted, we mobilised to the area and engaged them (Boko Haram terrorists) for about an hour. The road was then cleared for other travellers to pass.”

In a related development, the Boko Haram terrorist group has issued a 7-day ultimatum for the government to meet its demands or kill a pastor, Bulus Yakuru whom they abducted in December 2020.

The pastor was said to have been abducted when the insurgents attacked Pemi village, close to Chibok on the eve of Christmas in 2020.

He has since being in their custody despite earlier appeals from him through videos released by the group in December 2020 and again in January 2021 for the government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to come to his rescue.

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OAU Announces New Dates, Centres For Post-UTME

OAU Announces Resumption Date, Cancels 2020/2021 Session

The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Thursday fixed new dates for its post-UTME screening exercise.

The development was disclosed in a statement released by the spokesperson of the institution, Abiodun Olarewaju, titled, ‘OAU fixes new post-UTME dates’.

The statement read in part, “All candidates are hereby informed that new dates, which starts from Saturday, 27th February 2021, will be conducted in two centres: Ile-Ife and Abuja.”

“The Post UTME Screening Exercise, which will be conducted in Ile-Ife centre, between Saturday, 27th February and Wednesday, 3rd March 2021 will be on OAU campus and its Centre for Distance Learning, in Moro, while the Abuja Centre will hold on Saturday, 6th March 2021 at the JAMB CBT Centre, Bwari, Abuja.”

“In view of this, candidates are advised to log in to the https://admissions. oauife.edu.ng to print out their Screening Slips which contain actual dates and venues for each of them, beginning from Sunday, 14th February 2021.”

“The University Management also enjoins all candidates to adhere strictly to their respective schedules and comply fully with all COVID-19 protocols as recommended by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.”

 

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Bandits Attacks Niger Community, Residents Run For Safety

Armed bandits on Thursday attacked Gurmana community, Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State.

According to SaharaReporters, the sporadic shootings were still going on as at the time of filing this report.

It was gathered that the bandits on Thursday laid siege to the community with residents running for safety.

Recall that bandits on Tuesday night launched an attack on Manta village in the same local government area.

It was disclosed that the bandits who were heavily armed with assorted sophisticated weapons came into the village on motorcycles, shooting sporadically.

A source that spoke on the incident said, “Manta village of Manta district in Shiroro Local Government Area was under siege by the armed bandit last night. They shot into the air frequently to instil fear in the victims.”

The source noted that there are many casualties but there is no certainty as to the number of those affected at the moment.

The attack on Gurmana is the fifth reported attack in Niger State in the last one week.

More details later…

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It’s Risky For Kagara Abductees To Stay Long In Captivity – Ejiofor

How Bandits Killed A Student In My Presence - Kagara Student

The former Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, on Thursday, noted that it is not safe for 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, to stay long in the den of bandits.

Ejiofor while speaking with Punch said, “The earlier they (abductees) are released, the better. The longer they stay, the more their lives will be threatened and that will create more problems. The government should do everything possible to ensure that they are released in good time.”

Recall that bandits abducted the students and staff of GSC, Kagara on February 17, 2021, while a student was killed during the attack.

The Federal Government had sent a delegation including the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.); and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); to Minna, the Niger State capital, to work with the state government and security agencies on the release of the abductees.

Meanwhile, seven officers of the Nigerian Air Force scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger to secure the release of the Kagara abductees who died in a plane crash last Sunday.

The former director of DSS while speaking on the development said, “there is hope that they will be released. The other ones have been released. They (bandits) want money, once they get money, they will release them (the abductees)”.

The bandits on Wednesday threatened to starve the students and staff to death if the government fails to pay their ransom on time.

However, Ejiofor described the threat as a way of mounting pressure on the government to accede to their demands.

“It is a way of trying to put the government under pressure to give them money. They will feed them because if they don’t feed them and they die, I don’t think there is any way to collect money.”

“Before I used to say that government should not pay the ransom because it encourages bandits to collect more money. But if your brother or your sister is involved, you will only approve that government should pay but we cannot continue like this, government should prevent this thing from happening so that we don’t continue to pay the ransom. It is threatening our security,” Ejiofor added.

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Liverpool Mourns As Allison Becker Loses Father

Fans, players and officials of English Premier League club, Liverpool FC on Thursday mourn as Brazilian footballer Alisson Becker’s father passed away.

Naija News learnt that the deceased, Jose Becker’ was been found lifeless around midnight in the city of Bage following a swimming incident.

Reports have it that the 57-year-old was reported missing around 5pm on Wednesday, February 24, after diving into the dam on his property near the town of Rincao do Inferno.

However, Becker’s body was discovered on the early hours of Thursday morning (today) after the news of his disappearance had made headlines in the UK.

The Fire Department of Cacapava do Sul  were said to have been summoned to the scene of the incident before news emerged out of the region that Mr Becker’s body had been discovered.

Commiserating with Allison and the entire Becker’s family, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher said: “Terribly sad news #YNWA”, while The Redmen TV added: “Poor Alisson Becker. Thoughts are with him and his family this morning after his father passed away.”

Also, the Anfield Talk said: “Rest In Peace, Our condolences go out to you @Alissonbecker and your family during this tough time.”

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We Don’t Carry AK-47 Like Herdsmen – Benue Farmers Reply Lalong

APC, PDP Trade Words Over Lalong’s Comment On Farmers Carrying AK-47

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria in Benue State have condemned the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, for saying both herders and farmers carry AK-47.

AFAN in a statement released on Wednesday said the governor is wrong for the statement and they do not carry AK-47 like herdsmen.

Recall that Lalong on Tuesday during an interview on Channels TV noted that both herders and farmers now carry AK-47 in self-defence.

The farmers association in reaction to Lalong, said, “We watched with shock, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong on Channels Television where he accused farmers of carrying AK-47 riffles like Fulani herdsmen.”

“All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue State Chapter finds Governor Lalong’s accusation grossly unacceptable, and we hereby reject it in its entirety.”

“We consider the Plateau State Governor’s utterances as an insult to farmers of Benue State in particular and Nigerian farmers in general whose efforts in feeding the nation are being frustrated by atrocities of armed herdsmen.”

The farmers stressed that they are law-abiding citizens and do not take the law into their hands.

“Benue farmers are peaceful and law-abiding. We do not take the law into our hands despite the many unprovoked attacks on our members who are killed in their hundreds and their only source of livelihood destroyed by armed herdsmen.”

The farmers in the statement which was jointly signed by its State Chairman, Aondongu Saaku, and PRO Anthony Onu Ogbole commended the efforts of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom in the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and numerous other measures he is taking to guarantee peace and security in the state.

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President Buhari Promises To Deal With Bandits In Nigeria Without Mercy

CNN

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said bandits must be treated as criminals without adding any ethnic colouration to it.

This is as he made a revelation that he has directed the new security chiefs and other heads of security agencies in Nigeria to go all out in dealing with criminals terrorizing the country regardless of the name by which they are called.

Buhari made the declaration in Kaduna State when he declared open the joint security meeting of Northern State Governors’ Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers Council, and a federal government delegation.

Represented by his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the President promised that criminals will be treated as criminals without any exception.

In his words, “I must appreciate the efforts of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum for their contribution towards national growth and development, especially in this challenging period in our nation’s being where certain fundamental corporate existence need to be frankly deliberated upon and actionable resolutions reached.

“This meeting is coming at a time when the nation is making steady progress in addressing the many challenges impeding developmental and progress. We are providing critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports among others which are critical to economic prosperity of our people as well as opening up economic opportunities for our citizens to pursue legitimate aspirations that grow the economy.

“At the same time, we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation. The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country.

“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling. I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.

“I expect that at this meeting, your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large.

“It is pertinent to note that the increased realization of our security, democracy and development indices are inextricably linked are inextricably linked. Democracy and rule of law promote stability and in turn reinforce the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people.

“Government also notes with satisfaction the deliberate actions of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum of inclusivity in addressing the challenges of governance and national development. This is demonstrated in today’s event, wherein the Forum intends to receive and deliberate on the reports from Committees that were put in place to critically look at certain challenges of the region.

“I urge that these crucial and robust reports should be assiduously studied and implemented without delay. This is because we are not short of policies, but often faced with challenges of implementation. You will be leaving a landmark in ensuring that the record reports are not left to rot on the shelves but used for the good of all,” Buhari advised

As earlier reported by Naija News, the two-day meeting will focus on how to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the northern region of the country has opened in Kaduna State on Thursday.

Participants at the meeting are also expected to discuss the challenges of youth unemployment.

Apart from the 19 Northern state governors, the meeting also has in attendance traditional rulers from the region, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.

Other top government officials and stakeholders at the meeting also include the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and Director General, State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi.

The Governors of Plateau, Adamawa, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Jigawa, and Katsina are present at the meeting holding at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna while those of Niger, Zamfara, Yobe, Benue, Kogi, and Kebbi were represented by the Deputy Governors.

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Multiple Oando Shareholders Challenge SEC As Court Restrains Commission From Carrying Out Actions Against Firm

SEC and OANDO

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was slammed another lawsuit by displeased shareholders of Oando PLC. The shareholders filed for an interim order restraining SEC, its agents or representatives from acting on its May 31, 2019, letter sanctioning the Management of Oando. The order was granted and present in court were lawyers for both SEC (Usman Umar Fari Esq) and the shareholders.

The order restrains the SEC, its agents or anyone acting on behalf of the commission from disturbing or meddling with the affairs, management and activities of Oando PLC. It also restrains the SEC’s purported interim Management from meddling in the administration and activities of the company as well as an order restraining SEC from interfering with the shareholder’s exercise and performance of their statutory powers and duties as shareholders.

This is the second case in a matter of days against the SEC. The first saw a ruling in favour of an Oando shareholder Engr. Patrick Ajidua. He had challenged the regulator in a suit filed at the High Court of the FCT. He had challenged the SECs right to prevent the convening of an Annual General Meeting as a breach of his right to freedom of association.

In a hearing presided by Honorable Justice O. A Musa, all cases filed were granted in favour of Engr. Patrick. In summary, the judge declared that the May 31, 2019 letter of SEC to Oando sanctioning its management, as unconstitutional, null and void and violation of Engr. Patrick’s fundamental right to a fair hearing and his human right to receive information on the affairs of Oando and his interest and shares in Oando and more importantly directed that within 90 days of the ruling Oando must convene an AGM for her shareholders.

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Kagara Abduction: FG Has Abandoned Us, Gov. Bello Tells Orji Kalu

Kagara School Abduction: FG Has Abandoned Us, Bello Tells Orji Kalu

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has revealed that the federal government had abandoned the state government to its fate to rescue students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara.

The governor said this on Thursday while playing host to former Abia State Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who paid him a sympathy visit at the Government House, Minna.

Bello said that the federal government had left the state to shoulder all the financial responsibilities which the current spate of insecurity in the state has caused.

He said that the federal government only sent a delegation to the state and deplored 300 mobile policemen to the state to help rescue the students.

He said: “So where is the support? At the moment, we have not seen any Federal support here since this incident occurred. Yes, we had a delegation that came to commensurate with, but we are left to ourselves.”

The Governor further stated that the state government will rescue the abducted school children with or without the support of the federal government.

“We will use whatever means and resources available to make sure the children return home safely. We don’t have the exact day and when these children will be released but I am very sure very soon,” he added.

In his remarks, Senator Kalu said he was in the state to identify with the government and people of Niger state in this time of trouble.

“We sympathize with you and we share in your grieve at the moment. We know what you are going through and this why am calling on the Federal Government to try to set up a joint security committee in your state to be able to have the representatives of all the forces stationed in the state to complement the existing command in the state,” he said.