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Eid-el-Fitri: CAN felicitates with Muslims, seeks prayers for peace, unity

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111 and all Muslims for the completion of Ramadan.

Mr Joseph Daramola, CAN General Secretary, in a statement in Lagos, also congratulated the Sultan who is Head of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) and President-General, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).

“As we appreciate your coming to the end of this year’s Ramadan prayers, we implore you all not to cease from continuously praying for the peace, unity and stability of our country.

“We wish to encourage Muslims in Nigeria and the world to continue to pray for a speedy end of COVID-19 in the entire world to which the CAN is also fully committed.

“We commend Nigerians for their cooperation with the government so far in the attempts being made to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, in spite of all the inconveniences and hardships.

“Our prayer is that those who are sick of the pandemic will recover very soon and those who lost their loved ones will be comforted by the Almighty God,” he said.

He also prayed that God helps everyone to continue to keep to the rules and regulations which the government had put in place to stop the spread of the pandemic.

“We also pray that Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliations and ethnic identities, will continue to live righteously and harmoniously, even after this annual spiritual exercise.

“Finally, we wish Your Eminence, the Muslim faithful and indeed the Federal Republic Nigeria, Happy Eid-el-Fitri. God bless you,” Daramola prayed.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

Economy

Trading resumes after Eid-el-Fitr celebration with 0.07% growth

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reopened trading on Wednesday after the public holidays to mark the Eid-el- Fitr celebration with a marginal growth of 0.07 per cent.

Speficially, the All-Share Index rose by 16.48 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 25,221.23 compared with 25,204.75 achieved on Friday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation which opened at N13.135 trillion garnered N9 billion or 0.07 per cent to close at N13.144 trillion.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Cement, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Guinness Nigeria and Dangote Sugar Refinery.

Market breadth remained positive with 32 gainers compared with 11 losers.

A breakdown of the price movement chart indicates that Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ table in percentage terms, rising by 10 per cent, to close at N43.45, per share.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with a gain of 9.98 per cent to close at N35.80, while May & Baker Nigeria rose by 9.96 per cent to close at N3.09, per share.

GlaxoSmithkline appreciated by 9.79 per cent to close at N7.85, while Access Bank grew by 9.70 per cent to close at N7.35, per share.

Conversely, Ardova Plc led the laggards’ chart in percentage terms, depreciating by 10 per cent, to close at N14.40, per share.

Regency Alliance followed with a decline of 8.70 per cent to close at 21k, while Afromedia lost 7.14 per cent to close at 26k, per share.

Transcorp dropped 6.49 per cent to close at 72k, while Wapic Insurance shed 6.06 per cent each to close at 31k, per share.

The total volume of shares traded increased by 124.06 per cent with an exchange of 581.61 million shares valued at N5.59 billion in 7,759 deals.

This in contrast with a turnover 259.58 million shares worth N2.88 billion shares transacted in 5,605 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 120.86 million shares valued at N681.87 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 67.27 million shares worth N1.19 billion, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 62.69 million shares valued at N1.54 billion.

United Bank of Africa traded 45.79 million shares worth N328.62 million, while Transcorp transacted 36.54 million shares worth N26.99 million.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Agriculture

Food prices on the increase after Eid el-Fitr — survey

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Days after the celebration of  the Eid-el Fitr, prices of food items is still on the increase in some major markets across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs.

A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday at Garki, Dei-Dei and IBB markets Abuja, Nyanya, Mararaba and Masaka Markets in Nasarawa, revealed that prices of food items had increased.

Many of the traders blamed the hike on the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in lockdown in many states of the federation where the commodities come to Abuja.

They said that the lockdown affected the farmers in transporting their produce to the market and also, most of the produce are seasonal.

Investigation revealed that the prices of different brands of a 20-litre of vegetable oil are sold for from N3, 000 to N32, 000, depending on the brand.

Similarly, a 25-litre of palm oil, which formerly cost N9, 000, is now selling for N10, 500; traders attributed the increase in palm oil price to the onset of the rainy season.

At these markets, the price of tomato had gone up, with a big basket of the commodity which sold for between N8, 000 and N10, 000 a week ago, now sells for N14, 000 as it was sold during Eid el-Fitr.

NAN observed that during the Eid el-Fitr, there were few baskets of tomatoes at the orange markets and the consumers were forced to buy at exorbitant prices by the middlemen.

Similarly, the biggest basket of bell pepper (Tatashe) had increased from N8, 000 to N12, 000, while a basket of long red pepper (chilly) now sells for N7, 000, as against the previous price of N5, 000.

A basket of Habanero/scotch bonnet pepper (atarodo) also went up to N12, 000 from its former price of N8, 500.

A jute bag of onion has increased similarly from N10, 000 to N14, 000 for the fresh ones, while the dried type of the commodity now goes for N18, 000 from N15, 000.

The survey further indicates that prices of different brands of food items such as rice and semolina remained the same.

NAN also observed that the markets are flooded with low quality rice even as 50 kilogramme of locally made rice now sells for an average of N22,000 from an initial N20,000.

The price of 10 kilogramme of Semovita is, however,  constant at N3, 500.

A big bag of melon now sells for an average of N46, 000 from an initial N44, 800 before the celebration.

NAN reports that barely two months ago, a polythene bag of white gari (cassava flakes) was N8, 000, but the same measure of the commodity now attracts N14, 000, while the price of a medium measure of the flakes has increased from N120 to N200.

Also a measure of corn-flour, which was N250 a couple of weeks ago, now sells for N260, while a measure of cassava flour now cost N185, as against N160 before the Ramadan fasting.

The prices of iced fish in some cold rooms across the markets, mostly in Kado fish market and Masaka cold rooms have increased considerably; 20 kilogramme of chicken is selling for N11, 000 as against N9, 500.

Also at same markets frozen fish (Titus) is now N24,000 as against N 21,900.

Prices of other varieties of frozen fish has also gone up.
N4, 000 respectively.

Eggs across the markets are sold at N1, 000 or N1, 200 per crate, compared to the previous price of N800 or N900 per crate depending on the size.

‎The market survey also indicates significant increases in the prices of other food items such as yam, water yam, cocoa yam and potato but the price of sweet potato somewhat remains stable.

The price of the water yam species is on the increase a set of five tubers of water yam now sells for N4, 500, as against its former price of N3, 000.

A bag of Irish potato, which used to sell for N7, 000, now attracts prices ranging between N10, 000 and N10, 500.

NAN, however, noticed that the prices of other consumables such as beverages, sugar, milk, bread and noodles have remained stable in the last two months.

Most of the sellers at the markets who earlier attributed the increase in the prices of foodstuffs to the festivity are expressing concern on why the prices have not dropped unlike during other occasions, when prices of major food items dropped.

Mallam Gwandu, a tomato seller at the Orange Market, said there was nothing the traders could do, as the cost of transportation of these commodities had increased.

“We pay high price for the transportation and we stop at every checkpoint.

“All these added together will bring about an increase in the prices of the goods.

“It is so unfortunate that those officers at the check points are not keeping to government directives.

“Several times, many drivers of vehicles who refuse to give bribes are delayed.

“You can calculate how much a driver bringing tomatoes from Jigawa or pepper from Taraba will pay at every road block, before getting to Abuja.

“Bearing in mind that the drivers are carrying perishable items, the police will insist on delaying them.

“It’s a big problem leading to increase in prices,’’ he said.

Mrs Anike Adesola, a rice seller, noted that sales was very low, and attributed it to the effect of the lockdown.

She said, however, that the civil servants had been keeping the markets going.

“We thank the president for paying salaries as and when due, because it’s the civil servants that keep the markets going.

“They are now being paid regularly, it has given them the opportunity to buy,” she said.

Some truck drivers conveying these perishable goods to these markets said they paid heavily at the many checkpoints on their way to Abuja.

According to Malam Aminu Adams, one of the drivers, even though the movements of foodstuffss are given smooth travelling directive during the lockdown, the security bottlenecks along the interstate routes is a major problem.

“We pay what we never bargained for at road blocks, but their demand this time is outrageous.

“Most of the truck drivers are carrying perishable items, so, it has become a must to pay because when you argue with them, they may delay you and may lose the items.

“So, we have no choice than to do their bidding,’’ he said.

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

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Metro

Eid-el-Fitr: FEC congratulates Buhari, Osinbajo, Nigerians

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Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) have congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians on the occasion of the Eid celebrations.

A circular signed by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), in Abuja, noted that the FEC members prayed the Almighty Allah accept the nation’s supplication in this holy month of Ramadan.

The members of the FEC also prayed that God should look upon Nigerians with His mercy, especially at a time like this when the entire world and Nigeria in particular was faced with COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is the prayer of members that the Almighty shall accept our supplication and look upon humanity with mercy, especially at a time like this when the nation and indeed the entire world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also the prayers of members that the nation shall experience peace, unity and economic growth even as the impact of the pandemic continues to disrupt global economy,” he said.

Members of the FEC also urged Nigerians to hold steadfastly to God, and continue to pray fervently for the restoration of normalcy in the country.

Meanwhile, members of the FEC had appealed to Nigerians to recognise COVID-19 as a potential danger and observe all guidelines for safety issued by the government.

“Nigerians are particularly encouraged to observe personal hygiene, wear face mask/coverings and please avoid non-essential outings,” SGF advised.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitr: Foundation distributes 1, 200 litres of PMS to commuters

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An NGO, Success Ogunkolade Foundation, on Tuesday distributed 1, 200 litres of free Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol to 300 commuters in Ijebu-Ijesa, Osun, to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that each of the commuters received four litres of the product at a designated filling station in the town.

Mr Success Ogunkolade, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, while addressing newsmen said the gesture was aimed at cushioning the effects of Coronavirus pandemic amidst the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Ogunkolade, who noted that he had earlier distributed free food to residents of the town, said free petrol was his little way of touching the lives of less privileged.

“There is no doubt that this Eid-el-Fitr is a unique one as it happened when the world was battling with Coronavirus pandemic.

“The virus has impacted on the livelihood of many negatively. It is on the basis of that I have to contribute my token so as to put smiles on the faces of the people.

“Each of the commuter received four litres of petrol and I believe this will help them to move around to do one or two things, while the commercial drivers among them will use the same to make little money,” Ogunkolade said.

While congratulating the Muslim faithful on the successful completion of Ramadan fasting, he urged them to continue to abide with lessons learnt during the holy month.

Ogunkolade also urged them to use the occasion of the celebration to pray to God to bring an end to the virus, adding that with prayers nothing will be impossible.

He said with prayers and strict adherence to safety guidelines given by government, the virus would soon be a thing of the past.

Some of the beneficiaries, however, commended the foundation for the good gesture.

Mr Nathaniel Ogunwola, one of the beneficiaries said the gesture was a welcome development, adding that people of the town were not expecting it.

Another beneficiary, Mr Kabiru Arisekola, said the free petrol came at the right time.

Arisekola said the petrol would assist him to save the money he would have used to buy petrol to move around.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Eid-el-Fitr: CAN lauds Muslims over compliance with govt COVID-19 directives

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The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Oyo State Chapter, has commended Muslims in the state for complying with government directives on Eid-el-Fitr celebration amidst COVID-19.

This is contained in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Benjamin Akanmu, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.

Akanmu felicitated with Muslims on the successful completion of the 30 days fasting, commending them for observing Eid-el-Fitr prayer in their various homes in compliance with government directives.

“On behalf of the entire Christians in Oyo State, I congratulate all Muslims throughout the world, particularly those in Oyo State on the Eid-el- Fitr celebration.

“I pray God Almighty to accept all our prayers and grant everyone more grace to witness more of it in good health,” Akanmu prayed.

He described as high commendable their obedience to the directives on public gathering which signified the humility in Yoruba culture.

“We as religious leaders should also not forget to continue to lead by example. Moreso, we are directed by God to honour and obey the laws of the land as well as those in authority,” he said.

The CAN chairman admonished all to be patient with the government and support every effort put in place to drive COVID-19 out of Nigeria.

Akanmu also urged Muslims to always apply the lesson learnt during the holy month of Ramadan to every aspect of their lives and relationship with other people.

Besides, he called on Muslims and adherents of other religions to live in love, peace and harmony with one another.

The CAN chairman stressed the need for both Muslims and Christians to comply with the restriction orders as well as other guidelines reeled out by government and experts.

“With collective efforts of all we can kick the stubborn virus out of Nigeria.

“We must not relent in contributing to the religious harmony enjoyed in the state while also praying for the nation.

”I will love to implore you all to continue to pray for our state and Nigeria as a nation to ensure that the country survive the hardship ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he urged.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Man heads towards mosque before offering Eid al-Fitr prayers during COVID-19 lockdown in Kathmandu, Nepal

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A man heads towards a mosque before offering Eid al-Fitr prayers during the lockdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitri Palm Mall turn back fun seekers for disregarding social distancing order

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Fun seekers who throng to the Palm Mall, Ilorin, on Monday to shop at ShopRite were turned back for disregarding social distancing order of government to curb Coronavirus pandemic.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited the Mall reports that the management and security operatives bared many of the fun seekers, mostly children from entering the hall.

The Palm Mall is an edifice that house Shoprite and other shops that deals in clothings, household items, telecoms, banks and eatery, among others.

The report says that fun seekers always patronise the Mall during festive periods.

As a result of government directive to curb further spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state, the management of the edifice is forced to either shutdown or close early due to the surging crowd.

NAN gathered that many of the children who had gained access to the vicinity of the mall were denied access into the shop while others were stopped at the gate from gaining entrance.

However, those who gained entrance queued with the hope that if they were orderly, the management may admit them into the shop.

A security operative at the mall, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the children would not be allowed to shop because many of them were not wearing masks.

The security also said that the children disregarded the social/physical distancing order of the government and experts advice.

NAN, however, observed that some children in company of their parents were allowed into the Mall, but not many of them could go in at the same time.

The fun seekers besieged the mall as Muslims across the globe are celebrating Eid-el-Fitr to mark the end of a 30-day fasting from dawn to dusk.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Roundup: Major Mideast states announce further ease of anti-coronavirus precautions amid Eid al-Fitr festival

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Most of the major Middle East countries on Monday announced the further ease of the precautions against the novel coronavirus, as Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival of breaking the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is being observed across most of the region.

In Turkey, the hardest hit country by the coronavirus in the Middle East, reported 987 new cases on Monday, raising the total number to 157,814, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 4,369 in Turkey after 29 new fatalities in the past 24 hours were confirmed, Koca added.

Turkey has been recently witnessing more signs of slowdown in the pandemic, with daily new infections kept at around 1,000 in the past week.

The Iranian authorities on Monday allowed partial reopening of the Muslim Shiite shrines across the country after more than two months of closure over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Iranian health ministry reported 2,023 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number in the country to 137,724 since the outbreak in late February, state TV reported.

Meanwhile, the death toll has hit 7,451 in Iran and 107,713 have recovered with 2,585 still in critical condition, according to the country’s health ministry.

Saudi Arabia, also hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, also announced on Monday the gradual ease of precautionary measures against the COVID-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The gradual steps, with social distancing regulations obeyed and based on medical reports of the spread of the virus, will start from Thursday and expand until the situation is back to normal, the SPA quoted Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah as saying.

Saudi Arabia has controlled the spread of the virus through early precautionary measures, especially maintaining a low death rate, the minister noted.

The Arab kingdom announced on Monday 2,235 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 74,795, while death toll rose by nine to 399.

In Israel, only 17 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday, bringing the total number in the country to 16,734.

After four consecutive days without a death case, the Israeli health ministry reported two new fatalities, bringing the death toll in the Jewish country from the COVID-19 to 281.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s rail system on June 8.

It is worth noting that Israel’s GDP contracted by annualized 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the sharpest drop in the last 20 years and mainly due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released by the state’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

Palestine on Monday declared the end of lockdown and a set of new measures in dealing with the COVID-19, lifting the ban on movement between cities immediately, and allowing public transport to operate in terms of safety procedures.

Shops, commercial and industrial establishments, including cafes, restaurants, and health clubs as well as mosques and churches, will be allowed to reopen starting Tuesday morning, while official bodies will return to work regularly starting Wednesday morning after the end of Eid al-Fitr holiday, according to Palestine Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye.

The number of COVID-19 cases registered in Palestine has reached 602, including 475 recoveries and five deaths, with no new infections reported on Monday.

Qatar’s health ministry on Monday announced 1,751 new infections of the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 45,465.

As the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced 822 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 30,307.

The UAE’s health ministry also confirmed three more deaths, bringing the death toll to 248.

In Kuwait, 665 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths were reported on Monday, raising the tally of infections to 21,967 and the death toll to 165, the health ministry said in a statement.

The Kuwaiti government has been imposing a full curfew in the Gulf country to curb the rapid increase of coronavirus cases.

Egypt recorded on Monday 702 new COVID-19 cases and 19 new deaths, bringing the total number of the cases and the death toll in the country to 17,967 and 783 respectively.

The North African country has already started easing restrictions and gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March amid the government’s coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.

In Morocco, 99 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 7,532 in the North African country, with 200 deaths and 4,774 recoveries.

Iraq confirmed 163 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number in the country to 4,632.

An Iraqi parliamentary crisis committee on Monday demanded reimposition of a full curfew after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday to curb the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

In Jordan, both the public and private sectors will resume work on Tuesday after more than two months of stoppage as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the kingdom reported three cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the overall number to 711.

In Lebanon and Syria, the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday rose by five and 20 respectively to 1,119 and 106.

War-torn Yemen recorded on Monday 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the provinces controlled by the government, bringing the total number to 233.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Eid-El-Fitr: CAS charges troops on combat readiness

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The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has charged the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole to be vigilant and combat ready to guarantee security throughout the Eid-El-Fitr period and beyond in the country.

Abubakar made the call on Monday at the Maiduguri Air Force Base during the Eid el-Fitr lunch with troops of the Air Component.

Abubakar commended the troops for their commitment in carrying out the fight and urged them to sustain the tempo.

He said that the luncheon was in keeping with the tradition of celebrating festive period with frontline troops to boost their morale and foster comradeship in their duty of securing the nation against criminal elements.

Abubakar said that in spite of the challenges of competing resources occasioned by the  COVID-19 induced lockdown, the NAF through pragmatic planning and foresight, maintained the tempo of  its Operations, not only in the North East, but other  parts of the country.

“I want to reiterate that not only are we going to sustain operations, we will continue to leap forward based on my key drivers.

“We have kept the pace in training of both air and ground crews, developed the Regiment speciality to defend our Bases and increased the force structure of the Service, whilst building more accommodation and office infrastructure to cope with the growth,” Abubakar said.

He said that NAF had also recruited about 11,000 personnel’s to increase its man power disposition for services to the country within the last five years.

“I’m delighted to also observe that very soon we are going to get the Airforce flank flying in Damaturu as well to ensure that our aircraft do not have to come back to Maiduguri to refuel while fighting these bandits.

“Need I remind you all that our exploits would not have been possible without the support of the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has provides us with the resources required to perform our assigned duties.

“We can only show our appreciations for the President’s support to the Nigerian Air Force by remaining a discipline force and exhibiting the highest level of professionalism in all our actions,”said Abubakar.

In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, lauded the Chief of Air Staff, the Air Components Commander of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole and other personnel’s for their support in combating insurgency in Borno and  Northeast in general.

Zulum said that the epic efforts of the NAF was recognised and has been commended by the people of Borno.

“In addition to providing enabling environment to people of Borno state to do their normal activities, we also acknowledged the support of the NAF especially in capital projects to support displaced persons in the state.”

Zulum reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to support NAF in achieving its desired objective in the fight against terrorism.

HMS/

Edited By: Yakubu Uba/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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