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I-G engages PPROs on implementation of police anti-cultism initiative

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The Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has concluded plans for a sensitisation workshop for Police Public Relations Officers (PPROs) on the implementation of police anti-cultism initiative.

The National Coordinator of Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), SP. Ebere Amaraizu, said this in a statement on Saturday in Enugu.

Amaraizu said that the one-day sensitisation workshop for the PPROs nationwide, which is on the nationwide implementation POCACOV, is supported by the Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP).

He noted that the workshop comes up on Nov. 13 at the conference room of the Dennis hotel plot 910 Njamania street off Aminu Kano Crescent, Abuja.

“The sensitisation workshop is to expose police spokespersons on the nationwide implementation of POCACOV and modalities.

“The I-G will be delivering keynote address; while Kemi Okenyodo, National Team Lead of the NPP, will deliver welcome address,’’ he said.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that POCACOV is the initiative of I-G aimed at saving Nigerian youths from the claws of cultism and other vices.

It is meant to deepening police public relationship and galvanize stakeholders support in line with the tenets of community-oriented policing to reduce incidences of cultism and other vices across the country.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide

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Navy nabs 20 suspected smugglers, seizes 1,425 bags of rice

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom, has arrested 20 suspects and seized 1, 425 bags of smuggled rice within one week.

The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Peter Yilme disclosed this to newsmen in Ibaka on Tuesday.

Yilme, who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lt.-Cdr. Kabiru Yusuf, said that the arrests were made in four different operations between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18.

The Navy Capt. said that its gunboats during patrols on Effiat waterways seized the boats carrying 50kg bags of rice brought in from the Republic of Cameroon.

Yilme, while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the Nigerian Navy has zero tolerance for criminality.

“Four wooden boats carrying a combined 1,425 bags of 50kg parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled into the country and 20 suspects were impounded and arrested by the Forward Operating Base, Ibaka.

“The handover of the 20 suspects and 1,425 bags of rice on Tuesday 19 November, 2019 goes to show the resolve of the Base not to relent on its oars. The arrests were made between November 12 and 18, 2019.

“I commend the untiring efforts of the officers and ratings in ensuring the mandate and tasks of the Base are achieved.

“I also appreciate the immense effort of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok E. Ibas for providing the necessary platform and logistic support for the Base to carry out its operations,” he said.

The officer warned smugglers to desist from the act, especially within Foward Operating Base, Ibaka area of operation.

He said the FOB, in the last one month has handed over 3,800 bags of smuggled rice, 60 drums of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO), and 60 suspects to the Customs component of Operation Swift Response for necessary action.

Receiving the suspects and items, Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Alabi Adedokun commended the Navy for the cooperation existing between the agency.

“On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), I, Alabi Adedokun take over the 20 suspects and 1,425 bags of rice. On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, we thank you very much,” he said.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Insurgency: NAF to receive 18 aircrafts to boost air asset -Air Chief

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it is awaiting the delivery of 18 aircrafts to boost its air asset.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop on Strategic Communications on Tuesday in Abuja.

Abubakar, who was represented by AVM Kingsley Lar, Chief of Administration, NAF Headquaters, noted that the unflinching support of the Federal Government has enabled the Service to acquire 19 brand new platforms.

He said the NAF had also reactivated 20 erstwhile unserviceable aircrafts, while another 18 aircrafts have also been ordered and awaiting delivery.

Abubakar said that the Service had executed over 900 infrastructure projects including office and residential accommodations, messes and recreational facilities as well as schools and hospitals, amongst others.

“We have been able to raise accommodation sufficiency from 35 per cent in 2015 to about 72 per cent today. This is in spite of the fact that the strength of the Service has almost doubled within the same time frame.”

He said that 12 Tucano attack aircrafts, three JF-17 Thunder Multi-role fighter aircrafts, two Agusta 109 power attack helicopters and one Augusta 139 utility helicopter were among the 18 aircrafts been awaited.

”These newly acquired and reactivated platforms have added significant impetus to the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country,” he said.

He said the NAF in recognition that the human being is the most important success factor, has invested enormously in human capacity development in the past four years.

”As a result, an unprecedented number of officers and airmen/airwomen have been trained in different categories of air and ground operations, both locally and abroad.

”This is predicated on the firm belief in the importance of purposeful training to develop competencies and skills of personnel to ensure combat readiness for the effective and efficient execution of our constitutional roles,” he said.

Earlier, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, said the training would improve the capacity of participants and expose them to new techniques in participatory and collaborative strategic information management.

”Information management in this digital age cuts across all sectors of the society and involves various players, including those who have an intellectual and moral understanding of critical national issues.”

He noted that information management has advanced beyond merely churning out press releases and news stories.

Daramola said it now involved monitoring, engaging and effectively countering/correcting misinformation, while enlightening, educating and changing negative narratives as well as presenting one’s own narrative.

He said the NAF Directorate of information has keyed into this new paradigm with the establishment of the Social Media monitoring centre, where personnel actively engaged the public and manage NAF narratives.

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Army, ISS partner on Lake Chad, Sahel region security challenges

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The Nigerian Army and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) have expressed willingness to collaborate to find solutions to the prevailing security situation in the Lake Chad Basin Sahel and West African region.

The Deputy Director and Regional Head of ISS for West Africa, Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, Dr Fonteh Akum, solicited for the collaboration during a visit to Army Headquarters on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Chief of Policy and Plans, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, received the delegation on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Akum, said that the institute had been mandated to conduct research on the prevailing security situation in the region with a view to addressing it.

He said that the purpose of the visit was part of the effort of the institute to visit the critical stakeholders to introduce the activities of the think tank organisation to them.

Akum said it was important to work with the army in order to understand how the institute could contribute to the effort of the army in combating the menace of Boko Haram and other security challenges in the region.

“The purpose of our visit is two folds; the first is to present ISS for those who don’t know and the second is to solicit your attention as well as to understand exactly if there is any kind of research that could be useful for the Nigerian army as a key stakeholder.

“That is the purpose of our visit and we hope to exchange with you on this several points,” he said.

Responding, Buratai said that the research aspect of counter terrorism operation was key to unravelling the root cause of the conflict.

He said that while the kinetic aspect of fighting constituted about 20 per cent, the remaining 80 per cent involved other issues that bother on so many groups in terms of stakeholders.

According to him, while we are doing the military aspect, the research aspect is very useful both on the military side and the civil side which is the main side of the coin of insecurity, terrorism and whatever security challenge that any country may be having.

“The military is not the only stakeholder, religious leaders, the locals themselves, the government, nongovernmental organisations.

“It is a whole combination of all stakeholders that are actually involved in either resolving the conflict, expanding or prolonging the conflict depending on which side of the coin that one finds himself.

“I want to believe that with what you have been doing you will discover that there is a lot that we can do together.

“Your research can be very useful to assist us in also unraveling some non-kinetic issues as regard fighting insecurity either insurgency or terrorism as it were,” he said.

Buratai said that research was important to unravelling issues in terms of the financiers of terrorism, adding that the military might not have the time and the wherewithal to go into the needed research in that regard.

According to hum, it is organisations like yours that can delve into that, go underneath and come up with some issues that will assist not only the military but even the government and other stakeholders involved.

“Aside from that, you also have the capacity in terms of research to actually delve into what are the real causes of this conflict and how can we address it.

“So, it is a win-win situation for us to collaborate, it is a win-win to relate, continue to cooperate together to jointly find solutions to myriad of security situation that is bedeviling the Lake Chad Basin, Sahel, Greater Sahel as the case may be,” he said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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SMEDAN, BCDA mostly used to embed constituency projects —ICPC

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has identified two agencies it alleged are mostly used to pad the budget.

They are the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made this known at a two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service, organised by ICPC in Abuja on Tuesday.

Owasanoye said the discovery formed part of the findings of the ICPC’s Constituency Project Tracking Initiative (CPTI) launched in April.

“We discovered that some agencies of government are favourites for embedding of constituency projects irrespective of their core mandate and capacity to deliver or supervise projects.

“The attraction appears to be either corrupt tendencies within such agencies or the inherent weaknesses within them.

“Most notorious in this regard are Border Communities Development Agency and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, it was discovered that MDAs duplicate contracts for projects using the same description, narrative, amount and location of award.

He said the aim was to ensure that either the amounts allocated for the projects remained within the approval threshold of the executing agency or allocations were diverted to sponsors of the projects.

“Many of the contracts were inflated yet poorly executed. Substandard items were used against specifications in the Bill of Engineering Measurements and Evaluation (BEME).

“These diminished the value of the projects to the intended beneficiaries. Many projects were also not built to specifications.

“Some contracts were awarded without standard contract documents available to assist quantity surveyors evaluate state of project in line with the contract,” Owasanoye said.

He disclosed that under the pilot phase of the CPTI, the commission had tracked and ensured the completion of 255 out of 424 projects in 12 states across the six geo-political zones.

According to him, a total of N24.3 billion was appropriated for the selected 424 projects out of which N22.2 billion was awarded in contracts.

The ICPC boss stated that by monitoring the projects and enforcing completion, the commission had saved the government not less than N2 billion.

He explained that the amount was saved through recovery of diverted materials and equipment for school, hospital, farm, water and energy projects.

Owasanoye stated that the initiative had seen “marginal improvement in the use or supply of substandard materials and recovery of money from over valuation”.

He said that the ICPC has also identified loopholes and put in place preventive measures for future projects.

“We forced 34 contractors back to site in the selected states and a cumulative number of 200 contractors back to site across the country in states where we have not commenced enforcement activities.

“In line with the government’s vision we prioritised education and health projects which made up almost 60 per cent of projects we inspected nationwide,” he said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Monarch identifies causes of farmers, herdsmen clashes

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The Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, retired Justice Sidi Bage, has attributed the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen to encroaching desertification in the country.

The traditional ruler said this when he hosted participants of Senior Course 42 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna state on Tuesday in Lafia .

The emir also identified the near absence of forest, grazing reserves, cattle routes as well as inconsistency in government policies as some of the factors responsible for clashes between farmers and herders.

Bage, who went down memory lane to recount the historical background of the emirate councils, said that forests were properly maintained, thus exposing the beauty of nature.

Commenting on the recent establishment of Agro Rangers by the Federal Government, the emir said that it would help in ensuring that both the farmers and herders live in peace.

He, however, urged the participants to use the outcome of their study to improve on national security.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Air Commodore, Hassan Idris-Alhaji, said they were in the state to assess the contributions of the state and local governments in enhancing national security.

He said traditional rulers were the backbone of peace and security in the country.

Air Commodore Idris-Alhaji also said that the participants were in the palace to get the emir’s royal blessings as well as his fatherly advice for enhanced security.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Dada Ahmed

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Police arrest 36 suspects in Enugu

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The Police Command in Enugu State, has arrested 36 suspected criminals involved in various crimes in the state within the past one month.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the arrest in Enugu on Tuesday.

He said that the arrest was achieved by police operatives of Operation Puff Adder and intelligence-led community-policing mechanism.

Abdurrahman said that six arms, three live cartridges, seven inverter batteries, one tricycle, one lorry and one hand set were recovered from the suspects.

He said that other items recovered include; filling machine, cutting machine and short iron axe all used in fabricating locally-made guns as well as piles of MTN cables and Transmission Armoured Cables.

The commissioner said that the suspects were arrested for armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, vandalism, rape among others.

He said that the command had succeeded in arresting two notorious locally-made arm manufacturers a fortnight ago in Nenwe community.

The suspects are from Otuku community in Awgu Local Government Area and Agbada in Nenwe community in Aninri Local Government Area.

“The suspects engaged in the manufacture and sales of firearms and they were arrested with the aid of Nenwe Community Neighbourhood Watch Association.

“These suspects must have been the ones that supply arms to criminals, who in turn use it to terrorize law abiding residents of the state,’’ he said.

The commissioner also said that the command also arrested three suspected kidnappers who operated in the state but lived outside the state.

According to him, the suspects are an Inspector from Rijana Police Station, Kaduna State; a Sergeant of 64 Police Mobile Force, Ikorodu, Lagos State and one other from Ogui, Enugu State.

“The three suspects are still under investigation,’’ he said.

He noted that the command on Nov. 9, arrested a Pastor of Christ Mercy Ministry Ajuona Obukpa in Nsukka Local Government Area for violence and forceful rape of a lady.

Abdurrahman urged criminals to steer clear of the state this yuletide, adding that the command did a show-of-force on Tuesday and other measures to show criminals the way out of the state.

“We are prepared for the upcoming yuletide and there would be no chance or breathing space for criminals in the state henceforth,‘’ he said.

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz

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