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Insecurity: NAF intensifies aerial surveillance over flashpoints in Kaduna

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Surveillance

Abuja, March 13, 2019 The Nigerian Air Force says it has intensified aerial surveillance over identified hotspots and flashpoints in Kaduna while sustaining its air patrol over  the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.

NAF’s spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said this in a statement  in Abuja.

Daramola said the initiative  was  in continuation of the efforts of NAF to enhance security in Kaduna and its environs while partnering with other security agencies.

” Some of the areas covered in the surveillance missions include Gonin Gora, Kajuru, Kujama, Kasuwar Maganin and surrounding settlements.

” The air patrols, on the other hand, are focused on portions of Abuja-Kaduna Highway which had hitherto been susceptible to the activities of armed robbers and kidnappers,” he said.

Daramola recalled that the NAF had conducted a “Show of Force”  exercise in Katari village, one of the identified criminal hotspots on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway on Feb. 9.

He said the exercise, which combined aerial and ground operations by NAF Special Forces  and Regiment personnel, ” sent a stern warning signal to criminal elements that the NAF and other security agencies are ready to engage them both from the air and on ground to frustrate their nefarious activities.”

” The NAF will sustain its aerial surveillance coupled with armed vehicular patrols along the highway, rail line and other areas in the state to ensure security of citizens as well as safe travels for law-abiding commuters,” he said.

Defence/Security

Insecurity: Nigerian Army inaugurates ‘Operation Accord’

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The Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau and part of Kaduna and Bauchi States, on Monday inaugurated a special operation code name ‘Operation Accord.’

 

Inaugurating the operation in Gwantu, Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state, Maj. Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, Commander of the Task Force, said the special operation aimed at address the spate of insecurity within its area of operation

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Operation Accord is an ongoing Defence Headquarters operation designed to neutralise and stem down banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North West and North Central zones of the country.

 

 

Okonkwo added that the operation was replicated by OPSH to block infiltration of fleeing bandits and militia groups into its area of operation.

 

He explained that the special operation aimed at identifying bandits and criminal hideouts, would last from till June 30.

 

The commander added that operation accord would facilitate the return of lasting peace within its area of operation, noting that it would also address all emerging security threats.

 

“Operation Accord is today being replicated for synergy of efforts in order to simultaneously conduct same operation within our area of operation from June 1 to 30.

 

“It will also identify bandits and criminal hideouts and neutralise them. The operation will be conducted concurrently with operation WHRL STROKE against banditry within North Central zone.

 

“It is aimed at facilitating the restoration of peace and security across our area of joint operation,” he said

 

Okonkwo assured members of the public that his men would be professional in carrying out the operation, adding that safety of lives and property would be prioritised.

 

“Let me assure members of the public that the military will professionally discharge it’s duties during the operation.

 

“Troops will observe rules of engagement and other best practices for the safety and security of civil populace,” he assured.

 

The Commander called on the general public to avail useful information to the military to enable it achieve the objectives of the operation

 

Okonkwo also cautioned his men against unprofessional practices, noting that one caught would be punished accordingly


Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Anniversary: APGA applauds Zamfara Govt for tackling insecurity

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The All Progressives Grant Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara has commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government for restoring peace in the state.

The APGA governorship candidate at the 2019 general elections, Dr Sani Shinkafi, made the commendation at a news conference in Gusau on Saturday.

Shinkafi noted that the PDP-led government deserve commendation in its one-year of administration considering the way it tackled the terrible security challenge that bedevilled the state.

Gov. Bello Matawalle embarked on confronting the menace with great valour using his versatile experience as former Chairman, House Committee on Security and Intelligence.

The State Government also embarked on partnership with the Federal  Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and various key security stakeholders such as security outfits, former defence ministers, traditional leaders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) leaders and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).

“After various consultation, a fact stands out that the crisis has taken ethnic dimensions, most especially after the creation of Hausa Yan Sakai vigilante groups by the immediate past administration.

“Establishment of committee headed by the former Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Abubakar, for finding solutions to end banditry in the state by the state government can be identified as a leading factor for the success recorded,” Shinkafi said.

He recalled that before PDP took over the affairs of the state, rural areas and nomadic settlements were relegated educationally and economically, and this situation created an avenue for high crime rate.

“This informs government’s decision to provide schools, clinics and earth dams for the people and idea of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) came up as one of the solutions to the problem.

“The dialogue resulted in the release of thousands of captives abducted by kidnappers across the state, including the neighbouring ones.

“With this development, socio-economic education activities across the 14 local government areas of the state have been revived.

“Our rural markets closed down earlier due to insecurity have also been reopened, inter-ethnic relationship improved and over 80 per cent peace restored across the state,” he said.

The former APGA national secretary and governorship candidate explained that the opposition party was partnering with the PDP-led administration for the progress of the state.

He therefore urged people to continue to cooperate with the present administration irrespective of political differences for the state to move forward.

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

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Stop playing politics with insecurity in Sokoto – Tambuwal’s aide

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Alhaji Yusuf Dingyadi, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Aminu Tambuwal on Special Duties, has advised Nigerians to stop playing politics with security matters in the state.

Dingyadi, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Sokoto, berated politicians who were criticising President Muhammadu Buhari and Tambuwal over happenings in Sabon Birni and other areas of the state.

He howeve urged the Federal Government to include Sokoto state in its special military operation, adding that Buhari has been doing well to contain all forms of security challenges across the country.

“Nigerians need to complement the President’s efforts through proper intelligence assistance to security agencies.

The Federal Government announced that it will establish police mobile base in the area besides other security efforts.

“When such bandits were fired by men of special operations, they migrate to Sabon Birni and Isa Local Government Areas which share borders with the neighboring states and they continue with their mayhem.

“ Six local government areas in Sokoto state are endangered with insecurity and about 350,000 people were subjected to untold hardship following the insecurity situation,’’ Dingyadi lamented.

He said Tambuwal had been expending enormous state resources on security issues and holds routine meetings with stakeholders over ways to tackle the security challenges.

“Within this week, Gov. Tambuwal visited the area three times, dialogued with residents and provided necessary support to safeguard their lives and properties.

“It was proven that Sokoto is among the first peaceful states in the federation through good stewardship of the governor.

His Excellency has limited powers in terms of security situation as he lacks control over military, police and other law enforcement agencies,’’ he added.

Dingyadi therefore cautioned politicians against mixing political matters with security issues as the bandits strike, kill or maim anybody irrespective of political affiliation.

NAN recalls that soon after the bandits on Wednesday attacked five villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area, Tambuwal and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, led other senior citizens and security chiefs to commisserate with the victims on Thursday.

A resident of Sabon Birni, Mr Lawal Kakale-Gobir, said the incident lasted for hours as hundreds of bandits riding motorcycles raided the place.

Kakale-Gobir said after the bandits left, some residents took a walk round the affected villages and recovered 74 corpses.

“Twenty-five of the bodies were recovered in Garki village, 13 in Dan’Adua, 25 in Kuzari, six in Katuma and five in Masawa village.

“It is surprising that after the governor and his entourage visited the place and made various promises that such an incident reoccurred,’’ he said.

Kakale-Gobir refuted the allegations that the bandits were stationed in affected areas and denied residents the chance to bury the deceased.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Kidnap victim recounts ordeal, urges govts to address insecurity

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A kidnap victim, Mr Emenike Soronnadi, 50, has recounted his ordeal in the hands of his abductors, urging Federal and State Governments to urgently address issues of insecurity to safeguard lives of citizens.

Soronnadi, a husband and business man, was kidnapped on April 20, and held captive for 11 days before his release on May 10, 2020.

The victim told News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt that he was abducted from his wife’s shop in Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Rivers.

According to him, three men fully armed with AK47 assault rifles and shooting sporadically into the air forcibly took him away from his wife’s shop.

“I left my house around 5:40p.m to my wife’s shop in Woji town. At about 7:40p.m, three men stormed into the shop, shot into the air and whisked me away.

“The heavily armed kidnappers blindfolded and forcefully took me into their waiting car and drove away. They told me to cooperate with them otherwise they will shoot me.

“After about 30 minutes of driving, they transferred me into another waiting car. We later arrived to a community in Gokana council. There, I was kept in a house.

“Around midnight, they took me on a motorbike through a bush path to their camp. While still blindfolded, my abductors chained my legs and threatened to kill me,” he said.

Soronnadi further said that his abductors later told him that they were paid by someone to assassinate him.

However, he said the gunmen promised that they would not kill him on one condition that he pays them some millions of Naira as ransom.

The victim said the kidnappers requested phone numbers of his wife and friends, promising that he would not be tortured if family and friends should cooperate with them.

“The house that I was kept in was so unhygienic that I lost appetite to eat. I only took water until days later when they gave me garri and salt to drink.

“Later, they also gave me rice and red oil to eat. I could not eat other compromising foods that they were eating in the camp.

“After few days, I started plotting my escape, but later jettisoned the idea. I think some villagers living around the camp knew about the place and somehow profited from it,” he added.

Soronnadi said that on the day of his release, one of the hoodlums came into his cell around 7p.m, removed the bound on his legs and ordered him to put on his cloths.

“Thereafter, the kidnapper asked me to pray for him. He took me to a motor park in Bori town in Gokana; gave me back one of my phones and left.

“Unfortunately, I could not find any vehicle at the motor park going to Port Harcourt due to the lockdown and restriction of movements in the city.

“So, I called my wife, who immediately contacted my sister-in-law, a navy officer. My wife’s sister later picked me up and we arrived home around 11p.m.

“I am so grateful to God, my wife, my pastor, Chibuzor Chinyere of Omega Power Ministries and some friends for putting pressure on security agencies to secure my release from the kidnappers’ den,” he said.

The businessman wondered why he had remained a target by criminals after about 15 men broke into his house in 2013, tortured and shot him and his wife on their legs.

He said that he was worried with the level of insecurity in the state, urging the Federal Government to quickly address insecurity in the country.

He said the matter was reported to the police while he was held captive, saying the police was yet to invite him for debriefing after his release.

The spokesman of the Police Command in Rivers, DSP Nnamdi Omonim, who confirmed the incident, said no arrest had been made yet.

He said the police had launched full investigation into the matter and was currently on the trail of the kidnappers.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Insecurity: Ortom, Sule lauds FG over Air Force deployment in North-Central

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The governors of Nasarawa and Benue States have lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for deploying  the Air Force to tackle insecurity in the North-Central region of the country.

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom gave the commendation during a joint peace and security meeting on Wednesday  in Yelwata, a border community in  Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

 

Ortom, in his submission at the meeting initiated by Governor Sule, promised to sustain the already existing smooth relationship between him and his Nasarawa State counterpart.

He assured that the two  governors would continue to work together for the overall good of their respective states.

He further pledged to work closely with Sule to ensure that the boundary between their states were demarcated for peace to reign.

“The Deputy Governors of Benue and Nasarawa who are Chairmen of boundary committees should ensure that the boundaries are demarcated without much delay.

“I and Governor Sule will give you adequate support to enable you carry out the assignment in a record time,” he said.

He also commended Sule for initiating the peace meeting, emphasing that he was a peace builder.

Earlier, Sule lamented over heightened security concerns in Nasarawa state which prompted his visit to the President to seek help.

Sule said the President graciously granted his request by deploying the Airforce  to the zone covering Nasarawa, Benue and Kogi states.

“I am also worried about where the Benue boundary begins and where that of Nasarawa starts.

“If you ask, you will get different answers depending on who you ask. So, there is a need to demarcate the boundaries and establish physical features there,” he said.

He advised herdsmen not to graze close to the disputed boundary to avoid problems.

“Benue State Government has a law in place which prohibits open grazing but we do not have it in Nasarawa.

“In Nasawara your cattle can graze freely but do not allow them to go close to the disputed boundary for peace to reign,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nasawara State, Alhaji Mohamed Husaaini appealed to the two states to form a Joint Peace Monitoring Team to assist in curbing criminality in the border communities.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Insecurity: We have reduced farmer, herders conflicts – Gov. Fintiri

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Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa says his administration has reduced and managed farmers and herders conflicts in the state within his one year in office.

Fintiri made this known to newsmen on Monday in Yola.

He said one of his administration’s agenda was to ensure the peace and stability of people of the state for sustainable economic growth.

“Today, I can beat my chest that within one year in office, we are able to manage and reduce the frequent conflicts between farmers and herders in the state.

“In addition, our administration has successfully dealt with kidnapping and banditry activities to a minimum level.

“The recent resurfacing of criminal ‘Shilla boys’ activity in the state was traced to be supported by some miscreants who returned back to the state as a result of COVID-19 lockdown,” Fintiri said.

He assured people of the state that the Shilla boys activity would soon become history as appropriate action was being taken to deal with the criminals.

On rural road projects, the governor said that his administration had embarked on completion of some abandoned projects in seven local government areas.

“I went round all the 226 wards in the state during my campaign and what I observed is need for road networks.

“The sack of staff of the State Polytechnic, Yola, was done with good intention to restore the quality and standard of our education.

“I see no reason why people with Ordinary Diploma (OD) or NCE would be allowed to be lecturers in our Polytechnic,” he said.

The governor noted that among those that were sacked from the services of the state Polytechnic were those that did not possess genuine certificates.

Fintiri said he was focused and well prepared before he came to power as governor and is ever ready to face any challenge that would help move the state forward.

“I am focused, because I came to power well prepared and so far so good,” he said.

Edited By: Chidi Opara/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Kwara: OPC seeks engagement in fighting insecurity

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The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Kwara has sought for engagement of its members by the Nigeria Police Force to help in fighting crime in the state.

The State Chairman of the OPC, Mr Saka Jimoh, made call in Ilorin on Saturday while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria .

He said OPC members were ready to cooperate and work with the police and other security agencies to tackle insecurity.

“The police in Kwara state needs to engage us more. We are ready to work as a team to end robbery, cultism, kidnapping and any other evil acts in Kwara.

“We have members in the rural areas and every parh of the state who are ready to work. They are on guard and ready to arrest any criminal at sight.

” Police should not underrate us. They need to trust us and call on us to join the fight against crime in the state,” he said.

Jimoh also confirmed that OPC had arrested and handed over eight  criminals to the police from January 2020 to date.

The chairman however sought for freedom of operation without interference from influential personalities in the state.

“When we make arrest, some anonymous big men try to influence things by trying to harbour criminal acts,” he said.

He also appealed to the Kwara government to provide operational vehicles for them to carry out their assignment.

However, Jimoh commended the Kwara police command for its cooperation with OPC in the state.

“The police in Kwara have always listened to us when we call them to handover criminals.

“They listen when we give them information. We are grateful for that,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Fighting around Tripoli, insecurity in Libya trigger food price hikes

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Fighting around Tripoli and insecurity in Libya have triggered food price hikes, prompting the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to renew appeals for a ceasefire, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

“Our humanitarian colleagues warn that a cessation of hostilities is urgently required in the country,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “Ongoing insecurity and fighting around Tripoli are continuing to deepen civilian suffering.”

Half of the assessed cities reported food shortages and 86 percent reported food price hikes, Dujarric said. On average, a recent assessment showed the prices of food items increased by 27 percent, while those of hygiene items have gone up by 12 percent.

“In response, we, along with our humanitarian partners, are supporting authorities and working on the frontlines to provide aid to internally displaced people, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers,” the spokesman said. “And amidst the conflict, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya has increased to 60, and that includes one death.”

In the face of COVID-19, the UN secretary-general appealed last month for a global ceasefire to help fight the disease.
(XINHUA)

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Over 700,000 Namibians at risk of acute food insecurity: official

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The onset of COVID-19 has put over 700,000 Namibians at risk of severe acute food insecurity, a senior agricultural official said Thursday.

According to agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika, Namibians will face a worse situation as a result of COVID-19.

He said the agricultural sector is still rearing from a three year drought.

“Namibia’s weakening food security conditions are not expected to improve anytime soon. The effects of COVID-19 will lead to more people going hungry,” Misika said.

The Namibian Vulnerability Assessment Committee report released last year said that 289,644 people in the country were food insecure and needed immediate food assistance.
(XINHUA)

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