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DEFENCE

Buhari in Ouagadougou, Canvasses Urgent actions by ECOWAS to Stop Terrorism

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Economic of West Africa States
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, urged ECOWAS leaders not to allow terrorist groups destabilise the region.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said the Nigerian leader made the call at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism in Ouagadougou.

President Buhari said: ”Our region has made commendable progress in the realization of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilize our Community and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment.

”It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region.”

The President, who joined other ECOWAS leaders for the special one-day Summit, which was also attended by leaders of Chad and Mauritania decried that terrorism had become a major security threat across the globe.

He warned that the activities of terrorist groups had constituted a grave danger to peace and security in West Africa, the wider Sahel and the global community.

”The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a Community.

”Equally worrisome, is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organized crime.

”This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.

”And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods,” he said.

While sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the President said, ”as a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations.

”Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.

”In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region.”

The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to apprise the regional leaders on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin and the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

He described the situation in Lake Chad Basin, historically a bastion of rich culture, civilization and abundant natural resources providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people, as tragic.

He noted that the area had become an abode for terrorist groups and extremists whose primitive intent was wanton destruction of lives of innocent citizens and properties as well as public infrastructure.

On MNJTF, the President reported that the achievements recorded so far in the operations remain an exemplary model of regional collaboration.

”MNJTF has largely succeeded in degrading the Boko Haram terrorist group.

”This could not have been accomplished without the recognition by the affected Lake Chad Basin Countries and Benin Republic, of the need to harness our efforts and resources to confront our common enemy which has now been substantially weakened.

”While much still remains to be done, I encourage MNJTF to stay steadfast in their mission, as I urge the political leadership of the LCBC countries to continue to preserve our solidarity and commitment towards achieving durable peace and sustainable development in these areas.

”In this regard, it is imperative that we continuously strive to provide the necessary resources and tools to the MNJTF, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Accra Initiative and similar initiatives, to lead the war on terrorism, violent extremism and trans-border crimes across the region, ” he said.

President Buhari expressed the hope that the adoption of the road map, priority areas and other recommendations of the Ouagadougou Summit, if properly implemented, would go a long way in addressing the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the sub region.(NAN)

DEFENCE

NDLEA Seizes US, UK, Europe-bound Cocaine, Opioids in Lagos

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), have intercepted various quantities of cocaine and opioids such as tramadol, pentazocine injection, morphine sulphate and ketamine injection in Lagos.

A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi on Sunday in Abuja said that the drugs were concealed in soles of shoes, clothes and other items being shipped to the United States, United Kingdom and Cyprus.

Babafemi said that no less than 250 grams of cocaine going to Cyprus was hidden in soles of custom-made shoes.

He said that over 5 kilogrammes (kgs) of opioids heading to the US and UK were discovered by  NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, (DOGI).

“They were concealed in clothes and other household items meant to be shipped through some courier firms in Lagos,”he said.

In the same vein, a consignment of 440 grams of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis coming from Canada to Lagos was equally intercepted by operatives in one of the logistic companies.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Edo on Wednesday intercepted a vehicle marked Abuja GWA 273 DD at Ewu junction, Esan Central LGA following credible intelligence.

Babafemi said that the luggage of one of the occupants, Aminu Abdullahi, 32, was searched and found to contain custard containers, where 3,000 pills of tramadol 225mg were buried in the custard powder.

”He said that the suspect claimed the drugs were bought in Onitsha, Anambra and he was taking them to Mararaba area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to sell,”he said.

In another operation, operatives on Thursday raided the Ohen forest, Abudu area of Edo and destroyed 5,429.751kg of cannabis on 2.918 hectares of farmlands.

Babafemi said that four suspects: Godday Ariye, 37; Friday Okafor, 59; Obinna Nwosu, 48; and Yusuf Adamu, 27, were arrested.

Similarly, 300 kilogrammes of the same substance were recovered from Uzzeba Obi camp in Owan West LGA when NDLEA officers raided the location on Saturday .

Also, In Ogun, operatives on Tuesday recovered a total of 2,865 kilograms of cannabis at Afami Ibese while the suspected owner, Umar Ibese was currently at large.

He said that  not less than 2,455 kilograms of materials for the production of Akuskura, at New Psychoactive Substance (NPS), were recovered from a warehouse in Konduga town, Konduga LGA, Borno state on Tuesday July 9.

“NDLEA operatives in a joint operation with men of the Nigerian Army raided the area.

“The following  on Wednesday, operatives in Katsina State arrested a 54-year-old Sabo Sule with 47kg cannabis in Katsina town.

“In Lagos, operatives on Monday  raided a warehouse in VGC, Lekki where they recovered 148 cartons of non-medical nitrous oxide popularly called laughing gas.

“108 cartons of fast gas cylinder; 134 pieces of balloon and 109 cartons of infusion charger, among others were also recovered.

“A female suspect, Suliyat Abdulsalam was arrested in connection with the seizure,”he said.(NAN)

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DEFENCE

Army Deploys 177 Personnel to Guinea-Bissau for Peace Keeping

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The Nigeria Army on Wednesday announced the deployment of 177 personnel for a peace keeping mission in Guinea-Bissau.

The Chief of Operations, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Boniface Sinjen, made the announcement at the graduation ceremony of troops of Nigerian Company 3 ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji.

Sinjen said, “Guinea-Bissau is grappling with political instability and institutional crisis, which poses a significant threat to peace and sustainable development in the sub-region.

He, however, said the Nigerian Government, through ECOWAS, stood united with the Government and people of Guinea-Bissau.

Sinjen said the graduation reaffirmed their unwavering commitment in supporting the Government of the Republic of GuineaBissau to consolidate its authority.

This is in order to address the security challenges, strengthen democratic governance and foster stability in the country.

” This deployment is in line with the mandate of the mission which has been extended severally to consolidate the relative peace and stability in the country.

“You gallant men of the Nigerian Army have been trained by this renowned Centre of Excellence to play that critical role.

“This Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) has equipped you with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge to support the government of Guinea-Bissau in stabilizing the country.

” I therefore urge you to remain committed to upholding the principles of ECOWAS peacekeeping operations, “he said.

The chief of operations charged the troops to conduct themselves   professionally in accordance with these guidelines of the mission.

“You will be operating in a complex and diverse environment, where various ethnic groups coexist.

” I implore you to maintain the highest level of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights and the sovereignty of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

 “As ambassadors of Nigeria, your behaviour will reflect on the nation’s image, so I urge you to uphold the highest standards of conduct and maintain the integrity of our esteemed profession,” he said.

Sinjen urged them to embody the core values of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and refrain from any actions that could compromise the mission’s objectives or undermine our nation’s reputation.

He emphasized that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Any personnel found guilty of such offenses will face severe consequences,” he warned.

 Sinjen cautioned that drug trafficking and abuse were grave offences that would not be condoned in any form.

“The Nigerian Army’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of discipline and integrity remains unbroken,” he added.

Sinjen appreciated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed  Lagbaja,  for his unwavering commitment towards enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping troops through realistic training which was one of the key pillars of his command philosophy.

“His leadership and vision have been instrumental in shaping the readiness and capabilities of our troops and I am deeply appreciative of his support, “he said.

Earlier, the Commandant, MLAILPKC, Maj.-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the PDT that began in May. 19 , was designed to prepare the contingent on contemporary peacekeeping operations for a successful tour of duty in Guinea-Bissau.

Adedoja said during the course of the PDT, the troops were exposed to a series of lectures on contemporary peacekeeping operations with emphasis on the peculiar nature of the security challenges facing Guinea-Bissau.

He said the training package also included comprehensive lectures on the background and current situations in the mission area as well as the mandate of the mission.

“Additionally, the troops were exposed to mentally and physically engaging exercises to equip them with the necessary knowledge and tactical skills required in peacekeeping operations in line with the United Nations Core PDT modules.

“As you stand ready to embark on this critical mission, I urge you to carry the spirit of excellence with you.

”Your contribution to the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission will be instrumental in shaping the future of Guinea-Bissau, thus promoting peace, stability and development in West Africa.

“You are not just representing the Armed Forces of Nigeria but also serving as ambassadors of our great nation, “Adedoja said.

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CRIME

Military Kill Bandit Leader While Attempting to Rustle Cows

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From Dan Amasingha,  Minna 

Gallant  Military personnel have repelled an attempt by some  bandits  to rustle  cows and  neutralized the criminal  gang leader .

Two of the Military Personnel who participated in the operation however, sustained gun shot injuries.

 

DAILY ASSET  gathered that, the incident  happened at the early  hours of Monday  at a military base in Tegina, Rafi local government area of Niger state.

During the early hours fire fight between the security personnel and the  criminals,  one of the bandits suspected to be their leader was killed in the process when they came under superior  fire power.

It was reliably gathered that the said criminals were allegedly crossing towards Mashegu and Wushishi local government areas of the state to rustle a targeted groups of cattle in those areas.

The Chairman of Rafi local government council, Alhaji Ayuba Usman Katako confirmed this in a telephone interview in Minna.

He said the two soldiers shot were responding to treatment at IBB Specialized Hospital Minna while one of the bandits suspected to be their leader was neutralized.

Ayuba Katako further revealed that the military, police and vigilantes are trying their best in ensuring peace and security of lives and properties in the state and deserved to be commended.

He decried the continuous  attacks on security personnel,  but called  on citizens for patience, support and prayers to overcome the menace of insecurity bedeviling the state and Nigeria at large.

The Niger state military cantonment in  Minna could not be reached at the time of filing in the report.

Niger East Senatorial District has been  bedeviled by  insecurity with bandits  targeting schools,  vulnerable farming communities and public institutions  in the last seven years. 

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