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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.

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”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).

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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.

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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

Anambra Urges Indigenes to shun IPOB’s Sit-at-home

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Anambra State government has urged its indigenes to shun the sit-at-home protest announced by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

A release by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Nwosu said the attention of the state government has been drawn to the announcement which he described as wicked, mindless, retrogressive and unnecessarily punitive.

He said the order released on social media was by “enemies of Igbo nation.

A faction of IPOB, led by Finland-based Simon Ekpa had slated five days, from December 9 to 14, for the sit-at-home.

“Government is calling on our people to disregard the order and go about their normal businesses and daily activities peacefully. The Christmas season is a period of joy and happiness and government will go all out to ensure that the mood is not dampened in any way.

“All the various arms of our security agencies are on full alert to ensure the safety of lives and properties as well as apprehend those who may breach the peace and tranquillity of the state this season.

“Anambra State Government also finds it disturbing that a renegade and expelled member of IPOB will, from the comfort of his Finland home, continue to issue cold-blooded and murderous orders that are aimed at destabilizing Igboland.

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“This is condemnable and an atrocious crime against the enterprising and peace-loving people of Igboland. It’s about time the Federal Government took necessary steps to contain these foreign agents who are bent on fomenting needless crisis in southeastern states.

“It is pertinent to note that in a swift reaction by the authentic IPOB leadership led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, stated that “the global family of IPOB, under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Okwuchukwu Kanu did not issue any sit-at-home order,” Nwosu said added.

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CJN Not Under DSS Investigation – Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed insinuation that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola was subjected to interrogation by the Department of the State Service (DSS) over alleged pro-Wike political remarks.

The apex court also debunked claims that five Justices of the Court have demanded resignation from office by the CJN over the same issue.

In a statement by the Director of Information and Press of the Court, Dr Festus Akande, the apex Court warned those peddling the rumours to desist in their own interests.

The reaction of the Supreme Court is in response to a publication by an online medium, which reported that Justice Ariwoola has been grilled by DSS over his alleged political remarks in Port Harcourt at a public function.

The statement read in part, “We have read with dismay and shock a publication with the above caption by an online media outfit, “People’s Gazette,” alleging that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, was grilled by the DSS for the remarks he made in ‘Port Harcourt at a state banquet’ and that ‘five Justices of Supreme Court are calling for his resignation.’

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“Just like our earlier press statement debunking this barefaced falsehood and mischievous antics aimed at scoring very cheap and unpopular political gains in this era of aggressive and mudslinging politicking, we wish to state in very clear and unmistaken terms, that this is yet another round of the avalanche of lies that have been disingenuously packaged by individuals with an unenviable pedigree to malign the character and personality of not just the CJN but several other Judicial Officers that they considered to be too unpliable and principled to be approached for any form of underhand dealings, especially as election cases (petitions) will soon be streaming to the tribunals (courts) for adjudication.”

According to the statement, it had become very obvious that those with sinister motives have perfected plans to unleash all manner of coordinated attacks on Judicial Officers, starting from the CJN with a view to arm-twisting and blackmailing and ridiculing them to silence, ultimately for their ulterior motives.

The statement further added that the publication is laced with tissues of lies, non-existent sources of information and unsubstantiated claims and it clearly showed the unwholesome intentions of the authors.

It also clarified that no single Justice of the Supreme has asked the CJN to resign, and no Justice of the Supreme Court has or is writing any letter of protest whatsoever.

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“Neither the CJN nor the Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court or other Courts for that matter, are politicians, so, none of them should be dragged into politics in any form whatsoever.

“Our advice to this set of rabble-rousers whose stock in trade is character assassination via dissemination of false information to create tension and disaffection is to have a rethink and engage in meaningful productive activities that will move the nation forward. A word is enough for the wise,” the statement said.

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One Feared Dead, Others Missing as Gunmen Attack Abuja

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Gunmen yesterday night attacked a residence close to the hill in the Wuse Zone 5 area of Abuja, shot two, and killed one, with several others missing as the gunmen escaped through the hills.

An eyewitness who reached out to our correspondent through a distress call noted that the gunmen shot sporadically at Amilomania Street and later moved to Toyin Street.

He said, “We heard gunshots twice when they first stormed a house at Amilonania Street. They’re now at Toyin Street, at the last house by the hill.

“They shot a tailor, Oshodi, and he’s lying down dead. They also shot another male, but we have taken him to the General Hospital at Phase 4, but he was unconscious.

“The gunmen have escaped through the hill. We are equally looking for some people and we’ve not found them. It’s possibly an abduction.”

When contacted, the FCT Police spokesperson, Josephine Adey, didn’t take calls nor responded to text messages from our correspondent on Tuesday night.

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