By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced another 11 confirmed cases of Coronavirus with the initial 70 cases totalling 81 at the late hours of Friday.
NCDC tweeted with its handle @NCDCgov:
“11 new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: 8 in Lagos, 2 in Enugu & 1 in Edo State
As at 11:55pm 27th March, there are 81 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
Police Confirms Kidnap of Seven Persons in Kogi
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi State Police Command has confirmed the kidnap of seven travelers along Itobe-Ajaokuta road in the State.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers had abducted seven people, including a Doctor and Lawyer at about 2pm on Tuesday and carried them to the bush.
The State Police command confirmed the incident on Wednesday evening in Lokoja.
According to an eye witness, the gunmen laid siege on the said road for hours, shooting sporadically and in the process many passengers were abducted, with many also receiving various degrees of injuries from the smoking fire power of the Kidnappers.
This source posited further that among those abducted to unknown destination were Mr Joe Abba, his wife and Barrister Abba Aduojo who were returning from a burial in a village near Alloma in Ofu local government Area of the state.
Also abducted is a yet to be identified Doctor said to be on his way back to Lokoja from an official assignment to the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital,
“They were kidnapped on gun point around 2pm, my friend’s wife was shot in the leg and is presently recuperating at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja”, said a Relative of one of the victims.
According to the State Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, William Ovye Aya, the command got winds of the attack of the hoodlums and drafted the men of the Rapid Response Squad operating in the area to their rescue.
“Seven persons were abducted to the bush; six people were rescued with bullets wounds and six vehicles were recovered at the scene of the incident”, he said.
He added that a combined manhunt against the hoodlums, including the sister security agencies and vigilante have been mobilised to comb the areas in order to rescue the seven abducted persons in their custody.
Ortom Dares Critics to Publicly Denounce Benue Ranching Law
From David Torough, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has challenged those who believe his administration erred in enacting the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to speak against it publicly in the state and see the reaction of the people.
Ortom threw the challenge after receiving the award as Best Governor in Nigeria in the area of security given to him by the “Daily Independent” newspaper and other awards.
He said the law, which was enacted as a solution to the perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers has the endorsement of traditional and religious leaders, Christians and Muslims and other stakeholders who have all remained resolute that the law should not be repealed.
The Governor stressed that no matter the level of intimidation, harassment, attacks and deprivation, his Government would continue with the full implementation of the law, saying those who were thinking of coming to repeal the law were daydreaming.
Ortom who lamented the daily invasion of Benue communities and killing of innocent people by the Fulani herdsmen whose agenda he said was to take over the land, urged the people to stand up to defend themselves and the land against the invaders.
He advised the people to take advantage of the ongoing voter registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to regularize their Permanent Voters Cards to be able to elect leaders who would represent their interest in next year’s general election.
Ortom dedicated the award to the people of Benue, particularly Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs who have been living in the camps since 2017 but have vowed to support his government not to surrender the state to the oppressors.
Other awards that were presented to the Governor during the EXCO meeting in recognition of his contributions to the development of the country were from the International Council for Women Affairs, Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) Benue State branch and Gboko Polytechnic.
Buhari Sends Seven New Ministerial Nominees to Senate
By Jude Opara, Abuja
Following the resignation of some Ministers who left his cabinet to contest the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammmadu Buhari yesterday sent the names of seven ministerial nominees to the Nigerian Senate.
Buhari in the letter which was read on the floor of the Senate by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan include; Rotimi Amaechi, Emeka Nwajiuba, Uche Ogah and Godswill Akpabio.
Apart from Uche Ogah who contested for the Abia state governorship primary, the others left to contest the APC presidential ticket which was eventually won by former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the confirmation request was in accordance with the provisions of Section 147 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The nominees include: Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh – Abia State; Umana Okon Umana – Akwa Ibom State; Ekumankama Joseph Nkama- Ebonyi State; and Goodluck Nana Opiah – Imo State.
Also nominated for confirmation are; Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub – Kano State; Ademola Adewole Adegoroye – Ondo State; and Odum Odi – Rivers State.
It could be recalled that in the build up to the June 30th presidential primaries of APC, some cabinet ministers resigned from their position.
However, the Ministers of Labour and Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Chris Ngige and Abubakar Malami respectively withdrew their earlier decision to resign from the cabinet.
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