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Don’t Suspend, Cancel RUGA Plans Entirely, Dickson Tells Buhari

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Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson
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From Mike Tayese, Yenagao

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has urged the Federal Government to out-rightly cancel the controversial RUGA settlement policy.

The governor, who said that the RUGA settlement plan was inimical to national unity and cohesion, described it as provocative, divisive and unhelpful, adding that suspending it means it would return in the future.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, in Yenagoa quoted the Governor as having made the comment while speaking on the first day of the interdenominational prayer and fasting service for the 2019 Gubernatorial election in the state.

He said that Bayelsa under his leadership would not give out any inch of its territory for the establishment of any such RUGA settlement as proposed by the Federal Government.

He stressed that any move to grab land in the state for the purpose of building RUGA settlement would be challenged.

He suggested that those involved in cattle business should be encouraged to go into ranching rather than the RUGA settlement arrangement.

“I said it some days ago and I’m saying it again that Bayelsa will not be part of RUGA. That is a most provocative, divisive and unhelpful policy. We call for the immediate cancellation of that policy.

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“Under me as leader of this state, Bayelsa will not have even an inch of land available for any RUGA settlement. It will not be allowed and will be challenged.

“People should be encouraged to go into ranching as a business and not be moving around causing problems and mayhem. That’s what we will support, not RUGA settlements. Do we have Ijaw fishermen settlements in other states?”

The Governor said that the next governor òf the state should be a person of courage, who should be able to speak out on critical issues affecting the state

He stressed that anybody aspiring to occupy the office of Governor òf Bayelsa State should be able to speak out, say the bitter truth on critical issues irrespective of those involved.

The Governor explained that the state decided to organise the prayer and fasting programme to seek the face of God in the process of selecting the next leader because of the enormous influence of the office and the need for the right person to succeed him.

He restated his calls on Bayelsans to prevent the emergence of any governor who could use political appointments to lure the people to cultism and other evil practices.

He said that he had led the state in the direction of God as shown clearly by the fact that he did not lure any of the about 1500 political appointees into occult practices as was the case with some people.

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“This transition is not about me. So many people in my shoes will be relaxing but we are still working from morning till night. This transition is about our state, about our people, about Christians possessing their possession. We have made a lot of progress. We want good committed, patriotic, decisive and compassionate leaders.

“My prayer is that the person God will raise for us will do better than I, that person will not fail. The way I have worked for our people, defended their interest, spoken on behalf of the people.” He added

The Governor lamented the attitude of the political class some of who would even react with bitterness when universities, an airport, good roads, health facilities and key developmental projects are built in the state.

CRIME

Troops arrest 10 Robbers, rescue 3 Victims in Kaduna 

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja 

The military high command, yesterday said its troops deployed on internal operations in Kaduna state has arrested ten armed robbery suspects at Kafanchan town in Jema’a local government area of the state. 

A statement issued by the Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko stated the names of the arrested suspects as: Messrs Manga Ismail, a 22 – year-old, Idris Haruna (Ban Sambo), 20- year-old, Sani Bali, 19- year-old.

 

Others are Shamsudeen Ladan, 25 – year-old, Abdulmajid Yau (Sele), 22 – year – old , Abubakar Hassan, 23 – year-old, Abbas Aliyu, 15 – year-old, Mohammed Umar (Jazuli), 17 – year – old, Jonathan Vincent (Bamai), 19 – year-old and Stephen Joseph, 25 – year-old.

According to him, items recovered from the criminals include: TV, DVD, gas cookers, Mattresses, woofer, phones, scissors, among others.

 

Gen. Onyeuko also said on the same day, troops acting on intelligence reports, conducted a cordon search operation at Fanock Village, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and found a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABUJA KUJ 452 AZ with no occupant. 

Onyeuko explained that Troops conducted search operations in the surrounding bush and rescued 3 kidnaped civilians comprising two females and a male. 

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Speaking further, he said :”Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in a sustained effort to eliminate criminals elements in their Area of operation on 28 June 2022 based credible intelligence conducted clearance operation in conjunction with vigilantes at Kan Duniya Village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State, neutralized notorious bandit and kidnapper.

“Similarly, on the same day, troops on fighting patrol sighted 2 x suspected kidnappers around Sara High Ground Mangu Local Government Area Plateau State on a motor cycle, suspects abandoned their motor cycle on sighting troops and fled.

” Troop exploited area and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 101 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 magazines, 1 motor cycle, 1 iron digger and 2 black jackets amongst others”, he said. 

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Foreign News

Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain

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The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.

Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.

Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.

The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.

But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.

The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.

A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.

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NEWS

HEDA Petitions ICPC over Allegations against Ex-CJN

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The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the allegations against the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman, HEDA, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, yesterday in Lagos.

Suraju, in a letter to the Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, urged the commission to stand tall over the allegations of corruption, maladministration and incompetence leveled against Muhammad.

“As a leading anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria and non-partisan human rights and development league, we call on the ICPC to commence investigation into the budgetary allocation, utilisation and development process of the judiciary with a view to sanitisation of that critical arm of government,” he said.

Suraju said it was widely reported that the immediate past CJN responded to the allegations brought against him by 14 Justices on the aforementioned allegations.

“It is unarguable that the judiciary is the last hope of the helpless and its judges are only meant to be heard and not seen.

“However, these allegations made by fellow Justices of the apex court against the CJN cannot be overlooked as it is weighty and must be diligently investigated by the commission in order to protect that vital institution.

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“If the Supreme Court of Nigeria is infested with corrupt persons, then our democracy is doomed, ICPC and others relevant bodies should rise and act fast to redeem the temple of justice from possible collapse,” HEDA said. (NAN)

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