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DEFENCE

Killing of 16 Military Personnel, Unconscionable Crime Against Nigerian People – Groups 

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Some civil society groups have condemned the killing of 16 military personnel in Delta, saying it was an unconscionable crime against the Nigerian people.

The  groups described the killings as horrendous and atrocious and called for thorough investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

One of them, the Unity Advocacy Group (UAG), in a statement on Monday in Abuja by its Convener, Mr Ifeanyi Aigbedion, said the group would fly its flag at half-mast in honour of those killed.

He urged the government and military to fish out the perpetrators and make them pay for their crime.

“We commend the President and Commander in Chief, Bola Tinubu for standing solidly behind the Armed Forces in these trying times.

“The President should also be commended for giving the Defence Headquarters and Chief of Defence Staff full authority to bring to justice anybody found to have been responsible for this unconscionable crime against the Nigerian people.

“We commend the defence chief for ordering a thorough investigation into the appalling and barbaric incident. We must get to the root of this.

”We use this opportunity to commiserate with the entire armed forces, and we are saying that Nigerians indeed appreciate your sacrifices for our country.”

In its reaction to the attack, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), sympathised with the families of the deceased soldiers and said the perpetrators must face justice.

The IYC President, Mr Jonathan Lokpobiri, and its spokesman, Amb. Binebai Princewill said this in a statement issued on Monday in Yenagoa.

It however called for caution as the military investigates those behind the horrendous attack.

“The innocent must not pay for crimes they did not commit. We are urging the military to go after those behind the act with a view to bringing them to face the law. 

“The IYC is using this forum to sympathise with the families of our gallant 16 soldiers that lost their lives in the deadly ambush carried out by the criminal elements. We seek justice for the slain soldiers.” 

It added that “this is an evil that must not be swept under the carpet as bringing the culprits to book will serve as a deterrent to others”. 

The group called on Delta Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, to quickly resolve whatever differences the people of Okuama and Okoloba have with each other.

“The government must swing into action now. We have lost too many precious lives in this battle already and we cannot afford to lose anyone going further. 

“The Ijaw and Urhobo are one united big family, whatever that is affecting Ijaw is also affecting Urhobo. Most Ijaw people are traceable to Urhobo likewise the Urhobos as well. We are actually fighting over nothing. 

“Peace is indeed priceless, we must continue to learn how to tolerate ourselves and live peacefully together. What binds us together as brothers is greater than what divides us as a people,” the IYC added.

Also, the Northern Christian Youth Professionals (NCYP), said in a statement issued in Kaduna that the perpetrators must face justice.

In the statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Isaac Abrak, the group said there should be “swift identification and prosecution of those responsible for this heinous act. Justice must be served to honor the sacrifices of our brave servicemen and women.

“We urge the Nigerian Army to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident, ensuring that justice is pursued professionally and without harming innocent civilians.”

The group, however, advised the military against high handedness in pursuing those responsible for the killings so as not punish innocent civilians and create bad blood between it and the civil populace.

The NCYP said that maintaining positive relationship between the military and civilians was crucial in the fight against terrorism.

“We encourage all community members, including traditional leaders, to cooperate fully with the army and provide any necessary information to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The group urged President Bola Tinubu and State Governors to revitalise the forest guards and use them to confront the violent criminals taking over the country’s forests.

“A well-groomed Forest Guard made of local people around the forests will help the military to tackle the activities of these groups,” it added. (NAN)

DEFENCE

Police Arrest Enugu Resident with Fake Naira Notes

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The Police Command in Enugu State has arrested an Enugu resident, one Mmaduabuchi Okonkwo, 24, suspected to be in possession of, and transacting in, fake Naira notes.

A statement by the Command’s spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, said that operatives serving in Abakaliki Road Police Division, with the support of law-abiding citizens, arrested Okonkwo of Mkpologu, Emene, Enugu, at the Old IMT Bus Stop, Abakaliki Road, Enugu, on April 10.

According to him, the suspect’s arrest is sequel to his alleged possession, and transacting in, counterfeited Naira notes.

“A total of ₦40,000 suspected counterfeited one thousand denominated Naira notes were recovered from him.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect boarded a minibus from New Haven Junction to Old IMT Bus Stop, Enugu, and gave the driver one of the counterfeited notes.

“The driver, however, scrutinised and observed that the currency was fake, and quickly raised an alarm that led to the suspect’s arrest.

“Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to having paid the sum of ₦25,000 genuine Naira notes to his cohort at large for the counterfeited Naira notes worth ₦50,000,” he said.

Ndukwe said that he further confessed to having spent ₦10,000 out of the fake notes, with the remaining ₦40,000 recovered from him.

“The suspect will be arraigned and prosecuted once investigations are concluded,” he said. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

NSCDC Official Calls for Increased Vigilance to Enhance Security

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Umar Mohammed, the Kwara Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Tuesday in Ibadan called for an increase in vigilance.

He said the appeal was necessary to confront the challenges of insecurity, violence and other social vices in various communities in the state.

The Commandant said the recent rise in security challenges in the state necessitated the upgrading of the police outpost to a fully operational divisional office.

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”This is in order to address insecurity more effectively.

“The establishment of the division will no doubt improve operational efficiency, thereby reducing possible threats to peaceful coexistence,” he said.

The Commandant applauded the people of Ipee community, most especially Mr Olayiwola Oyebode, Deputy Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, for their unwavering commitment and support for the project.

He assured the community that their efforts would not go in vain.

”I promise utmost security and well-being, and the NSCDC will work tirelessly to address all your security challenges,” Mohammed said.

He urged members of the community to remain vigilant and actively support the Corps by providing credible and timely information that would enhance their operations.

“Security is a collective responsibility and everyone should play their part in keeping their community safe, by working together and sharing information promptly,” the Commandant said.

The Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly, Mr Olayiwola Oyebode, thanked the Commandant for his cooperation and efforts in ensuring the protection of lives and properties in the community and the state in general.

He urged the Commandant to deploy additional personnel to the new division in order to increase the safety and security of the people in the community.

In his remark, the Onipe of Ipee, Oba Lawal Adebayo, expressed gratitude to the Corps for the steadfast dedication to ensuring safety in the community and urged for sustained efforts.

Oba Adebayo also thanked Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his continuous support in upholding peace and security within the state.(NAN)

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DEFENCE

NSA Receives 22 Rescued Zamfara Varsity Students, Staff

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The National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday received 22 abducted students and staff of Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara,  who were rescued on Sunday.

The 22 people, comprising 15 students and seven workers of the university, were abducted from the university in September 2023.

According to the NSA, the rescue operation was coordinated by the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on Sunday.

Ribadu who received the rescued victims on Monday in Abuja, urged them not to allow their experience to break them, but should rather make them stronger.

The NSA also thanked the parents of the rescued victims for their patience and understanding during the period, and commended security agencies for their tireless work and sacrifices.

“On behalf of the President, I thank all those involved in the successful rescue of the victims without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom.

“This is yet again a success story in our efforts to free all those being  unlawfully held in captivity.

“We have so far released over a thousand of such victims without noise and in complete respect to their privacy and safety.

“This occasion marks a final juncture in a series of rescues we have undertaken in the last few months, to free victims of recent cases of mass abductions.

“Going forward, we are strengthening law enforcement and security measures to prevent these abductions, and strengthen physical security across vulnerable communities,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, NCTC, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, recalled that those rescued were abducted from the school on Sept. 22, 2023 at about 0230hrs.

Laka said bandits armed with various weapons attacked three off-campus students’ hostels at Sabon Gida in Gusau, and kidnapped a number of female students alongside some male artisans.

Others, he said, were a private security guard and a protocol officer of the university.

He added that the bandits ransacked the hostels, carted away foodstuffs, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards, cash and other valuables.

According to him, the abductees were subsequently herded on motorcycles and foot to a location through a town in Tsafe local government area of Zamfara.

“Search and rescue was conducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies and the abductees were subsequently released in three batches, after 207 days in captivity.

“The first batch was rescued on March 15 while the second batch was rescued on April 12 and the last batch rescued on April 14.

“All the abductees were profiled at NCTC while the ONSA Medical Team examined them and administered minor treatments on the bruises sustained by 3 of the abductees.

“Four of them were diagnosed of malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females tested negative to pregnancy test,” he said.

One of the rescued victims, Hafsat Ibrahim, thanked God and the government for ensuring their safe return after 207 days in captivity.

Representative of Zamfara government, Mr Ibrahim Anka, commended the efforts of the NSA in coordinating the military and security operations that ensured the safe rescue of the victims.

Anka also commended the Federal Government for the efforts and recent positive improvement in security in the state. (NAN)

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