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Reps Lament Attacks on Borno Communities

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The House of Representatives had lamented over insurgents renewed attacks on communities in Borno state and asked the military to change its strategies to offensives than defensive in the war.

It, particularly, urged the military authorities to station at least a battalion of personnel and appropriate equipment at Mandiragrau, Askira and Garkida Communities, to contain the activities of the insurgents holding grounds there.

This followed a motion brought before it by Hon Ahmad Haha, who raised a motion under matter of urgent public importance, that against what the military were talking about winning the war, communities around the Sambisa forest were under siege by the Boko Haram terrorists.

He noted that in the last two weeks three different Communities of Klangar (Ngohi Ward), Gyerha (Kida Ward) and Askira the Headquarters of Askira Uba LGA, were at different times attacked by Boko Haram Insurgents, with the last episode on Saturday the 13th of November 2021.

Haha noted again that during such attacks, Private and Public Properties were burnt down, stores with food items looted and all people living in these areas displaced into nearby bushes with all the risks and consequences that followed, and lives lost, especially of the gallant security personnel and unfortunate civilians caught up in the middle of cross fire. 

The lawmaker informed the House that still within this zone, four members of Askira Emirate Council were abducted while trying to travel between Askira and Maiduguri the state capital, stressing that as at the time of writing his motion, there was no news of their whereabout, one week after their abduction, stating thst two of them had health Challenges.

He explained concerns that though security personnel were doing their very best, their numbers and equipment available to them were grossly inadequate to protect all the Communities on the fringes of the Sambisa forest. 

He was further concerned that the insurgents, when they attacked Askira, came with 16 Gun Trucks and two M-RAPS observers saying that “kinetically, they’ve dominated the region”, stressing that with this situation, the country can not afford to handle them with kids gloves. 

The lawmaker worried that with the Yuletide season around the corner, their attacks would only increase as the bush paths the terrorists normally followed were now dried and motorable by their standards. 

Haha was further worried that some of the communities had already received notices from the insurgents of impending attacks. 

Apart from improving security around the communities, the House also asked the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), to immediately provide all the Communities affected with relief materials, to cushion the effects of the attacks on the citizens. 

The House asked NEDC to provide food stuff to all the Communities affected as most of the just harvested food crops have been looted.

The Inspector General of Police, (IGP), in collaboration with other security outfits, were asked to ensure immediate and unconditional release of the four unfortunate members of the lawmaker’s Constituency abducted one week ago.

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Fire Guts Minister’s Private Residence

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The private residence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud was completely razed down by fire on Sunday afternoon.

Reports suggest that nothing was salvaged from 9 Justice Roseline Ukeji Close, Asokoro, Abuja as fighters were said to have arrived late.

Media Aide to the minister Mr.

Austine Elemue said the cause of the fire was being investigated.

The Ag. Director, FCT Fire Service, Mr Amiola Adebayo confirmed the fire outbreak.

The Acting Director in a text message to our correspondent said the fire started around 10:40am on 7 Roseline Ukeji close, Mark Okoye Street, Asokoro, involving a 7-bedroom duplex.

He said household items on the upper floor including: beds, clothes, documents, credentials, jewelries and others like air-conditioners, roof were consumed.

 The fire service boss suspected electrical fault in the children room as the cause of the fire.

The fire was brought under control around 2:51pm. No life was lost.

This is the major fire incident in Abuja this year.

On Nov. 7, 2023, a section of the Canadian High Commission caught fire.

The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said a diesel tank explosion was responsible for the incident.

Two persons died in the incident while one other person was critically injured.

At the same time, one of the Samsung electronic retail stores in Abuja was gutted by fire.

The fire was said to have been caused by careless welding activities near a pile of empty combustible cartons.

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Northern Senators Jubilant as ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions on Niger Republic

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By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja

Northern Senators Forum has commended the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for lifting sanctions imposed on Niger Republic as a result of military takeover on July 26th, 2023.

Recall that the regional block had a fortnight ago, lifted the sanctions it imposed on the trio of Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso following military insurrections in their respective countries.

Reacting to the development, the northern senators forum yesterday in Abuja said that they were pleased to see that ECOWAS responded to the progressive requests “made by us individually and collectively on the subject matter and we commend their prudent and compassionate approach in addressing these critical issues”.

The spokesman of Northern Senators Forum, Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP, Kano South) noted that the principled and empathetic decision made by ECOWAS to lift the sanctions on Niger Republic was a testament to the organization’s commitment to regional solidarity, cooperation, and respect for human rights, stressing that the action would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of Niger Republic as well as ensuring the restoration of stability and economic prosperity in the region.

According to him, “We are particularly grateful that ECOWAS leaders have considered our pleas to restore electricity, open borders and lift the sanctions on Niger Republic.

“These measures will not only have crucial humanitarian implications but will also foster regional integration, trade, and cooperation.

“We firmly believe that this step taken by ECOWAS will positively impact the lives of the people of Niger Republic and Nigeria and facilitate the restoration of trust and harmony among all member states.

“As representatives of the people and advocates for justice and democracy, we commend ECOWAS for their responsiveness and understanding of the immense challenges faced by our fellow West African nation.

“The Northern Senators Forum stands in solidarity with ECOWAS in restoring democracy and rule of law in Niger Republic and other west African countries.

“And we are committed to working to promote stability, peace, and socio-economic development throughout the region.

“We urge the government of Niger Republic and its people to seize this opportunity to hasten the process of returning to democratic governance to build a stronger and more prosperous nation, harnessing their resilient spirit and unwavering determination.

“Furthermore, we urge all regional stakeholders to continue engaging in dialogue and pursuing peaceful solutions to address any remaining concern, fostering a harmonious environment for progress and development.

“Finally, we would like to reiterate our deep appreciation to ECOWAS leaders especially, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria for their proactive and benevolent intervention in lifting the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic.

“We are confident that this decision will leave an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of all West African nations and serve as a shining example for resolving differences through dialogue and diplomacy.”

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Edo 2024: Ighodalo Wins PDP Guber Ticket with 577 votes

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By Dasvid Torough, Abuja

All efforts to make the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Edo State came to naught as two aspirants lay claim to victory on Thursday.

Dr Asue Ighodalo was announced the governorship candidate of the PDP for the Sept.

21 guber election.

The Chief Returning Officer and chairman of the Edo Governorship Primary election Committee, Gov.

Dada Lawal of Zamfara State, declared Ighodalo as winner after he garnered 577 votes to defeat six other aspirants.

The primary was co-chaired by Gov.

Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta

The governorship primary was held at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

The Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha, led officials of INEC to monitor the process.

Ighodalo scored 577 votes to defeat other aspirants, including Deputy Gov. Philip Shaibu, who scored one vote.

In his acceptance speech, Ighodalo who thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him, promised prosperity for all Edo people.

He added that he would make deliberate efforts to tackle poverty and deliver good governance to the people.

Two former House of Representatives members, Mr Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Omosede Igbinedion, stepped down minutes before the primary.

The other aspirants Anslem Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru, Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene, all scored zero vote.

Earlier, the State Chairman of PDP, Tony Aziegbemi who welcomed the Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee to the state, said the PDP was ready for the Sept. governorship election.

Aziegbemi said a total of 594 adhoc delegates were elected by party members.

Similarly,  the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu emerged factional candidate for the same election.

It was reported that Shaibu scored 3000 votes in a parallel primary election held at his residence on Commercial Avenue, Benin City.

The Returning Officer, Bartholomew Moses declared that Shaibu won with an overwhelming majority of votes.

It was said that some delegates who went to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium were denied entry.

These delegates returned to the deputy governor’s lodge for the primary election.

Shaibu reportedly addressed the delegates and advised them to remain peaceful, promising to speak with the primary electoral committee chairman.

It was later resolved that a parallel exercise should hold and Shaibu emerged candidate of the election.

Delegates from 12 local government areas reportedly elected Shaibu as the candidate.

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