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Insecurity: Buhari Declares Zamfara ‘No-Fly Zone’, Bans Mining Activities

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President Muhammadu Buhari has declared Zamfara a ‘no-fly zone’ and banned all mining activities in the state.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), who announced this on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that it was part of measures to tackle the security challenges witnessed in the north-western state.

He made the disclosure to State House correspondents after a five-hour National Security Council meeting presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.

A no-fly zone, also known as a no-flight zone, or air exclusion zone, is a territory or area established by a military power over which certain aircraft are not permitted to fly.
General Monguno also stated that all non-state actors have been placed under surveillance as the Federal Government will not hesitate to use kinetic means to restore normalcy in the country.
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting with Zamfara State Governor at the State House in Abuja
The NSA said the country’s defence and intelligence organization have been put on alert and charged not to allow the country to slide into a state of anarchy.

Monguno also said the President, in the meeting, gave a marching order to the new service chiefs to reclaim all areas under the control of bandits, insurgents, and kidnappers.

President Buhari had earlier in February held a meeting with Zamfara State Governor Mohammed Mattawalle at the State House in Abuja.

The governor after the meeting told journalists at the presidential villa that he was summoned by the President to brief him on the security situation in his state.

Mattawalle added that 358 special police forces have been deployed by the Federal Government to the state to tackle banditry.

 

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Eid-el- Fitr: Obasa congratulates Muslims, calls for more patriotism

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– Speaker says Nigeria’s current challenges should further unite the citizens

– Advises President Buhari to act on requests by Southern governors

– Expresses belief in a better Nigeria and calls for prayers for the country

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has appealed to Nigerians to see the country’s current challenges as an opportunity to further unite them saying this is a sure way to national progress.

Speaker Obasa made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrated by Muslims across the world.

Obasa expressed belief that the security and economic challenges Nigeria is faced with at the moment are a face from which the country would come out stronger.

He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently act on the requests recently made by the Southern Governors Forum as a way to curb rising insecurity in the country.

According to the former chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, “President Buhari should not only give a thought to the requests made by the governors, he should also implement them for the country to move forward.

Appealing to the citizens of the country not to lose faith and hope, the Speaker said: “This year’s Ramadan afforded many of us the opportunity to pray for the country. It is obvious that the country has some challenges.

“However, the challenges should not be left to the government alone. Every citizen of Nigeria is important and must play that positive role that would ultimately move the country from where it is now to where we want it to be.

“We are a religious set of people and the religions practised in the country teach us to live in love and peace with one another as well as be our neighbours’ brothers and sisters.

“More than ever, we have the responsibility to make the country habitable, devoid of criminal elements, and we must be resolute on this.”

The Speaker congratulated Muslims in Nigeria for witnessing the end of the Ramadan.

“Beyond the celebration, let us all endlessly practise the virtues of love, obey the commandments of Allah, ensure a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nigeria and continue to pray to God for more grace,” Obasa urged.

Eromosele Ebhomele,
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker,
Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Transport Ministry Defends Amaechi Against Hadiaza Bala Usman’s Claim Over N1.5B Fraud Allegations

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The Federal Ministry of Transportation says its minister, Rotimi Amaechi never asked the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman to award $1.5 billion channel management to two Chinese companies.

A national daily had on Tuesday claimed Amaechi requested that the two companies be selected to manage Bonny and Warri Channels, a request the NPA rejected because it violated due process.

Magdalene Ajani, permanent secretary of the ministry in a statement described the report as false.

“This is due to the fact that it is apparent that the intention of the story is to attempt to pre-empt the outcome of the panel’s work, unduly seek to personalise a serious national issue bordering on transparency and accountability in the handling of public finances and attempt to drag the HMT into the arena of brick-bats and mud-slinging in order to force a distraction from the assignment now being undertaken by the panel.

“It is however necessary to quickly clear the air on the weighty allegation contained in the article.

“It is to the above specific malicious and unfounded comments that this rebuttal strictly responds, as it borders on a deliberate attempt by the newspaper to drag the reputation and integrity of the HMT in the mud by an unfounded and malicious allegation, which is designed to hoodwink the Nigerian public, call into serious question the processes and standard operating protocols of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, and denigrate the person and standing of the Honourable Minister in the process.

“It is necessary to place on record that while ‘Channel Management’ contracts have been routinely awarded over the years by the Nigerian Ports Authority at a cost of between 50 and 60 billion naira on an annual basis, the Honourable Minister has adopted a firm position that the NPA should undertake the job of channel management on an in-house basis through the acquisition of the necessary machinery and professional capacity given the humongous annual sums paid out to dredging contractors by the authority.

“Indeed, following the expiration of the Channel Management contracts for the Lagos, Bonny and Port Harcourt Channels in 2020 and the initiation of the contractual process for the renewal of the said contracts early in 2021, the HMT on 22nd January, 2021, while responding to a request for the NPA to provide requisite details related to the proposed transactions directed in the following words:

“Para. 10 approved. There is the need for NPA to know that they should purchase their own equipment and not award any contract.

​“In light of the above, it is indeed difficult to reconcile the newspaper’s wild, malicious and unsupportable claim that the Honourable Minister insisted on the contracts being awarded to ‘two Chinese companies’ with the documented evidence of his position that the NPA was engaged in obvious profligacy and wastage of public funds to be spending over fifty billion naira (N50 billion) on an annual basis on contracts for which it could purchase machinery and build in-house capacity for greater long-term benefits. It is a mark of unprofessionalism and manifest unfairness, in our opinion, that in publishing this obviously sensational and targeted story, the newspaper did not consider it necessary to contact this Ministry for its side of the story before rushing to press to satisfy its sponsors.”

 

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Police Suspend Escorts For South East, Rivers Governors, Senators, VIPs (Photo)

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The Nigeria Police Force has ordered immediate withdrawal of personnel attached to governors, senators, public office holders and high profile persons in the South East.

This was decision reached following the incessant attacks on police formations and officers and in the region.

The directive was contained in a police wireless message shared by The Whistler.

The signal containing the information was dated “101054/05/2021” and with reference number 0900/DTS/DOPS/VOL47/812 and issued by the Commissioner of Police (DOPS), Asaba, Delta State.

It said, “Sequel to the incessant attacks on policemen/ snatching of arms and ammunition by the proscribed IPOB/ESN elements in the eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States and Rivers State, COMPOL DOPS directs you warn personnel that escorts of their principals to the six (6) eastern states is suspended forthwith until security situation improves. Ensure strict compliance please.”

According to the publication, the acting spokesperson of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed validity of the wireless message, but noted that it was not meant for the press.

“Firstly, the message that was sent out is not for press, so I don’t know how it got to you. Secondly, it is for policemen attached to VIPS not to escort their men to any part of the eastern state. That is the directive,” said Bright.

The South east and some parts of the South South regions have recently witnessed series of attacks on police stations, prison facilities and killing of police and other security personnel.

Last weekend, a total of 10 police officers were killed in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States while vehicles and police buildings were burnt.

The police are insisting that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and their security unit, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, are responsible for the attacks even though the secessionist group led by Nnamdi Kanu, are persistent in their denial.

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