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Buhari Set to attend OIC Summit in Makkah

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President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to departs Abuja on Thursday to attend the Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The 14th session of the Summit Conference of the OIC, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, is scheduled to hold on Friday, May 31, and will be hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by Heads of State and Governments of Member States.

According to the OIC secretariat, the summit to be convened under the theme, “Makkah al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future,” seeks to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world.

President Buhari is expected to address the forum and underscore the need for member countries to unite and work together to combat common challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism.

The President will also push forward themes that have been at the forefront of his domestic and international priorities, including reviving the Lake Chad Basin, investing in Nigeria to create jobs and financing for development.

On the margins of the summit, the Nigerian leader will hold bilateral meetings with world leaders to promote increased cooperation and collaboration on issues of mutual concern.

President Buhari, who is expected to return to the country on June 2nd, will be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.

Also on the delegation are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar; Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami; and the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukthar.

Ahead of the Summit, was a preparatory meeting in Jeddah meant to adopt the draft agenda and work programme for the Summit.

On the agenda were the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict; combating terrorism and violent extremism; the humanitarian situation in the Muslim world; promotion of scientific cooperation, among others.

President Buhari became the third Nigerian leader to attend the OIC conference in person, after the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigeria joined the OIC in 1986 and has held various positions in the Organisation, including Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) Commissioner, Amb. M.L. Sulaiman, elected in 2017

In 2009, Ambassador Opeloyeru Hameed was elected Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs and later re-elected

The OIC funded the project for training and guidelines on Sukuk issuance in 2018

In 2018, the IDB through the Presidential Committee for the North East Initiative provided relief materials to IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States

Nigeria continues to benefit from scholarships from OIC member countries

In August 2016, the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG) formally opened its Nigeria Country Gateway Office in Abuja with a mission to focus its services on health, agriculture, infrastructure, small and medium-scale enterprises and regional integration

Dr Mansur Mukhtar, former Minister of Finance is now serving as the Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank.

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Soldier, two NSCDC operatives shot dead in Rivers

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A soldier and two operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were shot dead on Sunday following a gun duel with suspected militants in Rivers.

The security operatives were killed and their weapons carted away while preventing militants from vandalising an oil and gas facility in Gio community, Tai area of Rivers.

Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the spokesman of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, confirmed the killings in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

“The suspected militants attacked troops of 29 Battalion, 6 Division, with personnel of NSCDC in the early hours of Sunday.

“The team which was guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines (TNP) in Gio community prevented the militants from vandalising 24 and 28 of the TNP.

“Unfortunately, during the ensuing gunfire, one soldier and two personnel of NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons, one AK 47 and two G3 rifles, carted away by the assailants,” he said.

Iliyasu said the army later deployed more troops to the area with intent to apprehend the fleeing militants as well as other criminals in the community.

He said the cordon and search operation led to another gun duel with alleged cultists and an oil bunkering kingpin wanted by security agencies in the state.

The spokesman said Korobe Menele, a prime suspect in the killing of the security operatives, was shot dead in the gun duel with troops.

“At about 9 a.m. on Sunday, troops acting on reliable intelligence sighted a white Toyota Hilux that was without number plate. The vehicle was hastily driven with four occupants.

“Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a check point were ignored. However, troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with it around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at troops in a bid to escape. But, troops reacted and incapacitated the militants vehicle.

“Thereafter, they abandoned their vehicle and fled into the bush. However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was later identified as Korob Menele, a notorious cultist and oil bunkering kingpin,” he said.

Iliyasu said troops were currently on the trail of the three other fleeing suspects who had sustained gunshot injuries during the exchange of gunfire with soldiers.

He listed items recovered from the vehicle as one K2 rifle, two magazines with 52 rounds of 5.56mm one number plate, KRK 95DP Rivers, and some personal effects, including documents.

According to him, the body of the suspected cultist and recovered items had been handed over to NSCDC for further action.

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Boko Haram suicide bombing in Konduga kills 17

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A triple suicide bombing by Boko Haram jihadists killed 17 people in the northeastern Nigerian town of Konduga, emergency services said Monday.

Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a location where football fans were watching a match on TV on Sunday evening, they said.

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Buhari urges universities to intensify inventions to assist national development

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged universities to intensify efforts at making discoveries and inventions that can assist the development of the country.

Buhari made the call in Dutsinma, Katsina State, in a goodwill message to the fourth convocation of the Federal University,  Dutsinma (FUDMA).

Represented by Professor Hafiz Abubakar, the former Deputy Governor of Kano State, Buhari said that part of the speech would serve as a wake-up call to the nation’s universities.

“Research, critical thinking, moral dispositions, discoveries and inventions should find natural habitats in our universities, as they do in several other universities in the world.

“Universities are supposed to be strong drivers of the country’s development initiatives for sustainable development,” he said.

He challenged the universities for being slow in aspects of discoveries and inventions.

“It is not heart-warming that in our over 58 years of independence, Nigerian universities are slow in discoveries and inventions,” he said.

He, however, said that his administration would continue to do everything possible to improve structures and facilities in the institutions, and to enhance learning by training the required manpower through various interventions like TETFUND.

Buhari also urged FUDMA to partner with Sokoto River Basin Development Authority to produce improved agricultural varieties and give the required scientific and extension support to the local farmers.

He said that this would enhance the farmers’ productivity and economic viability.

In his remarks, the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adamu Baba-Kutigi, said that 430 students were graduating from the institution for the 2017/2018 session.

According to him, the university, whose vision is to be among the top-ranking universities in the world, has seven faculties that run about 40 programmes.

He disclosed that the institution had established micro finance bank, university farm, printing press and a shopping mall to enhance its internally generated revenue.

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