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Presidency reels out measures taken so far to tackle insecurity in Nigeria

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, just released a statement detailing the measures so far taken to tackle insecurity in the country. Read below

MAJOR SECURITY MILESTONES IN 2019, BY PRESIDENCY

These are no doubt times of great security challenges for our country, and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is not leaving any stone unturned to restore sanity and calm.

For the records, below are some of the security initiatives taken between January and now, for the safety and security of Nigerians:

Ø Operation Puff Adder (Nigerian Police), Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 (Nigerian Army) and Exercise Egwu Eke 3 (Nigerian Army) have all been launched in 2019, to complement the existing Operations Sharan Daji (launched in 2016 by the Nigerian Army) and Diran Mikiya (launched 2018 by the Nigerian Air Force). All of these operations are focused on tackling banditry and criminality in the North West of Nigeria.

Ø Operation HARBIN KUNAMA 3 was launched on 1 April 2019 to ensure the complete defeat of the bandits fleeing military operations in Zamfara and escaping into Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto States.

– Hundreds of kidnappers and bandits have been arrested or killed since January, several camps/hideouts destroyed; and hundreds of hostages rescued. In a two-week operation in February (lasting from Feb 4 to Feb 14), 80 hostages were freed by the Nigerian Army, with 37 bandits killed.

– Aerial bombardments of bandits’ camps have been intensified in recent months. A new Air Force Base – the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det) – was commissioned at Birinin Gwari in Kaduna State in May 2019, to complement the 207 Quick Response Group (QRG) established in Gusau, Zamfara State, in 2017.

NIGERIAN POLICE:

Between January 2019 and the 1st week of May, 2019, a total of 270 suspected kidnappers, 275 suspected armed robbers, were arrested and 105 assorted weapons plus a large cache of ammunition recovered by the Nigerian Police within the states of the North West and North Central Nigeria.

? April 5- The Nigerian Police launched ‘Operation Puff Adder’, a multi-agency strategy, in collaboration with the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Department of State Services (DSS), tailored towards ridding the Kaduna – Abuja Expressway, Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states of all forms of crimes and criminality- kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, amongst others.

? April 9- Police operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested three notorious criminals involved in the kidnap of Channels Television’s staff, Mr. Friday Okeregbe- Hanniel Patrick, Abdulwahab Isah and Salisu Mohammed.

? April 10- Officers of the ‘Operation Puff Adder’ killed nine notorious criminals on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. 6 Ak47 Rifles, 1 Pump Action Gun, 1,206 Rounds of Ak47 Ammunition, 7 Magazines, 28 Cartridges And 158 Expended Shells were recovered from the criminals.

? April 16- Operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ arrested one Mallam Salisu Abubakar, 48yrs old, a native of Dutsinma LGA, Katsina State. The Mallam, is a self-confessed spiritual father of kidnappers terrorizing Abuja-Kaduna expressway and parts of other North-West/North-Central states.

? Following the arrest of the kidnappers’ ‘spiritual father’, Police detectives attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’, arrested 18 notorious kidnappers and armed robbers at different times and places across the country. A total of twenty- two (22) AK 47 rifles, five (5) locally fabricated pistols and a cache of live ammunition were recovered from the bandits.

? May 5- Operatives from ‘Operation Puff Adder’ rescued unhurt 27 kidnap victims including 5 Chinese nationals. The Chinese citizens who were earlier kidnapped on 15th April, 2019 in Bobi, Niger State, were safely and successfully rescued from a forest in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, following painstaking investigative efforts, including both air and ground surveillance. Two of the kidnappers died from injuries sustained during exchange of gun fire with the Police in the course of the rescue mission. Twenty-two other kidnap victims were rescued in Zamfara State and other parts of the country.

NIGERIAN ARMY:

? 8 January – The Army flagged off ‘Exercise EGWU EKE III’ in 8 Division Nigerian Army’s area of responsibility at 1 Battalion, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

? 2 February- Troops of 8 Division of the Nigerian Army on ‘Exercise EGWU EKE III’, in conjunction with other security agencies recovered dangerous weapons from criminals and political thugs in Sokoto State. This has really contributed immensely to a peaceful security situation in the state.

? 15 March- Troops of 72 Special Forces Makurdi, deployed at Yelwata, in Guma LGA, which is a border town between Benue and Nasarawa states, while on patrol along Yelwata-Kadarko road engaged armed robbers in a gun battle, which resulted in the elimination of one of the armed robbers, while others took to their heels. The suspects were dressed in military desert camouflage and robbing motorists along the road.

? 13 April- Troops conducting ‘Operation Sharan Daji’ in Zamfara State killed 23 bandits and arrested 18 suspected informants, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and logistics suppliers to armed criminals in the state.

? 20 April- Troops on Operation ‘HABIN KUNAMA III’, based on credible intelligence about bandits’ movements in Kirsa and Sunke in Anka LGA, Zamfara State, continued with the clearance operation into the hinterland to clear the brigands, arresting 18 informants and recovering arms and motorcycles.

? 22 April- Troops of 72 Special Forces (SF) Battalion Makurdi deployed for internal security operation in Katsina-Ala LGA, Benue State, averted a terrible clash between two Tiv clans-Shitile and Ikyora in the early hours of that day. They exterminated 5 mercenaries, recovered arms and ammunition.

? May 8- A patrol team of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army raided a bandits’ den at Gonan Bature East of Rijana and Kasarami farm house in Chikun LGA, Kaduna State. The abandoned Kasarami farm house was reportedly forcefully occupied by criminals and had been used as a shelter and a place where victims of kidnapping were kept.

? May 8- Troops on Exercise ‘HARBIN KUNAMA III’ arrested a notorious logistics supplier for bandits crouching between Jibia-Batsari axis -one Marwana Abubakar was arrested at Kwashabawa village in Jibia LGA, Katsina State.

? May 8- Troops of 311 Artillery Regiment successfully conducted a raid operation on a suspected facility in Kontagora township, Niger State. During the raid, some weapons were discovered and recovered.

NIGERIAN AIR FORCE:

? 19 January- The Nigerian Air Force deployed a fighter aircraft, along with support equipment, and a detachment of Special Forces (SF) personnel to Sokoto to further boost anti-banditry operations in Northwest Nigeria under ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’. The deployment is aimed at adding value to the efforts to deal with the spate of insecurity in some parts of Sokoto State and the border areas between Zamfara and Sokoto States.

? 7 February- The Air Task Force (ATF) of ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’ intensified the bombardment of armed bandits’ hideouts in Zamfara State and environs, after several camps being used by the bandits to launch attacks against innocent civilians were identified.

? 21 February- The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) provided a mobile Jet A-1 fuelling facility to enable the refuelling of NAF Helicopters that would operate out of the 23 Quick Response Wing (23 QRW) Nguroje. This will further enhance security on the Mambilla Plateau.

? 12 March- In continuation of efforts to enhance security in Kaduna State and its environs, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), working with other security agencies, intensified aerial surveillance over identified hotspots and flashpoints in the state while sustaining its air patrol along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway. Some of the areas covered in the surveillance missions include Gonin Gora, Kajuru, Kujama, Kasuwar Maganin and surrounding settlements.

? 31 March- A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces (SF) Team operating in Zamfara State successfully repelled attacks by armed bandits who attempted to invade Hayin Mahe and Hayin Kanawa Villages in Gusau Local Government Area.

? 8 April- The Air Task Force (ATF) for ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’ renewed air offensive against armed bandits in Zamfara State and its environs. The air strikes are aimed at flushing out the bandits from their hideouts in Sububu, Rugu and Kagara Forests, amongst others, whilst ensuring the protection of the lives and properties of citizens in Northwest Nigeria.

? 9 April- The Air Task Force (ATF), ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’ neutralized dozens of armed bandits in Sector 2 Area of Operation in Zamfara State and also supported surface forces to move into the attacked areas to mop-up the fleeing survivors and recover their weapons. Some of the bandits fled across the border into Niger Republic.

? 13 April- The Air Task Force (ATF) for ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’ destroyed some logistics stores belonging to bandits at a location within Kagara Forest, Zamfara State. Some of the armed bandits who had fled their camps as a result of NAF’s earlier air strikes had relocated some logistics items, including fuel, motorcycles and local arms-making equipment, to another location within Kagara Forest.

? 16 April- In response to reports that high profile armed bandits were gathering around Rafi and Doka villages of Mada District in Gusau Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State, which is under the Area of Responsibility (AOR) of the 207 Quick Response Group (207 QRG), a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces (SF) Team was dispatched to the area to secure the 2 settlements.

? 22 April- The Air Task Force (ATF) for ‘Operation DIRAN MIKIYA’ neutralized about 10 armed bandits at Sububu Forest area in Zamfara State. This was achieved while the ATF was responding to a request for close air support by ground troops of Sector 7 Area of Responsibility of Operation SHARAN DAJI, who had come into contact with armed bandits in Shinkafi Local Government Area (LGA).

? 4 May- NAF commissioned the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det) at Birinin Gwari in Kaduna State. The Detachment was established to serve as support Base and a blocking force for troops in Operations DIRAN MIKIYA and SHARAN DAJI.

It is the constitutional duty and responsibility of government to safeguard lives and properties. The Buhari administration remains committed to this, and despite recent spikes in the spate of crime and criminality, the evildoers will be beaten, and badly, too. The ravening clouds can never be victorious. Soon, they shall no longer possess the sky.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 12, 2019

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We’ll Treat Anyone Associated With IPOB As A Terrorist – Abia CP

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The Abia State Police Command has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against any activity capable of truncating the peace and safety of the residents.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ene Okon, gave the warning in an interview on Channels Television.

He said that anyone or group of persons associated with IPOB will be termed as a terrorist and dealt with severely.

“The Nigeria Police Force In Abia will treat any person associated with IPOB as a terrorist and such a person or group of persons will be dealt with according to the law”.

The commissioner’s comment comes in reaction to the sit-at-home-order issued by the proscribed movement, scheduled to come into effect on May 30, 2019.

He noted that security personnel have been put in strategic places, thereby assuring residents to go about their activities without fear.

“I am assuring the good people of Abia to disregard the illegal order and go about their normal businesses as there is every assurance of protection of lives and properties”, he added.

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EFCC arrests Kwara Assembly clerk over alleged N400m severance pay

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating alleged illegal payment of about N400 million to some members of the Kwara state House of Assembly, it was gathered.

Accordingly, the anti-graft body is quizzing Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Gold and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai over the alleged payment.

EFCC source maintained that the payment did not follow due process.

It was gathered that all the 24 lawmakers were two weeks ago paid the sum of N400 million severance package, when their tenure is yet to expire.

The petitioner said even though the lawmakers and members of the state executive council are entitled to severance package, it is the next administration that is supposed to pay the money, a source at the EFCC has said.

“More worrisome is the issue of furniture allowance running to hundreds of millions of naira according to the petitioner which they wanted it pay along with severance package,” the petitioner added.

Speaker of the Assembly Dr Ali Ahmed had in a letter with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, confirmed that the lawmakers are entitled to severance package at the end of their tenure on June 7th this year.

The letter reads that “in accordance with the provisions of the revenue mobilization, allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) honourable members are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their tenure of office.”

The clerk of the house, Halimat Jummai Kperogi confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance package.

She was said to have told the operatives of the EFCC that Governor Ahmed approved the payment of the package.

Kperogi said “in a meeting of the principal officers of the Kwara House of Assembly wherein I was scheduled to be the secretary, held on May 8th, 2019, issue of severance gratuity to the honourable members was raised, the principal officers were informed that the state government has approved the payment of the severance gratuity.”

“At the meeting, I informed the house that the governor had approved the payment. I added that members were expected to be paid after the expiration of their tenure of office. The house debated it and they overruled me.”

Alhaji Gold on the other hand wrote and sought for the approval of the severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the state executive council.

Gold, in a letter to the governor dated May 8th, 2019 said “your Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara state remuneration of political and public office holders laws, certain category of political and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon
successful completion of tenure.”

Alhaji Gold said that while the lawmakers had received their monies, members of the state executive council are yet to receive their gratuity.

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FG approves N25bn earned academic allowances for ASUU members

….Minister: We spent N1.338tn on education in four years

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The Federal Government on Tuesday said it has approved additional N25 billion payment for Earned Academic Allowances for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

It was learnt that the money is a part payment contained in the Memorandum of Action the Union signed with the government.

The government said the N25 billion was aside the N20 billion that was released last year to public universities in the country.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu broke the news at his valedictory press conference as a minister on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Adamu was joined by Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah and Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed at the briefing.

The minister said all universities in the country have benefitted from the N20 billion released last year by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.

He said the Buhari administration inherited an unimplementable agreement of N1.3 trillion when it assumed office in 2015.

Adamu said: “Let me inform you that the federal government has just approved an additional N25 billion to be shared to beneficiary institutions directly. Last year, the federal government released N20 billion directly to universities. As I speak, all universities have got their share of the N20 billion.

“The sad news is that the N200 billion that was released to the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2013 for the universities has not been fully accessed. In specific terms, all the 73 public varsities have accessed the 1st tranche of 50 percent of the N200 billion.

“For the second tranche of 40 percent, only 56 institutions have been able to access their funds. The last 10 percent representing the third tranche of the N200 billion has not been accessed at all.

Adamu, in his Education for Change: Our stewardship in the last four years, address, said the government invested N1.338 trillion on the sector in the last four years.

Adamu said: “In spite of the economic downturn, we have done well in terms of investment in capital expenditure. The UBEC interventions in states have recorded a total of N350 billion, while TETFund and NEED Assessment interventions have recorded N857 billion with the main ministry and other agencies recording N86 billion, totalling N1.338 trillion in the last four years.

“This is aside from the N25 billion just approved for public universities. These figures have nothing to do with personnel and overhead cost in the education sector, which are also well over a trillion naira.

“Private sector investment in the education sector from the basic, secondary and tertiary levels far outweigh government investment. Our aggregate expenditure in the education sector (public and private) therefore exceeds the much touted 20 percent of our national budget. We are poised to do more.

He said the administration has laid a good foundation for dealing with the challenges posed by the out-of-school children phenomenon and the huge number of adult illiterates.

“If we continue on this path, in the next ten years, Nigeria’s challenges in this twin direction I’ll be confined to the dust in of history.

“On basic, secondary and tertiary education, we shall continue on the path of infrastructural and manpower development, increasing carrying capacity and creating unfettered access to all levels of our education for our young people.,” the minister added.

ASUU president. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the N25 billion was supposed to be released by government to its members in March this year as part of the MoA it signed with the union.

He said he could not confirm if members of the union had received the funds or not.

The. ASUU president said the N20 billion that has been fully accessed by its members was for revitalisation of universities in the country.

“I can’t confirm if the money has been released to our members. We still have issues with the money.

“The N25 billion is part of the Earned Academic Allowances for our members. It is a part payment. We have been chasing that money to be released to us. The money was supposed to be released in March 28 this year but the government released only N20 billion leaving a balance of N5 billion.

“The balance is supposed to be mainstreamed into 2019 budget,” he added.

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