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Governor weeps over Boko Haram attacks

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Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and wept profusely over unrelenting devastation of his state by Boko Haram terrorists, asking the president to do more to save the people from destruction by the terror gang.

The governor led a delegation of Borno elders to the president a week after he met, in Maiduguri, the state capital, with stakeholders in the state, telling them that the insecurity situation was dire and required extra commitment on their part to ward off the terrorists’ offensive.

Relating the devastation in the state, to Buhari yesterday, Shettima could not fight back the tears as he chronicled the deadly activities of Boko Haram since 2013 and noted that the recent destructive acts of the terrorists were only comparable with what he described as the worst times of 2013, 2014.

According to him, the state’s recent experience is a major setback in the fight against insurgency in the North-east.

Shettima, however, said the delegation had not lost hope in Buhari’s ability to win the war against terror and restore normalcy to Borno State.

Amid tears, like a child, who was deprived of his beans cake, he told the president that the delegation came to present 10 requests, which he appealed to journalists not to make public.

A statement later by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buhari reasserted his administration’s unwavering support to equip the military to overcome the insurgency in the North-east.

He said the president also told the delegation that the collective safety and security of civilians would continue to remain paramount in the administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the region.

‘‘Having been a former Governor in the North-east, a GOC in the region and very familiar with the terrain, I assure you that as Commander-in-Chief, I’ll raise the standard of the Nigerian Armed Forces and get the resources to encourage them to do better than what they are doing,’’ he said.

The president told the delegation comprising political, traditional, religious, women and media leaders in the state that he was impressed by their leadership roles and participation in helping the government deal with the insurgency in the North-east.

The statement added that the president commended the contributions of the stakeholders from Borno State particularly the need for more air support for troops on the ground and coordination among different security agencies.

“I am getting at least a weekly situation report from the services and of course from other sources. I encourage the commanders to remain committed,’’ he said.

It also said Buhari thanked Shettima for demonstrating leadership in the state during these difficult times.

‘‘I have an idea how much you are doing and I very much appreciate it. I’m sure that has earned you more respect from the people,’’ he said.

Adesina said earlier in his remarks, Shettima recalled that before 2015, Boko Haram had almost completely overrun the state, occupying many local government areas because the state government did not receive the necessary support and succour from the then federal government.

The governor was quoted to have said, ‘‘We are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your presidency in the firm belief that with you as Commander-in-Chief, Boko Haram will become history.

‘‘We are here because you have demonstrated empathy for Borno people and the overriding commitment to end Boko Haram.

‘‘We are here because we knew you would welcome us without any suspicion or contempt.’’

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SECURITY

Court adjourns the trial of El-Zakzaky, wife, till March 25

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A Kaduna State High Court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, till March 25.

Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

El Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015, following clashes between his members and the Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.

They are standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace, among others.

They were earlier denied bail by Justice Kurada during the last sitting on the matter on November 7, 2018 on the grounds that the defendant failed to support their request for bail with enough medical evidence that would allow the court to exercise its discretion in his favour.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to January 22, 2019 for accelerated hearing.

When the case came up for mention on Tuesday, the prosecution lawyers led by Bayero Dari of the ministry of Justice, prayed the court to continue with the case, even though the authorities were yet to get hold of the other two accused persons under trial.

Lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Femi Falana (SAN), made no objection to the demand, but prayed the court to amend the charges to be KDSG vs Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, to which the presiding Judge agreed to.

Falana prayed the court to give a mandatory order for his clients to be flown abroad to receive proper medical attention since the government has glaringly failed to cure them of the injuries they sustained during the army’s onslaught on their residence in December, 2015.

Falana argued that Sheikh El Zakzaky had in January 2018, suffered stroke in detention and since the attack by the soldiers three years ago, he has not been allowed to optimally access healthcare.

He said El Zakzaky had lost his left eye as a result of the military bullets unleashed on him during the attack and stands the risk of losing his sight completely except if urgent medical attention is provided.

Falana added that the health situation of El Zakzaky’s wife Zeenat, had also deteriorated as she was experiencing severe excruciating pains due to the presence of shrapnel lodged in her body following the horrendous attacks by the Nigerian military.

While adjourning the case, Justice Gideon Kurada said the court cannot accede to the request of the defendant to travel abroad for medical treatment.

He however ordered that El Zakzaky should be allowed by the government to bring doctors of his choice to examine him in the presence of doctors from the government before the date of the next sitting.

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Politics

2019 Elections: NOA predicts possible electoral violence in 5 states

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has expressed concerns over possible electoral violence in Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and Plateau states in the upcoming polls.

Dr Garba Abari, the Director General of the agency, disclosed this at the launching of the nationwide sensitisation to peaceful election on Monday in Abuja.

Abari said that reports from its field officers across the country indicated possible flashpoints in states like Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and plateau states.

He stated that election periods were often characterised by great anxiety usually heightened by reckless utterances and action of some politicians.

Abari said as patriots and lovers of the country, the citizenry must realise that, they had no other country but Nigeria.

“We have a duty to promote peace, enhance security, national unity and integration, using our diversity and our fault lines as a source of strength rather than a reason to commit violence.

According to him, we are all witnesses to the fact that some of our previous elections have been characterised by all manners of violence.

He called for a reversal of such menace, stressing that such must be addressed in the face of instances of pre-election violence that had been witnessed in places like Lagos, Wukari, and Taraba state.

The D-G said “our youths who are easily used by unscrupulous politicians as cannon folder for the perpetration of violence must be called to order.

According to him, this responsibility is on parents, guardians, religious leaders, opinion moulders, traditional rulers and youth leaders across the country as we draw near to the commencement of the general election.

He reiterated the commitment of the agency to national unity, brotherly love, tolerance of differing opinions and religion.

Abari said that the agency was aware that the 2019 general elections could have significant consequences for the Democratic trajectory of Nigeria, West Africa and the entire Africa continent.

NAN

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SECURITY

IGP disbans FSARS, with immediate effect

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The new acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has disbanded the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squads, FSARS, Special Investigation Panel and Special Tactical Squad.

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Adamu made the announced Monday at his inaugural conference with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers in Abuja, on Monday and was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide, Bashir Ahmad, via his Twitter handle.

“JUST IN: The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed A. Adamu has ordered the immediate disbandment of the Federal SARS, Special Investigation Panel and Special Tactical Squad,” he tweeted.

 


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SECURITY

Frank Mba appointed as PRO of the Nigeria Police

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The Acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed, has appointed Frank Mba as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Nigeria Police, replacing the former spokesman DCP Jimoh Moshood.

Mba, who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police served as the PRO of the Police Force between 2012 and 2014 when he served under former IGP Mohammed Adamu.

He was relieved of his post after Abubakar’s departure.

The University of Lagos law graduate, who hails from Ezimo in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, was called to Nigerian bar in 2002. He was the best graduating cadet inspector in academics at the Police Academy, Kano, in 1993.

He rose up the Police ladder and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1999, Deputy Superintendent of Police in 2003, Superintendent of Police in 2006 and Chief Superintendent of Police in 2012.

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