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Collapsed Building: 25 bodies rescued, Ambode visit site

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Dozens of children are believed trapped inside a collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria, where massive rescue attempt are ongoing.

The building is on the Ita-faji area of Lagos island, the oldest part of the city.

It is unclear how many people are inside the ruins of the three-story building that collapsed about 10 a.m. local time Wednesday.

It is reported that a school with about 100 students was located on the building’s top floor.

Several children are believed to have been rescued from the debris. Ambulances, fire trucks, and heavy building equipment were standing by to help with the search-and-rescue effort.

Meanwhile, the governor of Lagos State, Akinwumnu Ambode has has visited the scene where he got briefing from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency boss that 25 bodies have been rescued so far.

He said, “I’ve been briefed that the building is a residential building accommodating an illegal school on the second floor.

“The rescue team are fully in charge and they will continue with the rescue operation. But I appeal to people to give the rescue workers a chance to save more lives.”

He, however, said the state government will carry out an integrity test on buildings around the area and demolish and any that fails the test.

“This area and building here will be undergoing an integrity test. As you can see some of the buildings have been marked for demolition

“We have been receiving pleas from house owners from the area. Notwithstanding, we will go ahead with the integrity test and any building that fails the integrity test will be demolished.

“But the most important thing now is to save more lives before we talk about dealing with the culprit.

“The deputy governor is at the hospital to take care of those who have been rescued and are at the hospital. The hospital bills will be taken care of by the state government,” Ambode said

Building collapses are not uncommon in Nigeria. In 2016, more than 100 people died when a church collapsed in southeastern Nigeria. A five-story building in Lagos collapsed that year as well, killing at least 30 people.

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Politics

Buhari confirms the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as Police IG

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as the Inspector General of Police.

According to Buhari’s aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, Adamu’s appointment was confirmed at the Police Council Meeting which held at the State House.

The meeting was presided over by Buhari.

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“Nigeria is safe”

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Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed has declared that Nigeria is safe and there is no cause for alarm. The declaration came yesterday despite uncovering an alleged plot to disrupt the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term on May 29.

He said world leaders, who will attend the maiden June 12 Democracy Day, have nothing to fear.

Mohammed, who made the declaration at a news conference in Abuja, said security agencies were on top of the recent security alarm.
He, however, emphasized that the presidential inauguration on May 29, would be a low-key event in order to save cost.

Muhammed said: “On the invitation of world presidents to the presidential inauguration, I said leaders will be invited instead to the observance of Democracy Day and that invitations have since been sent out.
“Nigeria is safe and sound for world leaders to attend the celebration. I will not tell you the measures taken for safety. I have no reason to doubt the credibility of the security alarm raised by security agencies. There is no cause for alarm as the security agencies are on top of the matter.”

According to him, the swearing-in of the President and the Vice President at the Eagle Square would be followed by a State Banquet at the State House.

Mohammed noted that the event marking the June 12 Democracy Day would start on June 7 with a historical exhibition in arts, pictures and immersive environment, and would run through June 12.

On the inauguration activities that began with yesterday’s news conference, the minister said: “This will be followed on Tuesday by the commencement of three-day national youth entrepreneurship empowerment summit in Abuja.

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ECOWAS: President Buhari charges security chiefs on transborder crimes

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on police and security chiefs from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to share Intelligence to curtail violent crimes ravaging the subregion.

President Buhari 

He said terrorist’s activities affecting Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin countries and Cameroun in central Africa have created new humanitarian problems and serious security threats.

The president made this known at the closing ceremony of the 16 Annual General Meeting of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) and Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of Security in Abuja.

Represented by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau, President Buhari noted that insecurity posed by corruption, terrorism, communal clashes, kidnap for ransom, organised crimes among were some of the vices threatening the peace in the region.

The President, who attributed the vulnerability of the region to criminal activities and other threats to peace and security to the vast borders and proximity to the Sahel, said that it was imperative for member-states to coordinate their security plans and activities, to enable law enforcement and other security agencies to contain and prevent these vices.

“We are aware of other threats to security such as climate change which brings with it environmental degradation, extreme poverty and poor governance,” Dambazau said, speaking for the President.

“However, as police chiefs, your focus is on security of lives and property in relation to law and order,“ he said.

Buhari noted that the fight against crime and criminality was vast and resource consuming, transcending national, regional and global levels.

He said that WAPCCO was a forum that affords the police and security chiefs the opportunity for cooperation and collaboration to proffer solutions to the security challenges confronting the region.

The President said that the fight against crime and criminality could only be achieved through the collective will and effort of member-states.

He said that resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of performance of the participants.

“It is pertinent to note that resolutions in the meeting would become the standard measure of your performances which in turn would help in safeguarding our nascent democracies.

“The knowledge they garnered here will also enhance your competences and capacities to successfully handle and resolve such incidences when they occur.

“Nigeria in the last four years has taken drastic measures and spared no effort in her resolve to fight corruption and her quest to defeat Boko Haram.

“We have led vigorous military campaigns against the terrorists by re-organising the multinational joint task force which had dislodged them.

“Working with our regional and international allies, we have denied them safe haven within and around the sub-region.

“We have also strengthened legislation against terrorism and corruption by equipping the ant-graft agencies in the country to be able to carry out their mandates,“he said.

He said that the measures adopted have yielded much dividends in reducing financial crimes and acts of terrorism in the country.

On his part, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou, said that the current security challenges in the sub-region required urgent attention.

He was represented by ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin.

Brou said that results could be achieved in the fight against crime and criminality if it was handled by members-states with seriousness.

He noted that the security situation in the region was precarious due to terrorism, drug trafficking, arms proliferation and smuggling among others.

The president attributed insecurity in the sub-region to poverty, corruption and socio-political problems.

He called on member-states to collaborate with ECOWAS to hold the WAPCCO meeting annually.

Also speaking, Dambazau said that the region was faced with numerous regional and international security challenges.

Dambazau, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, charged the security ministers to provide lasting solutions to tackle them by providing leadership and formulating policies.

He said that all over the world, crime and criminality are assuming new and unimaginable dimensions that no country can effectively fight without the collaboration with others.

Countries in attendance were Bukina Faso, Cape Verde, Benin Republic, Cote I`Voire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria.

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SECURITY

Not everyone with dreadlocks or tattoos is a cultist – Lagos CP sensitize officers

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Zubairu Muazu, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, has warned its officers to desist from arresting anyone on the basis of having dreadlocks or tattoos.

Muazu, who was speaking at an event in Lagos, also said the Nigeria Police Force is constantly training and re-training officers to ensure every personnel actions is within the confines of the law.

He said: “We have been sensitizing and talking to our police officers that not everybody you see on dreadlock is a cultist. Some are born with dreadlocks.

“If I feel like tattooing my hand, why not, I have the right to do that. Not everybody you see with tattoo is a cultist.

“We are working hard on that. I am sure if you’ve noticed the trends of recent, such nasty arrests are no more going on in Lagos state and we will continue to do so”

Muazu who also commented on rape and sexual assault by the Police said all security stakeholders and Nigerians should join the force in putting an end to it, as it is a societal issue.

“I believe it’s a societal issue and we all have to come together. What the police during cases like this is always reactionary.

“The family and society and everybody should work towards that to come up with a way forward on this issue.

“We need your assistance and cooperation to ensure that we get the Nigeria Police Force out of this mess that is in now.”

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