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Many killed in Rivers as soldiers, IPOB members clash

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About five soldiers and four members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra have been feared dead after a clash in Oyigbo and other parts of Rivers State.

This brings to seven the number of IPOB members who reportedly died during the #EndSARS and police brutality protests in the state.

The IPOB members were said to have engaged in a shoot-out with a joint security team comprising soldiers and police deployed to quell their activities in Oyigbo, Rumuokwurusi and other flashpoints.

Governor Nyesom Wike in a state broadcast on Friday condemned activities of the group despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the Oyigbo council area.

Wike stated, “We were all witnesses to yet another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

“This evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, police stations, court buildings and business premises.”

 

Sunday PUNCH gathered that the IPOB members and soldiers clashed from Thursday night upbuntil Friday evening.

Spokesman for the 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Charles Ekeocha, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

The state police command said two cops were killed, four police stations burnt and over 50 vehicles set ablaze by suspected IPOB members who attacked the Oyigbo community and other areas in the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, stated this when he led commanders of other security agencies in the state to the Oyigbo council area on Saturday.

In a statement by the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, the CP had ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident with a view to apprehending and prosecuting the culprits.

The statement read, “The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan today (Saturday) led commanders of the sister security agencies in the state to Oyigbo council area where hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB under the guise of #EndSARS protests invaded Oyigbo Area Command, Oyigbo, Afam and Umuebulu Police stations where they attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down the four police formations.

“In the course of the attacks, over 50 vehicles were burnt, including one Armoured Personnel Carrier, killing two policemen who were hacked to death and set ablaze.”

Mukan condemned the attack on public and private property, describing it as ‘ill-conceived, most unfortunate and an ill wind that would blow no one any good,’ while condoling with the families of the slain operatives.

He said, “The command will stop at nothing until the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are arrested and brought to justice.”

-Punch

 

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FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC

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The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.

“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”

Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.

He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered.  Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”

Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.

According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.

The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.

“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases   is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.

“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.

He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.

Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.

Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.

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Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation

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Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.

The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.

“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?

“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.

“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”

 

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FG declares Tuesday Oct 19 Eid-il-Maulud holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday October 19 a public holiday to mark the Islamic festival of Eid-il-Maulud in “commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).”

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.

Aregbesola congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and in the diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion.

He urged all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which he said “are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.”

The statement added, “Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality. As the indisputable leader of our race, we must show responsible leadership in Africa.

“While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, the minister urges all Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans, irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity and cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led-Administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of.”

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