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NGF defends governors, says COVID-19 palliatives not hoarded

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Monday defended members of the group agsinst the allegations that they hoarded COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution to people in their respective states adversely affected by the prolonged lockdown, a measure taken to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Many young people had invaded centres warehousing the donated food items across the country and massively looted the places.

Even as concerned groups and individuals have condemned the plunder, the state governors have also under heavy criticism of hording the items.

But the forum said the materials were never hoarded by the state government and explained that they still being sent to the states from the Lagos head office.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Governors and the CACOVID Palliatives,’ signed by the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF, Abudulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.

The statement read in part, “The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm.

“The NGF reemphasises and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society, especially our vulnerable citizens.

“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.”

It also said, “For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.

“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19 -CACOVID.

“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten states had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states. This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.

“Some other states that still had palliatives in their warehouses chose to keep a strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of COVID-19.

“As of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”

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Kanu not in court, case adjourned till Oct 21

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in detention till October 21, 2021.
He was due to be in court on Monday but the Federal Government did not arraign him.
Kanu, who was reportedly arrested in Kenya last month, has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to arraign him.

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Insecurity made FG to retain DIGs, AIGs, says minister

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The Federal Government on Monday explained why it retained some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police after the appointment of Usman Baba Alkali as Inspector-General of Police.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said the high level of insecurity made the government to retain the senior police officers.
He stated this during the decoration of 24 newly promoted Commissioners of Police to AIGs.
No senior police officer with the rank of AIG or DIG went on compulsory leave when Baba was appointed IGP.
Dingyadi stressed that was the first time of such development in recent history of the Nigerian Police Force.
He said, “The government deliberately took this position to have many hands in the force. With this action, the Police Force has retained experienced professionals that would contribute towards sustaining the relative peace of the country.”
The minister added that the criteria for the appointment of the new AIGs were purely on merit, professional conduct, and individual performance, urging the newly appointed AIGs to redouble their efforts to curb insecurity.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Salaries and Wages Commission to come out with new salary structure.
He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. Officers should re-double their effort in the fight against insecurity which had bedeviled the country today. A lot is expected of you in contributing your quota towards the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.”

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Four more Kaduna school students escape from bandits captivity

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Three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, have escaped from their captors.
They escaped from the camp on Monday where they were kept since July 19, 2021.
An aunt to one of the students, who craved anonymity confirmed this on Monday.
According to her, the teenagers had spent five days roaming inside the forest before they finally met another herder who directed them out of the forest.
It was also gathered that one of the escaped students who could recall his father’s phone number borrowed a phone to call home before his father went to pick them up.
“The children were found around Kasuwar Magani on Sunday evening hours after 28 students of the school were released by the bandits. It was the school management that called my in-law to inform us,” she said.
Two other students had escaped from the camps before they were recovered by the police.

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