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Amotekun must not become another SARS, Soyinka warns

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Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said conscious efforts must be made to ensure the security outfit, South-West Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun, does not become another Special Anti-Robbery Squad, an arm of the Nigeria Police Force that was recently disbanded due to the excesses of its operatives.

There have been allegations of recklessness and extrajudicial killings against operatives of the security outfit, especially in Oyo State.

Indeed, many people were Saturday said to have been killed and houses razed in a clash between the security outfit and herdsmen in the state.

But speaking on Saturday, on a programme on Arise TV, Soyinka said Amotekun corps needed to be trained to understand the essence of their job.

He said Amotekun operatives must be trained on ethics so that they would not become brutal and ruthless like men of the defunct police unit, SARS.

He said, “I have told them anytime you want us to come and assist, we will come even if it is just on the ethical session so that as you are training them to defend us, we are also training their minds so that Amotekun does not become another SARS, very important. We must do everything together.”

While Amotekun operatives have started operations in Ondo and Oyo state, Soyinka urged other states in the South-West region yet to launch their security outfits to do so quickly as he noted that the challenge of insecurity had reached a “stage of desperation”.

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Nine killed, suspects freed as gunmen attack Anambra, Abia police stations

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There was mayhem in two South-East states, Anambra and Abia, on Monday when gunmen separately attacked police formations, leading to the death of two policemen and seven others.

Two Policemen and three other persons were killed when gunmen attacked the Zone 13 police headquarters at Ukpo, in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Detained suspects were reportedly set free after hoodlums had razed the Uzuakoli Police Division in Bende  council area of Abia State. The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has denied any  involvement  in the attacks on security agents, agencies and their formations in any party of the South-East.

The police gave the names of their dead colleagues in the Anambra mayhem as Inspector Ishaku Aura and PC Uzoma Uwaebuka.

One of the buildings at zone 13 was razed by the hoodlums, while four vehicles were burnt. A police officer at the zone said, “The hoodlums invaded the zonal headquarters at Ukpo in the early hours of yesterday but our gallant men repelled the attack.

“In the process, they killed two of our men while our men gunned down three of their men. But they quickly carried them and zoomed off.

“Those hoodlums came in their numbers; in fact, not less than 20, but our men were equal to the task. They tried to gain access into our armoury but our men stopped them.

“One general purpose machine gun was recovered by the police from the attackers and the identities of the attackers were still not known.”

The Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nkeiru Nwode, confirmed the incident, saying apart from the GPMG, various types of ammunition were also recovered from the hoodlums.

Nwode’s statement read: “Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force attached to Zone-13 headquarters, Ukpo, Anambra State, have successfully repelled an attack on the Zonal headquarters by criminal elements in the early hours of today, (yesterday) 19th April, 2021. “The attackers, who came in their numbers, shot  sporadically in order to gain access to the facility, but were repelled by police personnel on duty who showed profound gallantry in the face of the seemingly overwhelming attack. “Following the inability of the attackers to access the facility, they cowardly threw petrol bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on vehicles within the periphery of the headquarters. “One of the criminal elements was neutralized during the exchange of gunfire between the police and the attackers, while many of the gang members escaped with gunshots injuries.

“One L7A2 General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), ninety-two rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, one locally-made smoke pistol and an axe were recovered by the police. Regrettably, two police operatives sustained gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment.

“Anambra State Commissioner of Police, CP Monday Kuryas, who is also  standing in for the Zonal Assistant Inspector General of Police, for the zone has commended the police operatives for putting up a strong resistance against the attackers.

“The CP, supported by other senior officers from Zone-13 Headquarters and the state command, is personally leading a special operation aimed at tracing, identifying and arresting the perpetrators to bring them to book.

“The CP also called on proprietors of private and public (including unorthodox) medical facilities in and around Anambra State to admit, but report anyone found seeking medical attention for bullet wounds and related injuries to the nearest police station.”

In Abia, the Police Public Relations Officer, for the state command, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the gunmen used dynamites and rocket launchers which frustrated the efforts of the policemen guarding the station to repel them. According to him, the gunmen also freed detainees at the station.

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Ganduje: Journalist flees home over death threats

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A journalist and publisher of Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar, who exposed a video in 2018 showing the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, stuffing dollars in his pockets, has fled his Kano and Abuja residences over alleged death threats he recently received.

SaharaReporters learnt that Jaafar is presently in hiding and one of his close associates said some unknown persons had been on his trail.

“The journalist is no longer staying at home. He is in danger as some unidentified persons, likely to be hit men, have been trailing his movements, both at his Abuja and Kano residences,” the source said.

It was gathered that the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, also in a letter dated April 14, invited the Daily Nigerian publisher for questioning, alleging that he was inciting violence and spreading injurious falsehood.

In a letter signed by ACP A. A. Elleman, the Monitoring Unit, said that “this office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and inciting violence to the IGP in which your name featured.

“In view of the foregoing, you are kindly requested to interview the undersigned on Monday, April 19, by 10.00am prompt through SP Usman Garba (admin officer) to shed more light on the allegation.

“Your cooperation in this regard would be highly appreciated, please.”

It was not clear yet if the journalist was able to visit the IGP Monitoring Unit.

SaharaReporters had on March 22 reported that Jaafar had cried out that the governor should be held responsible if anything bad should happen to him.

Ganduje had in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa on Friday said the government was making plans to deal with those who released the videos.

In the face of the renewed threats, the journalist wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Adamu, Mohammed Adamu, through his counsel, Abdullahi Gumel.

Speaking through his lawyer, Jaafar had noted that although Ganduje was a sitting governor and a member of the ruling party, the IGP would handle the matter professionally, diligently and speedily.

-SaharaReporters

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Female students in viral Shisha video suspended, for rehabilitation

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Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth and Social Development, has identified female pupils in the disturbing Shisha video which trended on social media last weekend.

They are said to be students of Oreyo Senior Grammar School, Igbogbo, in the Ikorodu area of the state.

The identified students have been reportedly suspended by the school authorities while the state government has ordered their immediate rehabilitation.

Special Adviser to the Lagos Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, confirmed the development.

Tokunbo, who directed Vanguard correspondent to the state Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, for more information, said, “Appropriate steps are being taken to address the issue with the aim of preventing future occurrence in the state.

“The appropriate ministry is already intervening. You see why the role of parents is so critical. We can’t leave everything to government and school. This is heart wrenching.”

Shisha smoking is a way of inhaling tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through the mouthpiece of a bowl hose or tube1. Although the practice of Shisha smoking started in the Middle East, it has spread to several other parts of the world, including Nigeria, especially in open parties.

In Nigeria, the habit among the youth is rising, making it an issue of public health concern. Shisha lounges/bars are being opened with subtle advertisement.

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