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Bandits abduct 26 in Kaduna, 246 Borno terrorists surrender

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Gunmen have abducted about 26 people along the Kaduna-Kachia road and Kugo village, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

While 21 of the victims were reportedly kidnapped along the Kaduna-Kachia road, five women were abducted at Kugo village, near Godani Railway Station on their way to the farm.

However, in Borno State, about 246 suspected Boko Haram members, reportedly, laid down their arms and surrendered as part of the current efforts at ceasefire.

The counsellor representing Zonkwa ward in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the state, Luka Bako, was among those abducted along the Kaduna-Kachia road, but he miraculously escaped.

Bako told THISDAY that he was travelling from Zonkwa to Kaduna in a Sharon commercial bus when the bandits struck.

He said the incident occurred on Friday around 5pm after Doka village, Kajuru Local Government Area.

He said, “We were travelling in a Sharon commercial bus from Zonkwa to Kaduna. We were eight in the bus. As we approached the mango plantation after Doka, we saw two people in military camouflage carrying AK47 riffles standing on the road.

“Initially, we thought they were soldiers, but when we got closer, we realised that their dressing was not complete. But it was too late for us to turn back.

“They stopped us and asked us where we were coming from and where we were going. They asked the driver to open the booth of the vehicle. As the driver went to open the booth, they ordered the eight of us in the bus to come down.

“Four other vehicles carrying passengers were also stopped. They ordered everybody into the bush. As we entered the bush, other bandits came out from their hideouts to guide us into the bush. A driver that carried passengers from Jos and I miraculously escaped.”

Bako said based on his calculation, 21 people might have been abducted.

“I am not certain,” he stated. “They could be more or less. But based on my calculation, 21 people were abducted.”

He said he had since reported the incident to the Kajuru Divisional Police Station.

At Kugo village, five women were also abducted on their way to the farm on Friday. A resident of the village said that the women were going to harvest yam.

When contacted, spokesman for the Kaduna State police command, Mohammed Jalige, said he was not aware of the incident along the Kaduna-Kachia road, but promised to do his findings and get back.

At the time of filing this report, he was yet to respond.

Meanwhile, security agencies have captured three suspected bandits and rescued two kidnap victims. This was disclosed in a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.

He said, “Troops under the auspices of Operation Thunder Strike rescued two kidnapped women, close to Gadanin Gwari, Gwagwada District of Chikun Local Government Area.”

Aruwan said operational feedback to the state government indicated “the women were suddenly abducted as they made their way to their farm.”

He said, “The troops on patrol tracked down the criminals and engaged them in a firefight, forcing them to abandon their captives and run for their lives. After securing the women, the troops pursued the bandits, destroying many bandit camps along the way.”

The statement said the bandits were eventually trapped in Gajina settlement in Chikun Local Government Area, adding that three suspected “kidnappers were apprehended and are now in custody, while the rescued women have returned to their homes.”

The statement also explained that police personnel rescued two persons, who were abducted at Kurmin Idon axis along Kaduna-Kachia Road in Kajuru Local Government Area.

In Borno, one of the leaders of the Civilian JTF, a security support group, Baba Shehu Abdul-Gani, who spoke to THISDAY, confirmed that the 246 militants surrendered at different towns in the state.

He said they surrendered to both the Army and members of his group.

“Two days ago, 100 members of Boko Haram surrendered in Bama, another 100 in Gwoza and 46 in Ngala” Abdul-Gani said, noting that all the 246 have been handed to the Army.

On the Chibok girls, who were said to have escaped from captivity after they were kidnapped, Abdul-Gani said he did not have any information to that effect.

General Officer Commanding, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Brig. Gen. Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim, said some insurgents and their wives had equally surrendered to them.

He said, “As GOC of 7 Division, I have no information of any escaped Chibok girls and I should know if any. But we are still pressing on, they will come out. However, some Boko Haram criminals and their wives are surrendering.”

When contacted about the case of the reported fresh escape at Chibok, the spokesman for Borno State Governor (Prof. Babagana Zulum, said there was “no official information yet from our end.”

He noted, “The military normally handles Chibok girls issue. They present them to the presidency.”

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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We’ll make South-East hot for governors if…, IPOB warns

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The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has raised the alarm that South East governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some “treacherous’ tradinonal rulers, and President Generals of some communities, are compiling names of suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN as well as IPOB members and supporters for persecution.

The group stated that if the governors don’t rescind their plan, “IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.” IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, claimed that its intelligence unit uncovered “a secret file” containing the list of the suspected ESN and IPOB members.

The list according to the statement is to be handed over to the security agencies for torture and elimination. IPOB which said the idea was suggested to South East Leaders by the federal government to weaken ESN regretted that efforts of the security outfit for flush out killer herdsmen from the zone were being sabotaged by the selfish political elite. It noted that since the establishment of ESN, efforts to rid the zone of bandits and killer herdsmen had intensified, a development that has making the masterminds uncomfortable.

The statement read in part: “The South-Eastern Governors in collaboration with Traditional Rulers in the Zone and some PGs of communities are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible executions. “The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and Army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone. “Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone. “IPOB intelligence unit gathered that these enemies within and without have perfected arrangements to abduct our people and put them incommunicado in the security dungeons in unknown locations. “It is unfortunate that our so called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen are raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory but they see us as their problem.” IPOB denied any link with the unknown gunmen suspected to the behind the wave of bloody attacks against security formations in the zone and wondered why its members would be marked for elimination. “We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB.

We wonder why Government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.” IPOB argued that a government that treats bandits and killer herdsmen with kid gloves cannot claim to be unaware of the said unknown gunmen.

The pro-Biafra movement warned South East Leaders to retrace their steps or brace up for the grave consequences of their action. “If South East Governors do not stop this plan against their people, IPOB will make the zone too hot for them. “We expect all tradinonal rulers and PGs in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen! “Any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged! The statement also advised the federal government to jettison any plans to persecute pro-Biafra groups as doing so would come with some price. “We advise Nigeria government and her partners in crime in the zone to desist from this evil agenda because it will backfire. We are aware of their secret file, but we are not going back until Biafra is finally achieved.”

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