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We’ve not paid ransom for Kidnapped Kagara schoolchildren – FG

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The Federal Government says it will not pay ransom to secure the release of abducted students and teachers of Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this on Saturday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’.

He was speaking on speculations that the Federal Government was ready to exchange the abductees for huge ransom.

But when asked on Saturday whether the government had paid ransom or was considering the payment of ransom, the minister said there was nothing like that.

He said, “We employ kinetic and non-kinetic (measures), you don’t throwaway invitation to engage but the overall strategy you keep to your chest.”

The minister also said the government would not tolerate any form of criminality.

He said, “Bandits all over the world work with psychology of people. Deliberately, they target women and children because this is what will attract a lot of global outcry. That is exactly what bandits do all over the world.

“The government has put in place, all along, various strategies to contain banditry, to fight insurgency, to fight kidnapping. Some of these measures are kinetic, some are not kinetic. We didn’t get here overnight and that is why it is difficult to get out one day.

“Criminality in any form will not be tolerated by government. At the same time, government has a duty to look at the underlining causes of some of these criminalities in other to address them.

“I was in Minna with my colleagues, the ministers of Interior and Police Affairs, the IG, and the National Security Adviser on Wednesday to get firsthand information on the abduction of these Kagara schoolboys. I can tell you that as at today that the government is on top of the matter.”

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Niger communities excited as soldiers return to Bassa, Allawa

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Excited villagers on Saturday welcomed the return of soldiers to Bassa and Allawa towns in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State after a month of their quitting the area due to invasion of their camps by bandits.
The armed soldiers came in about 100 camouflage vehicles to begin a special operation in the area.
The return of the soldiers followed a series of meetings between the new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Danjuma Hamisu Ali-Keffi, the state government and other stakeholders in the state.
The military camps in Allawa and Bassa in the Shiroro Local Government of the state were shut down last month after bandits numbering about 100 invaded the Security Joint Taskforce camps in the two towns, killing 12 soldiers, burning the camps and some operational vehicles.
Another camp at Zagzaga in the Munya Local Government was also sacked a few days later during which one RSM was kidnapped and found dead three days after.
A senator representing Niger East Senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Musa, said, “It is a welcome development and a great relief to the people it should be sustained.
“The return of soldiers is a great relief for my people, and I want to thank and commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the military for the return of the soldiers.
“I will equally want to appeal to them to hasten the return of soldiers to other communities to enable the people go back to their homes to continue their farming business.”

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Thunderstorms, heavy rains disrupt Yoruba Nation agitators rally in Osogbo

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Thunderstorms with heavy rain on Saturday disrupted the rally by agitators of Yoruba Nation in Osogbo Osun State.
Scores of Yoruba Nation agitators had stormed the popular Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo on Saturday after they changed the venue of the rally because of the heavy security presence.
One of the leading Yoruba Nation agitators, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, arrived in Osogbo from Oyo State at 1.40pm and went straight to where the agitators were demonstrating at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park.
Igboho got to the venue at 2.01pm to address the agitators.
He was addressing the agitators when the scorching sunny weather turned cloudy at 2.25pm.
He hurriedly addressed his supporters standing on top of a vehicle. When other leaders wanted to address the agitators, heavy rain started and it dispersed supporters from the venue.
While it was raining, thunderstorms made it impossible for supporters to gather and they ran for cover.

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Our police are overwhelmed, says Bauchi governor

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Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has said that security challenges in Nigeria will require collaborative efforts because the police are overwhelmed.
He stated this when he addressed journalists in Bauchi, stressing that addressing insecurity could not be left to the Federal Government alone.

He urged state and local governments, as well as traditional rulers, to be actively involved in ensuring improved security across the country.

Mohammed said, “It is the responsibility of the federal, state and the local governments, including all the traditional institutions in the country.
“These problems can only with tackled with concerted efforts and collaboration from the federal, state and local governments.“As a nation, we are challenged by so many aspects of misdemeanours, crime and criminality. We must be very courageous to say it, and that is not something that is acceptable within the tenet of Islam.
”It is not just a Federal Government’s responsibility; it’s a responsibility of the Federal Government, the state and the local governments as well as our traditional institutions and all the stakeholders.”

He also said, “We are all policemen today; we know these bandits; we know where they stay and what they do.
“Sometimes, they are aided and abetted by some of us and we should fish them out, because the police in their numbers are already overwhelmed.
“I’m calling on the federal government to work with us as governors and local governments, because that’s where the solution is.
“I hope we sit down as a country to reflect and make sure we bring solutions.”

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