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Military Moves to Prosecute Surrendered Terrorists – Vows to halt ISWAP recruitment drive

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Military authorities, yesterday, said plans were afoot to commence the prosecution of surrendered terrorists in the North-east.

It also vowed to halt the recruitment drive of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) in the zone.

The military had recently raised the alarm that the group had embarked on a fresh recruitment drive.

Over 1,200 terrorists recently surrendered to troops with their families amid protests from North-east communities that the claims of repentance might not be genuine and the danger the likely return of the insurgents posed.

Intelligence agencies have also commenced discreet investigation into the claims of the surrendering insurgents to ascertain whether their decision to lay down their arms was not a decoy to activate sleeper cells across the country.

Speaking in Maiduguri, Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Maj. Gen Christopher Musa, said the military was working within the ambit of international laws and maintained that the law would take its cause.

He further noted that the military was doing all within international laws in the handling of Boko Haram and the prosecution of surrendered terrorists against the backdrop of the recent mass surrender of the terrorists.

“We are just doing what we are supposed to do. The laws will naturally take its course, nobody will take them in and tomorrow say ‘go, your sins are forgiven’.

“No. It doesn’t work that way, and that is why we were able to talk to the Governor (Borno) and advise him to call for a stakeholders’ meeting which was held to chart a way forward,” Musa said.

Speaking earlier during a media tour of troops in the frontlines, units and formations in the theatre of Operation Hadin Kai, Sector I and II in the region, Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the objective of the visit was to review the wrong narratives about the surrendered Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.

He noted that operations conducted against the terrorists had resulted in depleting its ranks.

“Therefore, it is very important to stop their desperate recruitment bid,” he said.

Nwachukwu said the efforts of the military should be highlighted by the media for Nigerians to appreciate the efforts of the troops particularly, in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the North-east.

He said the media tour was aimed at discussing the issues of rehabilitation of surrendered terrorists and plight of the victims of the conflict.

“These fundamental reasons gave birth to the media tour of the North-east. The Boko Haram insurgents have been surrendering. People have questioned the authenticity of the surrendering of these insurgents. People are also questioning why the insurgents are surrendering at this point in time.

“The fight against insurgency has recorded tremendous success considering what it was in the past. At some point, few years back, as far back as 2014, Boko Haram was almost advancing towards Lokoja, they were marching towards Abuja. Today, they have been boxed to the Timbuktu or the hills,” he said.

Kingsley Nwezeh, Thisdaylive

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Lai Mohammed insists no proof protesters were killed at Lekki tollgate

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is no proof that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos in October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest.

Some soldiers on October 20, 2020 were said to have opened fire on protesters in an attempt to disperse them allegedly leading to the death of many.

Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, described the 2020 event at the tollgate as a “phantom massacre”.

“Today marks the first anniversary of the phantom massacre at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, which was the culmination of an otherwise peaceful protest that was later hijacked by hoodlums,” the minister said.

The minister also said, “At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the tollgate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies.

“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”

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Adebanjo leads Afenifere chieftains on visit to Tinubu

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Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has led other chieftains of the body on a visit to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his home in Lagos.

Others on the visit are Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo, and retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini.

The visit came a few days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom where he underwent knee surgery.

The Punch reported that the last time Tinubu and Adebanjo met was in April when the former Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, died.

Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had told PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, that the reason why Tinubu had been silent on the herdsmen crisis was that he felt President Muhammadu Buhari would make him his successor.

In another interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they were both deceiving each other.

He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”

Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.

 

He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”

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Kaduna gives civil servants 12-day ultimatum on COVID vaccine

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The Kaduna State Government has given all civil servants in the state 12 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be barred from office.

The ultimatum was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman for the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

According to him, all civil servants are expected to be vaccinated by October 31, after which they would be denied entry into government offices if they failed to comply with the directive.

“The Kaduna State Government will from 31st October 2021 require compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially facemasks and vaccination, for access to its offices,” the statement said.

“The Ministry of Health has since commenced the vaccination of all civil servants, and this is expected to be completed by 31st October 2021. All civil servants are required to be vaccinated by that date.

“Visitors to government offices will need to present their vaccination cards. Given the limited supply of vaccines that are currently available, visitors that have not yet been vaccinated will, in the interim, be permitted entry upon presentation of evidence of registration with the state Ministry of Health for the purpose of vaccination, while wearing their facemasks.”

Adekeye said the decision was taken following a review by the Kaduna COVID-19 task force, and urged residents to ensure strict adherence to the protocol for preventing the spread of infections.

According to the statement, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna commissioner for health, has also asked residents to register at the nearest primary health centres for vaccination “so that the relevant authorities can easily contact them as more Covid-19 vaccines become available”.

The development comes weeks after Edo began its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ campaign, which bars unvaccinated civil servants from entering government offices.

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