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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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2022 National Honours list in circulation doctored, says FG

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The Federal Government has disowned the list of nominees for the 2022 National Honours that has been trending on some social and traditional media platforms.

Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Julie Osagie-Jacobs, on Monday, said the list had been doctored by mischievous persons to cause national disharmony.

She said that the authentic list had been compiled by the ministry for the National Honours but yet to be made public.

Controversy and wide condemnation by opinion leaders and public analysts had greeted the inclusion of certain names and omission of some found to have excelled in their callings over the years.

Osagie-Jacobs said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.

“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on October 11, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.

“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”

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ASUU strike: Adamu doesn’t deserve national honour – NANS

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Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu

The National Association of Nigerian Students has kicked against the move by President Muhammadu Buhari to confer National Honours Award on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

Adamu’s name is among notable individuals Buhari listed to be honoured on October 11.

Reacting in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, on Monday, NANS said it was an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerian students who had been locked out of schools for close to eight months due to the ongoing strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities which Adamu had failed to resolve.

“It constitutes an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerian students both home and in the diaspora that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, under whose nose university students have been home for close to eight months is to be awarded the National Honours of Commander of the Order of Niger.

“This act of the Buhari’s administration is a clear pointer to the fact that Nigerian students have been taken for a ride. And, we see this as the final straw that breaks the back of the camel of Buhari’s much touted integrity.

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“Over the years, successive administrations in the country have shown to the Nigerian people that the National Honours is more of recognition of patronage than recognition of excellence. But Buhari has taken a step further to show the mass of Nigerian students that we are not on the priority list of the administration.

“It is so unfortunate that a country which offered so much in hope and possibilities at independence has today become a land of suffering, insecurity and near hopelessness signposted by youth unemployment and underfunded educational sector,” the statement partly read.

NANS said that, in a functioning country, both the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who “shamefully walked out” of a meeting with the national leadership of ASUU at the instance of the House of Representatives, and his Education counterpart would have been fired before now. “But, the reverse is the case as Adamu under whose watch the educational sector of the country has totally collapsed is to be recognised with a National Honour for a job ‘well-done’, it added.

“As an association, we reiterate that we pass a vote of no confidence in both Adamu and Ngige. And, we maintain that we shall be back to the streets in protest against the recklessness of this administration until the Federal Government settles every issue with ASUU for Nigerian students to return to classes,” it concluded.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022.  ASUU, which is the umbrella for university lecturers in Nigeria, is asking for improved welfare conditions for its members, adequate funding for universities, and the replacement of the government-introduced payment platform- Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. UTAS was designed by ASUU following complaints against the IPPIS over alleged poor standardisation and incompatibility with the university system.

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I Criticise Buhari For Failing To End Killings In Benue — Ortom

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that he only criticises President Muhammadu Buhari for not being able to end killings in the country.

 The governor’s explanation was in reaction to a statement credited to the president by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education, Aminu Suleiman Goro, during the inauguration of some projects at the renamed Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

He had during the occasion asked Ortom to endeavour to acknowledge his administration’s capital projects in Benue State rather than cast aspersions on the president.

 But, the governor in his speech at the Independence Day Interdenominational Church Service held at Faith Cathedral of All Nations Evangelism Ministry, Old GRA, Makurdi said he held no personal grudges against the president.

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 The event was organised by the state government in conjunction with the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Ortom said, “I will not stop until the killings stop. If the federal government had taken to my counsel which was divine, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In 2016, I started voicing out about insecurity. The essence of a dog barking in a house is to inform the owner of the danger coming. 

 “Instead of taking my counsel, I have been intimidated. Now, insecurity has escalated in many states and here people cannot go to farm. I will never be happy with this development,” he said.

 The governor wondered why the government had not disarmed nomads carrying sophisticated weapons and killing innocent people but had continued to deny lawful state security outfits the right to acquire arms to protect lives and property.

Earlier, Archbishop Yiman Orkwar, who preached on the topic, “The Tripod of Justice,’’ said that for Nigeria to move forward there must be justice, equity and fairness.

 In his remarks, the state CAN Chairman, Reverend Akpen Leva, urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country.

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