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Blame poor network, bad roads for Zamfara, Niger killings – Military  

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The military has blamed the attacks in Zamfara and Niger states on poor road networks, communication infrastructure and the vastness of the affected communities.

The Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, who stated this, however, stressed that the military had taken this into perspective, adding that it had deployed troops to address the situation.

Fleeing terrorists have been launching major attacks on communities, killing and abducting many residents, following the bombardment of their enclaves in the northern part of the country by the military.

About 500 persons have died from such attacks between January 1 and 20.

On January 7, fleeing terrorists in Zamfara killed 200, while many other residents were killed and some abducted 13 days later.

Last week, the Niger State Governor,  Abubakar Bello, said over 300 persons were killed and 200 kidnapped between January 1 and 17 in at least 50 attacks in the state.

According to residents in Zamfara and Niger, the terrorists invaded their communities on motorcycles in large numbers.

But Akpor said, “The military has appropriately deployed troops to deal with the situation on the ground but you must understand these areas are vast. If you put the whole of the South-East inside Niger State, it would swallow it. When they tell you they moved from a place and went to cause havoc at another, if you don’t know how large this expanse of land is you would think it is something you can easily block and neutralise them.

 

“Also, the roads in these areas are very poor, and the communication infrastructure is also poor. Before we get information on the havoc wreaked by these terrorists, it takes two to three days. The road infrastructure to respond is terrible. We have taken everything into perspective and we are working very hard to ensure that no Nigerian suffers undue threat to life and properties.”

 

“A lot is happening in these states. That is why the heat is on them and they are running from their comfort zone. It means they would not have food and resources wherever they are running to. Therefore, they would pounce on villages along the way. It is unfortunate; we are carrying out a pursuit on them. Very soon, even the forests would not be a safe haven for them. “

 

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Ex-IBB spokesman, Duro Onabule, dies at 83

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Duro Onabule, former Chief Press Secretary of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has died at the age of 83.

The veteran journalist reportedly died on Tuesday evening.

A close associate of Onabule’s family, Chief Eric Teniola, broke the news of the foremost journalist’s death, saying, “Chief Duro Onabule died this evening”.

He Onabule was presidential spokesman for the greater part of Babangida nine-year administration when the government shut down many newspapers and magazines and slammed their publishers with temporary proscription to make them comply with the code of conduct set up by the administration.

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He was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on September 27, 1939 and graduated from CMS Grammar School and School of Journalism, London.

He started his first media work as a reporter at the Daily Express in 1961. Three years later, he joined the Daily Sketch and spent some time there before going back to his previous employer, Daily Express.

In 1969, he served as the London correspondent of the Express. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Daily Times and later became a deputy editor of the Headlines magazine.

Onabule was appointed features editor when the late MKO Abiola started Concord Press and in 1984, he became the editor of Concord newspaper.

He was a columnist at the Sun newspapers until his death.

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Insecurity: Lagos considers total ban on okada

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The Lagos State Government says it is considering a total ban on commercial motorcycles in all local government areas of the state.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said this at a stakeholders forum organised to review the ban on commercial motorcycles in parts of the state.

The forum, held in Lagos on Tuesday, had the theme: “Okada Ban, What Next: Review of Enforcement and Compliance, Two Months After.”

The Lagos State Governor, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, on June 1 banned the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada, in six local government areas and nine LCDAs.

The six local governments are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.

Omotosho said after seeing the results of the ban in the six local government areas, the people of Lagos had been calling on the government to expand the ban.

“Some people have suggested that the ban should be statewide, considering the present anxiety over security,” he added.

According to him, the forum is to take stock of the government decision on the ban and agree on the next step to take.

He recalled the criticisms that initially trailed the ban, “based largely on sentiments of those who had not witnessed the havoc some of the Okada riders caused in the areas of health and security.

“Residents were being robbed of their belongings by robbers who used motorcycles to flee scenes of crimes.

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“Our public hospitals were being filled with victims of Okada accidents, doctors had their hands full at Emergency wards, and hoodlums who rode unregistered motorbikes posed great security risks.”

The commissioner said all stakeholders now have the opportunity to make suggestions on what steps the government should take on the matter.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde said that the ban had recorded significant successes and compliance.

Oladeinde said in the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ showed that crime and accidents had reduced drastically.

“In the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ show that crime and accident rate reduced astronomically by 86 per cent and 63.7 per cent, respectively.

“While a total of 7,500 motorcycles were impounded and crushed accordingly,” he added.

He said that the rise in the level of insecurity nationwide has made it imperative to review the impact on the ban on motorcycles in parts of the state and further steps to protect the people.

“The Federal Government is presently considering the total ban of motorcycle operations across the federation as most of these underground activities are been enhanced with the use of motorcycles.

“Also, the attention of the state government has been drawn to the security threat parading the news across all socio-media platforms that some unscrupulous individuals are planning to attack the state.”

Oladeinde said the government was already working round the clock to secure the state.

The commissioner said the focus on Okada operation was due to their non-compliance to traffic rules and regulations, and its being used for robbery, kidnapping, arms supply and attack on citizens.

He said the forum was expected to re-ignite the state’s commitment to tackling traffic rules violations and criminals operating as commercial riders.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa said the forum should come up with suggestions to guide the government on decisions to take on the operation of Okada riders.

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IGP warns personnel: No more night travels, uncoordinated vehicle search

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Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, has warned all police personnel to refrain from travelling at night until further notice.

This was contained in a signal sighted by julianafrancisnews.com.

The order may be connected to the wanton killings and attacks on police personnel in some parts of Nigeria, especially in the Southeast. The reason for police personnel being targeted and killed has remained unfathomable.

Since the #EndSARS Protest, which spiraled across different parts of the country, policemen have been killed and police infrastructures targeted and destroyed.

Baba further instructed that the police contingent embarking on any journey should stop and sleep at the nearest police station immediately after the clock strikes 6:00 p.m.

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The personnel, thereafter, should continue with their journey the following day to avert untoward situations.

Baba, also in the missive, threatened to come down hard on commissioners of police manning states if they did not control personnel under their watch, stressing that over seven police personnel clustering around a single vehicle in the name of ‘Stop and Search’ duty was quite unbecoming and worrisome.

This he opined, makes them not to be on red alert while on their duty posts.

Commissioners of Police heading states were further ordered to warn Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) under their watches to return excess arms in their holding to the central armory in their stations or formations for safekeeping.

The Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders, and DPOs were expected to make issues raised by Baba in the signal part of their subject matters during lectures.

The signal states thus: “Police officers should stop travelling at night. Police contingent embarking on a journey should stop at the nearest police station immediately it is 6:00 p.m and continues the journey the following day to avert an untoward situation. Police officers travelling in their own private capacities should do so early enough to reach their final destinations on time to avoid night journeys.

“To all the Commissioners of Police in states, you’re further directed to post 10 men as station guards to fortify all police stations and other formations. Seven men on Stop and Search duties in your respective commands, warn them to adhere strictly to their individual assigned duties and stop clustering around stopped vehicles for the purpose of searching them.

“Policemen must always be on red alert while on duties. Furthermore, you are to warn your Area Commanders and DPOs to return excess arms in their holding to Central Armoury at different formations and commands for safekeeping. Make the directives a subject of a lecture to your officers and men. Treat as very important and ensure strict compliance.”

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