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Borno murder: My comment was to avoid future occurrence, says Garba Shehu



Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, says his comment that the 43 farmers killed in Borno State did not get military clearance to visit their farms was a response to a question on security operations in the North-East.

Suspected Boko Haram members Saturday attacked Zabarmari community in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno, killing the farmers in a gruesome way.

Shehu told the BBC on Monday that farmers and residents ought to get security clearance before visiting certain areas in Borno, adding that the military was in “full control” of all parts of the state.

His comment, however, sparked outrage on social media, as many Nigerians interpreted this to blaming the farmers for the murder.

But in a series of tweets later on Monday, the presidential spokesperson explained that Zabarmari marshlands are filled with land mines and movement is usually subjected to “military oversight”.

He said as a human, he could not have said the victims deserved their fate for “ignoring security clearance”.

“Today, I found myself leading the trends in the social media for the wrong reasons. The State of Borno is essentially a military zone up till now that we are talking and much of what people do, much of where they go are governed by the exigencies of security,” he wrote.

“Routinely, traders, administration officials and even UN agencies get the green light to go to many of the areas to avoid trouble. Information from security agencies says that the Zabarmari marshlands are infested with land mines and movements in around those areas subject to military oversight.

“No one is delighted with the massacre in Zabarmari and there is nothing anybody will gain by playing blame games. The question I tried to answer on BBC was: did the security sign off on the area as being free of mines and terrorists? The honest answer is, no.

“I was merely explaining the mode of military operations in the war zone of the North-East. There are areas that are still volatile that require security clearance which is intended to put people out of harm’s way.

“When tragedies occur, questions arise in terms of how something happened in order to avoid future recurrence. Informing the military of our movements in an area of volatility and uncertainty is intended to preserve public safety.

“Explaining why something happened doesn’t mean I have no sympathy for the victims. I was just explaining the military procedures on the safe movement of the people and not supporting the death of the victims.”


We’re one family – Tinubu, seeks govs support to tackle poverty, insecurity



We’re one family – Tinubu, seeks govs support to tackle poverty, insecurity

President Bola Tinubu has called on all the 36 state governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country.

He said the level of impoverishment in the land was unacceptable.

Tinubu spoke on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during his first meeting with all the state governors.

He advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people

“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary; it is from society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation building,” he said.

President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.

“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering results,” he added.

The President said good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.

“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.

“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations that are over a hundred years in democracy.’’

President Tinubu told the governors that he would maintain an open-door policy.

The President said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.

“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room before the nation sinks.

“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanise the economy, and put resources in place? We must think and perform. After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,” he stated.

Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury.

Governors pledge support

The governors pledged their support for President Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy payments in the country.

The state chief executives were led by the NGF Chairman and governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

They expressed happiness with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership, and statesmanship.

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Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63



Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63

A former senator who represented Anambra Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Annie Okonkwo, is dead.

He died at the age of 63 in a United States hospital, where he had been receiving treatment.

Okonkwo represented Anambra Central in the Senate from 2007 to 2011 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He also contested the governorship seat of Anambra State on a number of occasions.

He was said to have suffered cancer of the lungs but recovered.

It was however learnt that the ailment relapsed in April and he had been on life support until he passed on.

A message from the family announcing his death read, “The entire Okonkwo family of Iruebenebe village Ojoto announces the passing on to glory of High Chief Annie Okonkwo. Indeed, Ojoto has lost her political pillar.”

The deceased who was a foremost industrialist celebrated his 63rd birthday on May 23, 2023.


Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63

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Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools



Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools

The Senate has passed a bill seeking to mandate authorities of secondary schools to include lessons on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in their curriculum for students.

The bill was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, and titled “Mandatory Inclusion of Preventive Measures on Sexual and Gender Based Violence into the Curriculum of all levels of Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023.”

It was passed at the plenary presided over by the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, on Wednesday.

Leading debate on the bill, Mr Gobir said compulsory inclusion of the SGBV in school curriculum will expose secondary students to dangers involved in committing the act.


He also said making such mandatory would curb the rising occurrence of SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape and harassment.

“It is cost-effective, timely and sustainable. Like it is said, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ The bill, when enacted, will tackle the prevalent issues of the SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape and harassment.

“To reduce cases of the SGBV and its related offence, experts have mentioned that individuals, groups and systematic interventions should be implemented in schools and must include students, teachers, administrators and parents’ participation.

“This is one of the systematic approaches to tackling this issue by early intervention by catching them young with this enlightenment which will also put our children on their toes to detect the red flags and be on guard. This will also avail them the opportunity to referral pathways for reportage.

“The goal is to have at least 80 per cent of all the participating students achieving satisfactory knowledge within 12 months of the rollout to each cohort. When they learn, they will pass to their siblings, friends and generations. This is a more sustainable systematic approach to solving this problem.”

Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools

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