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Ekiti: Soldiers engage gunmen in shootout, rescue six abductees

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Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers engaged solders in a shootout in two different locations in Ayebode and Ilasa communities in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Thursday.

Police spokesman, ASP Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, said the gunmen abducted three persons during the confrontation.

Abutu stated that the combined forces of the military and the police rescued six other captives from the gunmen.

“The information we heard was that four persons were abducted. Security operatives responded swiftly to the situation and rescued six persons.

“We have begun investigation and we will try and ensure that the abductees are brought back safe and sound,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that though the solders foiled kidnap attempts in the two communities, three commuters were later picked up by the gunmen as they escaped into the bush.

NAN also gathered that those kidnapped were held at Ayedun-Ekiti, a town near Ayebode-Ekiti where soldiers had earlier botched a kidnap attempt.

The Thursday incident, which eyewitnesses said occurred around 10 a.m., led to desertion of the Ayedun-Ilasa-Ayebode Highway for several hours.

An eyewitness, also a victim, told newsmen in Ado Ekiti that the soldiers engaged the gunmen at two different locations – Ayebode and Ilasa and pursued them into the bush to ensure that their operations didn’t succeed.

According to the source, three passengers traveling from Ayedun-Ekiti to Ilasa-Ekiti were not that lucky as the gunmen picked them up after escaping from soldiers.

The source added that those who became victims were traveling along Ayebode-Ilasa Road, when the gunmen started to shoot.

“Those who escaped the scene quickly called the nearby Army post and the troops responded swiftly.

“Two of the occupants of a vehicle that forcefully escaped the scene were hit by bullets and sustained fractures in their legs, while their car was riddled with bullets. The soldiers succeeded in pursuing the kidnappers into the bush, but I don’t think they were able to apprehend any of them,” the source said.

The shootout between the soldiers and gunmen was said to have forced motorists to quickly take detours to prevent being hit by bullets.

“It was sporadic shootings for some minutes as the soldiers engaged the kidnappers. The soldiers acted gallantly, but the kidnappers escaped into the bush through a secondary school in Ilasa.

“I think another gang surfaced on Ayedun-Ilasa Road and kidnapped three persons as they escaped into the bush,’’ the eyewitness said.

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FRSC receives 316 new operational vehicles from FG

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has taken delivery of 316 new vehicles procured by the Federal Government to ease its operations nationwide.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated new vehicles, saying they were for effective patrol of highways across the country.

The 316 operational vehicles are made up of 239 patrol vehicles, 49 ambulances, 23 tow trucks and five patrol bikes.

Mustapha said at the inauguration of the vehicles at the FRSC headquarters that they would be mainly for the patrol of new roads just provided by the Federal Government.

He said the provision of the vehicles was to enhance the operations of the corps and ensure safety of road users across the country.

He said the FG would remain consistent in providing improved transport infrastructure and told the regulatory agencies to live up to expectations.

He said, “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the provision of transport infrastructure.

“This is because he believes that it is a key determinant of performance in any nation’s development and growth process.

“Indeed, investment in transport infrastructure encourages economic impact.”

He urged the corps to sustain its leadership role in Africa in making roads safer for economic growth, adding that the patrol vehicles should be deployed to cover the entire country, as soon as possible, while noting that the vehicles would boost the operations of the FRSC and give it more ambiance to carry out its duties effectively.

Acting Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, said the vehicles would help to improve the FRSC field operations through the provision of real-time reports and active support as well as backup to field officers.

He assured of proper deployment and utilisation of the vehicles to all locations, for the safety of motorists.

Biu appealed for improved funding of the Corps to enable it to realise its vision of full coverage of all operational commands nationwide.

According to him, the FRSC operational areas comprise 12 zonal commands, 37 sector commands, 223 unit commands, 58 outposts and 527 station offices.

The FRSC Board Chairman, Bukhari Bello, thanked President Buhari for his support to the corps for efficient service delivery.

Representative of the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba, AIG Operations, Bala Ciroma, pledged a harmonious working relationship with the FRSC for effective traffic management in the country.

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JUST IN: Lagos extends okada ban to Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Kosofe, Somolu

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Lagos State Government has extended its ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) operation to four more local governments, making a total of 10 the number of local government areas where no okada riding will be permitted with effect from September 1.

The government had initially banned okada in six LGAs of the state to curtail the rate of road accidents and crime using motorcycles.

The state government said on Thursday it had added four LGAs and six local community development areas to the list of the routes restricted to okada.

Lagos State Governor, Babajidr Sanwo-Olu, said full enforcement of the ban in the new areas would take effect from September 1, 2022.

The four LGAs and six LCDAs are: Kosofe Local Government (Ikosi-Isherri LCDA

and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA), Oshodi-Isolo Local Government (Isolo LCDA), Shomolu Local Government (Bariga LCDA) and Mushin Local Government (Odi-Olowo LCDA).

Ealier, the state government had restricted the okada riders from operating in Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa local government areas.

With 20 local governments in the state, only 10 LGAs are left for commercial motorcycle operators to do their business.

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No part of Lagos is under any lockdown – Lagos police

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The Lagos State Police Command has denied reports that some parts of the state is under a partial lockdown as a preventive measure against security threats.

Spokesman for the command, Benjamin Hundeyin, stated this in a series of tweets on Thursday in a reaction emanating from a Wednesday’s statement credited to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi.

Alabi was on Wednesday reported to have said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threats of attacks by unknown gunmen.

He was claimed to have said this in Lagos during the state stakeholders’ forum on police accountability quarterly meeting and awards.

But the state PPRO Hundeyin in a response via Twitter said, “@LagosPoliceNG Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, fdc only affirmed that entry and exit points are being closely monitored by security agencies to forestall any security breach in the state.

“He gave this assurance while answering a question bothering on police stop-and-search in some parts of Lagos State. NO PART OF LAGOS IS ON LOCKDOWN, PARTIAL OR TOTAL.

“All residents of Lagos State are enjoined to go about their lawful duties without fear; while remaining vigilant and observing situational awareness at all times.”

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