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Enugu Govt suspends another royal father

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The Enugu State Government on Tuesday suspended Igwe Anthony Okorie, the Traditional Ruler of Amechi Awkunanaw Autonomous Community in Enugu South Local Government Area.

The suspension is contained in a letter handed over to the royal father by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Dr Charles Egumgbe.

Government hinged the action and withdrawal of the Staff of Office from Okorie on the “persistent crisis in the community”.

It stated that the crisis had defied all efforts made to resolve it.

“Undisputably, law and order have broken down in your community, leading to injuries to persons and property.

“And the situation, if not checked, may exacerbate the present security challenge in our land.

“Take notice that your suspension shall subsist, pending the conclusion of investigations,” the letter added.

Reacting to the development in an interview with newsmen in Enugu after receiving the letter, Okorie urged his subjects to remain calm as they await the outcome of the investigation.

He said there was no crisis in his community as alleged in the letter.

He said, “When the commissioner alleged that there is crisis in Amechi, I clearly told him that there is no crisis”.

The traditional ruler said the Divisional Police Officer and Head of the Department of State Service in-charge of the community in all their security reports and meetings with leaders had never complained of any security breach and crisis.

“There is no incident of serious or slight security breach in Amechi.

“I told him that what is causing problems in Amechi community is landed property.

“The community wanted to recover their land earlier given to Satellite Printing and Publishing Press but the company did not take off afterwards.

“I told the commissioner the matter is before the court and we should let the court decide who the owner of that land is.

“But the suspension is a predetermined position. The suspension letter was already written before he invited me to hear from me.

“I urge the entire Amechi and my subjects to keep calm as justice will be served in the matter,” he said.

Commenting on the issue, the President-General of the community, Chief John Egbo, said the state government “may have been misled by people who are interested in taking over our land”.

Egbo said the community earlier donated the land to the state’s Satellite Printing Publishing Press in overriding public interest.

“But where it was not put to use, the community demanded for its return so it could be used for other purposes.

“The matter is in court. We also had a town union matter in court, where we have gone to resolve it. This one again is not a chieftaincy matter.

“So, I did not see why the chieftaincy stool should get involved.

“Our Igwe has never breached any security in the community. I am saying categorically that Amechi community is solidly behind him,” Egbo said.

He called on Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to set up a panel to investigate the issue of land grabbing in Amechi community and “not suspend our Igwe.

“It is not solving the problem rather it is creating more problems,” he said.

Recall that the state government on Sept. 21 suspended Igwe Christopher Okwor, the Traditional Ruler of Ihekwuenu Aku Autonomous Community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area.

It was alleged that Okwor sponsored thugs to demolish a two-storey building erected in the community by a philanthropist for one Anibueze Nnadi, living with disability.

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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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