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Factionalisation of terrorist groups causing additional burden – NSA

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National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd)

The National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), says splintering of the Boko Haram terrorist group into the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is creating an additional stress for Nigeria.

The NSA also said most contemporary security problems facing the country and the Lake Chad Basin Countries (LCBC) are influenced and heightened by external factors in the global environment.

He stressed that most of the serious security threats are transnational threat of terrorism perpetrated by the ISWAP and members of Boko Haram terrorists.

Monguno said this while delivering his speech at the ongoing at the ongoing Peace Summit in Paris, France,

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Monguno said, ”The threats of terrorism and violent extremism have continued to place a significant security burden on the African continent, particularly in the Sahel.

”Apart from Somalia in the Horn of Africa, the most prominent acts of terrorism are perpetrated in the West African environs, particularly Mali and Nigeria.

”Specifically, it is necessary to state that the splintering of the Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) group into the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) created an additional stress for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin Countries (LCBC).”

He explained that global trends indicate that various factors create concerns such as rapid population growth which puts tremendous pressure on states to compete for energy, water and food to support life and economic and societal development.

The NSA added that a growing cyber awakening in which perceptions of inequality and other grievances are heightened, leading to social tension and conflicts.

Monguno noted that a continuation of ideological extremism, driven by religious or ethnic differences; and climate change that could prompt shifts in agricultural patterns and food production likely to trigger humanitarian crises, if not appropriately addressed.

According to him, all these global security challenges have the potential to undermine national security and by implication national development.

Daily Trust

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Police anticipate attacks, beef up security around schools, hospitals, others

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The police authorities have taken measures to beef security nationwide in anticipation of fresh attacks by terrorists and other criminal elements.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, on Sunday ordered watertight security around critical facilities especially schools and hospitals as part of efforts to prevent attacks.
The IGP’s directive was announced in a statement issued on Sunday by Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
According to the statement, schools, hospitals would be among places prioritised.
Adejobi added that regular raids and patrols would also be carried out in strategic areas across the country.
The statement read, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+), NPM, fdc, has ordered the deployment of watertight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructure around the country.
“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation.
“The IGP gave the directive while reviewing the general security situation of the nation via reports from commands and formations across the country. The IGP has however tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritise the use of intelligence gathering networks, particularly traditional/local intelligence to locate criminal hideouts and flush them out before they strike.
“He has equally charged all officers and men to be on the offensive, and take the fight against crime to the doorposts of suspected criminal elements, including bushes and uncompleted buildings, profile them, and charge those found wanting to courts accordingly.”
The IGP also urged Nigerians to cooperate with the NPF in the light of the new directive, “as many police operatives will be seen at strategic areas, routes and communities”.

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Osun-Osogbo festival: Despite proven contamination, devotees drink from Osun river

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In June 2022, TheCable published an investigation which revealed how mining activities in Ilesa communities in Osun state have polluted the water body at the popular Osun-Osogbo grove.

Ilesa, also known as Ijesha land, is renowned for large gold deposits and other minerals. Owing to the heightened mining activity, waste, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals are washed into the tributaries which end up in the Osun river.

On Friday, which marks the grand finale of the annual Osun-Osogbo festival, devotees of the Osun deity were spotted at the grove drinking from the contaminated river.

Many devotees who trooped out in their white attires and beads were seen fetching the water into different kegs while some washed their heads with it and others drank from it.

TheCable had earlier subjected a sample of the water to a test conducted by UNILAG Consult. It was found to contain 0.034 milligrams per litre (mg/L) of arsenic, 5.663 mg/L of aluminium, and 0.090 mg/L of lead. Other heavy metals found, according to the test result, include Barium (2.326), Lithium(0.004), Nickel(2.006), and Iron (3.197).

These heavy metals were found to be significantly above the limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Urban Alert, a civic-tech initiative leveraging technology to amplify the yearnings of the masses, told TheCable in June that a health crisis is inevitable if the over two million people living in more than 20 communities in Osun state continue to get exposed to the contaminated water.

“In fact, our data has shown that 100,000 people may be facing serious medical challenges before 2032 if the situation is not arrested and the proper remediation process does not begin,” Anthony Adejuwon, Urban Alert team lead, had said.

Following TheCable’s investigation into the pollution of the river, Abdullahi Binuyo, deputy chief of staff to Gboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun, said the state will carry out a clean-up of the sacred grove.

Binuyo said this while speaking on TheCable’s Twitter Space dedicated to the issue of illegal mining and pollution in the state.

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On the eve of the finale of the Osun-Osogbo festival, the state government advised tourists, devotees and visitors not to drink water from the river.

Rafiu Isamotu, the commissioner for health, said the water had been contaminated by the activities of artisanal miners and was not good for human consumption.

But Urban Alert criticised the state government for issuing the warning 24 hours before the grand finale.

Oluwatosin Olarewaju, communication officer of Urban Alert, said the response to the contamination of the river has been lukewarm and lacks the determination needed to address the issue of illegal and unregulated gold mining in the state.

“Despite vigorous engagements with the Federal Government, the Osun State Government and other stakeholders, nothing significant has been seen to have been done to avert the impact of the contamination, ” the statement reads in part.

“Having informed the Osun State Government and all appropriate organs of the Federal Government of the deleterious effect of the Osun River contamination, no serious step has been taken for the safety of the affected communities and the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove which sits on the bank of the Osun River. It is, therefore, shocking to see the Osun State Government issuing an impromptu warning to tourists and traditionalists, warning them from drinking from the Osun River on the eve of the Osun Osogbo festival.”

Urban Alert said the response to the issue “is a clear indication that the safety of the people and access to safe water is not a priority”.

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41 dead as fire engulfs church in Egypt

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At least 41 people have been confirmed dead in a fire outbreak at Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighbourhood of Imbaba in Giza Governorate, Egypt.

According to a report by Bloomberg, another 14 people were injured in the fire incident that started at the Coptic church during Sunday morning service.

The report added that fifteen firefighting vehicles were dispatched to the scene to put out the flames while ambulances ferried the casualties to nearby hospitals.

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A police statement confirmed that the fire was ignited by an electrical short-circuit.

Reacting to the incident in a tweet on his verified Twitter handle, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt’s president, expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.

He said government has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the effect of the fire outbreak.

“I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident in Al-Munira Church in Giza Governorate, and I have directed all concerned state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, and immediately deal with this accident and its effects, and to provide all aspects of health care for the injured,” the president wrote.

“I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who moved to the side of their Lord in one of the houses in which they are worshipped.”

The Cable
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