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Muslim leaders, groups worried over insecurity, suggest solutions

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Muslim leaders and groups are worried about the worsening insecurity in the country largely due to banditry, kidnapping and insurgency and have called on the government to take drastic actions to address the problem.

The concerns and suggestions are contained in the various Eid-el Fitr messages of the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaimon Abou-Nolla; Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Thabit Sonaike; TMC Amir Alhaji Abdul Waasi’i Bangbala and Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof Ishaq Akintola.

Sheikh Sulaimon urged Nigerians to pray to Allah to guide the government on ways to end the insecurity.

He enjoined the Muslim Ummah to observe Eid as it ought to be so as to maximise the rewards therein.

Alhaji Sonaike urged the government to remember that its primary purpose is the welfare and security of citizens.

The armed forces, he said, must recruit fresh personnel to replace the depleted soldiers.

“Also, the Police needs new Officers, better funding and new equipment to meet the challenges of the time. Our ratio of police to citizens must be improved upon to move closer to United Nations recommendation of one police to 400 people,” he said.

Prof Akintola said: “With the projected 377,000 policemen in the country as at today securing a population of 210 million people, Nigeria can only boast of one policeman to every 557 citizens. But that is in theory. In reality, the ratio is poorer than that because more than half of our police population are on special duties trying to secure very important personalities (VIPs). In some cases, more than six policemen are assigned to protect a single official. The theory of ratio 1:557 crashes in the face of this reality… If it is true that cities are conquered by numbers, we recommend the recruitment of at least 25,000 additional policemen and 20,000 soldiers this year 2021 alone with annual recruitment of no less than 20,000 per annum over the next five years in order to overwhelm all criminal and separatist elements.”

Alhaji Bangbala said: “Let us continue to pray for peace and tranquillity in our country and to always act in ways that will engender peace and harmony. Let us remember that a believer does not shed blood unjustly neither does he call to ethnicity. Our moral principle is to relate with our neighbours with peace, mercy and compassion. These are the tenets we must always uphold in our communities.  “Let us be security-conscious at all times and ensure that we protect ourselves from the COVID-19.

President of Ansar -Ud-Deen Society Aare Abdul-Rafiu Sanni also called on governments to address the issue of insecurity of lives and properties, Kidnapping and banditry.

Aare Sanni urged governments to introduce measures that can cushion the effects of economic hardship on the citizenry by reducing tariffs and assisting SME’s in stabilising their businesses in order to minimize likely loss of jobs.

The President of Zumuratul Islamiyyah Society of Nigeria, Mr Mutiu Gbajumon, advised Muslims to continue with the lessons of Ramadan.

Gbajumon said the lessons will increase their piety, purification of the body and soul.

He called on Nigerians to pray and ask for forgiveness of sins.

according to him, the sudden surge of insecurity in the country called for sober reflection.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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