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No Plan To Suspend Umrah Despite New COVID-19 Wave – S/Arabia

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The Saudi Arabia government has dismissed rumours regarding suspension of Umrah due to increase in COVID-19.

A source in the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah told Haramain Sharifain that it has no plans to suspend Umrah.

It called on visitors and pilgrims to adhere to the precautionary measures decided by the competent authorities.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques recently reintroduced Physical and Social Distancing in the Two Holy Mosques after a rise in COVID-19 cases was noted.

“We call on every pilgrim and visitor to adhere to physical distancing and wearing of masks at all times as this will ensure your safety and the safety of others,” the Imam of the Grand Mosque Sheikh Yasir Al Dossary announced before commencing the afternoon prayers on Thursday.

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Saudi Arabia announced two deaths from COVID-19 and 5,499 new infections on Thursday.

Of the new cases, 1,565 were recorded in Riyadh, 877 in Jeddah, 474 in Makkah, 239 in Madinah, 198 in Dammam, 137 in Taif, 110 in Qatif, 103 in Al-Khobar, 102 in Hofuf, and 100 in Khulais. Several other cities recorded less than one hundred new cases each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 555,035 after 2,978 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,901 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far. Over 53.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque increased its preparedness to welcome visitors in the coming period through updating electrical, mechanical and electronic elements. (Haramain Sharifain/Arab News).

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Zamfara: Irabor faults governor for asking citizens to bear arms

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Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, faulted the call by Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to people of the state to bear arms to defend themselves against bandits.

Irabor said the call was not right, as the armed forces and other security agencies were there to handle the challenges.

The CDS spoke to newsmen on the matter at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja.

Irabor said he was yet to understand the basis for asking the citizens of Zamfara to bear arms.

He, however, said it was the responsibility of the Attorney General of the Federation to look at the constitution and the laws to see whether the governor had such powers.

“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go.

“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies, are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.

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“Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.

“But like I said, I do not intend to say much about it, but I believe that the Federal Government, using the Attorney General, will look at the details of that press release and give further instruction.

“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licenses, because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licences.”

Irabor said the armed forces was only an instrument of policy implementation, adding that it did not take instructions from state governments.

He said the constitution gave rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.

“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution.

“So, we are there because we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.

“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of military across the country but then, like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country,” he said.

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DSS storms ECWA Church, takes out 21 Muslim boys allegedly being forcefully converted to Christianity

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JOS – The Department of State Security (DSS) has raided a house located at JMDB quarters, in the Tudun Wada community of Jos North LGA of Plateau State, North-central Nigeria where the operatives rescued 21 young people, including almajirai, Daily Trust has reported.

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), while confirming the incident, said the rescued victims told the group during interrogation that they were forcefully brought to the house and converted to Christianity.

The General Secretary of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, said the house which was raided by the DSS was under the custody of the church but denied that it was used to convert people to Christianity, adding the claim should be discarded.

Daily Trust reports that the DSS raided the house on June 14, and recovered the victims, who were said to have been brought to Jos from another state.

The raid of the house, according to the JNI’s Director Aid Group Plateau State chapter, and Chief Security Officer, Jos Central Mosque, Danjuma Khalid, came after one of the victims, Abdulrahman Usaini, who escaped from the house, reported that they had been camped in the house for eight months.

Khalid said the DSS operatives raided the house following JNI’s report.

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“On June 13, a group of people including Abdulrahman who ran away from the house met me here in the Central Mosque saying that they had come to report an issue regarding forceful adoption and conversion of their pupils to Christianity by ECWA Church in Jos.

“While narrating the incident, the escapee told me that he and one other, Nura Usama, were forcefully taken by some individuals in a Camry Toyota Car from Gombe, to ECWA headquarters, Jos, and after being documented, they were later taken to a house at Tudun Wada, where they were camped, and that he had ran away, leaving his brother, Nura at the house.

“On June 14, we reported the case to the DSS, Plateau State command, and the escapee narrated to the DSS how they were taken from Gombe to Jos and how he escaped from the house in Tudun Wada area. Immediately after we reported the matter, the DSS swung into action. The operatives of the command went to the house in Tudun Wada alongside the escapee, stormed the premises and rescued 21 children.”

He said when the victims were brought to the DSS State Command, two of the victims  – Abdulrahman Usaini and Nura Usama – were handed over to JNI, the uncle to Abdulrahman, and their teacher, while the remaining victims were left under the custody of the DSS until their parents or relatives were found.

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NDLEA arrested some politicians in possession of illicit drugs

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NDLEA boss, Buba Marwa

Buba Marwa, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says officers of the agency arrested some politicians in possession of illicit drugs.

Marwa said this on Sunday when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Hard Copy’.

The chairman said he was “somewhat disappointed” that the drive to have public officers undergo drug-tests before they assume office did not go through.

“But the idea is not original. We are promoting what is going on already in Kano state. In kano state, all politicians under the governor’s party, aspiring for an office, must first demonstrate in the screening process that they are drug negative and I’m in full support of that,” he said.

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“We have arrested politicians who either are holding political office or have retired. Recently one of them was jailed in Lagos, he was trying to smuggle 1kg, maybe to use it to run for office.

“As you know, the cartels also participate in political institutions, they actually fund candidates into the various levels so that the correct laws (that favour them) are enacted.”

Speaking on the rehabilitation of drug users, the NDLEA chief said there is a dearth of rehab centres “and there are thousands if not millions of drug users who need help but there’s no where to go. And so they snuck back into their bedrooms and continue to take drugs”.

“Right now we have just 11 model rehab centres in the country which is very low. The Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA) recommended that there should be about three centres per state looking at the prevalence and the federal government already through the ministry of health, has agreed to build one more rehab centre in every state,” he said.

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