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Schoolboys abduction: Sultan fears security chiefs benefit from insecurity

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Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has said the abduction of hundreds of students from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, indicates serious lapses in Nigeria’s security architecture that need to be urgently addressed.

He said that the boldness of the bandits to carry out the abduction on the day Mr. President arrived in Katsina State on a private visit was to further test the resolve of his government.

The reaction is contained in the Sultan-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI)’s statement issued on Monday through its Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.

He urged President Buhari to listen to the calls from Nigerians to revamp the security architecture and address the nation, adding that, “there are insinuations that for pecuniary benefits, some top echelon among the security operatives don’t want the insecurity to end.”

“If not, how can one explain the movement of the bandits in their hundreds on motor cycles without being detected? What happens to intelligence gathering that this heinous plan was not uncovered before it was hatched? How comes the bandits took their time, gather the school boys, heaped them on bikes and whisked them away without being rounded up by the security agencies? Mr. President needs to hearken to the call of Nigerians; revamp the security architecture and address the nation!”

Part of the statement read, “The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of its President-General, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto received with absolute shock the most unfortunate story of the abduction of students from Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina State, after shooting the security guard on the spot, at about 10:45pm on Friday.

“This abduction in commando style is one tragedy too many coming on the heels of the infamous Zabarmari massacre just not long ago.

“This indeed is a sad reminder of the abductions of school Girls in Chibok and Dapchi of Borno and Yobe States of North-East Nigeria, and it’s an indicator that the powers that be don’t read the present through the spectacle of the past; this wouldn’t have happened.

“For the umpteenth time, we will continue to ask: for how long shall the masses continue to live in fear? For how long shall the Federal and State Governments continue to issue empty condemnations whenever tragedies stroke? Is the government and the security agencies so overwhelmed and thus cannot secure the citizens? Are there insurmountable challenges or acts of sabotage that the Government is hiding from the public? These and many more questions continue to bedevil every discerning mind within and outside Nigeria.

“The Kankara abduction was so belligerently orchestrated that it happened the day Mr. President arrived Katsina State on a private visit. Are the bandits this bold as to further test the resolve of the Government or smite the face of the Commander in Chief by bringing it up to his door step in his presence? This further proves what we once said that the bandits rule in many communities and do as they wish with impunity.

“If there is any worse outcome than the abduction itself, it is the fact that this is the most potent action to frustrate school enrolment in Northern Nigeria, as no parent will forthwith be comfortable to send their children or wards to boarding school despite the many enrolment campaign efforts by the Government. And it will even be callous for anyone to call on the traumatized parents to expose their beloved children to these unprotected environments to be used as fodder by bandits and insurgents at will.

“What baffles us the most is the government’s inability to locate the enemy’s actual enclave, the focal point of their strength and to devote all available means to rout them out or incapacitate them.

“Is it that the political will isn’t there? What really is the challenge or Nigerians don’t deserve to know from the government they elected?

“We nevertheless in a plangent mood commiserate with the families of the GSSS Kankara victims and wish them safe and immediate reunion with their respective children. We also pray for Allah’s continuous guidance, strength and stamina to all those on the battle fields against all forms of insurrections in Nigeria. In the same vein, we urge the people and Government of Katsina state not to get depressed; Allah, the Most High shall continue to be their strength in-sha’Allah.

“In light of the above, we call on governments at all levels to with all urgency do everything possible and use any means possible to return the school boys.

“The prayers of the JNI and Nigerian Muslims are therefore that: Government should spare no effort(s) to immediately return all the abducted students of GSSS Kankara. And then there should be no sacred cows – heads must roll for the repeated slackness.

“Government at all levels in collaboration with different security agencies should proactively rise against the tide of insecurity in whatever guise by nipping it in the bud, before it escalates; We must all be upright in our dealings and remember that we shall all account for our respective actions and inactions, thus we should be God-conscious.

“We should continue to seek Allah’s intervention to ending these orgies bedeviling our country, as well as return to Allah with all righteousness; repentance, remorsefulness, brokenhearted and seeking for His pardon.”

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NNPC to inject fresh N1tn into road projects

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is to provide additional N1tn for road projects in Nigeria, NNPC Group Chief Executive, Mele Kyari, has said.

Kyari, in a video clip seen in Abuja, disclosed this on Thursday during a tour of the ongoing construction work on the Agbara-Badagry road, Lagos.

He said the N1tn would come through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

He said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. We are taking another set of over N1tn of investments in road infrastructure in the country.

“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr. President has put in place is the game changer for our country.

“We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why the NNPC is your company and working for all of us.

“We think that it is the best way to intervene and bring up our infrastructure. We are adding another set of cash, we have not reached the final numbers, but I know it is over N1tn.”

According to a Punch report, the NNPC in the third quarter of 2021 announced its intention to provide funds for the reconstruction of selected road projects in order to ease the movement of petroleum products.

This was executed under the tax credit scheme that was funded by the NNPC through the Federal Inland Revenue Service in accordance with the President’s executive order 007.

The construction exercise was under the management of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, as the NNPC provided funds for the construction of 1,804.6km of roads at a cost of N621,24bn.

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Military under pressure to compromise elections, says CDS Irabor

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has disclosed that the security agencies and the military have been under pressure to compromise general elections through financial inducement.

He however assured Nigerians that the military would maintain neutrality in the whole electoral process.

He spoke at the weekly ministerial press briefing on Thursday in Abuja and gave updates on strides made by the military in the fight against insurgency, terrorism and banditry.

He stated that military personnel were being trained to follow the codified rules of engagement before, during and after the elections.

The CDS disclosed that over 300,000 persons had been freed from the hands of abductors since 2016 while refugees who fled the North-East owing to insurgency were already returning.

General Irabor who admitted there were few sabotaurs within the military asserted that they had not succeeded.

He debunked a recent allegation by an international news media which accused the military of carrying out over 10,000 illegal abortions on female victims of the war in the North-East.

According to him, it is impossible for the military to have been engaged in a planned abortion programme since 2013 and as the military commander in charge of Operation Lafia Dole between 2016 and 2017, he never heard of any such thing.

The CDS also revisited the alleged Lekki tollgate massacre in 2020, insisting that the Nigerian military is not interested in killing its own people, but more concerned about protecting the citizens.

He added that the efforts of the military in the fight against crude oil theft had been yielding positive results with the increase in the crude oil production of 1.6 million barrels per day.

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FG recovers N120bn from crime proceeds —Lai Mohammed

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has said it had realised at least N120 billion as proceeds from criminal financial operations since the bill on Proceeds of Crime Recovery Management was signed into law earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at a news briefing where Minister of Environment presented the scorecard of the ministry under the Buhari administration in Abuja, yesterday.

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Mohammed said:  “I have an update on the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA), 2022. In line with the new law, all relevant agencies of government have now opened ‘Confiscated and Forfeiture Properties Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“I can confirm that so far, the Federal Government has realised over N120 billion, among other currencies, from POCA. This money will be used to fund the completion of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the country such as the Second Niger Bridge as well as Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kano Expressways. We will continue to update you on this,” he added.

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