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We paid N6.6m for our girls’ release – Katsina community .No ransom was paid, Zamfara govt insists

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A community in Katsina State, where 26 girls were abducted by bandits, has countered the claim by the Zamfara State Government that no ransom was paid to secure their release from captivity.

Indeed, the community said they paid over N6m to the kidnappers as ransom for the release of the abducted girls

The girls were said to have been randomly picked from houses in Garin Aja on October 13, 2020, only to be released on November 6. The community shares border with Zamfara State, Daily Trust reports.

“Those abducted included girls and spinsters. The bandits moved from house to house and selected their victims,” one of the sources said.

“The abductors did not bother to pick children or the old; they carefully selected girls and young women who either lost their husbands or divorced. They also asked their parents to pay a ransom and get their wards back. The parents simply complied because they want their children back and safely,” another source said.

The Zamfara State Government delegation, led by the Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, handed over the 26 girls to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari at the weekend.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa, told Daily Trust last night that the girls were released after negotiations and dialogue with the armed bandits.

Governor Bello Matawalle had earlier tweeted that: “I interacted with 26 rescued girls after medical professionals have ascertained their physical and mental fitness following days of trauma suffered in kidnappers den.

“The young girls kidnapped from Katsina State were rescued on 6/11/2020 as a result of our intervention.”

But the village head of Dan-Aji, Alhaji Lawal Dogara, told newsmen on Monday in Katsina that the community paid N6.6 million ransom to free the girls.

“The governor of Zamfara State should stop claiming credit for the release of our women because we paid for their release,” Dogara said.

He said two community leaders, Alhaji Abdulkarim Dan Aji and Liman Babangida Dan-Aji, trekked for three days into the forest to deliver the ransom to the bandits.

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Police Command has confirmed an attack on the state government delegation returning from Katsina State where they handed over the rescued girls to Katsina State Government.

The command’s spokesman, Muhammad Shehu, in a statement on Monday, said the delegation was caught in the crossfire between two warring bandit groups who were fighting for supremacy at Dogon Karfe, Gidan Jaja along Zurmi – Jibiya Road in Zurmi local government.

“Unfortunately, a driver in the delegation died in the crossfire. Immediately, the combined Police and Military personnel rushed to the scene to strengthen the existing escort of the delegation,” Shehu added.

Kidnapping is a recurrent decimal in Zamfara, Katsina and the North West in general.

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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Cancel gospel crusade in Abia — IPOB warns Kumuyi

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Pastor William Kumuyi

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has asked the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, to take note of the ugly security in the South East zone and cancel the crusade he has scheduled to hold in Aba, Abia State.

Pastor Kumuyi is slated to hold a gospel crusade in Aba, from 24th to 29th May, 2022.

IPOB stated that it will not allow anybody to die because of this crusade as there are high chances of criminals operating as unknown gunmen to infiltrate the crusade and blame it on IPOB.

In a statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB urged the cleric to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land and tasked Christians to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in the land.

“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade. Let him and the organizers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens.

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“The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities. Therefore, we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons. We equally want them to be united against the Islamic agenda against non Muslims in Nigeria. We had expected them to demand justice for the innocent Deborah Yakubu burnt alive by Muslim fanatics in Sokoto State. Her killers are walking freely today and 34 lawyers shamelessly volunteered to defend her killers but Christians are just watching them. The double faced Nigeria security agencies only managed to arrest two of her killers because they are Muslims. If it were to be in Biafra land, all the youths on the street will be in police cell by now while the unlucky ones would have been killed.

“How many Igbo or Christian lawyers came to defend our Leader fighting for the freedom of all Biafrans but 34 Muslim lawyers have come in defense of killers of Deborah Yakubu? Is it not time Christians and Men of God woke up to the realities in Nigeria? They should support Biafra and Oduduwa agitators in their bid to free Biafra and Oduduwa republics from the Islamic bondage in Nigeria so that they will enjoy freedom of worship in both republics.

“Leah Shuaibu is still in captivity today because she is a Christian but all the Muslims abducted along with her have since been freed. Christians must support IPOB to liberate them from bondage in Nigeria.”

The pro Biafra group further asked Kumuyi to pray against wicked leaders in Biafra land and Nigeria, stressing that they are the real problems of the people.

“Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”

Vanguard

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I’ve no apology for being ‘mad’ about Nigeria ― Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has a “mad passion” for Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen at his Penthouse residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said he had no apology for being mad about Nigeria “because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.”

According to him, Nigeria needs a leader who is ‘mad’ and passionate about the country to address its myriad problems and put it on the right path.

He said, “Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.”

Obasanjo lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country and insisted that Nigeria could overcome its security challenges within two years with the willingness to make tough decisions.

He said, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.

“I believe like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words – decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.

“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.”

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Hayatu-Deen who came in the company with his team at 12.30pm went into a closed-door meeting with Obasanjo which lasted for about an hour before speaking with journalists.

The former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, described Obasanjo as a father of modern Nigeria whose administration recorded tremendous achievements.

Speaking at the state PDP secretariat, Hayatu-Deen said he possessed the capacity, experience and knowledge to govern Nigeria.

The aspirant, who said he had been to several parts of Nigeria, including South-West, stressed that he is a passionate and complete Nigerian.

He said, “My blood is Nigerian blood. I had seen Nigeria with the eyes of a Nigerian and not from the perspective of a tribal man. I am prepared to govern Nigeria from the first day of inauguration on May 29, 2023.

“We are suffering from self-inflicted wounds. As an economist, I know how to fix the economy. I will provide social security, I will provide Energy Security, I will deal with the issue of national insecurity.”

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