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Sanwo-Olu Awards Scholarship To Children Of Policemen Who Died In Lagos Violence

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Police officers lynched in the wake of the violence instigated by the nationwide youth demonstration against police brutality will not die in vain, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledged.

The State Government, on Wednesday, directed Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarship to the children of the slain officers up to the university level.

The State Police Command bore huge loss in personnel, armoury, and properties in the violence.

Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 Police Posts were razed by hoodlums disguising as protesters. Also, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.

In spite of the loss, the police said they remained undeterred in performing their constitutional duties.

Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, made the offer to take the bill of replacing the logistics lost by the police when he visited the Command Headquarters in Ikeja to boost the morale of officers, following the demoralizing events of the past week in which police officers and their stations were targeted by hoodlums.

The Governor got the assurance of the police’s commitment to strengthen security across the State from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu.

Sanwo-Olu said the statutory duties of the Police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs, noting that the impact of the police officers’ absence on the roads was generally felt by residents.

He said the State must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace across the communities. To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.

He said: “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after the last week’s event. As your Governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.

“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have a bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.

“The most important request is to offer scholarships to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award a scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would also be compensating family members of the officers killed in the violence and take care of the burial arrangement of the slain officers, adding that the State would also be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.

Police officers serving in Lagos are also to get life insurance from the State Government, Sanwo-Olu promised. The Governor directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr. Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the State.

The Governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.

In addition to donating two 150KVa generating set to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the Command Headquarters would be connected to the State’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.

He said: “The reform that you truly desire is starting today. The reform which the youths had clamoured for through the EndSARS protest is taking off and we will continue to engage the police on how to improve on what we have started. We will take up this cause with the objective to effect desired change and we will approach the high authorities for the requests that are not in our control.

“I will be leaving you with the thought that you all have the responsibility to secure lives and properties. Your uniform is not for oppression; it is a symbol of dignity and discipline. You must protect the fundamental rights of all citizens without compromising the ethics of your duty. It is only when you do this that the citizens would see that we have a Police that is truly responsible.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State would be championing the cause to improve the citizen-police relationships to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.

Odumosu said the manner with which the slain officers were murdered brought down morale in the Command. He said the police officers remained committed to their statutory responsibilities, thanking the Governor for approving their requests

The gesture, the police boss said, would restore confidence in the State’s police workforce.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, said the Police took away valuable lessons from the EndSARS protest, noting that there was no better time to fully implement the community policing than now.

He said the protest had ended and it was time for the police to win back citizens’ confidence and trust.

He said: “As police officers, we must now go back to the drawing board and cultivate the goodwill of the communities in which we operate. I’m particularly charging divisional police headquarters to devise strategies tailored toward your local realities and employ digital tools.”

Top police officers, who attended the meeting with the Governor, included the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone II, Ahmed Ilyasu, all Deputy Commissioners of Police, and all the 14 Area Commanders across the State.

Also, all the 110 officers in charge of all Divisional Police Stations and heads of the 56 Police Departments across the State.

BIG STORY

Each Corps Member To Get N2m For Agriculture After Service Year —- NSPRI

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The Federal Government has said that it will empower members of the National Youth Service Corps that venture into agriculture after their one-year mandatory service with the sum of N2m.

The Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Dr. Patricia Pessu, disclosed this on Monday while speaking at a workshop on value addition of agricultural commodities for 40 corps members selected from the 16 local government areas of Kwara State.

Pessu said the two corps members, who completed their service in Oyo and Abia states respectively, had begun to benefit from the programme, stating that they were selected from the last batch of trainees at NSPRI.

He decried the increasing number of unemployed youth in the country and added that a similar opportunity awaited any trainee of the current batch who submitted a promising proposal at the end of the service year.

The NSPRI boss added that “to put things into context, Nigeria’s unemployed youth of 13.9 million is more than the population of Rwanda and several other African countries.

“This youth population is also about 64 percent of total unemployed Nigerians, suggesting that the most agile working-class population in the country remains unemployed.”

Declaring the workshop open, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muritala Olanrewaju, said the government had promised to consolidate commercial agriculture through the provision of adequate machinery to assist genuine farmers in advancing their productivity, profitability, and competitiveness.

Olarewaju disclosed that the state government was repositioning the agricultural sector from being a mass social service to a profitable agro-business aimed at providing technical and environmentally friendly agriculture practice.

Also, the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs. Francisca Olaleye, commended the agency for the opportunity given to corps members and gave the assurance that the beneficiaries would justify the gesture.

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Fleeing Ex-Pension Boss Abdulrasheed Maina Arrested In Niger Republic

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Security agencies in Niger Republic have arrested the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in that country.

A top security officer confirmed to newsmen that Maina was arrested by Nigerian Security agencies on Monday.

Maina, who is being prosecuted on 12 counts of money laundering to the tune of N2bn by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, jumped bail, forcing the trial judge, Justice Abang Okon, to issue a warrant for his arrest.

He was said to have stopped attending his trial since September 29, 2020, prompting Justice Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the remand of his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, last Monday.

The court, however, granted bail to the Borno South senator last Friday.

The EFCC had earlier informed the court that it had sought the assistance of the United States and Niger Republic for the arrest of Maina.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comment on Monday as calls to his phone rang out.

Also, the Commissioner of Police, Interpol National Bureau, Garba Umar, did not respond to calls seeking confirmation of the arrest.

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I Have Directed Armed Forces To Take The Fight To Insurgents ——- Buhari

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, said he has directed the nation’s Armed Forces to take the anti-terrorism fight to the insurgents.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President disclosed this in a message he sent through his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, to the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum; the Shehu of Borno and the Zabarmari community where 43 rice farmers were killed by insurgents on Saturday.

The statement was titled, ‘High powered government delegation visits Maiduguri, President Buhari vows to end terrorism’.

According to Shehu, the President, in his message, described the massacre as “senseless, barbaric and gruesome murder.”

He further quoted Buhari as giving assurances of his continuous commitment to fighting insurgency and all forms of insecurity in Borno State and all over Nigeria.

He said Buhari committed himself to making more resources available to the military to prosecute the war, adding that he will “work closely with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.”

According to the statement, the President said, “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of the people. Everything is secondary when security is at a stake.

“As we mourn the loss of our sons in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until we root out the terrorists.”

The President also commended Zulum for his leadership in running the affairs of the state.

The presidential aide said apart from the message from the President, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, spoke for the government team to the state.

Zulum was also quoted as thanking the President for “ensuring relative peace since his assumption of office,” stating that the situation is better than he met it.

The statement added, “The governor presented a number of requests on behalf of his people, including that the youth of the state should be enlisted in military and paramilitary organisations to play their roles in the defence of the nation.

“He called on the Federal Government to assist in the repatriation of Borno indigenes in camps in neighbouring countries and requested the National Assembly to tweak the draft budget now before them to allow better allocation of resources for the North East sub-region, which he alleged is being side-lined.

“At the palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Eminence Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai, the traditional ruler described as ‘madness,’ the gruesome killings and urged his subjects to pray and offer useful information to the security agencies.

“He thanked President Buhari for his efforts in returning normalcy to the state.”

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