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COVID-19: Buratai Cancels COAS Confab, Bars Participants From Son’s Wedding

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The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has cancelled the ongoing 2020 Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference after a participant tested positive for coronavirus.

He also barred participants at the conference from attending the wedding of his son, Hamisu Buratai, scheduled for Friday.

This was contained in two statements from the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, on Thursday.

In the first statement titled, ‘Cancellation of the remaining activities of Chief of Army Staff’s annual conference 2020’, Musa said the participant tested positive on Tuesday.

He also said that all the participants had been mandated to immediately proceed on self-isolation.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to inform members of the public that due to resurgence of COVID 19 Pandemic in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja in what appears to be a second wave of infection cycle and the unfortunate incident on Tuesday 8 December 2020, where an officer participating in the ongoing Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 here in Abuja tested positive to COVID 19, the remaining activities of the conference have therefore been immediately cancelled.

“All the participants have been mandated to immediately proceed on self-isolation in line with the Federal Government’s protocol for COVID 19 and to prevent any further spread of the disease.

“All inconveniences hereby regretted, please. Thanks for your usual understanding and cooperation, please,” the statement read.

In the second statement titled, ‘Scaling down of activities for the wedding Fatiha of Buratai’s son Mr Hamisu Tukur Buratai’, the Army spokesperson said participants at the COAS conference would not participate in the wedding.

The statement added, “The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai wishes to inform all dignitaries and other invited guests that activities earlier scheduled for the wedding of his son Mr Hamisu Tukur Buratai will proceed as arranged albeit pruned down without the participation of all those who were at the conference.

“The Chief of Army Staff, on behalf of his family, feels honoured to sincerely appreciate, thank and welcome all dignitaries and invited guests to his son’s Wedding Fatiha slated for Friday, December 11, 2020. However, due to the resurgence of the Pandemic in the FCT, General Buratai will be unable to personally attend to, receive or meet you at the event. All inconveniences hereby regretted, please.”

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Obiano Declares Herdsmen Carrying Guns As Criminals, Bans Itinerant Herders From Passing Through State

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has declared that any herdsman found carrying a gun should be treated as a criminal.

The governor said it is unwise to treat them with levity, adding that a fresh census for all herdsmen in the state has commenced.

He said that once the exercise is concluded, the state will no longer tolerate itinerant cattle herders settling in the state, or even passing through the state with their herds.

Obiano stated this Tuesday in a stakeholder meeting on security with heads of various communities, security chiefs, traditional rulers, and other groups in the state.

He said: “We have done a census of herders in Anambra State last year, and they were 77 in number. We are doing a new one now, and after the census, we will never allow itinerant herdsmen to come in again.

“The ones causing trouble are not here (Anambra), they come in from outside. Also, we have heard reports of herdsmen who carry arms. Any herdsmen carrying arms is a criminal, and we will not tolerate that. If you find them, report them because they are criminals.

“We have prosecuted some in the past. We will not allow itinerant herdsmen to pass through Anambra after the census. We will have the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all herdsmen in Anambra, and we will be holding meetings with them at intervals.”

The governor also said that his government takes security seriously, the reason the state has been proclaimed the safest in the country.

He said that his administration has been very supportive of security agencies in the state, as security remained everyone’s business.

“Anything about security is number one for me. We thank our security agencies for keeping Anambra on the high as the safest state in Nigeria.

“I have distributed over 520 vehicles to security agencies in the state and I made a designated petrol station where you go to take fuel to avoid saying you don’t have fuel when you get distress calls. Today, every police vehicle you see running around is fuelled by me,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, has lamented the devastating effect of drugs and cultism in the society, saying they are the twin causes of insecurity in the country.

IG Adamu, who was represented at a forum by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of finance and administration, DIG Joseph Egbunike, stated this at the forum, while also charging his men to nip it in the bud.

He said: “Drug and cultism are the greatest challenges we have in Nigeria today. When they take all these things (drugs), they do not know the value of life any longer. That is the problem we have, but it is the responsibility of everybody to ensure that this stops.

“If you leave drug to fester in your division, there are chances that you may be a victim of it. You must work to bring down the use of drug in your areas. There must be synergy with NDLEA to ensure that this is brought down. You must work hard, and let those who can change be changed.

“Security is everyone’s business. Don’t rest because if you sleep, what happens in Sokoto may start happening here. Certain things should not be allowed to happen in Anambra. Peace is the only vehicle for any development. There is no alternative to it.

“The IG has directed me to commend the enormous contributions of the governor to security agencies. All your efforts in peacebuilding and development is worthy of emulation. We ask you to keep strategizing and restrategizing because we will overcome someday.”

In his reply, Obiano charged leaders in various communities to bring the youths into leadership in a bid to curb the use of drugs.

“During the EndSARS protest, the security people were demoralized, and could not even move around with their uniforms, but the youth stepped in to do their work. That is what we want it to be. Security is the duty of everyone, even though government had the duty of security of lives and property.

“Bring the youth into the picture. In my town, it is the youth that made a law to stop the sales of drugs, and today there is no drug in the town. The youths are the people who know where they are sold and who the consumers are. We have to bring them into the picture,” Obiano said.

 

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Obalende Unrest: Police Arrest Six, Summon Transport Union Leaders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos State Police Command, on Thursday, said it arrested six suspected hoodlums responsible for the unrest in the Obalende area of the state.

It was earlier reported that gunshots were heard this morning when two rival transport unions –National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Road Transport Employers’ Association Of Nigeria –clashed in Obalende.

The development caused chaos in the ever-busy area as motorists and commuters scampered to safety.

However, police spokesperson in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, in a statement hours after the incident, said normalcy has been restored to the area.

He also said the leaders of the warring unions have been invited for interrogation.

Adejobi said, “The Command has deployed resources to disperse and suppress the hoodlums fomenting troubles at Obalende area of Lagos State. Normalcy has been restored to the area.

“Based on preliminary findings, the crisis, that occurred today Thursday 11th February 2021, was between transport unions in the area and no life was lost.

“Six (6) suspected hoodlums have been arrested and handed over to state CID, Panti, Yaba for discreet investigation.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has warned that the command will not condone any act of lawlessness and criminality in the state. He however directed the area commander Area A, Lion Building, ACP Bode Ojajuni, to intensify efforts on flushing the hoodlums out of the area and on the Lagos Island in general, with the available recourses deployed to the area command.

“The leaders of transport unions in the area, however, have been invited for interrogation and further actions.”

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Why We Can’t Proscribe Bandits As Terrorist Group —— Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said bandits cannot be proscribed in Nigeria because they don’t go by any name.

Mohammed who made this known in an interview on AIT’s Kaakaki programme on Wednesday said proscribing the bandits is not what really matters but how they are treated.

“You proscribe known groups with names. You can’t just proscribe an unknown group legally,” he said.

“Secondly, it’s not whether they are proscribed or not, it is the way they are treated. Does the government actually treat them with kid gloves? The answer is no.”

Mohammed also pointed out that there is a difference between the bandits and the Indigenous People of Biafra, a group that has been proscribed by the Federal Government.

He said, “When a group is championing a course for the disintegration of Nigeria… A group like IPOB (that) does not even recognize Nigeria as a state, sets up its own army, and thinks it is a sovereign state is different from bandits and criminals. Please, don’t compare apples and oranges.”

When asked if the bandits aren’t also threatening the sovereignty of Nigeria by taking up arms against the citizens, the Minister said the cases are completely different.

He said, “Security challenges are one thing. Challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria is a completely different thing. Don’t let us dwell on semantics.”

Speaking further, he said, “Don’t armed robbers threaten the security of lives and property? They do. Is there anywhere in the world that armed robbers have been proscribed?”

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