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South-East Governors Establish ‘Ebube Agu’, Regional Security Outfit, To Rout Criminals

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South-east governors yesterday rolled out a raft of policy decisions, including the establishment of a regional security outfit, ‘Ebube Agu,’ to combat the security challenges facing the zone.

The outfit, with headquarters at Enugu, will complement the efforts of federal security agencies in tackling the security challenges in the region.

The governors, in a communiqué issued in Owerri at the end of a meeting, asked the heads of security agencies in the zone to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs that will enhance their efficiency in combating the security challenges in the zone, so that the governors could provide them.

The meeting was the first gathering of the governors since last week’s attacks by gunmen who invaded the headquarters of the state police command, torching about 100 vehicles and freeing some detainees.

The gunmen also attacked the Imo State Correctional Centre and released over 1,800 inmates.

In the communiqué read by the Chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Dave Umahi, the governors aligned themselves with the efforts of the federal government to find the solution to the security challenges in the country.

They condemned what they called terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South-east.

They condemned the recent burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centers with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killing of security personnel, natives/farmers, and herdsmen.

The governors said they were on the same page with the federal government on the need to tackle the security challenges in the country.

They committed themselves to join the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits.

They also “resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorists from the zone.”

The communiqué noted that to achieve this, “there is a need to galvanize all the relevant stakeholders in the South-east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five South-east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.”

According to the communiqué, “The heads of all the security agencies in the South-east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.

“To fast-track crime-busting in the South-east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South-east.”

The governors also resolved to set up a committee comprising security personnel, government officials and stakeholders, to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Southeast joint security platform.

The governors applauded the initiative of the South-east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that would convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five South-east states.

“The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South-east otherwise known as Ebube Agu. The meeting appreciated the formation of South-east joint security outfit code-named Ebube Agu, with headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South-east,” the communiqué explained.

The governors also requested the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Usman Baba, to stop the influx of IG monitoring units and allow police commissioners and state and zonal commands to handle their cases.

The governors also requested Baba and other security chiefs to invite the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to find out the reason for the increasing insecurity of the region.

They also agreed that military policing in the South-east should be adequately funded to become effective.

“Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and the security agency should implement the ban.

“The meeting encouraged a peaceful co-existence of farmers and herders to allow governors to succeed in the fight against criminality,” the communiqué added.

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I Became Poorer After Ruling Imo For Eight Years —– Rochas Okorocha

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Former Imo Governor Rochas Okorocha has claimed he became poorer after ruling the state for eight years.

He stated this during an interview on Channels Television.

Okorocha, who represents the Imo West senatorial district, denied allegations he acquired properties with government funds.

He explained he had always been a successful person before coming into office in 2011 and dared anyone to come forth with evidence that he mismanaged funds meant for the government.

He said: “I challenge anybody to prove that I acquired any property with any government fund.

“I think people have forgotten that I was Rochas before becoming the governor of Imo State; I think they have forgotten completely.

“If anything, becoming a governor made me even poorer than what I was in the past. I don’t know whether I acquired any property here in Abuja, there is none.”

He stated that during his two-term as Governor, he built the best international cargo airport and police command in the country as well as 27 hospitals, a new Government House, a new Court, and a new prison complex, among others.

Speaking on his encounter with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he said: “I said to them (EFCC) that I have not come to respond to your call because there is already a matter in court and once a matter is sub judice, you cannot talk about it.

“Imo State government has taken me to court on the same subject matter and we are at the Federal High Court in Abuja on the same subject matter.

“EFCC is doing their job because if there is no report, they can’t nose into whatever you are doing; EFCC is not witch-hunting, they are acting on a petition being written by somebody.”

 

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I’ve Not Declared Interest In 2023 Presidential Race —– Osinbajo

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The Office of the Vice President says permutations around the 2023 presidential race are a distraction as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has not declared interest to contest.

Laolu Akande, the spokesperson to Mr Osinbajo, said in a statement on Monday in Abuja that the Office of the Vice President had no connection with an online attempt to rally support for him (Osinbajo).

“The attention of the Office of the Vice President has been drawn to a website: supportosinbajo.ng that is calling on Nigerians to join a volunteer group mobilizing support for Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

“Details of this website and the solicitation of the group are currently trending on WhatsApp with a suggestion that Osinbajo has “quietly” declared interest in the 2023 election.

“The Office of the Vice President is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction.

“Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election; but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as vice president in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges.

“Therefore, we ask that people desist from such unhelpful permutations while we all deal together with the challenges confronting us as Nigerians, and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.’’

Mr Osinbajo was the running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections.

He had served as attorney general and commissioner for justice in the administration of former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, who is reputed to be his political ally.

There are indications that Mr. Tinubu is warming up to run for president in 2023, though he is yet to confirm it.

 

(NAN)

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BREAKING: EFCC Takes Over Nestoil Boss, Ernest Azudialu’s Ikoyi Residence

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Nestoil and NECONDE Boss, Ernest Azudialu, is caught up in the turbulence of steep and unforgiving commerce and the sad fact is that he lacks the instinct and judgment required to wade through the scary storm.

Yes, the truth dawned on the Anambra State-born flamboyant dude in a moment of profound terror.

According to The Capital, Azudialu’s massive mansion located in the pristine and prosperous Modupe Alakija Crescent formerly known as Ikoyi Crescent has been sealed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

A reporter who was at the house affirmed that the anti-graft agency’s red ink embarrassingly announcing that the property was under investigation is boldly written on the building.

Whether Azudialu and his family can access the home is, however, not certain as at press time. What is sacrosanct, though, is that the property he calls home is now a subject of investigation by the EFCC.

This is coming at a time when the residents of the very serene and exclusive neighbourhood and Lagosians conversant with happenings in high society felt that what happened to Festus Fadeyi, the chairman of Pan Ocean Corporation, an indigenous independent oil and gas company, would not have an encore there. Fadeyi’s mouth-watering mansion, which had served as his family home for several decades in the same street, was confiscated by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, last year. The federal government agency took over Fadeyi’s Pan Ocean Corporation’s assets and its subsidiaries over bank loans totaling about N240billion.

Now, it is the turn of Nestoil’s Azudialu. This has left high-profile residents of Ikoyi shell-shocked because he was perceived to be a decent businessman despite his la Vida loca lifestyle. Although the reasons behind the EFCC’s action are sketchy, there are speculations that he is under investigation for financial crimes.

A while ago, he ran into stormy waters with a foremost commercial bank, which solely financed his Nestoil Towers straddling Akin Adesola and Saka Tinubu Streets in Victoria Island.

The allegation then was that he defaulted in servicing the facility that he obtained to build the towers.

In the past dispensation of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he benefited from juicy contracts and basked in luxury accruable from his position as Nestoil boss and a player in Nigeria’s oil industry. As cool cash flowed into his accounts, Ernest developed a taste for expensive luxury and soon he was known for his obsession with aircraft and his penchant for acquiring private jets and pricey automobiles.

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