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INSURGENCY: Nigeria lost over 847 soldiers to Boko Haram – Ndume

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Senator Ali Ndume, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army,  has disclosed that Nigeria lost over 847 soldiers fighting in the North East to Boko Haram from 2013 to date.

Senator Ndume, who made the disclosure while briefing journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital on the findings by his colleagues who recently returned from Maiduguri, noted that the figures are for only soldiers buried in the Military cemetery located in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

“From the record, we saw in the cemetery, by their record, I think we lost over 847 soldiers from 2013 to date that is their record.

“And they have other cemeteries elsewhere in Abuja and other places where they bury their victims.”

The lawmaker also debunked allegations that a mass burial is conducted for soldiers by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, saying that the military ensures the bodies of victims are retrieved.

“The allegation that there is a mass burial; when I saw it there, it is not true.

“Nigerian Army will never do that; in fact, if any of them is missing, they go out to search, to get that person to declare whether he is dead or alive; even if he is dead, they try to retrieve the body.”

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Mr. Ndume also informed that a panel has started investigating allegations that some Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the North-East, were providing useful information to the Boko Haram leaders.

“Another area of concern which the senate will look into is this allegation that the various NGOs in that area are conniving with the insurgents, providing them with information, logistics, and so many things.

“Well, I have been critical about this from the beginning, but it has come out now that a few of them operating there are actually aiding, abating and supporting the insurgents.

“But, we will do an investigation and you will hear if we have the evidence. So far, we have evidence, we just want to make it credible,” he submitted.

However, the Nigerian Army yesterday asked Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, to prove his claim that 847 soldiers had been lost to Boko Haram insurgency in the last six years.

The military said the senator needed to substantiate his claim, even as it would not take issue with the federal legislator.

 

 

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Lagos govt. approves full reopening of churches, mosques

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The Lagos state government on Saturday approved the full reopening of worship centres in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced this during a briefing in the state said churches are now allowed to observe their mid-week services, while the mosques are also allowed to carry out their five times a day prayer routine, with strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must, therefore, strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society,” the governor said.

Before now, the state had allowed for a gradual re-opening of places of worship as lockdowns eased.

With the full re-opening now, the governor has urged Lagosians to continue to act responsibly and maintain the required levels of hygiene.

Some other parts of the world have witnessed a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and rising possibilities of “hard lockdowns”, which according to Governor Sanwo-Olu may become inevitable for Nigerians if caution is not applied.

“Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable,” he warned.

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“The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitizers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times”.

The total infections in the country have now risen to 56,956, with 48,305 patients recovered and 1,094 deaths recorded.

At the onset of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos became the epicenter, gapping other states with its case load despite frantic efforts to curb the spread.

However, in recent times, other states such as Plateau have started to witness a surge with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 stating that it might become the new epicenter in the country.

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Photos: Oyo deputy gov. donates patrol motorcycles to security operatives

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The deputy governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan on Friday made a personal donation of patrol motorcycles to security operatives in Oke Ogun area of the state to boost their role of ensuring the safety of lives and properties.

Speaking at the event, Olaniyan noted  that Security is one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration headed by Governor Seyi Makinde, adding that the government has invested massively to provide facilities and equipment for security operatives in the state to perform their roles.

Speaking further, the deputy governor remarked that ” In the light of the security challenges in the country, it is imperative that we support the government in tackling this malady. It was therefore a delight for me to donate patrol motorcycles, from my purse, to the various security outfits operating in the Oke Ogun area of our state.”

He stressed that security matters should be the responsibility of all and not the government alone.

Olaniyan, however , urged well meaning individuals and lovers of peace to support the government in creating a safe and conducive environment for growth.

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Yorubas will resist arrest of proponents of Oodua Republic – Group

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Groups under the aegis  of Yoruba Frontier Movement (YFM) on Thursday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resist from using security agencies to harass, intimidate or arrest proponents of Oodua Republic.

YFM in a statement made available to journalists by its National Coordinator, Comrade Abdulkabir Adesina and National Secretary, Aderemi Adisa condemned the plan by security agencies to arrest proponents of Oodua Republic, saying that such action will only lead to breakdown of law and order.

The statement read, “We have received reports that there are plans by security agencies to arrest proponents of Oodua Republic headed by Chief Sunday Igboho. We are using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to order security agencies to desist from such attempts because proponents of Oodua Republic are operating within the ambit of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The group wondered why proponents of Oodua Republic have become the target of security agencies while Fulani herdsmen and bandits have remained untouchable.

“We should even go down memory lane. President Muhammadu Buhari while desperately seeking to become Nigeria’s president made many inciting statements capable of bringing anachy into the country but ex- President Jonathan never ordered for his arrest. On many occasions northern youths and elders have made similar inciting statements and heaven didn’t come down. As a matter of fact we have been calling for restructuring of Nigeria for a very long time.The failure of government to restructure Nigeria is the reason why we are calling for Oodua Republic. Yorubas have suffered greatly since the amalgamation of the country in 1914 owing to injustice against Yoruba race in Nigeria. As a race we have every right to demand for our right to either stay with Nigeria or go our separate ways”, the statement added.

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It further lauded  Chief Sunday Igboho for taking the bull by the horn, saying that Yorubas are fully in his support.

“We are using this medium to call on traditional rulers, Obas , leaders and all Yoruba sons and daughters to support the proponents of Oodua Republic”, the statement concluded.

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