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NIGERIA IS BETTER THAN WE MET IT IN 2015 – LAI MOHAMMED

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The Federal Government says Nigeria has made tremendous progress and better than 2015 when the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Monday when he featured on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) live programme, “Good Morning Nigeria”

Speaking on the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the minister said the Buhari’ government had met the expectations of Nigerians and true to its mandate giving the time frame and circumstances.

The minister said the attempts to de-market the government and in the process the country were the handwork of die-hard naysayers and very vocal minority.

Speaking on the administration’s achievements, the minister said in 2015, the entire North East region was inaccessible and 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas in Borno were under the occupation and control of Boko Haram insurgents.

He said presently no portion or part of Nigeria territory was under the occupation and control of insurgents.

Mohammed recalled that in 2015, Nigeria was number one importer of rice from Thailand but with the administration’s policies and programmes on agriculture, the country is self-sufficient in the staple and food in general.

He said millions of farmers had been empowered with the Anchor Borrowers Programme while the number of rice mills in the country had been increased from two in 2015 to 60 presently

Under the administration’s social intervention programmes, the minister said 10 million pupils were being fed daily while two million households were benefitting from Conditional Cash Transfer among others.

Mohammed said the administration had constructed 17,000 kms of new roads and rehabilitated 8,000 kms across the country

“We completed the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as well as the second Niger bridge, which was a mirage for more than three decades.

“Also for more than three decades, Nigerians did not know what it means to travel by train until the Buhari’ government came to power.

In spite all the sabotage, today we have working, the Lagos-Ibadan railway, Abuja-Kaduna railway and Ajaokuta- Warri railway which were not in existence before we came,’’ he said.

The minister said the Buhari’ government would continue to build a progressive and prosperous nation and would not be cowed or intimidated by the naysayers.

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Nation

POLICE PARADE 21 FOR POST-ELECTION, OTHER OFFENCES IN ZAMFARA

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The Zamfara State Police Command has paraded 21 suspects for various criminal offences, including banditry, kidnapping, theft and vandalisation, among others.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, SP Mohammed Shehu, said 17 of the suspects took part in post-election violence that led to the vandalisation and looting of public and private properties, including All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign offices across the state capital.

Items recovered are two semi-silent generators belonging to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Gusau; two standing refrigerator; vandalised doors; windows, tables, chairs, electric wires and different calibres of electronics, couches, 40 pieces of women’s wrappers, burglar-proof for windows and pillar reinforcement rods.

It could be recalled that police detectives led by the Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf, had earlier arrested 40 suspects, recovered some of the looted items and vandalised property worth millions of naira which were displayed, and later charged the suspects to court and thereafter, remanded them in prison.

The police command in Zamfara also arrested a “wanted” notorious bandit accused of terrorising the state and environs.

The suspect, a male aged 25, was arrested by police tactical operatives on patrol who acted on intelligence.

According to the police, the suspect was already on the wanted list of the police for banditry, kidnapping and other heinous crimes.

“In the course of investigation, the suspect confessed of series of attacks and kidnapping on different communities in Zamfara State where millions of Naira collected as ransom from the relations. The suspect who further confessed of bearing GPMG during their operations, mentioned some of his allied which the police detectives is working assiduously to arrest. Discreet Investigation is ongoing,” the police said.

The command also arrested two suspects in connection with possession of 22 rustled livestock.

The suspects, aged 31 and 55, were reportedly arrested when the police were on patrol. Acting on intelligence information, they said to have intercepted and arrested three Toyota buses loaded with suspected stolen cows, sheep and goat from Dansadau to Gusau.

On sighting the police, the suspects attempted to abandon the vehicles and exhibits to escape, but they were rounded up and arrested by the police operatives, the authorities said.

“Suspects are currently undergoing discreet Investigation that will lead to the arrest of their collaborators before being charged to court for prosecution,” the PPRO added.

The Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf, while applauding the people of Zamfara State for their unalloyed support and partnership, tasked them to sustain the synergy with the police and other security agencies for effective service delivery.

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DSS TO TRANSFER LAGOS EZE NDIGBO TO ABUJA

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The Department of State Services has said the embattled self-acclaimed Eze Igbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos State, Chief Fredrick Nwajagu, will be transferred to Abuja from the Lagos holding facility.

A security source at the DSS Headquarters, Abuja, who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, disclosed this to Sunday PUNCH.

In an interview with one of our correspondents on Saturday night, the source said, “He is in our custody in Lagos. We expect him to be taken to Abuja. He may not be alone.

“We have said before that there are people who are threatening the peace of the nation. The country will not allow anyone to plunge it into avoidable crisis.”

Sunday PUNCH reports that Nwajagu was arrested during a raid by a joint team of policemen and operatives of the DSS on Saturday.

A source within the Force, who preferred to be anonymous, told Sunday PUNCH that the Igbo leader had been arrested.

“A team of police and DSS went to his palace but he had already fled. He was later traced to a hotel in Ejigbo where he was arrested,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the state police spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest, adding that the chief had been handed over to the DSS for further action over his inciting comments.

He said, “Yes, he (Fredrick) has been arrested and is currently in the custody of the DSS. They are in charge of anything associated with terrorism.”

In a now-viral video sighted by one of our correspondents, Nwajagu, speaking in a mixture of Igbo and English, had issued a threat to invite members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra to secure the property of Igbo people in the state.

He said, “We must have our security so that they will stop attacking us at midnight, in the morning and the afternoon.

“When they discover that we have our security, they will think twice before attacking us. I am not saying a single word to be hidden.”

He also charged the public to make his claims go viral.

Reacting, the leadership of the Lagos State chapter of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide said the comments made by Nwajagu did not represent the ideals of the Igbo people in Lagos.

The President of the socio-cultural group, Chief Solomon Ogbonna-Aguene, said the detained chief would be made to face the music alone, adding that he spoke out of his interest.

“He (Igbo leader) did not discuss his statement with any of us. The comments are his personal decisions and for his personal interests. Ohanaeze does not support such comment as its views.

“There are some comments that should not be heard from us as a socio-cultural organisation. We are supposed to be apolitical.

“We are not in support of what Chief Fredrick said. For him to mention that he is going to bring IPOB to Lagos is completely unnecessary. No Igbo person will support such arrangement. So, he is the one that will answer for himself. Let him go and face the music,” he said.

Ogbonna-Aguene explained that Igbo people had not found things easy with IPOB even in the South-East, stating that it was unfair for Nwajagu to threaten to invite the group to Lagos.

“Why then should he bring it up here in Lagos? If he wants to speak to IPOB, he should have met with them in his personal capacity, not as Eze Igbo. Who gave him the power to speak on Igbo interest,” Ogbonna-Aguene queried.

When contacted, the Chairman, Supreme Council of Ndi-Eze, Lagos State, Mr Omega Lawrence, said Nwajagu was not an Eze in Lagos.

“He is not a member of the Council of Eze. That is the truth. He is just our brother and his statements are unfortunate, but we cannot deny him. I condemn the statement in its entirety. We are not part of it,” Lawrence added.

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OSUN IMAM, OTHERS INJURED AS ORO ADHERENTS INVADE MOSQUE

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Members of the Muslim community in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Friday, staged a protest following the alleged invasion of a mosque in the Ilare area by some Oro adherents.

The protesters said on Thursday, the traditionalists entered the mosque, where some Muslims had gathered to observe the 4pm prayers, and attacked those they found in the building.

Beside the chief imam of the mosque, Abdul-Lateef Adediran, who was reportedly injured in the face, five other worshippers were allegedly stabbed during the attack.

An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Kareem for security reasons, said, “We were in the mosque to pray. Some people were performing ablution when the Oro worshippers entered the mosque.

“We were aware that they would be going around with Oro and we didn’t meddle in their affairs. They had passed through the area. They later returned and entered the mosque.

“The imam was trying to ask what their mission was, but they didn’t even allow him to talk before they started beating every one of us. Six people were stabbed. Our imam sustained injuries on his face. All those injured were taken to hospitals in Ile-Ife.”

During the Friday protest, the protesters, who moved through major streets in the town, visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife, but the royal father was not available.

They demanded the arrest of those behind the attack.

One of the protesters, Tajudeen Adesiyan, who spoke to journalists, said a petition had been written to the police, adding that the worshippers also came under a similar attack in November last year.

The spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said normalcy had returned while investigation would continue to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident.

The spokesperson for the Ooni, Moses Olafare, said the Ife traditional council was on top of the matter.

“The leadership of the Muslim community in Ife is also involved in the peace meeting currently ongoing. Muslims, traditionalists and Christians living in the town have been cohabitating in peace for centuries.

“Baba Ooni is calling on all those involved to allow peace to reign. Security agents, leaders of the traditionalists and the leadership of the Muslim community are meeting to address the issue,” Olafare added.

Punch

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