…Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
1. BURATAI BAGS BRAZIL’S HIGHEST MILITARY AWARD
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has been conferred with the Brazilian Military Order of Merit Award at Brasilia in Brazil. The Brazilian military order of merit award, which is the highest military honour in the country, is awarded to military officers, who had distinguished themselves in various military endeavours. According to a statement issued by Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations in Abuja on Wednesday, the prestigious award was approved by President Michel Temer of Brazil. Buratai is on a visit to Brazil. Usman said the approval was based on the recommendation of the Brazilian Army Commander, Gen. Eduardo Villas-Boas. According to citation at the occasion, the award was in recognition of Buratai’s exemplary and world’s recognised leadership qualities and the Nigerian Army’s effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
2. PEACE BACK IN NIGERIA’S DAMASAK DESPITE FORGOTTEN ABDUCTED CHILDREN
Yagana Bukar’s younger brothers Mohammed and Sadiq were among about 300 children kidnapped by Boko Haram from the town of Damasak in remote northeastern Nigeria nearly three years ago. But unlike the global outrage and social media campaign that followed the abduction of 219 schoolgirls from Chibok, there were no protests for the children of Damasak. Most of those rounded up in Damasak on November 24, 2014, were boys aged about 10. They were taken deep into the bush. Most have not been seen since. The mass kidnapping was denied by the government at the time and even by locals, who said they feared to incur the wrath of politicians already grappling with the fall-out from Chibok. Damasak is now one of the many neglected tragedies of the bloody eight-year insurgency that has killed at least 20,000 people, left millions homeless and caused a severe food shortage.
3. TENSION IN ABRAKA: 100 TAKE REFUGE IN POLICE STATION, AS HERDSMEN BEHEAD WELDER
THERE is anxiety in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, following the beheading of a welder and native of Urhuoka-Abraka, Mr. Solomon Ejoor, by herdsmen. Reports said villagers seized the decapitated body from police and took it to the palace of the Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka, where it was kept for over four hours. They threatened to lay siege to the Government House, Asaba, if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa does not break his silence on the Abraka killings. The protesters destroyed cars and air conditioners at the palace, saying the monarch and his council of chiefs are not doing enough to stem the herdsmen attacks. It took the intervention of Army personnel to save the palace from being torched.Vanguard gathered that the fierce disposition of the villagers forced about 100 Northerners, especially Hausa and Fulani indigenes in Urhuoka-Abraka and the environs, to flee to the Abraka Police Station for safety. The latest victim, Ejoor, was ambushed and decapitated when he went to the farm to rescue his mother, held hostage by gun-toting herdsmen on Monday.
4. ONE DIES, 70 VEHICLES DESTROYED AS HOODLUMS CLASH IN LAGOS
THE Lagos State Police Command have arrested 50 persons in connection with a recent clash between hoodlums in Itire, Idi-Araba and Lawanson areas of the state, where a life was lost and over 80 vehicles destroyed. It was gathered that members of two cults groups, Eiye and Vikings, have been locked in a supremacy battle in the area, leading to looting of shops, maiming and destruction of vehicles. The battle, it was also gathered, took a serious dimension penultimate Monday, when some Eyie Confraternity members attacked members of Vikings Confraternity in two major streets in Itire area, where they reportedly robbed several residents and destroyed several vehicles.
5. PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN NASS OVER El-ZAKZAKY’S CONTINUED DETENTION
MASS protest against alleged continued detention of Shiite Muslim leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, rocked the National Assembly yesterday. The intimidating large number of the protesters, who started their protest match from the Unity Fountain, to the National Assembly forced the Nigerian Army not to leave anything to chances, as they drafted a large number of personnel, mainly from the Army Brigade Command, Abuja, to strategic positions. In spite of the large number of personnel of the Nigerian Police Force who were earlier deployed to major parts of the city ahead of the protest, the Army Brigade Command, which is directly in charge of security of the Federal Capital Territory, deployed gun-wielding personnel not only to the National Assembly but also strategic locations around the Three Arms Zone, housing Aso Rock Villa, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court.
6. OIL THEFT: NAVY APPREHENDS NIGERIAN, 9 FOREIGNERS IN DELTA
The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), DELTA said it has nabbed 10 suspected oil thieves onboard MT TECNE Vessel in Delta. The Commander of NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, disclosed while parading the suspects at Focados River, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta on Wednesday. The suspects are one Nigerian, two Pakistanis, three Ghanaians, one Indonesian, one Béninois and two Ukrainians. Dewu said that the suspects were caught in the early hours of Tuesday while siphoning crude oil into the vessel from Afremo A platform, a loading jacket belonging to the Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) in Forcados River. According to him, they had siphoned about 2000 metric tonnes of crude oil from the loading jacket before they were caught.
7. GUNMEN ATTACK ARMY FORMATION IN DELTA, SOLDIER INJURED
HOURS after some groups of militant threatened to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region, some suspected militants on Monday attacked an army formation at Opuama community of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State leaving one of the soldiers critically injured. The incident it was gathered occurred at the Opuma Zion junction along the Omojo creek of the area and has sent tension down the spines of locals in the area over fears that the military would invade their community in a manhunt for the suspected militant. Giving details of the incident Wednesday, an operative of the Department of State Security, DSS, said: “Though military personnel in the area were able to foil the attack, unfortunately, one of the soldiers was critically injured after he was shot by the hoodlums.” He asserted: “They came out from Omojo creek and were heading towards Kpogoda at about 1a.m when they were flagged down by the army personnel at the formation with torch light for a mandatory stop and search which they refused to obey, sensing danger, the soldiers fired a warning shot. “Though they earlier zoomed off, they (militants) later returned and engaged the soldiers in a fierce gun battle with one soldiers sustaining gunshot wounds.” Confirming the incident, a military source said: “Security operatives in the area have been able to identify one of the master minders of the attack as an ex-militant leader who is trying to establish a militant camp in the area. Investigations are in top gear and we are doing everything within the law in ensuring that the culprit and members of his gang are brought to book.”
8. NIMASA, NAVY MOVE TO PROTECT NIGERIAN WATER
In line with their commitment to ensure safety and security in the Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy have renewed the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect and secure Nigerian waters. At the signing of the MoU in Abuja, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, agreed that the MoU was sacrosanct for seamless shipping activities within the nation’s territorial waters to bring about the much-needed economic diversification in line with the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. According to Peterside, the previous MoUs between NIMASA and other government security agencies will help the agency to provide adequate maritime security for merchant shipping. The MoU being renewed, he said, was first entered between NIMASA and the Navy in 2007.
9. POLICE STOLE 2017 BUDGET, SAYS N’ASSEMLY, GIVE IGP ULTIMATUM TO RETURN DOCUMENTS TAKEN FROM GOJE’S HOME
The National Assembly, yesterday, accused the Nigeria Police of stealing relevant documents needed to process and pass the 2017 Budget following the raid of the official residence of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje. It ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to immediately return the documents and a computer which were taken away from the home. Adopting a presentation made by Goje regarding the invasion of his residence last week, the Senate also asked the Police to tender a public apology to the National Assembly in addition to returning all the document. This is even as the House of Representatives set up a committee to probe the invasion. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki said the Police had informally told the Senate Committee on Police Affairs that the operation was carried out based on a wrong information from a whistle-blower. Saraki, however, insisted that the Senate would not take that excuse as he declared that an immediate official explanation must be provided to the Senate on the operation.
10. BUHARI TO JONATHAN: FEAR BELONGS ONLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE ABUSED TRUST WHILE IN OFFICE
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, rebuffed claims of official harassment of family members of his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that claims to the contrary were only being echoed by those with skeletons to hide. Buhari’s assertion which was upon remarks attributed to Dr. Jonathan in the new book- “Against The Run of Play”, written by Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers, came as kinsmen of the former president robustly defended his claim of an international and local conspiracy to thwart his re-election bid. The kinsmen under the aegis of the Ogbia Political Forum, OPF, said the United States was particularly offended by President Jonathan’s opposition to the legalisation of homosexuality in the country and alleged that some interest groups were determined to keep the former president from talking, even in the face of the alleged injustice he suffered. The United States Mission in Nigeria, nevertheless, dismissed the assertion of the former president, insisting that the U.S. only advocated a free and fair election in the country.