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Boko Haram: UN condemns execution of 5 aid workers in Borno

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The United Nation (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has condemned the killing of five aid workers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.

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Kallon, in a statement released in Maiduguri, said he was utterly shocked and horrified by the gruesome killing of some of his colleagues and partners by non-state armed groups in Borno State.

Kallon said that the victims were committed humanitarians who devoted their lives to helping vulnerable people and communities in an area heavily affected by violence.

“Our colleagues and partners were abducted while travelling on a main route connecting the northern town of Monguno with Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

“Their safety and securing their safe release have been our highest priority since they were captured in June.

“I strongly condemn all violence targeting aid workers and the civilians they are assisting. I am also troubled by the number of illegal vehicular checkpoints set up by non-state armed groups along main supply routes.

“These checkpoints disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and heighten the risks for civilians of being abducted, killed or injured, with aid workers increasingly being singled out.

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“This is tragically not the first killing of kidnapped aid workers. We have repeatedly called for such devastating fate and blatant violation of international humanitarian law to never happen again.

“And yet, it does. I implore all armed parties to step up their responsibilities and stop targeting aid workers and civilians,” he said.

Kallon said that all aid workers and the assistance they provide to the most vulnerable populations made the difference between life and death for entire communities.

According to him, nearly eight million people are in need of urgent life-saving assistance in north-east Nigeria at the beginning of the year and today, 10.6 million people need urgent support as conflict-affected states battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels, it is unacceptable that those who are trying to help are being attacked and killed,” he said.

Kallon said that the incident would not deter the international community from providing aid to millions of Nigerians who desperately needed assistance in the north-east.

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He said that the humanitarian community stood in solidarity with the people of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states who had suffered long years of conflict and now needed protection against a deadly virus.

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Why queues for petrol returned last weekend– NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained why queues for petrol returned at some filling stations in Abuja last weekend.

The petrol queues were blamed on “low loadouts” at depots. Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC spokesman added that purchases by residents who recently returned after the public holidays also contributed to the queues.

Muhammad further revealed that efforts are ongoing to address the situation. The statement read;

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“The NNPC Ltd notes the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja. This is very likely due to low loadouts at depots which usually happen during long public holidays, in this case, the Sallah celebrations.

“Another contributing factor to the sudden appearances of queues is the increased fuel purchases which is also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.

“NNPC and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in conjunction with our marketing partners, have taken necessary measures to ramp up loadouts from all depots.

“We assure all residents of the FCT, and indeed all Nigerians, that we have ample local supplies and national stock in excess of 2.5 billion liters, with sufficiency of more than 43 days.

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“The NNPC Ltd hereby advises motorists not to engage in panic buying as supplies are adequate as will become increasingly evident in the coming days.”

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UK government recovers $23m Abacha loot

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About $23.5 million in looted funds by allies and family of former Nigerian dictator, the late Sani Abacha, has been recovered by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom.

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The NCA which said the looted funds were recovered after the USDOJ requested enforcement of the U.S. forfeiture order relating to the seized monies after nearly seven years of litigation and international negotiations to secure the recovery order, further disclosed that it is part of a wider pool of funds identified by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) as having been stolen out of Nigeria in the 1990s by Mr Abacha and his accomplices.

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A statement shared on the U.K.’s crime agency website on Thursday May 5, also revealed that the funds have now been transferred to the Home Office of the UK for onward transmission to the USDOJ.

Billy Beattie, Asset Denial Senior Manager at the NCA, said the civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in the fight against corruption.

The official also added that the NCA is committed to ensuring that the UK is not a haven for criminals to launder their proceeds of crime.

The statement added;

“The NCA is committed to ensuring that the UK is not a haven for criminals to launder their proceeds of crime, and the civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in this fight.

“We work closely with the UK and international partners to tackle the threat posed by corruption, which disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

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“We are committed to ensuring that those who perpetrate corruption do not benefit from their actions.”

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Emir of Ilorin drums support for AbdulRazaq

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The Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, on Tuesday hailed the hands-on approach of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in delivering quality governance to the state.

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The first class traditional ruler declared that it would be good to have the governor run for another term in 2023.

“Governor AbdulRazaq has been hardworking. In fact he is a field man. I think he spends more time on the fields attending to public needs than in his office,” the Emir said at the Bareke (the traditional Eid homage by the monarch), a tradition that dated back to colonial years.

“May God continue to guide you, protect you and assure success for him in all his endeavours.

“I wish the governor is willing to do another term in office. It is an individual’s right assigned in the constitution of Nigeria that the governor that spent four years in the first term can also contest for a second term.

“Your Excellency, go ahead with aspiration to become a second term governor of Kwara state,” Sulu Gambari said.

Earlier, AbdulRazaq had commended the Emir for his fatherly roles, especially for promoting peace and cultural heritage of the emirate.

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“I welcome Your Royal Highness and distinguished members of your entourage to Government House on another occasion of Bareke.

“This is a tradition that is rooted in history and culture. It is a testament to the excellent relationship between the traditional institution and the government.

“We do not take that for granted. Rest assured that this administration will always honour and respect the legacies of the House of Sheikh Alimi.

“Your Royal Highness, our administration is committed to peace, unity and general well-being of the largest majority of our people.

“And within a space of three years, we have made Kwara workers one of the best and promptly paid workforce in central Nigeria,” the governor said.

AbdulRazaq stated that his administration’s commitment to collective good was evident across all sectors and explained that health indices have improved, with upgraded facilities across the state.

“We have taken roads and other developmental projects to the remotest corners of our state; and we have standardised basic education. Today, unlike before, Kwara competes strongly with its peers in things that truly matter.

“But this is just the beginning. Over the next few years, our state will be the go-to place for national and international events.

“This is thanks to the different facilities we are building. When people come to see our Durbar, they will go away with beautiful memories of a peaceful state with some of the most modern artistic structures and tourist attractions.

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“We thank Your Royal Highness for your fatherly role at all times. We wish you good health and long live on the throne of Sheikh Alimi. Eid Mubaarak!”

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Gunmen behead Nigerian Army couple in Imo

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Gunmen on Saturday shot dead and then beheaded a couple who were operatives of the Nigerian army.

Military sources told SaharaReporters that A.M Linus, a sergeant first class in the army, and his lance corporal wife were on their way to Imo State when the incident happened.

After beheading the couple, the gunmen were said to have called their family members to mock them. A gory video of the incident seen by SaharaReporters showed the gunmen putting the heads on the victims’ chests after the incident.

“It’s so sad that we soldiers are no safer. The man was a member of the 19 regular intakes while the wife was of the 79RI.

“They were on their way to Imo state on Saturday when the incident happened. You won’t believe these gunmen as we speak still used their phones to make calls to their family members, making jest of them and threatening to kill them as well.

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“This couple just married recently, even their photoshoot caused a lot of criticism, and seems they were punished for it. Though the man is married to another woman with grown-up kids, he suddenly eloped with this young soldier. I was told the girl also had kids before joining the army as well.

“The man still has a father; his brother is also a soldier working at a battalion in Kaduna. The lady was also raped before they were beheaded,” a soldier told Sahara Reporters.

Attacks by armed men have increased in the South East in recent times. The attacks often target security agencies and government facilities.

The latest development came a few hours after gunmen invaded a military checkpoint in Agulu, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State on Saturday and opened fire on soldiers, killing one in the process.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an outlawed group, has been linked to the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied its involvement in the attacks.

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The leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for treason.

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Zamfara INEC’s office razed by fire

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One of the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State has been gutted by fire.

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The affected facility is said to be INEC’s office in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of the state.

Locals told Channels Television that the fire started at about 9pm on Monday and razed almost the entire building.

They said although firefighters arrived at the scene in good time to put out the fire, their efforts were unsuccessful as a result of the lack of water in their tank.

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While the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, an eyewitness told Channels Television via telephone on Tuesday May 2, that nothing was removed from the burnt INEC office.

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FRSC decorates 50 newly promoted officers in Kaduna

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna Sector Command, on Friday, decorated 50 newly promoted officers with their new ranks.

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Addressing the officers in Kaduna, the FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Hafiz Mohammed, urged the newly promoted to do more, adding that much is expected from them.

Out of the 50 personnel decorated, 11 are Senior Marshal Inspectors and 39 are Assistant Road Marshals.

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Mohammed told the promoted officers that discipline and dedication were the bedrock of growth in the service.

He charged the promoted officers to put in their best while performing their constitutional duties.

Mohammed urged the officers to come up with new ideas that would promote the corporate mandate of the Corps.

Also, the Deputy Corps Commander, Technical Service Department, Mrs Robina Maji, urged the officers to be dedicated to duty, noting that promotion comes from God.

“To who much is given, much is expected,” she said.

Also Chief Inspector Justin Bature, who spoke on behalf of the promoted officers, thanked the management team of FRSC for finding them worthy of the promotion.

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He advised those that did not make the promotion to keep their faith and be dedicated to their duty so that they would be promoted in the next promotion exercise.

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