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Bandits release 10 Bethel Baptist students in Kaduna

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Bandits have released 10 kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, on Saturday, while 21 others are still being held, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) confirmed on Saturday.

According to him, 10 students were released this evening and have reunited with their parents.

“We are now hoping that the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits will be released,” he said.

Recall that bandits had kidnapped scores of Bethel Baptist students in Kaduna in June. They have been released in batches after payment of huge sums as ransom.

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Sanwo-Olu flags off Ojota-Opebi link bridge, road project

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos on Wednesday flagged off the construction of Ojota-Opebi link bridges and approach roads to ease congestion in Ikeja and environs.

Sanwo-Olu, while flagging off the construction of the bridges and roads tagged ‘legacy project,’ said the project was an innovative solution to the perennial gridlock around Opebi/Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way/Ojota/Mende corridor.

He said the project would reduce travel time for Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi; and ease gridlock at the Opebi-Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.

He said the project was another milestone in the implementation of the Traffic Management and Transportation Pillar of his administration’s THEMES Agenda and the State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).

He expressed his administration’s commitment to the welfare and well-being of residents and to the Greater Lagos Vision, adding that the project connecting two local council areas would enhance the livelihood of residents.

“As you are aware, there is presently no direct link between Opebi, Maryland and Ojota.

“The available road infrastructure that links the axis is also limited in its connectivity options, thus during peak periods, the high traffic volume within the axis usually congests the Ikeja Traffic Network.

“Consequently, we recognised the need to provide another Legacy Project by constructing the Ojota–Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads to connect Opebi Road from its tail end with Lagos-Ikorodu Road by Odo Iya-Alaro.

“This will invariably reduce travel time for Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi. It will also ease the traffic situation at Opebi-Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.

“This Legacy Project will provide a new link to commute around Ikeja and its environs. It will also act as a relief to the saturated and over-burdened routes within Ikeja,” he said.

He expressed hope that Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria PLc, the project’s contractor would complete the construction two months ahead of the expected 20 months completion date.

He said he also hoped that the 3.89km Ojota–Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads consisting of 2,829m road length: with 276m Deck-on-Pile Bridge and 474m Mechanically Stabilised Earth Wall would accelerate economic growth.

He said his administration had completed, inaugurated and handed over 65 road projects and several other improved junctions with more than 50 other ongoing road projects at various stages of completion.

“This is in addition to the maintenance of over 832 roads, covering approximately 252km direct intervention in the form of routine maintenance and palliative works on strategic roads (complete and sectional overlay and potholes patching) by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said his government was committed to the development of intermodal transportation network and was constructing quality roads, waterways, and rail infrastructure and had expended billions of Naira to modernise them.

He added that projects inherited from the previous administrations were being completed and the lighting systems on roads were being replaced.

The governor listed interventions in the rail sector to include construction of 37 km track rail project which is progressing, in addition to the complete overhaul of the water transportation system.

He recalled the recently acquired two sets of 10-car-Talgo 330kmph trains for the Lagos Red Line rail project.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said the project conceived in Year 2001 was being actualised by Sanwo-Olu.

She said the project design concept adopted a holistic approach in collaboration between the ministries of Works and Infrastructure and Transport to provide both infrastructure and transportation solutions for easy movement.

She said the road would provide direct link between the Opebi-Maryland–Ogudu-Third Mainland Bridge as conceived in the Lagos State Transportation Master Plan (STMP).

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Army says ISWAP commander Mallam Ari, other terrorists killed by Super Tucano

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A Super Tucano airstrike has eliminated an Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) leader and foot soldiers, including foreign fighters.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operation under Operation Hadin Kai took out the terrorists at Kirta Wulgo in Borno State.

Mallam Ari, Commander in charge of the area, and mercenaries fabricating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for ISWAP died in the attack.

A military officer told PRNigeria that the location was targeted after intelligence revealed scores of insurgents converging at Northeast Kirta Wulgo.

“Some were seen with weapons around a make-shift structure, a likely indication that the structure might have had a high calibre terrorist target.

“The structures were burnt and destroyed at the fringes. Several ISWAP fighters were neutralized including Mallam Ari, the Fiya of Kirta Wulgo,” he was quoted to have said.

The Fiya title is held by the second in the hierarchy of the terrorists’ military structure.

NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed that the bombardment was successful.

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Lagos government suspends operations of NURTW on Lagos Island

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The Lagos state government has suspended the operation of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Lagos Island indefinitely.

The activities of the transport union was grounded particularly on Church Street, Eyin Eyo, and Idumota bridge indefinitely due to the recent clashes that crippled activities in Idumota axis of the state. The violent clash also led to the death of two people.

The decision to ban their activity was taken at a stakeholders meeting comprising of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Central Business District (CBD) and Lagos State Market Women Association (Iya Oloja General and Iya Oloja of Lagos Island) at the Bagauda Kaltho Press center.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka who meted out the ban, also said the activities of the transport union at Church Street and John Street particularly Keke Marwa and Mini Buses (Korope) are suspended.

The statement released by Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on New Media, Jubril Gawat, read;

Lagos State Govt has suspended the operations of the Transport Union (NURTW) in Lagos Island particularly on Church Street, Eyin Eyo, and Idumota bridge indefinitely due to the recent clashes that crippled activities in Idumota axis of the state.

At a stakeholders meeting comprising the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Central Business District (CBD) and Lagos State Market Women Association (Iya Oloja General and Iya Oloja of Lagos Island) at the Bagauda Kaltho Press center to tackle crisis often caused by the activities of the union, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka meted out the ban to prevent further acts of violence at idumota, adding that the Lagos State Parks Monitoring Authority will resume at Eyin Eyo.

Fayinka further stated that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) will station an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) on Idumota Bridge to deter motorists from driving against traffic in compliance with traffic Rules and Regulations and to enforce the suspension of the NURTW within the axis and simultaneously flush out the Oju Opake boys lurking along Plaza around Church Street axis.

Also suspended are the activities of the transport union at Church Street and John Street particularly Keke Marwa and Mini Buses (Korope).

The Transport Special Adviser added that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in collaboration with the State Police Command will ensure Safety of lives in the area.

‘State Security Operatives are hereby put on Red Alert to ensure Safety and Security of lives and property in Lagos Island and environs’ Fayinka stated.

Appreciating the position just taken by State Government, the Iya Oloja, Lagos Island Alhaja Risikat Odumosu while expressing her displeasure at the wanton looting and destruction of their goods in shops around Idumota area, begged the State Government to come to their rescue adding that they will not stand back and watch their properties destroyed by miscreants whom they had never seen before.

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