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Breaking news today on December 15th 2020

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Breaking news today on December 15th 2020

today Tuesday, 15th December 2020

Here are the latest news update for the day

1. Katsina: Gov. Masari Briefs President Buhari On kidnapped Students
President Muhammadu Buhari was on Monday briefed by Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on the incident that saw students of Government Science Secondary School in Kankara area of the state kidnapped.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, disclosed in a statement that the meeting was held in Daura, the president’s hometown. (Breaking news)

2. IGP Adamu Orders Immediate Deployment Of SWAT Officers

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Monday, ordered the immediate deployment of officers under the Special Weapon and Tactical Team, SWAT.

Recall that the Nigerian Police Force had replaced the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS with SWAT following the call for its end across the country.

3. FG Denies Reducing Petrol Price To N162
The Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Monday noted that it has taken a back seat in the reduction of petrol price in Nigeria. (Breaking news)

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this while speaking at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa Abuja during the inauguration of the bipartite plus technical committee on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, pricing framework on Monday.

4. Kankara Abduction: Govt Negotiating With Bandits – Masari
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has revealed the government is in talks with bandits that abducted at least 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara.

It was reported that Masari made this known on Monday when he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura.

5. Presidential Media Aide Hints At Fresh COVID-19 Lockdown In Nigeria
The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi has hinted that Nigeria may be forced into another lockdown if cases of COVID-19 infections continue to increase.(Breaking news)

The presidential media aide noted that the federal government might have to impose another lockdown by the first quarter of 2021 if things don’t improve.

6. CJN Tanko Swear-In 72 New SANs
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad on Monday swore in the 72 legal practitioners recently named Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SANs).

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Though the CJN was absent, he was represented by the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour.

Speaking at the swearing-in, Justice Rhodes-Vivour warned the new SANs against disobeying court orders.(Breaking news)

7. Dogara Should No Longer A Member Of The National Assembly – PDP Declares
Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party in Bauchi State has declared the position of Yakubu Dogara vacant.

PDP in a court suit noted that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives is no longer entitled to “participate in the legislative proceedings and other businesses of the National Assembly and/or entitled to salaries and allowances as a member of the National Assembly.”

8. 19 Suspected Armed Robbers, Kidnappers Escape From Police Custody In Calabar
Suspected armed robbers, kidnappers believed to be nineteen in number have reportedly escaped from detention in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. (Breaking news)

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It was noted that the suspects escaped from police custody between Saturday night and Sunday morning after using a hacksaw to cut the key to the cell.

9. Gov. Wike Speaks On Criticising PDP, Decamping To APC
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday, noted that he would continue to speak against perceived abnormalities in the Peoples Democratic Party.

This is coming after Wike criticized the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee.

10. Katsina: Stop Making Reassuring Noises – Mailafia Attacks Army
The Nigerian Army has been advised by the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, to stop making reassuring noises and secure the release of students abducted from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. (Breaking news)

Recall that bandits last Friday kidnapped the students a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in the state.

Mailafia in his reaction to the incident noted on Monday that bandits must be treated as terrorists because they are enemies of the state. (Breaking news)

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Breaking: Gunmen raze police station in Abia

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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While details of the attack were still sketchy at the time of filing the report, it was gathered the gunmen overpowered the policemen on duty and released suspects in custody.

It was however not clear if they invaded the police armoury.

Gunmen have reportedly attacked and razed down a police station in Uzoakoli, Bende local government area of Abia State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

details shortly…

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Before I Fled Boko Haram’s Den, Many Chibok Schoolgirls Were Pregnant

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A student of the College of Business and Management Studies in Konduga, Juliana Christopher, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has said she saw many Chibok girls in the insurgents’ camp.

He added that many small girls were either pregnant or nursing children belonging to the insurgents.

Christopher, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he spent three weeks in Boko Haram camp after the insurgents, who were dressed in military uniforms, stormed her school in Borno State and abducted her.

She explained that after she and her colleagues were kidnapped by the insurgents, they took them into the forest, where she saw other victims who were pregnant and nursing babies of the Boko Haram insurgents.

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She said, “On reaching their camp, we met many young girls there and the whole place was in disarray. It was in 2014 and I was in the Boko Haram camp for three weeks. We met Chibok girls in the camp. While in the camp, I saw so many small girls, who were kidnapped. Some were being molested.

“Some were carrying children, while others were pregnant for the Boko Haram insurgents. It was a disgusting thing. Fortunately for me and some other girls, we escaped from the forest and found our way back to Chibok.”

My abduction led to my father’s death, now I can’t continue education –Konduga student, who escaped from Boko Haram captivity
She explained that her father took ill shortly after she was kidnapped, adding that efforts to rescue him proved abortive.

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She said, “On getting to Chibok, I found the whole community in a state of confusion; so, I asked after my parents and was told that my father took ill when he heard about my abduction and my mother took him to the hospital in Maiduguri. I set out to go and look for them in Maiduguri, but I could not go far because the road was blocked and no movement was allowed, except for military vehicles; in that process, my father died.

“When I heard about my father’s condition, I became worried and tried to locate my parents in the hospital, not knowing that he was already dead. When I eventually got to the hospital in Maiduguri, my mother had conveyed my father’s corpse to Chibok for burial, so my mother said I should stay back to avoid another kidnap.
“That was how I got to this camp. I couldn’t continue with my education, because my mother alone could not take care of my schooling and that of my other siblings.”

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Boko Haram terrorists are our Muslim brothers, shouldn’t be killed like pigs: Minister Pantami

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s communications minister Isa Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds, describing the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

Peoples Gazette obtained the audio through an anonymous contact on Thursday night. The location of Mr Pantami’s sermon and those who attended could not be immediately obtained, but the words, nonetheless, contradicted his recent claims that he had long maintained a hardline posture against Boko Haram.

Mr Pantami’s media allies have also been on an image laundering blitz to cast him as a moderate preacher who has been widely celebrated for his longstanding contempt for Boko Haram. Mr Pantami also joined his supporters to amplify a threat issued against him by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, evoking it to dismiss insinuations of his sympathy towards terrorists as counter-intuitive.

But in the February 2020 video, Mr Shekau appeared more frustrated by what he saw as Mr Pantami’s betrayal in becoming a top government official after spending years preaching Salafi doctrine than he was about the minister’s purported condemnation of Boko Haram’s deadly exploits.

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Mr Pantami has long been famous across northern parts of Nigeria as a respected Islamic cleric. He used most of his preachings to rail against the government’s high-handedness, and Peoples Gazette published a video on Thursday that showed him promising never to go into public service. The sermon was delivered in the mid-2000s, years before Mr Buhari appointed him in 2016 as the head of NITDA and later in 2019 as a cabinet minister in charge of communications.

“We are praying to God to answer all our prayers. It’s our right and obligation before all Muslim leaders, politicians, government appointees, academics,” Mr Pantami said in his prayers. “All of us should not fold their arms and watch helplessly how they shed our Muslim brothers’ blood and cheat them in vain.”

Mr Pantami said Boko Haram elements should have been treated with dignity as against the deadly military campaign, saying extermination of insurgents amounted to extrajudicial killing.

 

“Even if the Boko Haram fighters commit a crime, but can we justify the way and manner they are being killed?”

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“Just look at how they are killing people as if they are shooting pigs even though they commit a crime, why the extrajudicial killing? Take them before the law for a fair trial.

“You caught someone sleeping and you killed him. If it’s not Muslims that undergo such treatments who else?” Mr Pantami said.

The minister also said the previous administration should have pampered Boko Haram insurgents in the same manner as the Niger-Delta militants. Unlike Boko Haram that has been on senseless bloodshed against Nigerians of every faith and creed, the militants were fighting for a better share of oil wealth explored and extracted from their parts of the country.

After about three years of their violent campaign, which largely involved frequent abduction of expatriate oil workers and exchange of fire with security forces, the militants acquiesced to economic solutions and relinquished their arms in a deal brokered by former President Umar Yar’Adua.

But Mr Pantami disregarded the context of both groups and instead took a parallel position on how the government should respond to them.

“The Niger Delta people did something similar to this. They massacre people, steal weapons, killed expatriates and kidnap some of them,” Mr Pantami said. “Yet, you still accept them back, open a ministry for them, gave them a minister and put them on a monthly salary pay without work.”

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“The militants did more harm compared to what Boko Haram boys did,” the minister said. “But why will they do something like this? Why selective justice?”

 

The audio was part of a series of controversial sermons which Mr Pantami delivered at several worship centres and learning institutions across the northern parts of the country between the mid and late 2000s. The Gazette obtained the audio this week, most of which had already been transcribed and contextualized by an academic journal published online since March 2019.

Calls have now intensified for Mr Pantami to either publicly renounce his statements or step down from office, with some activists arguing that his position as a federal minister in charge of citizens’ data and the country’s telecoms infrastructure had become untenable.

As part of our series, The Gazette reached out to Mr Pantami repeatedly to learn whether or not he had renounced his controversial views but he declined all requests.

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