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December 10th 2020 latest news updates.

Benjamin Ukpabi

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December 10th 2020 latest news updates.

Here is the latest news for the day.

Attack against our people will no longer be tolerated, Northern elders declare

Following the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has declared that the north will no longer tolerate violence against its people in the southern region, The Cable reports. Ango Abdullahi, NEF chairman, made the disclosure while speaking during a town hall meeting with members of the northern community who were attacked during the #EndSARS protests in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. (December)

According to Abdullahi, northerners in the state suffered “enormous loss of lives and assets” during the #EndSARS protests.

northern elders have warned against attacks on its people living in the southern region. photo credit: @uzusigy source: twitter this development is coming after the northern elders alleged that most violent acts against northerners are perpetrated by igbo. the chairman of nef made the allegation on tuesday, december 8 in port harcourt, rivers state while on a tour of northern communities across other parts of the country following the #endsars protests.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the festering insecurity across the 19 northern states in Nigeria has turned the northern establishment, comprising elders, academics, prominent clerics, traders, farmers, and a segment of the public against President Muhammadu Buhari. The regional leaders, who hitherto were supporters of the president, are now of the view that Buhari had woefully failed in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the region, especially regarding the security of lives and properties, thus the calls for his resignation. (December)

The gale of the calls for the president’s head was aggravated by the recent massacre of rice farmers in Zabarmari village in Jere local government area of Borno state by Boko Haram terrorists. In a related development, the national leadership of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) has warned that it has alerted its members across the northern states of Nigeria and Abuja, to be ready to confront any group of people organising a second wave of the #EndSARS protests across the country. The group said the protest has long outlived its usefulness and it would not sit back and allow rogue elements to plunge Nigerians into another hardship in view of the already ailing economy.

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Polaris Bank commences payout in US dollars to money transfer recipients

Polaris Bank has commenced payment of US dollars to all beneficiaries of foreign currency transfer across all its branches in Nigeria. (December)

According to a notice the bank sent to its customers beneficiaries of money transfer can now receive their remittance in US dollars in cash or directly into their domiciliary account in the bank. The statement said the service is also open to both account and non-account holders alike.

Polaris Bank’s Group Head, Product and Market Development, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, further disclosed that all beneficiaries are able to receive their funds conveniently in dollars within minutes with a valid identification, including BVN.

She urged Nigerians in the Diaspora and their beneficiaries to take advantage of the seamless remittance dollar cash payout option service in the Bank to receive their transfers this festive season. (December)

Ihekuna explained that Polaris Bank has existing relationship with all leading and licensed global money transfer operators, which makes it easy for Nigerians to receive money through the Polaris Bank.

Gunmen invade Lagos community, kill businessmen

 

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Two businessmen have been reportedly shot dead by hoodlums who invaded Igbe-Lara community, in the Igbogbo-Bayeku Local Council Development Area of Lagos State on Sunday.

It was gathered that everyone was going about their daily activities when suddenly no fewer than 15 hoodlums, armed with sophisticated weapons, stormed the Igbe-Lara bus stop and opened fire on the people.

Residents and business owners, whose shops were located in the area, were said to have scampered for safety.

However, while a yet-to-be-identified man dealing in the dog business was shot dead at the front of a leisure centre, Dre Bar, another businessman, Olanrewaju Omobolaji, aka Excel, was also gunned down in a pub, Garden Bar. (December)

A resident, Abideen Akintunde, said Omobolaji was shot in the head, adding that asides from the two dead victims, some other residents sustained bullet wounds.

He said, “The assailants stormed the area in two vehicles and shot continuously. A lot of people were wounded and two people were killed at different locations. The people who perpetrated the crime were about 15 in number.

“They came with sophisticated weapons. There was no sign that they had a target because the moment they got to the Igbe-Lara Junction, they opened fire and kept shooting as they entered into the inner street leading to the Garden Bar. While shooting, they drove past the bar and went down the road.

“It was when they were returning that they shot one of the customers, Olanrewaju Omobolaji, in the head inside the Garden Bar; he died on the spot. Later, we gathered that another man who sold dogs close to the Dre Bar, on the Igbe-Ginti Road, was also shot dead at the front of the bar.”

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Another resident, Seyi Ismaila, while lamenting the insecurity in the area, said everywhere was tense when the hoodlums invaded the area around 4pm. (December)

He noted that it was not the first time shooting incidents would happen in the community.

“Landlords, residents, business owners are tired of the insecurity in the community. Sometimes, you see cultists moving around with guns. We have had a series of shooting incidents involving cultists in this community and we are tired.

“The police should be able to trace the people that came to the community, killed two people and injured others. The community was very peaceful before, but at the moment, we are scared and we are no longer safe because of the activities of these cultists. We want law enforcement agencies to deploy policemen in the area to protect lives and property in Igbe-Lara.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said only one person was killed, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had ordered the Area Commander to beef up security in the area.

Adejobi said, “The incident happened opposite Dre Bar, in Olomitutu Junction, Igbe. A man was shot dead opposite the bar and policemen from Ijede division were deployed in the area. We don’t have any record of another death in the area. But from observation, apart from cultists, we know some boys usually come together in the name of gangsterism and cause problems.

“Most of these gang members are young and into hard drugs, so, when they are on drugs, they misbehave. But the Commissioner of Police had a meeting with the Area Commander to beef up security and normalcy has been restored.”(December)

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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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