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FG Declares October 1 as public holiday

Benjamin Ukpabi

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The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, as public holiday in commemoration of the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary Celebration.

 

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee and assured them of Government’s unwavering commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

His declaration was contained in a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja and signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Barr. Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah.

Accoy to the minister, “our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land, makes Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world and Africa’s pride and beacon of hope, if we can rally ourselves together to harness our potentials.

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“A country of about 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND that we are. Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in Academia, Business, Innovation, Music, Movie, Entertainment, Fashion and culture. We are indeed the leading black nation in the entire world and no doubt Africa’s pride and beacon of hope”.

He said though, “celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.

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“While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.

“He therefore, called on all Nigerians to join hands together with the present Administration in its quest to ensure a better Nigeria for all citizens, both at home and abroad as this, he said, shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past. We must together make Nigeria great”, he added.

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US Special military forces rescues an American citizen in Nigeria

Benjamin Ukpabi

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US military forces rescued an American citizen in Nigeria, the Pentagon said on Saturday, days after he was kidnapped by gunmen in the south of neighbouring Niger and apparently taken across the border.

The hostage, Philip Walton, was abducted Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

Walton is safe and in the care of the US State Department, the Pentagon said in a statement. US forces did not suffer any casualties in the rescue operation, it added.

“The United States is committed to the safe return of all US citizens taken captive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.

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“We delivered on that commitment late last night in Nigeria, where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a US citizen,” he said.

President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation.

“Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!,” he tweeted.

Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambe had earlier confirmed the hostage release to AFP without giving details about how he had been freed.

Local officials had said this week that the kidnappers had called the man’s father to demand a ransom, though the family did not confirm this.

Walton had been living in Massalata with his wife and child for two years, according to his father, who himself has been in Niger for nearly 30 years.

Niger lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

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US forces have two drone bases in Agadez and Dirkou, in northern Niger. Their aircraft provide significant support to the French anti-jihadist Barkhane force.

In October 2017, four American Special Forces soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush in Tongo Tongo, near Mali, in southwestern Niger.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Several Westerners are currently being held hostage in the region, including American aid worker Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in the central town of Abalak in 2016 and is believed to be in neighbouring Mali now.

Three Europeans, including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie Petronin, were released by their captors in Mali earlier this month under a prisoner swap arranged by the Malian government.

In August, six French aid workers and two Niger citizens were killed in the Koure wildlife reserve west of Niamey, in an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.ci

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FG threatens to make migration difficult for doctors

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Dr Osagie Ehanire, The Minister for Health, made it clear that the federal government will do everything within her power to discourage doctors from travelling outside Nigeria.

The Minister said that the government will provide adequate medical facilities and also provide incentives that will discourage the Doctors from traveling outside the country, he said this on Friday in Abuja after inspecting the Cancer Centre in the National Hospital Abuja.

He said “I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,”

Dr Osagie Ehanire praised the hospital staffs and administration, and encouraged them to better, he urged the hospital to be ready incase the global corona virus resurface again as seen in other countries. He advised the hospital to make judicious use of the funds made available to them.

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He added “Schools are resuming, people are travelling in and out the country so we must be prepared for any emergency”.

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Banks commence emergency system update due to threats from Anonymous

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A global hacktivist network known as Anonymous stirred an aggressive campaign in Nigeria two weeks ago, Nigerian banks as part of the precautionary measure has decided embark on an immediate emergency upgrade.

Mohammed Abdullahi Minister of State for Science and Technology confirmed the threat from Anonymous, he clearly stated there was a well planned attacks on important government Databases.

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, also  admitted that some government websites were tampered with. He said: ‘‘On my instruction, the NITDA and NCC worked almost round the clock last week to rectify the situation and ensure no vital data was compromised. I am happy the websites are back and running now.”

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He also assured Nigerians that stringent measures have been take taken to avoid further attacks,  emphasized  for all the relevant organization to upgrade their system.

 

 

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