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Reps Call For Sack Of Service Chiefs Over Unabated Security Challenges

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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The House of Representatives, on resumption from the 10 weeks annual recess, on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to give effect to subsisting House resolutions bothering on the removal of the Service Chiefs and appoint new ones in view of the rising cases of insecurity in the country.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion co-sponsored by Hon. Shehu Barwa Beji and Hon. Saidu Umar Doka, just as the lawmakers frowned at the rate of killings of innocent Nigerians across the nation.

In his lead debate, Hon. Beji who expressed grave concern over increasing attacks in the area which led to the loss of lives and properties on a daily basis underscored the need for urgent reforms of the operational structure of the Nigerian Military in the area.

The House also called for the establishment of a permanent military base in Shiroro/Rafi/Munya Federal Constituency of Niger State to curb the rising cases of banditry, killing and kidnapping in the area.

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The lawmakers maintained that “the unjustifiable retention of the service Chiefs may be the cause of the lingering problem as their defensive strategies seem to be obsolete and must have outgrown further learning.”

He said: “barely a few days ago, the nation lost one of her Military Commanders and three other officers of the Nigerian Army at the battlefield,” adding that Soldiers of the Nigerian Army were not happy that while the military honoured the officer killed, their colleagues who suffered the same fate were left out.

He added that such utter disregard and disrespectful gesture meted out on bereaved families of junior fallen heroes is demoralizing the gallantry spirit of our soldiers at battlefields.

The lawmaker said despite efforts to curb banditry activities in Niger State, the situation had continued to escalate to the extent that our farmers have completely abandoned their farm which is the mainstay of their economy.

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He maintained that: “even the Federal Capital Territory where National and International Businesses are being conducted is no longer safe as there have been reported cases of kidnappings/banditry within the
FCT”. service chiefs

According to him, the rate of killings across the nation is now spilling into the Federal Capital Territory leading to global
embarrassment depicting how less prepared again in terms of security.

He said that in view of the recurrent attacks, there have been general outcries for the establishment of Military Bases in the affected axis, while the President only ordered for deployment of military men to cover those communities which have not changed anything.

He argued that the approach to the situation at hand is no longer effective as the attacks is now more persistent than ever, adding that with the dwindling oil prices as well as the closure of the borders, the agrarian economy ought to be the nation’s major fall back yet, our villages are no longer safe for farming.

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He said the deficit in farming activities resulting from incessant attacks in those areas will further aggravate poverty and hunger in the country, thereby breeding more crime within the clans.

Hon. Beji said that from the sophistication of the banditry attacks, anything short of establishing military bases in the affected areas is a futile exercise because, when soldiers are around, the bandits go into hiding but the moment soldiers leave, they launch attacks again, hence the need for permanent military structures in the vulnerable areas.

To this end, the House urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently send relief materials to the victims of the banditry attacks in the area.

 

SOURCE: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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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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