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Edo train kidnap: Bandits free man, 65, nursing mother, girl, 6 *Rescue continues – gvt

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A 65-year-old man, a nursing mother and a six-year-old girl, have been freed by abductors of passengers at a train station in Edo State on Saturday, in what appears a decision by the gunmen to let go a certain category of their victims, even as outcries continue to trail the incident, the second in a space of nine months when they first struck a rail track in Kaduna on March 28 2022, killed some of the passengers of coming from Abuja, wounded others and took the rest into the bush where they spent several months in captivity.

There is however a controversy as to what actually happened with the released victims. as there are talks that they were let off the hook willingly by their abductors, while a statement coming from the Edo State Government, claimed that they were by security operatives charged with the rescue operations.

Nigeria had been jolted at the news of the kidnapping of 34 passengers, waiting to board a train to Warri, Delta State, from Igueben, Igueben Local Government Area of the state, sparking off a fresh round of outcries from a citizenry, long wearied by incessant security breaches across the country, leading to countless number of deaths in recent years.

Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, in an update about the incident on Monday, said some of the victims have been rescued. A breakdown of the figure showed that the freed persons included a nursing mother, her baby, and a six-year-old child.

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“Following the directive from Governor Godwin Obaseki that the kidnappers that attacked the train in Igueben on Saturday be smoked out of their hiding and the persons abducted be rescued, we are happy to announce that six (6) persons have been rescued,” the Commissioner added in the statement.

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“The six persons are a 65-year-old man, a nursing mother with her baby, a 6-year-old girl, and two siblings; aged two and five years old. We commend the efforts of the rescue team in the bushes and their support staff that have been working tirelessly since the incident occurred to ensure the kidnapped passengers are rescued and reunited with their families.”

He expressed optimism that other victims will be rescued soon as security agents have doubled down on smoking out the abductors.

“As events unfold in the bushes, be assured that we will keep you posted and we crave the support of all stakeholders, particularly the media to stay with the facts and avoid sensational reports that could further inflict emotional pain on the families and friends of the victims who are already in distress,” he assured.”Operation Bush Combing continues.”

The statement, reads: “Following the directive from Governor Godwin Obaseki that the kidnappers that attacked the train in Igueben on Saturday be smoked out of their hiding and the persons abducted be rescued, we are happy to announce that six (6) persons have been rescued.
”The six persons are: a 65-year-old man, a nursing mother with her baby, a 6-year-old girl and two siblings; aged two and five years old. We commend the efforts of the rescue team in the bushes and their support staff that have been working tirelessly since the incident occurred to ensure the kidnapped passengers are rescued and reunited with their families.
”We are confident that the other victims will be rescued soon as the highly motivated security personnel are in high spirits and have doubled down on the hot chase of the kidnappers. As events unfold in the bushes, be assured that we will keep you posted and we crave the support of all stakeholders, particularly the media to stay with the facts and avoid sensational reports that could further inflict emotional pain on the families and friends of the victims who are already in distress. Operation Bush Combing continues.”

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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