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BREAKING: Abdulsalam, Tinubu’s envoy, land in Niger, warn military junta, amid tension



Abdulsalami Abubakar, leading the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), dispatched by President Bola Tinubu, to negotiate with the military leaders that sacked that country’s elected President, Mohammed Bazoum, is already meeting with Abdourahmane Tiani, the new military Head of State appointed by the coup makers, last week.

Abubakar, himself a former Head of State, who brokered the current democratic government in Nigeria by transferring power to the first elected civilian government after a 25-year military intervention is seen in a picture discussing with the head of the military junta in the country’s capital, Niamey.

On the heels of the decision of the leaders of ECOWAS resolving last week that the junta in Niger must restore the former President to power, as coups were no longer acceptable in Africa, and ahead of the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum to relinquish power, the former Head of State, accompanied by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar, and Alieu Touray, president of the ECOWAS commission, had earlier been pictured landing at the Niamey airport on Thursday before the meeting with, Tiani, who was before the coup, head of Bazoum’s presidential guard.

The Nation reports that the Abdulsalam’s delegation was to hand over a strong message of the consequence of failing to respect the position of ECOWAS that President Mohammed Bazoum should be reinstated, a direct message by President Bola Tinubu, the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of the sub-regional body.

Another delegation, the second sent to the country with a similar message, was reportedly led by Ambassador Babagana Kingibe with a mission to persuade leaders of Libya and Algeria – Niger’s Northern neighbours – to lend their support to the pressure on the military usurpers.

The sub-regions Chiefs of Defence Staff, after concluding their meeting in Abuja, have returned to their respective countries to brief their Commanders in Chief on their decisions and readiness for a military offensive, if necessary.

United States (U.S.) President Joe Biden, was quoted on Thursday to have given his total support to ECOWAS decision that the junta should step down, according to presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, who explained in a statement that the President acted in line with the resolution reached at the end of last weekend’s extraordinary summit of  ECOWAS   in Abuja.

Niger has been embroiled in crisis since July 26 when a military junta overthrew the Bazoum, who has been under detention since then, after accusing his government of poorly handling the security situation in the country, as well as a gamut of other crimes, including official corruption.

But the incident, had sparked outrage at various levels of the international community, particularly the ECOWAS which gave the junta till August 6 to reinstate Bazoum, after reeling out a rash of sanctions against the country, ranked as one of the poorest in the world, living on aides from the developed countries, despite housing one of the hugest deposits of uranium, a major raw material for nuclear energy.

To underscore its readiness to get the coupists comply with the resolution, the ECOWAS leaders also weighed military option in the country to flush them out, should they rebuff the warning, with its regional forces meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital at the weekend, in apparent readiness to strike.

As part of the first move to punish the government, Nigeria the major supplier of electricity to the country, has since cut off power supply, throwing parts of the troubled country and one of its neighbours in the Northern region with a population of over 27 million, into darkness Yesterday.

Even with the Defence Headquarters of the Nigerian military, clarifying that it had  yet to receive an order to deploy troops to commence the military operation, help appears already on the way to defend the Niger junta headed by  62-year-old  Tchiani with Russia, warning that such action would not be the best option and countries like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, which already have military governments in power warning that they would back the government in Niamey.


Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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