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Cross border banditry: Niger, Benin Republics advocate collaboration with Nigeria



The republics of Niger and Benin have called for effective collaboration with Nigeria to end banditry in the three neighbouring countries.

Alhaji Assoumana Ahmadou and Ky-Samah Bello, Governors of Dosso State, Niger Republic, and Governor of Alibori State, Benin Republic, respectively, made the appeal on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi.

The governors spoke during a courtesy visit to Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.

They advocated for a collaboration with Nigeria to tackle cross border banditry and other forms of crime.

The courtesy visit was part of activities lined up for ongoing 2021 Pastoralists Week in Birnin Kebbi.

Gov. Ahmodou said, “Though, the main concern of our gathering here in Kebbi is to discuss issues affecting pastoralists.

“Beside that, it is an opportunity for us to discuss other subjects like cross border security which is also another concern between us.

“This is very important between our states because we have the same reality and we are facing the same challenge. I am leading the government and region of Dosso since four years ago, but this is the first opportunity for me to speak with you directly.

“This is the start of our direct communication in order to jointly manage and solve our main concern. I will recommend to the organisers of the weeklong pastoralists event to replicate this kind of gathering because it is very helpful.

“This is an opportunity for high level authorities of neighbouring countries to gather and synergise in order to ease cooperation among our countries.”

On his part, the Governor of Alibori, Benin Republic, observed that boundaries were created by colonial masters just to divide Africa in order to delay its integration, progress and development.

The governor, who was represented by the Director, Benin Republic Boundary Commission, Dr Ayite Baglo, said: “I used to qualify the borders as artificial weapon that was strategically used by colonial masters to delay African development.

“Those boundaries created artificially in order to divide Africa, let me give an example, when you go to the border between Kamba and Malanberi, what is the difference, people are the same, they speak the same language with inter-marriages but they are divided using three different flags.

“Currently, for instance, during our meeting, when Nigeria speaks English we cannot follow and when we speak French they too cannot understand, but when it comes to Hausa everybody understands and follows, meaning those borders were created to divide us and delay our integration.”

He recalled that, that was why African leaders then immediately after independence created regional institutions like ECOWAS and NNDC in order to integrate Africa, but regretted that the integration was being delayed.

The governor expressed optimism that from the calibre of people from local traditional chiefs to high level of leadership in Kebbi State that assembled to received them showed a good start towards brighter results.

Responding, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State appreciated the delegation for the visit, saying that the importance of the meeting cannot be over emphasised.

Bagudu, who was represented by Chief of Staff, Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Argungu, said the historic ties between Nigeria, Niger and Benin pre-existed since before colonial era.

He expressed satisfaction that the delegation from the two countries had confirmed that despite the division created by colonial masters communities from the three countries still mingle together with inter-marriages in view of the fact that they speak the same language and same culture, among others.

The governor observed that the ongoing workshop would help not only pastoralists but also fishermen and those in livestock business, adding that it will also enhance trade relationship among the three countries, West Africa and Africa in general.

He stressed the need for the three countries to do everything possible to encourage cross border cooperation among communities from the three countries.

“The state government has introduced measures to address the lingering farmers/herders crises by providing clean water for them and their animals and by constructing schools for their children to be educated.

“In addition, we consider the hardship undergone by Fulani women carrying milk to sell in towns, we therefore teach them how to produce yoghurt in a modernised manner and package same for sell to earn money.

“We believe if Nigeria, Niger and Benin Republics harness this resources well, we will not be importing milk from other countries but we will produce enough to export to other countries to earn foreign exchange,” he noted.


Navy acquires 12 UAVs to improve fight against maritime crime



The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, on Friday,  said that the Nigerian Navy had acquired 12 Comstrac System Ovation Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve the fight against maritime crime.

Ogalla made this known at the commissioning ceremony of the UAVs and the adoption of the revised Local Operating Procedure and Local Training Order, held at the Naval Air Base, Ojo, Lagos.

The CNS was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Adm. Zakariyyah Muhammed.

Ogalla said that the surveillance UAVs would complement the already existing air assets of the Nigerian Navy, while supporting the surface ships and maritime domain awareness platforms.

“In an era where the nature of warfare is evolving rapidly, embracing cutting-edge technologies becomes imperative for enhancing our national security.

“These UAVs, with their advanced capabilities and versatility, will undoubtedly enhance our naval surveillance for furtherance of strategic capabilities.

“I have no doubt that this will rejig the Nigerian Navy towards better service delivery in the maritime domain of our dear country,” he said.

The CNS added that the Navy was expecting five more helicopters within the forst quarter of 2024 which would enhance its maritime capabilities.

“This will make safer waters for both local and international maritime trade,” he said.

Ogalla commended the Western Naval Command for innovative and dogged efforts toward maintaining credible maritime presence and curtailing criminalities in its area of operations.

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Gov. Radda suspends school principal for alledged sexual scandal



Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State has directed for immediate suspension of a staff of Ministry of Education in the state for alleged sexual harassment of a female student.
The directive is contained in a statement issued by the Director Press, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Abdullahi Aliyu-Yar’adua, and made available to newsmen on Friday in Katsina.
The statement said, “Gov Dikko Radda has received a report of alleged sexual harassment against one Lawal Ibrahim, now a staff of the Ministry of Education.
It said Ibrahim was the then Principal of Government Day Secondary School, Dantankari, Dandume Local Government area.
“In consequence therefore, the governor directed the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary School Education to immediately suspend Lawal Ibrahim and investigate the allegation with dispatch.
“Take appropriate action and report back to the governor.”
The statement further directed the Commissioner of Police to investigate the allegation.
“The Commissioner of Police should investigate the allegation, and to also investigate the Divisional Police Officer, Dandume, for compromise on the matter, and report back to the governor,” the statement said.
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Ogun Govt. places N50m bounty on killers of Oyekanmi, Finance Director



The Ogun Government has announced a reward of N50 million for any information that could lead to the arrest of the killers of Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) attached to Gov. Dapo Abiodun’s office, Mr. Taiwo Oyekanmi .

Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the State Government, announced the reward in a statement in Abeokuta on Friday.

According to the statement, Information provided would be treated with utmost confidentiality.

” Such information can be sent to the underlisted telephone numbers:
08032136765. ”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that suspected armed robbers on Nov. 29 shot dead Oyekanmi, and carted away government funds.

Oyekanmi had cashed an undisclosed amount of money from a branch of Fidelity bank in Abeokuta, and was heading back to the office when he was waylaid by the gunmen.

According to source, the gunmen, about five of them, shot the accountant dead at Kuto bridge in Abeokuta and went away with the government’s money.

It was gathered that Oyekanmi and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks, were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.

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