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Kaduna abductions: Bandits taking advantage of Govt weakness to torment us — Fmr CAN Chairman

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By: Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

The immediate past chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) Kaduna state chapter, Rev. John Joseph Hayab has lamented the incessant abductions of people in Kaduna state by bandits.

Rev. Hayab who expressed his displeasure  over the perceived weakness of the government, which he said the bandits and terrorists are taking advantage of, also said negotiation should not be an option.

He was speaking in an interview with journalists during a thanksgiving service held at the Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Gonin Gora Kaduna in his Honour for his meritorious service as State CAN Secretary and Chairman, Kaduna state.

It could be recalled that the renewed attacks in some parts of Kaduna communities recently have led to the abduction of over 370 people who are still in the hands of Kidnappers, including the 278 school pupils of Kuriga in Chikun Local Government Area.

Reacting specifically to the abduction of school pupils in Kuriga, the cleric said that he is very sad because he pastored a local church in the community thirty years ago, stressing that the rural dwellers are just peasant farmers with majority of their husbands heavy truck drivers who are invariably affected by bad governance too.

Speaking on the position of whether the government should negotiate with the terrorists or not, Hayab said, “What are they even negotiating? That we steal their cows or we did what to them? See, if they have grudges they have not written anybody and why are they hurting innocent children?

“The parents of those kidnapped children are also angry, hungry and sick. So why are you venting your anger on innocent people? And so what are you negotiating with those people? These people are just criminals who want to steal money by all means and who are by default hiding under cover, so what do you negotiate with them?

“Sheikh Abubakar Gumi told us that he is going to preach to them. If there is a need for us to mobilise people that will go and preach to them we will do that, but not to negotiate with them. Did we steal anything from them, we do not even know why they are angry. They are taking advantage of the weakness of our government and they are tormenting us and I hold the government responsible for what is happening to Nigerians,” he stressed.

Also adding his voice, the former General Secretary, Evangelical Church Winning All, (ECWA) Worldwide Rev. Dr. Nmadu Yunusa said, hardship and insecurity in the land are twin brothers and they are those issues in the country that are biting hard at the moment.

Rev Nmadu reiterated that whether the government should negotiate with bandits or not, is a different thing altogether, adding that the government is capable of curbing the hardship that Nigerians are going through, even as he equally posited that hunger breeds insecurity and the breakdown of law and order in every society.

“In fact, now that this insecurity has lasted this long, the government should ask itself because they are duty bearers and it’s their responsibility to protect the citizens of this country.

“So in my own opinion, any government that has failed to protect its citizens has failed as a government, and for the fact that people are very hungry today is not a good testament to good governance. So what is good governance all about when people are just falling on the street like apples because of hunger, and hunger will breed more insecurity.

“So I want to charge this government to put their heads together to curb the issue of hunger and insecurity in the country and perhaps we can have some relief in terms of insecurity.”In the same vein, the Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial District, Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, who was among dignitaries that attended the Thanksgiving, described Rev. Hayab  as a man of integrity.

“He is a man of integrity, a man who is fearless in fighting for his people when he believes in a course. He does not shy away from putting it the way it is. He has patience, integrity, humility and also foresight on issues that concern the people of Southern Kaduna in particular, the people of Kaduna state and Nigeria in general,” Senator Katung said.

Other dignitaries present at the event include the former and current president of the Baptist theological seminary, Kaduna Rev. Prof Reuben Ishaya and Rev. Prof. Moses Audi, Chairman, Kaduna Baptist Conference,  Rev. Dr. Leke Ogundayo, Conference president, FCT Rev. Dr. Raphael Gwana, convention president, Rev. Dr. Ishaya Akanji, Former Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, (PFN) Apostle Emma Ego Bako, Apostle Emmanuel Kure of Throne room ministry Kafanchan, former Commissioners amongst others, all have positive testimonies about Rev. Hayab as a good man who.has.done well as the State CAN Chairman.

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Nigeria deploys troops for peace keeping in Gambia

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The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday, announced the deployment of 197 personnel for the peace keeping mission in the Gambia.
The Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Boniface Sinjen made the announcement in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of troops of Nigerian Company 9 Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).
The 197 troops began Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji Kaduna State.
According to him, the PDT is in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff , Lt -Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in deploying quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security.
He said that the training had equipped them with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.
“It  has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate.
“You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership and cultural sensitivity as well as other factors that would ensure your success in the mission area.
“You have been trained in the latest techniques and procedures for maintaining peace and stability in a complex environment and instilled with the values of discipline, respect for human rights and compassion for the people you are going out there to protect.
“Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of
uncertainty and instability, “he said.
According to him, the country’s political crisis has affected the lives of many innocent civilians and their presence will sustain the existing peace and stability to the region.
“Your role is crucial in maintaining peace, protecting lives and promoting sustainable development.”
Sinjen  charged  the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights.
He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS’ mandate, which guides your mission and ensure that your actions align with the principles of peace, stability and human rights.
”Remember that your conduct will not only reflect on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region and the international community.
”Additionally, your training has exposed you to the culture and religious diversity of The Gambia.
 “You are, therefore, expected to approach all interactions with sensibility and respect. Be mindful of the local customs, traditions and socio-political dynamics of the mission area.
”You must remain vigilant in the face of potential security threats and   avoid any actions that may be perceived as insensitive,” he said.
He said that as peacekeepers in a sovereign nation, they must adhere strictly to the UN principles and guidelines for peacekeeping operations.
 “Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia and avoid any actions that may be perceived as interference in the country’s internal affairs.”
He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria had zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in line with United Nations’ policies.
”Therefore, any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences.
“As ambassadors of the armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country, “Sinjen said.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the six weeks training had been intense, comprehensive, and was conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules.
Adedoja said the PDT was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to the Gambia.

He said as  part of their training, the troops were taken through crosscutting issues like Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline as well as Protection of Civilians amongst others.

“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of the MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited Centre to conduct quality training of prospective peacekeepers for deployment to multidimensional Peace Support Operations in fulfillment of her mandate.

“The Centre has within the last six weeks been able to train, retrain and refresh the troops on requisite knowledge and expertise to succeed in a Peace Support Operation environment.

” It is my fervent belief that these men are better informed and equipped to perform their roles in the Gambia, “Adedoja said.

He said the graduation ceremony once more showed the commitment of Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces to global peace and security.

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Tinubu calls for stronger collaboration with FBI to fight cybercrime, terrorism

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President Bola Tinubu has called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against cybercrime, terrorism, and other related crimes. 

The President made the call during a meeting with FBI Director, Christopher Asher Wray, at the State House on Friday in Abuja.

Tinubu described the presence of the FBI Director alongside his team in Nigeria as a recognition of the enduring partnership between Nigeria and the U.S. in the fight against financial crimes and terrorism. 

Security chiefs who attended the meeting included the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Also in attendance were the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede; and the National Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, were also present.

Tinubu said it was an honour for him to receive Wray, the leader of an organisation that had demonstrated consistent procedural sophistication and a reputation for excellence over several years.

“Your visit conveys the importance of Nigeria and Nigerian partnership in the work of America’s law enforcement institutions and vice-versa.

“For us, it is a recognition of what stage we are at, who we are, and the level of interest both countries share in eliminating crimes locally and globally.

“We cannot achieve this important feat of eliminating crimes without collaboration.

“Incidentally, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigeria is also collaborating with other West African countries to fight economic and other related crimes,” the President said.

He told the FBI Director that his administration had prioritised education as a tool against poverty, which was generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

“We are working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, sextortion, and I am glad that we have a good number of agencies that are involved in reducing these crimes to the barest minimum, and they are also well represented at this meeting,” said Tinubu.

Noting that no single country could combat financial crimes in isolation, he called on the U.S. to support developing countries with the requisite technology and knowledge transfer required to combat complex international crimes.

In his remarks, Wray said he was in the country to enhance the “outstanding partnership” that existed between the government of Nigeria and the government of the U.S. 

He lauded Tinubu for supporting the growing partnerships between various agencies of government and the FBI in order to protect the citizens of both countries. 

“We appreciate the President’s vision in countering terrorism in the region, which is a dangerous threat, not only to the countries in the region but also to the United States. 

“We appreciate your vision in re-engineering the role of the Office of the NSA to effectively coordinate efforts on counter-terrorism, and this has already started to bear fruits in terms of the success you are recording against ISIS in West Africa and other terrorist groups. 

“We appreciate your support and collaboration on cyber-enabled crimes and sextortion, which has unfortunately resulted in a few tragic deaths in the United States. 

“I want to assure you of our support whether it is on counter-terrorism, cyber-enabled crimes, kidnapping, joint investigations, and intelligence sharing. Our relationship with Nigeria is a very important one,” the FBI Director said. 

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Saudi Weather: NACHON urges pilgrims to avoid direct sunlight

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has advised Nigerian pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen, on Friday in Mina, a valley located eight kilometres South-East of the city of Mecca.

This year’s hajj is taking place in sweltering temperatures that test the endurance of worshipers during the mostly outdoor rituals.

He implored the pilgrims to always seek shade whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight.

Arabi said,” It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

” Pilgrims are also advised to pay close attention to all health advisories and instructions provided by the medical team.

” To limit sun exposure, pilgrims should avoid going outside during peak heat. They should also stay cool by refraining from walking on or touching hot surfaces like rooftops.”

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has issued a heat advisory for the pilgrims in the wake of scorching surface temperatures, which pose a significant health risk.

The ministry highlighted the intense heat in Makkah as a major challenge for hajj, adding that prolonged sun exposure could be dangerous.

On Saturday morning, pilgrims will proceed from Mina to the plain of Arafat for the major ritual of standing.

Spanning approximately 33 square kilometers, Arafat hosts over two million pilgrims each year.

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