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Matawalle, Service Chiefs visit Plateau over killings



The Minister of State for Defence, Mr Bello Matawalle, Service Chiefs and other officials on Sunday visited Plateau over the gruesome attacks on some rural communities in the north-central state.

Worst affected by the Christmas eve attacks were Bokkos, Mangu and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas.

Official sources said that more than 200 people were killed with close to double that figure sustaining various degrees of injuries.

The Minister, who was also accompanied by Betta Edu, humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation minister, told Gov. Caleb Mutfwang that the visit was on the directive of President Bola Tinubu.

The minister assured the governor and people of the state of the commitment of the Federal Government toward tackling insecurity in Plateau and Nigeria in general.

“We are here on the directive of the President to commiserate with you and assure you of total commitment toward securing the lives and property of the people.

“We are also here to see the level of destruction; we shall interact with the people in the communities to have first hand information.

“I want to assure you that this incident will not occur again; these criminals will be crushed soon.

“We share in your pains and will make sure the security personnel work day and night; troops will take the fight to the enclaves of these criminals; we will look for them and not wait for them to attack our people,” he said.

The Minister added that the president had demonstrated the political will to end the violence in the state, insisting that the federal government would not allow the criminals to take over the country.

He assured the governor that the humanitarian needs of the victims would be addressed.

“This is why the minister of humanitarian affairs joined this delegation; she is expected to ascertain the humanitarian needs of the people,” he said. He, however, urged the people to be united and support the security agencies toward ending the orgy of violence.

Responding, the governor thanked the minister, the service chiefs and other government officials for the visit, adding that the move had rekindled confidence in the readiness to tackle security challenges confronting the state.

He thanked Tinubu for demonstrating an unwavering political will and commitment toward protecting lives and property in the state.

“Your coming has rekindled our confidence in the federal government and the armed forces to ensure that the Christmas eve killings don’t occur again.

“We are calling on the security agencies to unravel those behind these coordinated attacks on our people

“Let me thank our president for mustering the political will to deal with the security challenges not only on the Plateau, but in the entire Nigeria.

“For us as a government, we will do all that is needed of us to ensure these issues come to an end,” he said.

Mutfwang promised to deploy the services of hunters and local vigilantes to support the conventional security agencies toward steming the tide of insecurity in the state.


Terrorist attack: 3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack



German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Task force nabs woman 317 live ammunition in Benue



The tactical team of the ‘Operation Zenda Joint Task Force’ in Benue State has apprehended a 37-year-old woman suspected for being in possession of 317 live ammunition.

The task force commander, Felix Nomiyugh confirmed the arrest on Tuesday in Makurdi.

According to him, the arrest took place at Ayati Junction in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, where the suspect was found in possession of a substantial cache of live ammunition.

Commander Nomiyugh disclosed that the woman is believed to have ties with a notorious bandit kingpin operating within the locality.

Further investigation led to the recovery of 200 rounds of live ammunition for general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) and 117 rounds of 7.6mm ammunition from the suspect. The apprehension underscores the commitment of Operation Zenda in tackling criminal elements and enhancing security across Benue State.

The successful operation demonstrates the effectiveness of joint task forces in combating illegal arms trafficking and curbing the activities of armed groups in the region. Authorities continue to intensify efforts to dismantle criminal networks and maintain law and order for the safety and well-being of residents in Benue State.

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Eld-el-Fitr: Violence erupts as NSCDC officials shoot woman at prayer ground in Zamfara



Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, was engulfed in violence yesterday leading to sorrow and anger, following reports of a fatal shooting incident by members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at an Eid prayer ground.

The Wednesday incident, which resulted in the death of a lady, ignited widespread outrage and violent protests in the neighborhood.

According to witnesses, NSCDC officials, in pursuit of alleged criminals, fired randomly, accidentally hitting the victim while she was caught up in the chaotic situation. The tragic incident triggered spontaneous demonstrations, with locals expressing their dismay by setting ablaze an NSCDC truck in a communal outburst.

Confirming the incident, ASP Yazid Abubakar, the police spokesperson, disclosed that two NSCDC employees were arrested by the Nigerian Police in Zamfara State. He assured that a comprehensive investigation is underway to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident, highlighting the delicate relationship between law enforcement and civilians in such volatile situations.

However, the Zamfara State NSCDC Spokesperson, Ikor Oche, refuted claims that the victim was shot by Civil Defence personnel. He asserted that NSCDC officials were stationed at their post when they heard the gunfire. They rushed to the scene only to find the injured woman. Oche emphasized that the NSCDC personnel did not shoot or kill anyone, and an inquiry has been initiated by the NSCDC state headquarters to determine the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Police personnel intervened to restore calm in the area, dispersing the group vandalizing the Civil Defence vehicle, which had already been set ablaze.

As the investigation progresses, residents of Gusau are demanding justice and measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future, underscoring the urgent need for accountability and restraint in law enforcement operations.

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