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Nigeria, Ghana navies partner on maritime security, others

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The Nigerian navy and its Ghanaian counterpart, on Friday, in Abuja, agreed to partner to secure the maritime domains of their two countries against piracy and other criminal activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Adm. Issah Yakubu, agreed to the partnership when the latter paid a visit to the Naval headquarters, in Abuja.

Gambo noted that the partnership had become imperative due to the activities of pirates and other criminal activities in the maritime domain of the two countries.

Recalling that both countries had enjoyed long brotherly relations in the areas of economic, education, military training and cooperation, Gambo said that similar relations equally manifested in the interactions between their navies.

The CNS noted that the Gulf of Guinea was threatened by the activities of criminal elements, who were taking advantage of the limited capabilities of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.

Gambo stressed that the threat posed by the activities of these elements constituted a major challenge not only to the littoral states, but equally undermined regional development and global trade.

“Notably the trans-boundary and transnational nature of maritime crimes makes the security of the environment a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.

“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened by the Heads of our two countries towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region,” he said.

Gambo expressed his optimism that the partnership would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing hinged on the cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaounde Protocol, to strategically address maritime security and enhance the economic prosperity of the region.

“I have no doubt that the partnership will further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the navies,” he added.

Earlier, Yakubu stated that he was visiting his Nigerian counterpart to forge a partnership against the activities of pirates and other criminals operating in the maritime environments of the two countries.

The Ghanaian CNS noted that the only way out of the challenge was for the two countries’ navies to form a partnership to tackle the menace headlong, citing in particular the need for mutual information sharing.

“What is happening in the Gulf of Guinea at the moment is not too good for both countries maritime environment. Therefore, there is need for a partnership of this nature, to be able to tackle the ugly situation headlong,” he said.

He expressed the optimism that the partnership would go a long way in addressing the challenges and change positively change the narrative. (NAN)

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Defence and Security

Suspects Linked To Owo Church Massacre Arrested – General Irabor

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
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The Suspects Linked to terror attack on the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, have been arrested.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor disclosed this on Tuesday during a parley with executives and editors of media organisations in Nigeria.

General Irabor said the attackers were arrested during joint operations involving the Armed Forces, the Department of Security Services (DSS) and the police.

About 40 people were killed when the gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as the worshippers scampered for safety.

Earlier, operatives of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State had arrested some suspects in connection with the killings.

Briefing journalists in Akure on June 23, the state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship center would be apprehended.

Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested.

“As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on,” he said.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a well number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

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Defence and Security

Gunmen Kidnap Three Children In Kogi, Demand N100m Ransom

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Gunmen have kidnapped three underage children in Ajaokuta Local Government area of Kogi State, asking for ransom of N100m.
 
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Command William Ayah confirmed the abduction on Friday.

In a statement, he said the Commissioner of Police in the state Edward Ebuka has deployed operatives of various police anti-kidnapping units in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to trail the kidnappers in order to rescue the children and bring the perpetrators to book.

The three children whose ages ranged from three, five, and ten years were on Wednesday evening around eight o’clock kidnapped at their resident, Kaduna Estate Ajaokuta Steel Township complex, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen

Eyewitness reports revealed that the kidnappers who were fully armed with guns shot sporadically to scare residents away before they abducted the children.

A family member who wants anonymity disclosed that the gunmen on Thursday morning contacted the family and demanded N100m as ransom.

The incident is coming days after gunmen killed three policemen and five vigilantes at Jida-Bassa also in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

But, as part of measures to curb the incessant security challenges in Kogi State, the state governor Yahaya Bello ordered the closure of all brothels and banned the use of facemasks in public places for proper identification.

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Imo Killing: Fish out perpetrators, Northern Elders task security agencies

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IGP Usman Alkali Baba:
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The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has condemned the murder of eight people suspected to be migrants from the North by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.

The Arewa elders also asked on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the killings in the state.

NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement on Friday said: “We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South.

“The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State, apparently on suspicion that they were northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassments, illegal arrests, attacks and killings of Nigerians from the North.

“It would appear that groups that target northerners draw inspiration from the silence of leaders and the absence of appropriate response from security and other law enforcement agencies.

“The Forum draws attention once again to the dangers  of these escalating incidents and provocations.

“The impression that northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear.

This is intolerable and unacceptable.
“The Forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect northerners living in the South.

“It demands clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities  who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens  are unsafe in certain parts of the country.

“We serve notice that the North will use the degree to which contestants  for political office speak in clear terms in condemnation of these attacks on northerners as a yardstick for our support of candidates and parties.

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