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Defence and Security

COAS launches welfare flight for troops

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Military Plane and Army Personnel
Military Plane and Army Personnel
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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has inaugurated welfare flight for troops of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) who are proceeding on pass to and fro the theatre of operations.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the inaugural flight was part of COAS’ efforts to cater for the welfare of troops and boost their morale.

While performing the symbolic ceremony at the Nigerian Air Force Base Maiduguri, on Monday, Yahaya said that troops’ welfare was one of his cardinal focus for the Nigerian Army

He said it was in that regard that the initiative was birthed in order to ease the movement of personnel of OPHK.

He said the initiative was aimed at addressing problems such as distance and other associated challenges, while proceeding on pass to see their families and loved ones.

The COAS said the ongoing joint operations in the theatre had further strengthened the synergy between the services and other security agencies.

This, according to him, informed the decision of Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, to provide the Nigerian Air Force Charlie-130 aircraft to airlift troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

He added that personnel of other security agencies, as well as civilian staff of the AFN would also benefit from the arrangement when on pass from Maiduguri to other parts of the country.

According to him, the flight will be twice a month to meet the two weeks duration of leave passes in the theatre.

He added that personnel leaving on pass would be granted two weeks.

The COAS further directed that all security measures be strictly adhered to, as troops will be thoroughly searched, cleared and documented before boarding the flight.

He urged all troops to utilise the opportunity to promote synergy amongst all the services and security agencies in the theatre, in order to achieve success in ongoing and future operations.

Yahaya thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his guidance, directions and the confidence reposed in the AFN.

He also plegded his unalloyed loyalty and commitment to defending the constitution of the country.

He also extended his appreciation to the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other service chiefs for their support and collaboration.

Earlier, the Chief of Operations (Army), Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Akinjobi, said the welfare flight had been scheduled to cover three main hubs, namely Lagos, Abuja and Maiduguri.

According to Akinjobi, troops from Lagos will be housed and managed at Ikeja Cantonment, while those in Abuja will be at the Nigerian Army Forward Operational Base and those in Maiduguri will be at the Headquarters Theatre Command. (NAN)

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Defence and Security

El-Rufai Raises Alarm Over Presence Of Boko Haram, ISWAP In Kaduna

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Kaduna state Governor Nasir El Rufai
Kaduna state Governor Nasir El Rufai
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The Kaduna State Government has raised an alarm about the activities of terrorist groups in the State.

Speaking during the presentation of the first quarter security report for 2022 to the state’s security council, Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said members of the Ansaru and Boko Haram terrorists groups have infiltrated some parts of Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas.

Aruwan said the terrorists have been luring locals with gifts with a view to recruiting them into the criminal organisations.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed concern that the terrorists are moving from the North-East to the North-West with the intention of causing havoc.

He added that those who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train were Boko Haram terrorists.

The Governor is also worried that the conduct of the 2023 general elections might be compromised in Kaduna state if the security challenges are not addressed.

Meanwhile, Aruwan said no fewer than 360 people have been killed by suspected terorrists in different parts of Kaduna State from January to April.

Kaduna central senatorial zone recorded the highest casualties with 214 deaths, the Commissioner said.

Aruwan further noted that 1,389 people were kidnapped by bandits in different attacks across Kaduna State during the period under review, including the 62 victims of the March 28 attack on a Abuja-Kaduna train.

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Defence and Security

Zamfara Govt Dethrones Two Emirs, District Head Accused Of Aiding Banditry

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Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle
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The Zamfara State government has dethroned two emirs and a district head over allegations of aiding the activities of bandits terrorising communities in the state.

Those affected by the government’s decision include the Emir of Zurmi, Abubakar Atiku, Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, as well as Sulaiman Ibrahim who used to be the District Head of Birnin Tsaba.

Mr Ibrahim Dosara, who is the Commissioner for Information in Zamfara, made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Gusau, the state capital.

“The council has approved the deposition of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar,” he declared.

“The council also approved the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin-Tsaba, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim.”

According to the commissioner, the government has also ordered that all land titles issued by the affected traditional leaders be revoked.

“The State Executive Council has also directed the state Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order to back up the council resolution,” he added.

The deposition of the traditional leaders comes 10 months after they were suspended by the state government.

It also comes days after the submission of the reports of the committees set up by the state government to investigate the allegations against the affected traditional rulers.

“The council upheld the recommendation of a six-man white paper committee set up by the government to review the report of two separate committees earlier set up to investigate the involvement of the three traditional rulers in the activities of banditry in the state,” said a statement by Governor Bello Matawalle’s media aide, Zailani Bappa.

“The three impeached royal fathers were earlier suspended by the state government following wide allegations of serious involvement in the act of banditry in the state.

“The findings of the committees also revealed abuse of the Land Act in their domain and the government ordered the reversal to status quo involving the lands illegally allocated.”

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Defence and Security

Senate Passes Amended Terrorism Act, Criminalises Payment Of Kidnap Ransom

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Senate has prohibited the payment of ransoms to kidnappers in its bid to complement the Federal Government’s effort to tackle the disturbing spate of insecurity in the country.

Payment of kidnap ransom was criminalised by the lawmakers during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja as they passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The prohibition by the lawmakers followed the receipt and consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters on the bill.

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the committee, had moved that the lawmakers receive the report after which he presented it for consideration.

Thereafter, the lawmakers resolved into the committee of the whole to consider the report, clause by clause, and reverted to plenary to report progress.

This led to the reading of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for the third time and its subsequent passage.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated his colleagues on the passage of the bill which he said was very important.

“It is believed here in the Senate that this bill, by the time it is signed into Act by Mr President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated vices,” he said.

“This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security issues of Nigeria but even the economy of the country.

I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon.”

According to Lawan, the fight against insecurity is not the sole purpose of a government and the contributions and support of the citizens are essential.

He explained that this was because the security agencies need critical information to tackle terrorism, kidnapping, and other threats to the nation’s security.

The Senate President stated that the security agencies were trying their best but needed to do more and achieve better results.

“With this, once again, I want to congratulate the Senate for this very important piece of legislation,” he concluded.

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