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Lagos/Ogun Commission will bring succour to border communities- Hamzat



Lagos State Deputy Govrrnor Dr Obafemi Hamzat

Lagos State Deputy Govrrnor
Dr Obafemi Hamzat has said that the Lagos/Ogun Joint Development Commission would create a harmonious relationship that would be beneficial to the residents of the border communities.

Hamzat made the declaration during an interview session with newsmen in Lagos.

The Deputy Gov. made it clear that the various developmental projects embarked upon by Lagos would also benefit those working in Lagos but are living in the adjourning communities on the border of the two states.

“The various developmental road projects will benefit those that are working in Lagos but are living in the border communities.

“Though the essence is not for Lagos or Ogun State to take up the responsibility of each other, the essence is to collaborate.

“The red line for the railway under construction will end at Ijoko Ota which is in Ogun State, that means we will have to collaborate with the government of Ogun State.

“We need to collaborate with the Ogun State government to get land to build the station at Ijoko to move people from Ogun to Lagos.

Hamzat noted that since Lagos only shared border with Ogun, road construction to the border communities would be a joint responsibility of both states.

“Lagos has only shares border with Ogun State, so for example, if we are constructing a link road to the border community, the essence of the commission is to make sure that the road does not end with us.

“The Ogun State government should take the road construction from where we stop and continue with the good road. We share information about development, but it is difficult to plan for Ogun State.

“Taking our buses down to the inner community in Ogun State borders on the road infrastructure will have impact on our buses.

“We need to make provision for the infrastructure for the buses to operate because of wear and tear, but I must say that the priority of both states are different from each other,” he said.

Hamzat noted that the state planned for about 5,000 last mile buses which is already operating with only 500 buses now.

“We started the Last Mile transit with 500 buses but the good thing is that the buses are not just imported they are assembled here in Nigeria.

“So the moment the first 500 is ready we will push it out. We don’t want it to be done outside so that we can create employment for our people here.

“The target is about 5,000 buses so others will come to create job for everyone,” he said.

On the menace of motor park touts and the attendant implications on the commuter, the deputy governor noted that the Lagos State government is already engaging the transport unions.

“To find a lasting peace to the transport union crisis is something in progress; NURTW is a national union and their receipts are printed at the national level and distributed to the states.

“We have had conversation with the unions that we don’t want them to be collecting their levies on the road.

“I am a member of Nigeria Society of Engineers and also pay my dues, but they don’t come to harass me on the road, they will only write me letters.

“We have engaged the transport unions on ways to have their levies at the park but we don’t just engage with Lagos alone we have to do the engagement at the national level,” he said.

Hamzat added “We suggested that they should count the numbers of their parks, we can even collect the monies on their behalf and send it to them.

“The suggestion made to them seems to sort of distort their processes, so we need to work out that process.

“As government, we have made it clear that the chaos often created at the parks are unacceptable.

“Lagosians should give us some time to resolve this and find a way around it, we don’t want to disturb their business, but we want peace, he said. (NAN)


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Buhari Pledge to Rescue Kaduna Train Attack Hostages



President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured to rescue 31 hostages taken in a train attack and return them “safe and unhurt”, his office said, five months after their abduction.

Gangs of bandits with no ideological or religious motives are known to kidnap for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria.

On March 28, armed men blew up a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna and opened fire, killing eight people, wounding 26, and taking an unspecified number of passengers hostage.

A week later, they freed one hostage — a top bank executive — as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, because of his “advanced age”.

Dozens of hostages have already been freed following negotiations, but 31 remain in the kidnappers den.

“I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers,” Buhari told representatives of the families of the hostages in Abuja on Thursday.

He said his government would ensure the safe return of the remaining hostages to their families.

“My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he assured.
The president commended the security forces on recent successes against kidnappers and “terrorists”.

“In the past couple of days, you must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralised by the military, and a number of hostages freed. These efforts will not stop, or reduce,” he said.

“We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country,” he said.

“Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand,” he added.

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Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja



Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja


The Nigerian Army on Thursday buried five members of the Guards Brigade killed by bandits during a clearance operation in the Federal Capital Territory recently.

The soldiers were laid to rest at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Maitama , Abuja, according to a statement by Guards Brigade spokesperson, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa

Among the deceased was Captain Attah Samuel.

“Until their demise, the gallant soldiers were serving with 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi Barracks Maitama and 176 Guards Battalion Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja respectively,” the statement said.

“While reading the funeral oration of the deceased officer and soldiers, the Commanding Officers of 7 Guards Battalion Lt Col Salim Yusuf Hassan and Commanding Officer 176 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Joshuah Kolowale Adisa described the late Captain and Soldiers as thoroughly bred Infantrymen who were genuinely committed to their duties in defence of Nigeria and whose contribution and services would be greatly missed.

“They asked God to console the families left behind stressing that while the Brigade and the Nigerian Army mourns, the families should take solace in the fact that they have fought a just fight and their souls shall continue to rest with the lord till the resurrection morning.

“Highpoint of the event was the presentation of accoutrements by the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen James Alilu Ataguba to the next of kins of the deceased personnel and lowering of the remains of the fallen heroes.

There was also the blowing of the last post and gun salute to bid the departed heroes fair well

“The burial process started with Christian wake keep and funeral service held in honour of the fallen heroes at St John’s Military Church (Protestant) before the final Internment at the Guards Brigade Cemetery Maitama Abuja.

“The solemn ceremony was witnessed by senior officers of the Nigerian Army, Commanding Officers, Staff Officers of the Brigade, Bwari Area Council Chairman, Hon John Gabaya as well as family members and the barracks community.”

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Two More ISWAP Terrorists Linked To Owo Church Attack Arrested – DHQ



Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor


Two more Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists linked to the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state, have been arrested.

Gunmen had on June 5 stormed the Catholic church, killing over 40 worshippers and injuring others.

The incident drew widespread condemnation, with President Muhammadu Buhari ordering security agencies to arrest the attackers.

On June 9, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, blamed the attack on ISWAP, but the claim was countered by Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Just yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, announced that the gunmen behind the attack on the church have been arrested.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Defence Information, Jimmy Akpor, said the two suspected ISWAP fighters were arrested through the collaborative effort of the military and the Department of State Services (DSS).

“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022,” Akpor said.

“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022.

“Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.

“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.

“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.

“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”

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