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Senate mourns General Zirkusu, four soldiers killed by ISWAP terrorists 

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Senator Ali Ndume
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The Senate on Tuesday observed a minute silence to mourn the death of General Dzarma Zirkusu and four soldiers recently killed by terrorists of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) during a raid of insurgents by the military in Askira-Uba local government area of Borno State.

Coming under Order 43 of the Senate Rules, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), drew the attention of the chamber to the demise of the senior military officer and four members of the Joint Task Force.

The lawmaker hailed the deceased for their exceptional display of gallantry in the military’s fight against terrorists in North-East Nigeria.

He described the Late Brigadier General Zirkusu as “an embodiment of humility, a gallant soldier who served and died for his fatherland.”

Ndume recalled that on Saturday, 13th November, 2021, the Troops of the Joint Task Force, North East Operation HADIN KAI, neutralized several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in an encounter in Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to him, “the military countered the attack by ISWAP with heavy bombardment of the insurgents, following the deployment of three fighter jets to contain the terrorists.

“Sadly, a gallant senior officer, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu, and four soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in a very rare display of gallantry as they provided reinforcement in a counteroffensive against the terrorists, and successfully defended the location.”

He said despite the notable losses, troops supported by the Air Component of OPHK destroyed five A-Jets, two A-29, two Dragon combat vehicles, and nine Gun Trucks used by ISWAP.

The late Brigadier General Zirkusu was in January 2021, redeployed from the Headquarters 1 Brigade, Gusau to Headquarters 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, and appointed Commander.

He was the highest-ranking army officer killed by terrorists in the North-East.

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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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Defence and Security

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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