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Senate to push for constitutional roles for traditional Rulers

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Saturday said the National Assembly will make a case for official roles for the traditional rulers in the ongoing review of the Nigerian constitution.
Lawan spoke at the Palace of Emir of Ilorin, HRH Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari while on courtesy visit.
The Senate President was in Kwara primarily to attend the launch of the 2022 Empowerment Programme of Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar who is representing Kwara North Senatorial District in the Ninth Senate.
Lawan was accompanied to the Palace by the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and six Distinguished Senators who traveled with him from Abuja.
The Senators are Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi( Senate Deputy Chief Whip), Bello Mandiya, Yakubu Oseni, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Lola Ashiru and Smart Adeyemi.
The Senate President said the ninth National Assembly believed that the roles now being played by traditional rulers should be accorded recognition in the Constitution so that they could play the roles even better.
“We believe, in the ninth National Assembly, that our Royal Fathers must have a role and a better and clearly official role and function in our constitution so that we are able to have an all inclusive governance structure that will ensure that our Royal Fathers do what they are doing today in a more official manner.
“In the northern part of the country particularly and across the country generally, the traditional Institutions play a very key and significant role in stabilising our communities and our societies.
“We believe that these roles must be reflected and properly captured in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Thank God that we are now working on the review of our constitution. By the Grace of God the National Assembly will finish it’s role of leading in the review of constitution by the end of this month and send it to the States.
“The traditional Institutions have always been there and they are there longer than political Institutions…We face security issues. Insecurity is pervasive.
“Thank God, the Federal Government is not stopping at anything to restore normalcy. But the Federal Government and indeed all our security agencies across all the tiers of government cannot achieve the kind of desired outcome without citizens’ participation and we believe that to mobilise the citizens, we need our traditional Institutions.
“That is where official participation of traditional Institutions in governance is very important and central. We are going to push for that by the Grace of God. We want to see it reflected this time around and by the time this is achieved, our traditional Institutions will now perform even better the functions they are already performing,” Lawan said.
Responding, the Emir of Ilorin, HRH Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari thanked the Senate President for the visit but told his guest that he and his traditional ruler colleagues had no intention to compete with any Institution.
He said they were not asking for a legislative or judicial roles but just an advisory functions.
“What we ask for is advisory participation. We are saying that there  should be a Council of traditional rulers who could be sought to give advise and to take part in bringing sanity to the governance of this country,” the Emir said.
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Buhari Pledge to Rescue Kaduna Train Attack Hostages

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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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

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Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja
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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

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
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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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