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CDS meets Governors of oil producing states on Security Challenges

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CDS, Gen. Lucky Irabor (L) with IGP, DG DSS and DG NIA at a security meeting with Governors of oil producing states
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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor and governors of oil producing states on Friday, met to discuss ways to addressing the prevailing security challenges affecting oil production in the country.

Irabor, while welcoming the governors, expressed the Federal Government cooncern about the trend in the security situation in the oil producing states, saying the meeting was at the instance of President Muhammad Buhari.

He said that the meeting was in the light of the current challenges that in the oil and gas sector, adding that the nation was currently bleeding and thought it necessary to reverse the trend.

He said he decided to lead all the heads of security and intelligence agencies as well as the group general manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited to the meeting with the governors.

“So, given that the issues demand quick action, as mandated by Mr president, we have come to engage with you and the requirement would involve the whole of society.

“So, as critical stakeholders in Niger Delta, we believe that our framework would come up with two people at the door to address the current issues, you will be playing critical part.

“It is for this reason that we have chosen to engage with you, as directed by Mr  President,” he said.

Irabor expressed the belief that the outcome of whatever approach they came up with would be a win -win for every Nigerian.

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Responding on behalf of the governors, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, commended the CDS for convening the meeting, adding that the governors were also worried about the happenings in oil facilities around the states.

Okowa said the governors knew that there had been challenges, saying there had been a sharp drop in oil production from the various facilities.

He said the meeting would give them the opportunity to share ideas with the various agencies of government in charge of security and those in charge of the management of various oil companies in the nation.

The governor said the meeting would provide them the opportunity to see how the states could collaboratively work with security agencies to check the excesses of those involved in oil bunkering and other crimes in the region.

“I do think that this collaboration is a very welcome idea and that it will give us the room for even greater collaboration because it requires a stakeholders’ approach to this very challenging issue.

“As for us, the more oil and gas we are able to produce the better for our states because to a very large extent it will improve the revenues that we have from federal allocation.

“And beyond that too we do believe that if we are able to put a stop to what is going on in our environment, it will be a lot more cleaner than what it is.

“This is because outside the economic challenge we also do realise that the issues that are currently going on are actually those that affect the health of our people.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governors of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia were present, those of Edo, Imo and Ondo were represented by their deputies.

Also, heads of security and intelligence agencies present were the CDS, Inspector General of Police, Directors-General of the Department of State Services, National Intelligence Agency and the Chief of Defense Intelligence.

Others are the Controller-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the NNPC Group General Manager and other top officers.

The meeting is being held behind closed door as at the time of filing this report.

(NAN)

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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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Defence and Security

DSS Alerts on renewed Bomb Explosions

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said some criminal elements plan to return the country to the pre-2015 era reminiscent of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.

The Public Relations Officer of the security agency, Dr Peter Afunanya, raised the alarm in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

He stated that while the DSS has received reports on cases of such incidents in some areas, it has uncovered a plot by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance.

Their objective, Afunanya explained, was to launch further attacks on critical infrastructure and other public places frequently visited, such as worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations.

He added that the groups intend to achieve some self-serving interests and cause fear among the people, and warned managers and owners of such centres to be cautious and implement basic security measures to deter the threats.

The DSS said it would continue to disrupt the trend and pattern of violent attacks and asked the people to go about their lawful businesses

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