Borno: Darkness Looms As Bandits Bomb Three Electricity Transmission Towers

Mohammed Shosanya

Bandits bombed three electricity transmission towers belonging to Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Confirming the attack in a statement,the TCN noted that the destroyed towers are located along Maiduguri – Damaturu transmission lines.

Ndidi Mbah,the General Manager, Public Affairs,who signed the statement,saidan official of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was also killed in the attack.

“The Transmission Compnay of Nigeria TCN hereby confirms the destruction of three of its towers along Maiduguri – Damaturu Transmission Line with explosives yesterday 28th December, 2023.

“In addition to the destruction of the three towers, the very sad incident also cost the life of an NSCDC officer.

“It’s truly another very sad day for us at TCN, with this incident, especially with the loss of life of the NSCDC official.

“TCN commiserates with the family of the deceased and the NSCDC for this very sad and shocking incident” reads the statement in parts.

Troops Killed 6,886 Terrorists In 2023—DHQ

Mohammed Shosanya

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja on Friday disclosed its operational successes against terrorists, bandits and other criminal suspects across the nation in the year 2023.

Speaking during the end of year briefing on troops operational activities from January to December 2023 on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, the Director, Defence Media Operation (DMO), Major General Edward Buba highlighted major security threats within the year.

He said,the major security threats within the year 2023 were terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, oil theft, secessionist agitations and farmers-herders clashes.”

Buba also disclosed that, during the period, “Troops neutralized 6,886 terrorists and other criminal elements. Troops arrested 6,970 suspects, rescued 4,488 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered 3,320 assorted weapons and 39,075 assorted ammunition.

Besides,he said, “Troops recovered 100,316,600 litres of crude oil, 60,339,426 litres of AGO, 3,465,450 litres of DPK and 3,544,990 litres of PMS.”

He disclosed that, “The threat dynamics were however defined along geo-political zones with some permeating across the regional lines. The predominant threat in the North Central (NC) and North West (NW) regions is armed banditry/terrorism while the Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West African Province lingering insurgency remained the main threat in the North East (NE) region.

“The major threat in the South-East (SE) and South-West (SW) was the secessionist agitations of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Yoruba Nation respectively.

“The South-South (SS) region continued to experience oil theft, cultism and youth restiveness. However, acts of criminalities such as kidnapping, armed robbery, communal clashes and cattle rustling were common across the 6 geopolitical zones.

“It is pertinent to point out that most security threats in the country were fueled by the proliferation of small arms exacerbated by the influx of illegal arms and ammunition through our porous borders and the preponderance of local arms fabrication factories in the country.

“Thus, the armed forces kinetic and non-kinetic efforts were geared towards tackling these threats in all the geo-political zones.”

He added:”The security situation in Year 2023 has remained fluid, complex and dynamic with the threat morphing in form and scale. This unpredictable nature of the threat and the attendant demands for stability have continued to pose significant challenges for security forces.

“Consequently, various forces have continued to evolve Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) to professionally respond to these threats. The armed forces has been developing the desired enablers to overcome the country’s numerous threats.”

General Buba however, noted that, the application of kinetic and non-kinetic efforts in collaboration with other Services and security agencies has continued to shape the operating environment, in which we are in a dominant position.

S’West Governors Plan Befitting Burial For Akeredolu

Mohammed Shosanya

The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has pledged the commitment of the Southwest Governors Forum to accord a befitting burial to late Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who died on Wednesday.

Speaking with newsmen on behalf of the other southwest governors in Ibadan after commiserating with wife and family of the deceased governor at his Jericho private residence on Friday, the Ogun governor disclosed that plans on the way to set up a committee that will ensure a befitting state burial for the late Akeredolu.

He noted that the governors of the Southwest will ensure that Mr Akeredolu’s burial is given the respect and honor that he deserves, saying: “We will accord Akeredolu a burial that will be befitting of a great statesman and one of the leading lights of the southwest region.”

He said:”Collectively, we will be majorly responsible for his funeral rites in according him the farewell that he deserves.”

“We will be setting up a joint committee of the south western states to work with the family and collaborate with the government of Ondo State to ensure that we give him a deserving funeral.”

Governor Abiodun, who had earlier described the late Akeredolu as a courageous and fearless individual whose vacuum will be difficult to fill, further said: “We are all here, governors of the south west states, Governor Osun, Ekiti, Oyo, Lagos.”

“He will soon be here, he has some flight issues. We are here to commiserate with the Akeredolu family and also the Ondo State government on the passing of our senior colleague and brother His Excellency, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu who the Lord has called his side.”

“Without a doubt, we are all still in a state of shock and disbelief, Governor Akeredolu was the Chairman, South-West Governors Forum, Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum; a position that he held and led very courageously, very fearlessly, a learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a successful second term governor of Ondo State.”

“All of us are here on behalf of our families, the entire Southwestern states to commiserate with the family and people of Ondo State, our prayers is that the Almighty God will forgive his sins and grant him eternal repose.”

“We also pray the wife, children, family members, the entire government of Ondo State the heart to bear this very sad, shocking and painful exit.”

“This is a man who was an advocate for a southern presidency, we could recall vividly the reinvigorated Southern Governors Forum meeting in Delta State about two and half years ago, he championed that cause that the southern presidency should come from the South and he stayed with it among several causes that he championed successfully.”

“Governor Akeredolu will be sorely missed by all of us. The void that he left will be very difficult to fill by everyone,” he said.

Aiyedatiwa Signs N395.2b 2024 Appropriation Bill Into Law

Mohammed Shosanya

Ondo State of House of Assembly has passed the 2024 Appropriation Bill to the tune of N395,257,000,000.

The state Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa has signed same into law as soon as it was passed by the Assembly.

The budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Resilience,” was passed and signed by the Assembly and the govrrnor respectively on Friday.

After adopting the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, presented by its Chairman, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, during the plenary session, the lawmakers unanimously passed the Appropriation Bill.

The new Governor,Lucky Aiyedatiwa, when running the affairs of the state in acting capacity, had earlier in the month presented a N385 billion Appropriation Bill to the House.

In his comment after the passage of the Bill, Ogunmolasuyi, representing Owo Constituency 1/APC, said that the estimate passed for the 2024 fiscal year by the Assembly was higher than what the governor presented by over N10,734,000,000

He said: “The committee after an interface with Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) for defence of their respective estimates amended the original bill and recommended N395 billion.

“The state government should take necessary steps to ensure that internally generated revenue is sustained and improved and that the budget meets the needs of Ondo State.

“The Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service ( ODIRS) should ensure that they boost revenue of the state with details of extant laws.”

The bill was read for the third time by the clerk of the House, Mr. Benjamin Jayeola, as directed by the Speaker of the House of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji.

The Speaker said if the Bill is signed into law, it would turn around the state and trigger development and growth.

He said that with the bill when signed into law, the governor would be well equipped to serve the people of the state and deliver dividends of democracy.

After signing the bill into law, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa said: “As we keep implementing people-centered projects and programmes in line with our Redeemed Agenda, we would continue to improve on our revenue drive while cutting down on our recurrent costs in view of the prevailing economic realities.

“The focus of this budget as said in my Budget Speech, is human capital development. Emphasis would also be placed on climate change, clean and sustainable environment, rural development and food security while on-going legacy infrastructural projects of our dear departed Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON would be completed. Furthermore, we would keep meeting salary, pension and gratuity obligations to our serving and retired officers, as applicable.

“I wish to therefore, solicit for the continuous understanding and cooperation of our people. I understand the temporary pains occasioned by the recent petrol subsidy removal. This Administration would continue to put measures in place to cushion the effects until we are able to weather through the storm, hopefully shortly.

“Finally, I solicit the prayers of all for the family of our departed beloved Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON and also for the government in this difficult moment. May God Almighty comfort the family and our state.”

Poor Funding Will Frustrate Effective Implementation Of FOI Act-MRA

Mohammed Shosanya

The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) today expressed deep concern over the poor level of funding in the Federal Government’s 2024 budget for the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and FOI-related activities by public institutions.

It said the situation signals the government’s lack of commitment to make the Law effective.

Announcing the release of its 18-page report titled “A Vote Against Transparency: A Report on Allocations for Freedom of Information Implementation in 2024 Federal Budget”,the group implored the Federal Government to demonstrate an absolute commitment to the full and effective implementation of the FOI Act by allocating the appropriate resources required for this purpose.

According to MRA, its analysis of the 2024 Federal Government budget proposal showed that out of at least 1,316 Federal public institutions, only 10 made specific allocations for FOI implementation or other FOI-related activities in their proposals, describing the situation as an indication that the FOI Act is likely to experience another year of extremely poor performance in its implementation by government institutions and authorities.

It noted that the situation in the 2024 budget is only slightly better than what was recorded in the 2023 budget in which only nine Federal ministries, departments and agencies made specific allocations for FOI-related activities and implementation in their budget proposals.

The 10 public institutions with allocations for FOI-related expenditure in their 2024 budgets are: the National Directorate of Employment, Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, National Library of Nigeria, and the National Commission for Colleges of Education Secretariat.

The Federal Ministry of Works has the highest budgetary allocation for FOI implementation with a total of N39,280,000.00, while the Nigerian Law Reform Commission had the second highest allocation with a proposal to spend N15,634,545 on FOI-related activities.

MRA’s Communications Officer, Mr. Idowu Adewale, observed in the organization’s statement that a crucial consideration in ensuring the effectiveness of an FOI Law is making provisions in the budget for its implementation as this helps to ensure that the resources required to successfully implement the Law are made available.

He said:“Without adequate investment in the implementation of the Law in order to ensure that the government is transparent and accountable, all other allocations and expenditures for infrastructure, facilities or other development projects would be at risk and could easily be misappropriated.”

Mr. Adewale argued that :“The long-term benefits which the effective implementation of the FOI Act can bring to the country and its democratic process, include enhancing government transparency, efficiency and responsiveness; engendering greater public participation in governance, improving public trust and confidence in government, ensuring that members of the public have accurate and reliable information about how they are governed, and contributing to the emergence of a knowledge society”, adding that these are adequate justification for the investments required to make the Act effective.

He said it was curious that although the last report by Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), then Attorney-General of the Federation, which was issued on March 27, 2023, identified “inadequate or non-financial provisions to fund FOI Act activities” and a “general lack of funding for FOI activities in some public institutions” as some of the challenges impeding the effective implementation of the FOI Act, there were no concrete measures taken by the Federal Government to address the problem.

Mr. Adewale identified the absence of any specific allocation for FOI-related activities in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, as a significant concern, given the dual status of the Ministry as a public institution to which the FOI Act applies and as the body with oversight responsibility for the implementation of the Law.

Saying its funding and budgets ought to clearly reflect its dual roles and should be adequate to enable it to meet its duties and obligations with respect to each of the roles, he called on the Federal Government to provide proper guidance for public institutions on some of the considerations and steps that they need to take into account in allocating resources for FOI implementation and in ensuring that the resources are adequate.

Mr. Adewale urged the Federal Government to direct its ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that in preparing their budget proposals for subsequent fiscal years, they make provisions in the budgets to enable them carry out the full range of duties and obligations that they have under the FOI Act and also prescribe a minimum level of resources which every public institution should allocate to the implementation of the Act in order to ensure that they are fully implementing the Law and complying with its provisions.

Nasarawa: Police Rescue Kidnap Lecturer,Nab Varsity Student

Mohammed Shosanya

The operatives of Nasarawa Police Command said they have rescued a lecturer who was abducted by kidnappers in the state.

The command also said that a notorious criminal was arrested, while arm and ammunition were recovered.
Ramhan Nansel, Police Public Relations Officer. (PPRO) of the command disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen.

Nansel, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP),said that on December 27, 2023 at about 4.15am, information was received that unidentified armed men invaded the residence of one Isaac Igbawua, a lecturer attached to the department of MicroBiology, Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

The police image maker said the lecturer who resides at Old Barracks, Kokona LGA, was whisked to an unknown destination.

“Reacting to the unpleasant development, the Commissioner of Police, CP Umar Shehu Nadada ordered an intensive manhunt for the abductors.
“The search paid off on December 28, at about 16.30pm when information was received that some strange people wearing face masks were sighted in the forest at Ogba village, Nasarawa Eggon and the police in collaboration with vigilante group mobilized to the scene.

“On sighting the operatives, the hoodlums opened fire but were gallantly repelled; they took to flight, and the victim was rescued unhurt and reunited with his family after undergoing medical examination at police clinic, Lafia.”

Besides,he said that on December 28, 2023, while acting on credible information, operatives of the Command’s anti-kidnapping unit arrested one Daniel Favour Chukwuebuka, a 25-yr-old 200 Level student of the department of social works, Federal University of Lafia.

He said:”A search warrant was executed at his residence where one locally fabricated Beretta pistol, four live ammunition, charms and herbs were recovered as exhibit.”

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police of the state has commended the officers for a job well done.

He appealed to the members of the public to always give adequate information to rhe police in order to rid the state of criminals.
He assured them of utmost confidentiality.

Police Begin Search For Killers Of Two Cops In Anambra

Mohammed Shosanya

Anambra State Police Command has launched an intensive manhunt for armed men who killed two policemen escorts in Uga, Aguata council area of Anambra State on Thursday December 28.

The Police men were said to be attached to a prominent politician in the community who was returning him for Christmas celebrations.

Police Public Relations Officer Ikenga Tochukwu a Deputy Superintendent of Police, in a statement said the armed men infiltrated from a neighbouring State.

The incident occured at about 6.30 p.m.

According to the statement, “the armed gang which disguised in military fatigue and seemed to be on a kidnap mission were jolted on seeing two armed Police officers approaching their direction.

“They opened fire on the officers who had moved ahead of the convoy they were escorting to decongest traffic gridlock. Other personnel returned fire, careful not to hit many motorists who were in traffic, forcing the bandits to flee”.

The statement added that Police-led mobile Forward Operating Base which had been on intensive patrol of the entire area throughout Christmas Celebrations promptly responded to the scene and recovered a Lexus SUV the gang operated with and defused an improvised explosive device found in the vehicle.

They also recovered an AK-47 rifle belonging to one of the slain personnel.

An eye witness,who identified the politician being escorted by the two Police men narrated the incident thus: “We witnessed what happened. Chris Uba’s convoy ran into the men who were stationed at Uga junction, leading to a shoot out.

“Uba was able to escape because he was riding in a bullet proof vehicle, but the policemen were not so lucky as they were killed.

“Val Ozigbo,(another prominent politician from the area) was coming back from Owerri with members of his family when he suddenly saw a convoy driving ferociously toward his own convoy, and attempting to edge him off the road. He quickly told his drivers to clear off the road so as to let the other convoy pass by.

“Shortly after they overtook Ozigbo, they ran into the gunmen at Uga junction who started shooting, and killed two police men. Ozigbo who parked while the incident was happening, later learnt that the convoy that was attacked was that of Uba.”

The Commissioner of Police, Mr.Aderemi Adeoye who had declared the weekend and Christmas holidays as special working days for all Officers and men in the Command, however, commended all personnel for their tireless and courageous effort in securing the people of Anambra State.

He urged them not to be demoralized by the supreme price paid by their colleagues from Enugu State Command but to draw inspiration from their bravery in confronting the criminal gang.

Adeoye also condoled with the families of the deceased officers and Enugu State Police Command and vowed that the personnel will not die in vain.

He urged all officers and men of Anambra State Police Command to redouble their efforts and remain vigilant. He assured that technology would be employed to track down the criminals who unleashed the attack on Police personnel.

The Commissioner of Police implored the people of Anambra State not to allow the incident to create fear in their minds but to continue with various activities they had slated for the yuletide season#

Nnamdi Kanu’s Life Will Be At Risk In 2024-Pastor Akiode

Mohammed Shosanya

A Nigerian cleric, Akiode Olusegun,says the life of proscribed IndIgenous People of Biafra (IPOB’s) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, will be in grave danger in 2024.

Akiode,the Senior Pastor of the Divine Army Ministries International,who said this during a programme at his Church where he released ‘prophecy for 2024.’,disclosed that he saw prosperity in Nigeria during the coming year.

He declared what he claimed the Lord also showed him about the President Bola Tinubu, First Lady Oluremi Tinubu, Oba of Lagos, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK], the United States, India, Arabs, and China.

The prophecy titled: “Nigeria: Land of Prospects and Envy – 2024 in retrospect,” are itemised below:

1. The forces behind the Ocean is asking his Royal Majesty Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akinolu for something. He should move quickly.

2. The Lord showed that Oba Akinolu made a vow before 2023 election. The Lord says he should remember and pay his vows.

3. Mrs Tinubu will not be ill. There is something between the chest region afflicting her. This strong woman should not be weakened by the forces for supporting and standing behind her husband.

4. Chief Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB is in a dilemma. I saw rope around his neck but God averted this. There are some people who do not want the man to be released especially those shouting that he should be released.

5. Caution On Mazi Kanu: There is a clever move by some powerful Nigerians to block the release of chief Kanu. The most skillful of them is a Northern politician, extremely intelligent and very powerful man who is not presently happy with Asiwaju Tinubu. Asiwaju is cool and wise. Mazi Kanu must not be silenced the way Chief Abiola was wasted.

This will bring an orgy of death and pandemonium to Yorubaland which some people wanted.
Release Mazi Kanu latest Easter period 2024, and change his location to give him protection.

6. The Master key of Nigeria was placed in the President Tinubu hands by the Heavens.

7. There is a tree of longevity assigned to this government which if taken religiously, average governor or president or any one will live up to 96 years.

8. I saw the Hosts of Heaven come down to axe the enemies of Nigeria. The Asiwaju Tinubu government will prevail and succeed.

9. The United States will try to drown Asiwaju Tinubu by subtle schemes that will drown him personally because he is determined to bring Nigeria out of poverty.

10. The Lord ask me to caution the President Asiwaju Tinubu about the Arabs who feel Nigeria is a filthy and wealthy nation and very perfidious and must be brutally submitted as a slave.

11. The Lord said this government must be careful of the deals they are signing with China.

12. This government must feed the primary and secondary school pupils in government school once a day to make this government have heavenly pity and support says the Lord.

13. Almond Trees be planted all over Nigeria. It is the tree of prosperity ruling over Lagos in 60s and 70s but drying out of Nigeria now. In the North, Dongoyaro trees be replanted.

14. The Government of Lagos must albeit the Federal Government must release 50,000 white dove or pigeon to bring down the heavenly dove to eat the beast and the serpent and the ravenous beast attacking the future of our youth and fatherland.

Governor Aiyedatiwa Makes First Appointments

Mohammed Shosanya

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa has appointed a new Chief Press Secretary, Ebenezer Adeniyan.

This was conveyed in a statement signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor, Omojuwa Olusegun and made available to newsmen after the swearing-in ceremony of the governor.

Among other appointments made the governor are Special Assistant(Political Matters)to the Governor, Smart Omodunbi Jnr.

Abire Sunday Olugbenga was appointed as the Special Assistant (New Media) to the governor.

Motunrayo Oyedele was also appointed as Special Assistant (Photography) to the governor.

Dr. Temitayo Iperepolu was also appointed as the Special Assistant(Domestic and Government House) to the governor.

Their appointments take immediate effect.

Report: Nigeria Loses ₦290bn As Oil Output Shrinks Last Month

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s oil output for the month of November dropped to 37,508,971 barrels last month indicating a 10% decrease as the output dropped by 4,358,804 million barrels when compared with production figures in October.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, (NUPRC),which published the figure,said 41,867,775 million barrels of crude (excluding condensates) was produced in October 2023.

It revealed that the drop represents a loss of about ₦289.6 billion in crude oil revenue compared to oil production figures obtained in October.

An international statistical firm, Country Economy,said as of November 2023, the average price of Brent, the global benchmark for crude, stood at $82.94/barrel.

A loss of 4,358,804 barrels of crude in November, translated to a financial loss of about $361.52 million by Nigeria in the month under review.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, is confident that the country would meet the 1.7mbpd production benchmark in the 2024 budget.

When the figure is converted to Naira using the exchange rates figures from (₦801/$ as of November 2023), Nigeria’s oil revenue in November crashed by about ₦289.6 billion.

Nigeria’s low oil output (recorded as OPEC’s biggest drop) led to a global drop in production as OPEC reported low oil output in November, the first monthly drop since July.

The report showed lower shipments by Nigeria and Iraq, as well as ongoing market-supporting cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance, was responsible for the low oil yield recorded in the month in review.