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Outrage As Gunmen Kill Four In Rumuoro

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Unknown gunmen, numbering about 30, have reportedly killed four persons in Rumuoro community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, following mid-day raid by suspected assassins.
The gunmen, who stormed the once peaceful community at about 12:45pm, last Saturday, shot sporadically to scare away villagers, who scampered for safety, amid tempered confusion, and calls for help.
Some of the villagers, who saw a number of the rampaging gunmen, alleged that the attackers were indigenes of Okporowo Ogbakiri.
Eyewitnesses told The Tide that in the aftermath of the shooting, one Pastor Joseph Iheme from Igodo’s compound was shot and killed instantly in the river while fishing with his son, Mr Godknows Iheme.
According to sources, Godknows narrowly escaped the attackers’ bullets while his father’s corpse was taken away by the attackers.
It was further gathered that a pregnant girl from Kpalikwu-Imoh’s compound, one Miss Queen Ada Amah, was taken away and murdered by the attackers.
Sources said that Ada was slaughtered at a separate location, and her unborn baby taken away, apparently for ritual purposes.
Community sources told The Tide that Mr Kingsley Owhonda of Wokne’s compound, who went for fishing on the fateful day, was taken away alive to the same neighbouring bush where Ada was murdered, tied on the tree and amputated until he gave up the ghost.
According to sources, “Miss Mini Elizabeth from Igodo’s compound was captured along-side Queen Amah. They both went to the stream to fetch water at the same Rumuoro river. We learnt she was buried alive by the same people”.
The Tide learnt that Mr Godknows Iheme, who escaped the terrifying attack, quickly ran to the community where he alerted the people on the killing of his father by members of a suspected armed group, allegedly from Okporowo community.
According to Godknows, some group of armed men, numbering more than 30, attacked Rumuoro through the river boundaries and directly shot his father who slumped immediately after being shot at.
Godknows claimed that while running away, he also saw other members of same group holding two girls who also went to the river to fetch water from the stream.
He alleged to have seen one Mr Jackson Eme aka Jakande, Mr Abuchi Elenga aka Abuja, Mr Lucky Alikor aka Topper, Mr Chinedu Ndala aka China, and Mr Kudos, all with AK-47 rifles.
Godknows claimed that some other members of the gang, now at large, were also wielding AK-47 rifles, even as they desperately searched the area for more victims.
A community source told The Tide that it was only after the dastardly act had been perfected that the security agents swooped on the area where the attack took place.
It was further learnt that when the security agents cordoned off the area, they were, however, unable to access the scene of the killing of Pastor Joseph Iheme in the river.
When the search team came back, it was later discovered that one Mr Kingsley Owhonda who also went to the river was taking away alongside the two girls.
Sources said that a day after the attack; hundreds of youth of Rumuoro visited the scene in search of their loved ones but could not find any of the four persons.
According to community sources, the search team, however, discovered the a fishing net, two female clothes, two pairs of male trousers and clothes and a jerry can rubber, all belonging to the victims of the attack.
The community sources alleged that the same group from Okporowo community had at various times over the last couple of years, invaded Rumuoro community, killing more than 10 persons in different attacks.
However, the leaders of Rumuoro community have appealed to the security agents to come to their aid, while urging that the suspects be arrested and brought to justice.
Reacting to The Tide inquiries on the alleged murder of the victims, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the killings, and called for calm in the community as security operatives were doing their level best to arrest the culprits and prosecute them accordingly.
The PPRO said, “We are aware of the killings in Rumuoro. We are, however, investigating the matter to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killings, and bring the perpetrators to book”.

 

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion

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The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.

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FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer

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The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.

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Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media

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The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.

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