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FG Paid Huge Ransom To Secure Dapchi Girls’ Release – UN …Says Lai Mohammed Lied

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The United Nations has said that the Federal Government paid a huge ransom to Boko Haram for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls in March 2018.
The government had denied reports that it paid millions of Euros for the release of the girls, noting that the hostages were released in exchange for detained Boko Haram commanders.
But the UN report stated that ransom from abductions, donations from charity groups and the cash economy were fueling the bloody activities of the Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the Lake Chad Basin region.
These were contained in the 22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, pursuant to resolution 2368 (2017) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated individuals and entities.
The report said the number of doctrinally based non-governmental organisations sending funds to local terrorist groups was growing, and member States were concerned that radicalisation was increasing the threat level in the Sahel.
The report recently submitted to the UN Security Council on Boko Haram and related terrorist organisations, said such ransom and the predominance of cash economy was providing oxygen for the insurgency around the Lake Chad region.
The UN report is titled “22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team”, related to Resolution 2368 (2017) regarding “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.”
“In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment,” the report stated.
The UN report negating the Nigerian government’s stance reflects the manner of propaganda the Nigerian government and its military have been using to fight the war against Boko Haram.
Our source reported how the Nigerian military has repeatedly lied about military casualty in the war and, along with the government, claimed the Boko Haram sect was already defeated.
The government’s stance appears to be that suppressing information, or as in this case lying about it, would reduce the efficacy of the insurgents and thus limit their ability to carry out their terrorist acts.
The Dapchi girl’s ransom would not be the first by the Nigerian government to free victims held by Boko Haram. Huge ransom was also paid by the Buhari administration to free many of released Chibok girls kidnapped in 2014, senators including the leader of ruling party in the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, said. Although the move is largely welcomed by many Nigerians as it ensures freedom for the victims, experts fear it has helped fuel the insurgency by ensuring the Boko Haram has access to funds to buy more weapons and sustain themselves; a stance shared in the UN report.
“The predominance in the region of the cash economy, without controls, is conducive to terrorist groups funded by extortion, charitable donations, smuggling, remittances and kidnapping.”
It added, “In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February, 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March in exchange for a large ransom payment.”
The report was signed by Edmund Fitton-Brown, Coordinator, Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team and Kairat Umarov, Chair, Security Council Committee.
The UN Security Council committee on al Qaeda sanctions blacklisted and imposed sanctions on the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in 2014 after the insurgents kidnapped more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls.
The designation, which came into effect after no objections were raised by the Security Council’s 15 members, subjected Boko Haram to UN sanctions, including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban.

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NDDC PROBE: Nothing Should Happen To Our Daughter, Rivers State Government Warns

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Rivers State Government says it has viewed with concern, the recent developments at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in which the name of “our daughter, Dr. Joi Nunieh, the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, has been dragged into”, warning that nothing should happen to her.

In a strong worded statement issued by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and  Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the government said, “we hereby call on those involved in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC to ensure that Dr. Joi Nunieh does not suffer any harm  in the course of their undertakings.”

“We wish to state categorically that the Rivers State Government will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardize the laudable intentions of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to positively  reposition the NDDC and fulfill the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.

“However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC, we will not however fail to protect our daughter from actual  harm or perceived danger.

“The State owes it as a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation and  we cannot fold our hands and watch anyone harm her or indeed any Rivers citizen.

“We advise those involved in the present altercations in the NDDC to thread with caution in their actions and utterances,” the statement said.

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COVID-19: Interministarial Committee Takes Enlightenment Campaign To Religious Leaders

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The Rivers State Inter-Ministarial Committee on COVID-19 Enlightenment on Sunday, commenced another phase of its campaign with a focus on religious organisations, beginning with Churches.
Addressing volunteers to the campaign at the State Secretariate Complex, Chairman of the Committee, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, charged the volunteers to take this phase of the campaign as serious as they had taken the previous one.
Nsirim, who is also the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, stated that the need to embark on this phase of the campaign is necessitated by the revelation that many people are not adhering to the COVID-19 prevention advisories of wearing face mask and social distancing.
Recalling that the State Governor noted this in his last State broadcast, the Chairman said the Governor “lamented that people in the State are not observing the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.

“The danger”, he continued, “is that if we don’t adhere to these protocols, we may likely enter community transmission of coronavirus in the state”.

 

Consequently, he explained, “We are going to be doing targeted sensitization. The three Sundays that we have in this month we will use to sensitize churches, and on Fridays, we will also do targeted sensitization to Muslim community”.
He further explained the importance of reaching religious leaders in the fight against the coronavirus, saying they are strategically placed to reach a considerable population.
According to him, the churches and mosques are very important because “the religious leaders wield a lot of influence. Members of their congregation listen to the things that they say. If we are able to get the churches to begin to observe the protocols, we are going to get to a greater number, a greater population in the society”.
He, therefore, charged the volunteers to go beyond the jingles currently being aired by the Committee in delivering COVID-19 enlightenment messages to interfacing with the people, noting that they shouldn’t add the role of enforcement to their assignment.
“As you interface with people, you must be wearing your face mask very well. Don’t put it under your chin.
“You are not an enforcement team. Don’t go and give yourself the power of enforcing the wearing of face mask. Don’t go and harass people that are not wearing face mask. Don’t go and assault people that are not wearing face mask. Your duty is purely enlightenment and sensitization.
“When you see people who are not wearing face mask, you enlighten them on the importance of wearing face mask. We don’t want to hear that any member of this team went and entered into any form of altercation”, he charged.
While assuring them of immeasurable rewards accruable from selfless service to humanity, the Chairman also reminded them of the innate desire of the the State Governor, which is ultimately to make Rivers State safe, as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
“Anyone that is called to do patriotic duty needs to understand that the crux of the matter is that you are here to save lives, and for you to save lives, you must have the passion to render selfless service. It’s important that I underscore that fact”, he said.

Responding on behalf of the volunteers, one of the Team Leaders, Adata Brown, assured that they will do their best to ensure that Rivers

people get the required message to enhance their safety from the virus.
“We want to say we are going to put in our best, we are going to work and make the governor of the state proud, and to make the whole Rivers State proud”, she said.
Other members of the Inter-Ministarial Committee present were the Commissioner’s of Environment, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, and Youth: Dr Igbiks’ Tamuno, Barr Olisaeloka Tasie-Amadi, and Prince Ohia respectively.
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Be Role Models In COVID-19 Campaign, Nsirim Charges Religious Leaders …RSG To Arrest People Who Refuse To Wear Face Mask

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In furtherance of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has called on religious leaders in the State to path the way for their congregation.
The Commissioner, who made the call on Saturday, during a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, hinted that by their status they represent a section of the society with notable group of followers, hence the need for them to be role models.
One way to show this, he said is for them to strictly obey the State Government’s advisories on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection, including ensuring that not more than 70 persons are allowed per session of service.
Citing churches, he noted that they have so far flouted this directive. “and that is something that is worrisome”, he said.
He continued that “Christians need to be role models. If there’s a group of people who should show good example, it should be Chriatians. When Christians begin to flout

government directives, I don’t think there’s any hope for society.
“This is a Clarion call to religious leaders. We shouldn’t sacrifice the lives of our members on the alter of church worship. Jesus Christ is our role model. Jesus Christ was a man who obeyed authority, who did not come in confrontation with the law, and the Bible teaches us to obey those in authority”, he emphasized.
Also, against the backdrop of high non-compliance to the COVID-19 advisory of wearing face mask in public places, the Rivers State Government (RSG) says it will soon begin to arrest defaulters.
This is sequel to the declaration of the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his last State broadcast on Wednesday, in which he stated that those who refuse to wear face mask risk arrest.
Confirming the Governor’s statement, the State’s spokesman unequivocally said defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“If you go around the State since the Executive Order on face mask was introduced, you’ll notice that less than 30 per cent of the populace are really obeying the Executive Order. What we see in the State is that people just put the mask under their chin, including in the churches.
“The Governor is saying that to grant the wearing of face mask the kind of weight it deserves, to save our people, a special Task Force to monitor it will be put in place. That is the only sure way”, he said.
He recalled that the Governor in his broadcast expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.
“Government will introduce policies. The onus is on the populace to obey those policies … The COVID-19 pandemic has defied medical solutions for now. So, to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State need to take responsibility.
“It’s important that everyone living and doing business in Rivers State should have the kind of passion that His Excellency has to flatten

the curve. He’s desirous that Rivers State remains safe.
“That’s why every day he’s enunciating policies to ensure that strategically, the State is isolated from the national spread.
“He’s one man who would require the cooperation and understanding of citizens here to ensure that what he has in mind for the State is actualized”, the Commissioner concluded.
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