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Eid-el-Kabir: Buhari, Saraki, Wike Seek Peace, Unity

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to rise above personal, group, sectarian and other interests in the country.
He urged them to promote harmony and tolerance in dealing with one another at all times.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying in his Eid-el-Kabir message, yesterday, as urging Muslims to use the occasion for sober reflection and self-examination, and strive to be good ambassadors of their religion by upholding high moral values
He reminded Muslims that this felicitous occasion of Eid-ul-Adha is a remembrance of the submission of Prophet Ibrahim Allaihis-Salam to Allah, his Creator, by which he taught the world the value of sacrifice in relating with one another, and when it comes to nation-building.
He said “We must sacrifice for others and remember always those who are less fortunate than ourselves”, the President declared.
Buhari explained that religion is a major factor in influencing human behaviour towards good conduct and actions.
He expressed regret that selfishness, greed and corruption had overwhelmed human souls to the extent that people abandon their religious beliefs in pursuit of their greed.
On the economic challenges facing Nigerians, the President reassured that such are temporary because the welfare of the people is the main thrust of the change agenda of the administration.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Rivers State Gover, Chief Nyesom Wike, also urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of brotherhood and peaceful coexistence.
In separate Eid el Kabir messages, Saraki enjoined Nigerians to increase their efforts in charitable endeavours, perseverance and spiritual intercession for the nation.
The Senate President urged Nigerians to further devote their prayers at the Eid praying grounds to the call on Allah to restore peace in all parts of the country, strengthen the unity and rebuild the economy.
Saraki also congratulated Muslims on the celebration of the 2018 Eid el-Kabir festival and described the special occasion as “a period that honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to show submission to Allah’s command”.
Dogara, enjoined the Muslim Ummah and Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, love and tolerance for the peace, unity and progress of the country.
“While rejoicing with our Muslim brothers on this auspicious occasion of Eid el-Kabir Sallah celebration, which symbolises sacrifice and obedience, I wish to enjoin all people of goodwill to be steadfast in love for one another and demonstrate renewed commitment to the Nigerian project in order to make our society ideal for all and towards the fulfillment of the country’s great potentials.
“I also urge our religious leaders to take advantage of the season and preach peace, unity and tolerance among the diverse people, especially now that the country is at critical political crossroads, with the electioneering process gaining momentum as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
“On our part as lawmakers, we will continue to pursue people-oriented legislations and initiate reforms and legislative interventions that will guarantee peace and stability in the polity and the nation as a whole as well as improve the living conditions of the citizens”.
Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu said: “The Eid-el-Kabir presents yet another opportunity for the Muslim Umah and indeed all Nigerians to reflect soberly on state of the nation and pray for Nigeria’s future and peaceful elections.
“Importantly, Nigeria is certainly in need of both attitudinal change and divine intervention as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections. Whereas the extensive electoral reforms carried out by the National Assembly manifested in visible improvements in the quality of the 2011 and 2015 general elections, subsequent elections have been gravely marred by excessive violence, vote buying, and other outrageous manipulations that threaten our democracy.
“From the Bayelsa Governorship election to the recent bye-elections in Kogi and Rivers states, among others, the nation has witnessed intolerable levels of impunity, violence, excessive abuse and manipulation of vital institutions of democracy, which signal grave turbulence ahead of 2019”.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar advised Muslims to take the centre stage in promoting and spreading love among fellow Nigerians to consolidate unity.
He said religion should be used as a means to advance the cause of love amongst the people.
According to him, diversity cannot be the cause of Nigeria’s problems, and blamed the attitude of Nigerians towards one another.
He said: “The common interests that unite Nigerians are by far stronger than those petty factors that divide us.
“Intolerance, extremism and bigotry, if unchecked, could threaten peace and unity in any country.”
He identified peace and unity as the greatest assets that should not be taken for granted, adding that interfaith dialogue would not go far enough if bigotry is allowed to defeat human reason and wisdom.
The former vice president noted that all religions preach love of mankind, and urged Muslims to promote the beauty of their faith through positive personal conducts.
The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike urged Muslims to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice exemplified by the Prophet.
Wike described Eid-el-Kabir as a season of love, peace, togetherness and sacrifice.
He urged Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance which will promote peace across the country and enhance national development.
He assured the people of Rivers State that the state government would work with the security agencies to ensure that all citizens celebrate the Sallah in peace and harmony.
He congratulated the Muslim community in the South-South state on the Sallah celebration, assuring them that his administration will continue to partner with them to move the state forward.
Ekiti State governor-elect Kayode Fayemi felicitated with Muslims in the country.
Fayemi urged the Muslims Ummah to uphold the lessons of love, loyalty and sacrifice which is the foundation of the festival, during and after the festivities.
In a goodwill message, the governor-elect said: “The Eid-el-Kabir festival offers the opportunity for sober reflection and spiritual renewal which Allah demands from the faithful.
“The Muslim faithful and adherents of other faiths in the country should make peaceful coexistence their watchword and work together for a more peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
“Nigerians need to imbibe the lessons of commitment, dedication and obedience to higher authority as demonstrated in Prophet Ibraheem’s willingness to sacrifice his son in deference to the will of God, which Eid-el-Kabir commemorates.
“It is only through the love for one another and commitment to peace, security and stability that the country can progress towards the fulfilment of its great potentials as a nation.”
Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed urged Muslims to imbibe the lessons of total submission and obedience to the will of Almighty Allah and promote the principle of being one another’s keepers.
The governor emphasised the need to devote oneself to the services of the supreme being and pray for the unity, peace, progress and stability of the country
He said: “Let’s guide against hate speech, thuggery and violence but imbibe lessons of the season and pray for free, fair and credible elections in 2019 and beyond.”
Ahmed expressed his gratitude to the people of the state for their supports and prayers over the years and renewed his commitment to bequeathing a worthy legacy for his successor.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa urged Nigerians to put aside their religious and political differences to build a united country.
He urged Muslims to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice exemplified by the prophet.
Okowa, in a Sallah message said Eid-el-Kabir was a season of love, peace, togetherness and sacrifice.

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GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations

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Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.

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Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.

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Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers

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The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.

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