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Military, Boko Haram Clash Claims Four Soldiers, Seven Terrorists …Army Loses Four Trucks To Insurgents

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At least, four Nigerian soldiers and a militia fighter were killed in clashes with IS-aligned jihadists in Borno State, security sources said, yesterday.
Fighting erupted, late Saturday, when troops ambushed a convoy of the Islamic State West Africa Province near Jakana village, 42 kilometres (26 miles) from the state capital in Maiduguri.
“We lost four soldiers and a member of the vigilante group in the fighting,” a military officer said in reference to an anti-jihadist militia in the region.
“The terrorists came in large numbers and our troops fought gallantly but they were overwhelmed,” added the officer who asked not to be identified for fear of sanction.
Several troops were also injured and four trucks were lost to the militants, he said.
The jihadists were riding in pick-up trucks fitted with machine guns according to an anti-jihadist militiaman who confirmed the death toll.
In a statement issued Sunday, the Nigerian military said seven jihadists were killed and eight injured when their vehicle hit a landmine during a clash near Jakana on Friday.
The improvised explosive device had been planted by the jihadists, army spokesman Colonel Aminu Iliyasu was quoted as saying.
He called the blast a “tactical boomerang”.
Reacting to the incident, the Nigerian Army, yesterday, said seven Boko Haram militants were killed, while eight others were crippled when a Toyota Sam Sahara Model, belonging to the terrorists stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) laid by them against Nigerian Army troops at Lamba’a Forest along Jakana – Mainok Road in Borno State.
According to a statement by Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, “The self-inflicted destruction consumed seven Boko Haram criminals while eight others suffered severe injuries. Consequently, troops have mobilised to the general area for route clearance and mop-up operation.”
The statement said, this was as a result of artillery bombardment and ground assault by troops of the Nigerian Army, which have been intensified across Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre, resulting in more Boko Haram casualties.
“This is a clear case that can be best described as a tactical boomerang. The incident happened on Friday, October 18, 2019, while some marauding Boko Haram criminal elements who were escaping the unbearable battle heat turned on them by NA troops,” the statement added.
In another development, a syndicate that specializes in the smuggling of smoked fish from the Lake Chad region for sale in some parts of Nigeria have been busted by the diligent troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The statement said, “Reliable information available revealed that Boko Haram criminals/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their collaborators are using the fish business to finance and sustain their heinous activities.
“The proceeds from the sales are believed to be channelled into the procurement of food stuff, groceries, drugs, toiletries, vehicle spare parts and other items for the sustenance of their criminal activities.
“In a related development, troops of Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole, while acting on a reliable intelligence, raided the residence of some suspected illegal fish smugglers near Water Board Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Monguno LGA of Borno State.
“Four suspects were arrested and 16 sacks of smoked fish concealed in a room were recovered.
“In a similar operation conducted by troops of Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole on October 10, 2019, nine vehicles loaded with illegal smoked fish consignments were equally intercepted at Bukarti in Geidam LGA of Yobe State en-route Hadejia in Jigawa State. Consequently, 18 suspects including drivers, conductors, mechanics and agents were also apprehended.
“In another development, troops deployed at a check point along Baga Road in Borno State while on Operation Positive Identification arrested one Musa Ishaku, while in possession of a fake Nigeria Customs ID card which he has been using to deceive security agencies.
“Additionally, troops of 1 Division also rescued four kidnapped students from bandits at Gurmi Village in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State after a brief fire fight with criminals.
“In Rivers State, troops of 16 Brigade Garrison (Main) raided a suspected sea pirates’ camp at Tingibibi Ogu/Bolo LGA of Rivers State. The suspected sea pirates, who obviously could not withstand the overwhelming fire power of the troops, fled the enclave in disarray. Items recovered from the camp include one AK-47 rifle magazine, five rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, three cartridges, one binocular and three para-red rocket.
“In the same vein, troops neutralised one armed robber during an anti-robbery operation at Adipet Filling Station along Rukuba Road in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. Others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Similarly, following confessional statements made by an arrested notorious bandit/kidnap kingpin named Yellow, troops of 3 Brigade tracked and arrested one of his gang members, Dahiru Dogo in Falgore Forest in Kano State.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai wishes to reassure the general public on the resolve of the Nigerian Army to rid the society of criminal elements for a secured environment.”
Jakana lies on a 120-kilometre highway that links Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State.
Jihadists have raided military bases and attacked troops and motorists along the highway in the past.

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RSG Warns Owner Of Proudest Hotel To Stop Blackmailing NCDC

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Our attention has been drawn to a recent misleading petition, signed by one Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari, Owner, Prodest Hotel and dated 24th May 2020,
to the effect that the convicted Manager of Prodest Hotel, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 disease amongst 27 others, in a result released by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, may have allegedly been infected on the instructions of the Rivers State Government.

Much as we had restrained ourselves from responding to previous similar publications by this same person, since the subject matter was still before a court of competent jurisdiction, we are now compelled to reply this obviously  spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative petition with a proper response, to set the records straight and caution the sponsors of this action from further pedlling such falsehoods in the public space.

For the avoidance of doubt and for the information of the general public, let us state categorically here that the FACTS of this matter are very clear, viz:

 

1. A Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court on May 18th, 2020  CONVICTED Mr. Bariledum Azoro, Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme and sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 for contravening paragraphs  3 and 4 of Executive Order RVSG 07 2020 on closure of hotels, guest houses and related outfits  and provision of manifests in the state.

2. The Senior Magistrates’ Court also ordered that th convict,Mr. Azoroh should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.

3. That while in the Court Ordered Quarantine, competent health officials  carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the centre, including  Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, to ascertain their Covid-19 status.
It is important to state here that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organization, (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.

 

4. That prior to the publication of the test results, the owner of PRODEST Hotel Eleme, Mr. Gogorobari Needam had published one of his misleading petitions in an attempt to preempt the outcome of the test and the question we want to ask is: ‘Why did the hotel owner try to preempt the outcome of the test. Was he trying to cover up something?

5.  That on Sunday, 24th May, 2020, the NCDC announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases including  Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, from tests carried out in the state.

6. That following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of his Manager’s Covid-19 positive status, the PRODEST Hotel owner has once again released another statement and this time is now calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State because his manager tested positive for Covid-19.

 

7. Rivers people will recall that on May 19, 2020, we raised an alarm intimating the world of a clandestine plot by some Abuja politicians hiding under the cover of Covid-19 to instigate a State of Emergency in the state. Today, a hotel owner in Eleme, who lives in Lagos is also now calling for a State of Emergency. Is there any wonder therefore as to who is beating the drum for him?

8. Indeed there seems to be more to this than meets the ordinary eye and we are calling on all well-meaning people to see the need to interrogate this man and know that he is acting out a script. Infact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copy book of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far.

9. We even recall vividly that Mr.  Needam Promise Gogorobari had, in an interview published in the Punch Newspaper of May 15, 2020 titled: “No ill feeling towards Wike for demolishing my hotel – Gogorobari”, actually stated categorically that he holds no grudge against Governor Wike for demolishing the hotel. His words:  “Who am I not to forgive him? I don’t hold any grudge against him. I just feel that God wanted it to happen that way”. So what happened to make him change his mind? Is it not obvious that the agents of evil and those who do not mean well for Rivers State have reached him and are now beating this drum of dissent for him?

10. Again, We want to state categorically here that Government doesn’t conduct Covid-19 tests. Trained Health professionals follow the relevant medical protocols set down by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, to conduct these tests.

11. The claim therefore that the PRODEST Hotel manager, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, was infected while in detention is not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari and those sponsoring him about the deadly nature of the Covid-19 disease. How does one even carry such a deadly virus around and infect people with it?

12. Rather than commend the Rivers State Government for stemming the tide of infection that would have arisen if the Hotel used for clandestine parties was not demolished and the Manager arrested, the owner is crying wolf where there is none.

13. We also want to caution Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari to be very mindful of his claims that his hotel Manager “has been framed up by an unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by Governor Wike with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government”.
This is a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC.

14 We also want to call the attention of Mr. Needam Gogorobari that we take exception to his description of the Isolation Centre in Port Harcourt, as an “illegal detention facility in Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt” and to inform him and his sponsors that the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a team from the World Health Organization, were in Rivers State on a working visit in April this year and not only praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his leadership and handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. but also applauded his medical health team and all the facilities put in place in response to the Coronavirus.

 

We will therefore be keen to know how the NCDC will react, when they read your description of a facility they approved, as ‘a detention centre’.

15. Finally, we want to assure the good people of the state that the Rivers State Government remains resolute in its fight to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state and we will not be deterred by cheap blackmail and misleading propaganda.

16 Governor Wike is determined to employ and deploy appropriate strategies to keep Rivers State safe.

17. We call on all residents to work together with the Governor to defeat Covid-19 in Rivers State and by the Grace of God we will be victorious.

Paulinus Nsirim
Commissioner for Information and Communications
May 26, 2020

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Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.

 

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

 

While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.

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Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.

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The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.

Though no official reports have reached us as to the cause of his death,The Tide learnt that the septuagenerian has been briefly ill shortly before his demise.
The former President, who visited the residence of his late foster father the early hours of Wednesday has not made any official statement regarding funeral arrangement.
Chief Inegite,popularly called ‘holy’ by his admirers and friends was initially reported to have been responding to treatment in an undisclosed health facility where his health later deteriorated before finally giving up  the ghost  at about 11:00 pm,Tuesday 19th day of May,2020.
You would recall that the late Chief Nitabai Inegite was twice reported to have been kidnapped some time between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The late former president’s foster father was survived by his wife,biological children,grand children and numerous relatives.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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