The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu yesterday, placed Police Commands and Formations nationwide on red alert following the death of Iranian Army General, Qassem Soleimani
In a statement released yesterday evening, the Spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, disclosed that “This proactive measure follows Intelligence Report that sequel to the recent killing of an Iranian General Qassem Soleimani; some domestic interests are planning to embark on massive public disturbances and sabotage”
“Consequently, Zonal AIGs and Command Commissioners of Police have been directed to ensure maximum surveillance and security of lives and property across the nation”.
“The Police Commanders have been directed to ensure strategic deployments of both overt and covert Police operatives to ensure adequate security and safety of citizens, foreigners especially diplomats and diplomatic missions domiciled in Nigeria as well as the protection of critical national assets”.
“Meanwhile, the IGP has assured all Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria of adequate security. He has equally warned all potential troublemakers to steer clear of the streets and territory of Nigeria”.
Recall that it had been reported how Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a United States airstrike at Baghdad airport on Thursday.
Soleimani, viewed as a terrorist by the White House, was said to be the architect of Iran’s Middle East operations and Iran has vowed to take “severe revenge” on the killing.
Reacting to the development, the Global Action for Peace has raised alarm on the threat posed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to citizens of the United States of America and the United Kingdom in Nigeria and the need for greater action.
GAP said the alarm became imperative following the ongoing war between America and Iran.
According to the group, all hands must be on deck to tackle whatever violent uprising that the IMN is planning in Nigeria against US and UK and other foreign citizens in the country.
President of the group, Agbo Joseph who made this call at a press conference yesterday, opined that IMN be put on the terror watch list of the United States and the United Kingdom, and measures put in place to protect US and UK citizens in Nigeria.
His statement added that “The Global Action for Peace views with concern the posturing of members of the IMN that was evident in the public demonstration in some parts of northern Nigeria declaring a “jihad” on the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
“These threats are very typical of the terrorist activities of the IMN as an organization whose ideology is deeply rooted in violence and religious intolerance.
“This action by the IMN should give all well-meaning Nigerians a cause for concern given the fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria hasn’t made any official statement given the position of the United Nations over the military face-off between the United States of America and Iran.
“However, you may recall that it was because of its extremist and terrorist tendencies and the attendant dangers it posed to national security that the Kaduna state government and later the Federal Government of Nigeria proscribed the activities of the IMN in Nigeria.
“The Global Action for Peace wishes to state that the threat issued by the IMN to citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom in Nigeria is an affront to our collective sensibilities as Nigerians, which must be looked into by the security agencies.
“The action of the IMN is an indication of the zero regards they have for constituted authorities in Nigeria, hence their disregard for the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Global Action for Peace wishes to alert the relevant authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom that given the antecedents of the IMN that is rooted in deep hatred for those that do not share in their ideology, there is a high tendency that they would go a step further from the protest to inflict bodily harm on citizens of the United States of America and the United Kingdom in Nigeria through violent means.
:This is also on the heels that it is an incontrovertible fact that the IMN has Iran as their spiritual base as well as the support base for the entrenchment of their nefarious activities all over the world. This is cognizant of the fact that there are indications that Iran may turn to targets in Africa to exert revenge using proxies such as the IMN.
“The Global Action for Peace consequently wishes to draw the attention of Nigerians, as well as the security agencies of the apparent threat to life and properties by the adherents of the IMN in Nigeria. This is because of the ongoing mobilization by the leadership of the IMN to carry out massive protests across the country with specific directives from the Iranian authorities to target US and UK citizens.
“The Global Action for Peace wishes to state that it is on record that the Nigerian authorities have, on numerous occasions, indicated how the IMN as agents of the Iranian government had engaged in terrorist activities in Nigeria that have brought untold hardship and bodily harm on innocent and unarmed Nigerians.
“Also, the IMN has, on numerous occasions, confronted security operatives in Nigeria, including one that led to the death of a senior police officer and many others.
“We must, therefore, be concerned that the current situation across the globe demands action that the IMN be put on the terror watch list of the United States and the United Kingdom, and measures put in place to protect US and UK citizens in Nigeria.
“The Global Action for Peace wishes to reiterate that should the IMN not placed on the terror watch list, their propensity to carry out the whims and caprices of the Iranian authorities on US and UK citizens in Nigeria would be institutionalized.
“The posturing of the IMN is indeed a red alert, and as such, there is every need for all hands to be on deck to tackle whatever violent uprising that the IMN is planning in Nigeria.
“The Global Action for Peace wishes to advise the United States and the United Kingdom to see this as a clarion call and activate measures that would support the efforts of the security agencies in Nigeria in curtailing the threats posed by the IMN. This is highly necessary given the fact that the IMN is now a global threat.”
Also, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, yesterday, condemned the United States President, Donald Trump over the killing of Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani.
Speaking with The Tide source, AYCF President General, Yerima Shettima said Trump should be called to order.
A US-backed airstrike had killed Soleimani, who is the Revolutionary Guard General and head of the elite Quds Force, at Baghdad International Airport.
Soleimani’s killing had sparked rumour of a third world war likely to start between the US and Iran.
The Tide also reported that Trump had disclosed that Soleimani was plotting to kill lots of American citizens but was caught in the process.
However, Shettima said Trump should be made the understand that his actions are inimical to world peace.
Shettima warned that urgent steps should be taken to avert the possibility of a third world war.
He said: “Trump cannot continue to target people for differences in ideas and beliefs because his a leading power. You start assassinating people, it’s not right in any part of the world.
“Trump should be called to order that his actions are not right, he can’t continue like this for the sake of peace in the world.
“There are possibilities of a third world war happening as a result of Trump’s actions, however, major steps must be taken to avert unnecessary dangers because it’s avoidable.”
Meanwhile, Iran has put a bounty of $80 million on American President Donald Trump’s head.
This decision was declared during the televised funeral of Maj. General Qasem Soleimani.
During the televised funeral of Soleimani, official state broadcasters said one US dollar would be tabled for every Iranian in the country, with the cash going to whoever killed the US President, according to the Mirror.
“Iran has 80 million inhabitants. Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80million (£61million) which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump,” it was announced, according to en24.
Soleimani, Iran’s preeminent military commander was killed on Friday in a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
The Iraqi parliament yesterday voted to expel the United States, US, troops from Iraq.
The lawmakers during an extraordinary session voted for a resolution to ask the government to end an agreement with the US to station 5,200 troops in Iraq.
Speaker of the parliament, Mohammed Halbusi said: “The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory.
“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.
“The parliament has voted to commit the Iraqi government to cancel its request to the international coalition for help to fight IS.”
The decision by the lawmakers followed the killing of Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq by a US-backed airstrikes on Friday.
North Can Live Without VAT Accruals, NEF Boasts …Backs Wike, Southern Govs On Fiscal Federalism, Restructuring
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has boasted that the North was a rich region, and can survive on its resources without the “billions” accruing to Southern states.
The NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made this known, yesterday, when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme.
He was reacting to the tussle between states and the Federal Government on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).
VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered, and charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.
Although Rivers and Lagos states have started the process of collecting VAT within their territories, the Court of Appeal, in a ruling on September 10, ordered that status quo be maintained pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Apart from Lagos and Rivers states, Ogun State has also started the process of passing a bill on VAT in its House of Assembly.
At the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in Enugu, last Thursday, the 17 governors insisted that they have the constitutional mandate to collect VAT, and vowed to ensure that the rule of law prevails in the matter.
While some northern governors like Aminu Masari (Katsina), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), amongst others, had kicked against the move, the 17 Southern Governors led by Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had unanimously supported the position that “the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states.”
Speaking, yesterday, during the television programme, Baba-Ahmed said, “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.
“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.
“If we don’t do that now, then, we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the North, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate (it).
“The thing is: the North wants restructuring; the North wants fiscal federalism. We are a rich region, and we can live on what we have, even if we don’t have the billions that accrue to others states. Our poverty is not a kind of problem that we would break this country over.”
According to him, the VAT war is a wake-up call to northern governors who need to recognise the fact that VAT or no VAT, they need to develop their resources and develop the human capital of the North.
The NEF spokesman added, “North, you said you have many people but you are under-developing your own people – the biggest liability of the North is that we have a huge population that is under-developed. You need to develop the human capital that you have.
“We need leaders; the current governors don’t recognise this. Otherwise, they won’t be involved in this argument; allow the court to decide.
“But for goodness sake, (they should) begin to think — what else can we do if the court decides now that Rivers State is right, Lagos State is right, and the Southern states are right, and they won’t be getting all these billions coming in from VAT? What happens?”
Baba-Ahmed said the Northern governors at this stage should not be sleeping, noting that the North is “sitting on wealth, we have massive resources in this country, we have to fight insecurity first, and the Federal Government has to help us, we need to clear the bushes, the forests and all the criminals that are there, and we need to go back to farming.
“Agriculture is a major asset; we have land, we have water, we have livestock, we have minerals that are literally begging to be picked from the ground but our governors are too focused on the pittance that they are getting. This is wrong”, he argued.
Boxing: Joshua Facing Toughest Test In Usyk?
Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua could face his toughest test yet when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday, says ex-world champion George Groves.
Joshua, 31, puts his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian has won all 18 professional fights, beating Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora on that run.
“Technically, Usyk is brilliant,” said Groves . “He showed that in unifying the cruiserweight division in great fights and I believe he could be Joshua’s toughest test to date. This is the first fight when I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua got beaten.
“Joshua has fought [Wladimir] Klitschko and been in with Joseph Parker and also been beaten [by Andy Ruiz] and the only question mark for Usyk Is he big enough to compete with AJ?
“If Usyk keeps a high pace and makes Joshua miss with a lot of shots, that will work to Usyk’s advantage as he has probably got a better engine.
“Joshua is a phenomenal athlete with tremendous punching power and strength but has a tendency to tire out if the pace is uncomfortable for him.”
A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected and it will be the largest attendance Joshua has fought in front of since his win over Alexander Povetkin with 80,000 at Wembley Stadium in September, 2018.
Since then, Joshua has lost to Ruiz in New York before winning the rematch in Saudi Arabia and gained a ninth-round victory over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena last December, with only 1,000 fans attending because of Coronavirus restrictions.
Both Joshua and Usyk won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, at super-heavyweight and heavyweight respectively, with the Briton going on to win 24 of his 25 professional fights, including 22 inside the distance.
Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte, who lost to Joshua in 2015 and is pushing for a rematch with him or a shot at WBC champion, Tyson Fury, believes the key to beating Usyk on Saturday is to adopt an attacking strategy.
“I think it’s a great fight and Joshua will stop him in the first six or seven rounds,” Whyte told Tidesports source.
“Usyk will start fast and Joshua should be cagey as Usyk is a bit lighter. Joshua can sometimes lack confidence but hopefully he goes back to the old him, starts pressing, being the bigger, stronger guy and gets the job done early.
“If Joshua sets the pace, he can get an early knockout and if he is strong, confident and walks him down, then I don’t see Usyk’s punches troubling Joshua.”
Groves, who held the WBA Super-Middleweight belt in 2017 and 2018, added: “If I was Joshua, I would take control of the ring and try to dominate and bully off the front foot.
“Usyk will want to be off the back foot for the first couple of rounds, then try to pepper Joshua.
“If I was in the Joshua camp, I would say: You want to keep this guy in his box. You don’t want Usyk having any confidence, so hit him hard and early.
“In the first three rounds, you want to land something big on him.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also suggested Joshua could get an early victory.
Hearn said: “I’m always nervous for an Anthony Joshua fight, especially when you’re fighting someone that really believes he is going to win”.
2022 AFCON: ‘Cameroon On Track’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, has said that Cameroon is “on track” to successfully host the Africa Cup of Nations early next year after visiting Olembe Stadium in Yaounde last weekend.
The venue will host the opening match and final of the AFCON in January and February of 2022.
A CAF delegation, including President Motsepe and General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, were joined by Cameroon’s Sports Minister, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi in inspecting progress made at the Olembe Stadium and various other facilities in the capital city.
“I’m very satisfied with the briefing I got and what I saw. I saw the Olembe Stadium and it is world class; we should all be proud as people of Cameroon and as Africans,” said Motsepe, as quoted by CAF’s website.
“We must applaud Cameroon [for] building such infrastructure. In partnership with the Government, the Minister of Sports, LOC, FECAFOOT President and CAF administration under Veron [Mosengo-Omba], I’m certain that in January next year, the rest of the world will be impressed. I’m very satisfied with what I have seen. We are on track.”
Motsepe continued: “The quality of football that will be played here will once again show the world that Africa has the quality to one day win the FIFA World Cup, that is the ultimate goal. The AFCON is special and I think it is important for us to set the tone in Cameroon.”
Mosengo-Omba also heaped praises on Olembe Stadium: “The infrastructure and architecture of the stadium is world class and can be compared to many other famous stadiums globally. In Cameroon, we have six beautiful match venues. Our job now is to ensure that we are ready with everything else.”
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