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Troops Arrest 81 Bandits, Rescue 33 Victims In N’West

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says troops of Operation Hadarin Daji arrested no fewer than 81 bandits, their collaborators and other criminal elements in the last three weeks across the North-West Zone.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made the disclosure while giving an update on the operations of the armed forces across the country yesterday in Abuja.
Onyeuko also said that no fewer than 33 kidnap victims were rescued and 15 bandits killed by the troops during the period.
He added that two armed robbers were neutralised and 13 bandits’ informants arrested.
According to him, the troops sustain operations against the bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the geo-political zone with attendant successes.
“Fifteen motorcycles and two AK-47 rifles were recovered; 33 kidnap victims rescued, 66 criminal elements arrested and some vandalised railway sleepers/tracks were recovered within the period,” he said.
Onyeuko said that the operations were conducted in various locations in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States.
In North-Central, he said that troops of Operation Safe Haven arrested 20 persons involved in the killing of 26 travellers at Rukuba town in Jos North Local Government area of Plateau on August 14.
He said the suspects had been handed over to the prosecuting agency for necessary action.
Onyeuko said that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, had visited Jos in his quest to ensure the return of peace to the state.
He disclosed that the CDS held a stakeholders’ meeting with Gov. Simon Lalong, traditional rulers, religious and community leaders to discuss security challenges in the state.
“The discussions were largely successful as all stakeholders pledged their support for peace in the state.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria remains steadfast in the fight against all forms of criminality in different parts of the country.
“The Military High Command appreciates the continuous sacrifices of the troops in the various theatres of operation across the country,’’ he said.
In Benue, Inyeuko said troops of Operation Whirl Stroke destroyed three criminal camps, recovered 23 rustled cows and three motorcycles at Udei and Ughedu towns.
He said that the troops on August 14 arrested nine cultists, who had been terrorising Utonkon community in Ado Local Government Area of the state.
He added that same troops acting on credible intelligence ambushed and arrested some railroad vandals and recover railroad tracks and sleepers at Tse-Guma village on August 15.
He said the criminals had been handed over to the appropriate agency for further action.
“Also, on August 16, troops carried out raid and clearance operations on criminals’ hideouts at Terr village in Sankera Uyum Council Ward and Ukpam community in Guma, and arrested two notorious armed robbers named, Aondosoo Aba and Emmanuel Gobo,” he said.

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Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

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Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

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The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

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Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

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The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

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