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No Rehabilitated Ex-Boko Haram Fighter Recruited Into Military-CDS

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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Lucky Irabor, says none of the over 1,000 rehabilitated ex-Boko Haram fighters have been recruited into the Nigerian military.
Irabor said at the Stakeholders’ Meeting of Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) yesterday in Abuja, that Nigeria would never recruit any ex-fighter into its military.
The CDS, represented by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, assured Nigerians that none of such ex-fighters would also be recruited into any of the sister security services in the country.
According to him, the concerns over alleged recruitment of rehabilitated ex-fighters into the military and paramilitary agencies were unfounded, as stringent safeguards had been put in place to prevent such.
The CDS disclosed that the Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme of OPSC had so far graduated and reintegrated over 1,000 clients, including 16 foreign nationals.
He added that a total of 559 new clients were currently going through the DRR programme in Gombe State.
Irabor explained that OPSC had improved the programme’s principles, practices and procedures over the years, making the initiative a model that had been replicated in all the Lake Chad Basin countries.
According to him, it has also elicited the interest of both local and international bodies including the academia.
“The DRR Programme consists of psychological, humanitarian treatments that reassure and provide alternatives to low-profile combatants through psycho-social, psycho-spiritual therapies, recreations, vocational training, and introductory western education.
“The programme is countering Boko Haram and Islamic States of West African Province (ISWAP) ideologies and reducing their recruitment drive while depleting the critical mass of their fighting force.
“OPSC is not a purely military operation, as some have suggested, it is a peace building effort and its essential duties are carried out by relevant MDAS with the necessary expertise.
“The military and other security and law enforcement agencies are involved to the extent of creating an enabling environment and leadership for the DRR programme to function efficiently,” he said.
Irabor said the approaches, practices, procedures, strategies, and tactics of the military in its counter-insurgency operation had continued to evolve, to effectively tackle the amorphous nature of the threat.
According to him, the initial response was a single service operation that was limited to only the formations and units based in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States.
“However, as time passed, several task forces were formed, eventually leading to the formation of a Theatre Command with several components including a Naval Task Force and an Aviation Task Force to weaken the insurgents.
“In furtherance of this objective, we are committed to forging stronger synergy between the Services and other security agencies.
“All of these efforts have re-energised the fight against the insurgents, and the AFN has continuously made progress towards ending the war in favour of Nigerian government,” the CDS said.
The Coordinator of OPSC, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Maina, said the operation began in September 2015 to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram members to surrender and go through a well-structured DRR programme.
He said that OPSC was a multi-agency, multi-national humanitarian scheme backed by Nigeria’s Constitution, as well as International Humanitarian and Human Right Laws.
According to him, OPSC has admitted over 1,070 clients comprising 1,064 Nigerians and 16 foreign nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger since 2016.
“All the foreign clients were transferred to their respective national authorities for reintegration.
“Presently, there are 559 clients undergoing the programme in the camp, out of which two clients are Chadian citizens.
“It is also important to mention that one client was repatriated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for expert psychiatric management during the initial documentation stages of the programme,” he said.
Maina disclosed that OPSC and its partners had been conducting follow-up activities to assess the performance of the clients in the communities, adding that reports from these exercises had so far been encouraging.
The coordinator said the stakeholders’ meeting was convened to work out modalities for the smooth transfer of the 559 clients presently in the camp to their national and states authorities for re-integration after graduation in January 2022.
He said it was expected that the stakeholders would be fully abreast with activities of OPSC and DRR programme in particular, among other issues.

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Anglican Bishop Urges Politicians To Lead With Integrity

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The Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Niger Delta, Dr Emmanuel Oko-Jaja, has called on Nigerians, especially those in positions of authority to uphold moral standard and integrity.
Oko-Jaja said this at a thanksgiving service to mark the 90th birthday of Prof. Sylvanus Cookey at Saint Paul Anglican Church in Opobo Town, Rivers yesterday.
The Tide’s source reports that Cookey was the second Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in 1982.
Oko-Jaja advised political leaders to always be self-aware and avoid actions that could damage their reputation.
“In today’s Nigeria, hardship has changed how the people behave, as lies have become more popular than the truth.
“We now live in a country where injustice is now celebrated and lowering moral and social standard have become the new normal.
“Leaders must follow the exemplary legacies set by our forebears by becoming upright and live a life that would not bring shame to their family and community,” he said.
He attributed the country’s current economic challenges and declining living standards to leaders failing to prioritise the well-being of citizens.
“The younger generation should emulate the virtues of our predecessors like Prof. Cookey, who prioritised integrity over material gain.
“Good reputation was the norm back then, and I hope that God will restore it to Nigeria, where leaders’ goal will be to have good names.
“If anyone wants to commit evil, they should remember that their actions can bring a bad name to their family and community,” he cautioned.
Addressing the celebrant, the King of Opobo Kingdom, HRM Dandason Jaja, praised Cookey for his impact on society and described him as a mentor and philanthropist.
He said that the celebrant was a distinguished academic, who had impacted numerous youths through vocational training, leading to their successful employment in different sectors.
Speaking earlier, Cookey expressed gratitude to God for attaining 90 years and acknowledged the support of his family and friends.
Reflecting on his contributions to the country, he encouraged leaders to leave behind positive legacies for future generations to celebrate.

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Senators, Reps To Resume Plenary In Remodelled Main Chambers

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Nineteen months after federal lawmakers movement to  temporary chambers,  the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives would finally resume sittings in  their  newly remodelled main hallowed chambers tomorrow
Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Akin Rotimi Jnr, and the Clerk to the Senate, Barrister Chinedu Akubueze confirmed the planned movement to the main chambers in separate written announcements made penultimate week on the change in resumption date by lawmakers from their ongoing recess.
Hon. Rotimi, who is the chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, in the official announcement dated April 4, 2024 to the honourable members, cited the need to resume plenary at the renovated and reconfigured main chamber, as reason for the postponement in line with the general wish of the lawmakers.
“The House of Representatives wishes to inform the public and stakeholders of the rescheduling of the resumption date from the ongoing recess, originally slated for Tuesday, April 16, 2024, to  Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
“This adjustment is necessary to accommodate the completion of renovations to the main chamber of the House of Representatives to ensure its readiness for plenary sessions, henceforth,” he stated.
Two days after, the Clerk to the Senate also issued a statement, postponing resumption of plenary by the Senate from April 16 to 23, 2024.
Akubueze ‘s statement reads in part: “Distinguished Senators are hereby invited to note that the resumption of the plenary sitting of the Senate, which was scheduled for Tuesday, 16th April, 2024, has been postponed to Tuesday 23rd April, 2024”
It would be recalled that ahead of the projects delivery, the Site Engineer of Visible Construction, Tajudeen Olanipekun, had early last month informed journalists covering the Senate, that the two main chambers, would be ready for use by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in April this year.
Olanipekun’s assurance on delivery of the fully transformed and reconfigured hallowed chambers to management of the National Assembly, coincided with call by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, to the Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal that both the Senate and the House of Representatives, want to move to their main chambers as soon as possible after close to two years of using temporary ones.
In carrying out the subtle marching order, the construction firm in the last five weeks has carried out the required finishings on
the upgraded and reconfigured hallowed chambers fixed with state-of-the-art chairs, parliamentary equipments,  appliances and extended sitting terraces.
Physically, the entire ambience of the space in and around the hallowed chambers have been transformed, just as barricades used to restrict movements at the foyer have been removed.
The  Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, had in March 2021 awarded a N30billion renovation contract to Visible Construction Limited to rehabilitate critical segments of the National Assembly complex.
The law makers had in September  2022 vacated the main chambers to enable the Contractors;   handle the renovation work of both chambers
Some of the critical segments are the office buildings housing the office accommodation for the senators and honourable members, watertightness of the roof of the complex, the cooling system, replacement of lifts that are inoperable in the White House as well as in the House of Representatives and in the new Senate Wing among others.

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

 

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Police Commence Recruitment Process In Anambra, Enugu

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The Zone 13 of the Nige- rian Police Force, comprising Anambra and Enugu States, has announced the venue and time for both General Duty and Specialist Constable recruitment medical screening in the two States.
This is contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Ihunwo, yesterday in Enugu.
Ihunwo said that prospective candidates from Zone 13 should note that the exercise would take place at Police Hospital, Awka.
She said that the medical screening would commence simultaneously nationwide on Tuesday, April 16, and end on April 30, 2024.
“Candidates are advised to visit the recruitment portal: https://apply.policerecruitment.gov.ng to know their status, specific time, date and other mandatory requirements.
“So also, qualified applicants are to appear in clean white T-shirt and short with the following requirements;
“National Identity Card/Slip; Print Out of Medical Examination Slip and all necessary documents.
“The Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 13 Command, AIG Godwin Aghaulor, wishes all prospective candidates success as they embark on this exercise,” he said.

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