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Insecurity: Ondo Anglican Bishop Backs Self-Defence

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The Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Akure Diocese, Simeon Borokini, has called on the government to find a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity ravaging the country.
The cleric berated the Federal Government for being insensitive to the security situation in the country.
To this end, he charged the Christians in the country to find a way to defend themselves against invaders.
He stated these at the first session of the 14th synod of Akure Diocese of the church, held at Saint Andrew’s Church, Akure, the Ondo State capital.
According to the bishop, the best thing for Christians is to get arms legitimately to defend themselves.
He also decried the attack on the church by the suspected terrorists.
He said, “Anybody willing to have something to protect himself should get a license, if it is gun or anything that anyone wants to use to protect himself, I will support it since the government seems to be negligent as far as security is concerned.”
Borokini also called on the Federal Government to amend the Constitution in order for the state governments to have their own police.
He said, “The number of policemen that we have cannot protect all the citizens that we have in the country. So, we should do something at the local level. We have been asking all our church leaders to comply with the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the church; they should get the gadgets before August 1, 2022, which is the deadline.
“Nigeria, God’s own country, the giant of Africa, a nation flowing with milk and honey is now a place where everyone is avoiding partnering with or to even come and invest in. Even, the citizens are running from the country to go and look for a greener pasture and find solace somewhere else as a result of the security challenges. The nation is faced with an unprecedented wave of different but overlapping insurgencies and almost every corner has been hit by violence and crime.
“This scale of insecurity threatens the very fabric of Nigerian society. With every attack that is carried out daily, human lives are either lost or permanently damaged. As a result of this, faith in democracy and the country is gradually eroding. The promise by the government to protect citizens from terrorists and criminals has not been kept; instead, the country has become more unstable than it has been in decades.
“The recent surge of insecurity has been linked to the poverty across the country. The nation is abundantly blessed but criminally youth unemployment is alarming and the country is in the middle of one of the economic downturns. Criminals and terrorists are tagged, bandits and unknown gunmen. Even though it was reported that the militant group – Boko Haram has been technically defeated; deadly herdsmen are always on a killing spree anytime there is any misunderstanding between them and the farmers.
“The violent disputes between these nomadic animal herders and farmers in Nigeria have caused a lot of tension and this has led to some state governors banning grazing on open land and thus creating friction with the central government. Banditry and kidnapping: one of the worrisome threats for families in Nigeria are the frequent indiscriminate kidnapping of school children in their classrooms and students in the boarding houses, adults, travellers and farmers on their farms. They raid villages, and settlements, kidnap civilians, military officers, and even kings in their palaces and burn down houses.
“Attacks by these deadly criminals have forced thousands of people to flee their homes to seek shelter in other parts of the country. Kidnapping has become a lucrative industry to the extent that individuals kidnap themselves for ransom.”
The cleric appealed to every facet of the government to put in place sound government intervention and heightened attention to strengthen the manufacturing sector in order to expand and grow the economy, thereby, creating sustainable job for the teaming youth population.

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Customs Suspends Rice Sale As Seven Die In Stampede

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The Nigeria Customs Service has announced the suspension of the sale of foodstuffs following a stampede that reportedly killed seven persons at the NCS Old Zonal Headquarters in the Yaba area of Lagos State, last Friday.
A Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer for Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed the suspension of the exercise in a statement on Monday.
Nigeria Customs had said it was selling seized food items at N10,000 per 25kg to alleviate the people’s suffering as a result of the current high cost of living and other economic hardships.
Last Friday, a pregnant woman and six others reportedly died in a stampede after some suspected hoodlums attempted to force their way into the Yaba Customs office compound.
Some Lagos residents who thronged the NCS office in Yaba expressed disappointment on Monday following the suspension of the initiative.
However, in a statement on Monday evening, the NCS said the suspension became necessary considering “the recent unfortunate event.”
“We regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, February 23, 2024,” the NCS spokesman said.
He explained that: “The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise.
“This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5,000 beneficiaries and members of the press. However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome.
“The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded.”
The Customs extended its “heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident.”
The service said it was working with health authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps.

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Court Dismisses Police Objection Against Fubara’s CoS …Restrains Police From Arresting Ehie

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A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, yesterday, dismissed the preliminary objection by counsel to the Nigerian Police, Celestine Dickson, challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the fundamental rights suit by the Chief of Staff to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, Hon. Edison Ehie against the police for lack of merit.
The trial Judge, Justice Sika Aprioku, in a ruling, yesterday, assumed jurisdiction and held that the non-joinder of the Nigeria Police Force in a matter that the Commissioner of Police is a party to does not render the suit incompetent.
Justice Aprioku said the application by the Police lacks merit and thereby dismissed it with a cost of N100,000 in favour of Hon Edison Ehie.
Aprioku also granted the prayers of the counsel to Edison, Damian Okoro to restrain the Police from arresting, detaining, harassing, or inviting Ehie based on the trumped-up charges in the suit by Rt Hon. Martin Amaewhule in connection to the destruction of the Hallow chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsel to the Police, Celestine Dickson, said he would study the judgment and advise his clients accordingly.
Dickson stated, “That is the wisdom of the court and we cannot criticise the wisdom of the court. The outcome of court decisions must bind parties.
“If you are not satisfied I think you study the judgement and take the next step. The court made it clear that in a couple of minutes, we were going to have copies of the judgement. That will give us the opportunity to look at the judgement and advise our clients accordingly.
On his part, one of the counsel to the Chief of Staff, Ibioku Mac-Barango said the judgment reflects the position of the law.

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Fubara Expresses Confidence In Tinubu To Address Labour Concerns

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In the midst of the ongoing nationwide protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has expressed confidence in President Bola Tinubu’s ability to address the concerns raised by the organised labour and alleviate their fears.
Fubara gave the assurance during the NLC’s protest to the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday .
The State NLC, led by its chairman, Alex Agwanwor, had joined its counterparts in other parts of the country to protest against high cost of living in the country occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government in May last year.
Recall that there have been a series of protests across the country over the cost of living, inflation, insecurity and hardship among Nigerians.
The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on February 8 issued a 14-day nationwide strike notice to the Federal Government over the failure to implement the agreements reached on October 2, 2023 following the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Responding to a letter of demands presented to the governor by the State NLC, Fubara noted that the grievances outlined by the protesters primarily fell within the purview of the Federal Government.
The governor, who was represented by the Head of the Rivers State Civil Service, Dr. George Nwaeke, said, “To all who listened to every presentation of the labour leader as it is being read out, we can find out none is local, not originating from local source here. They are all national issues and we have hope in the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Federal Government. We have hope. And I know Governor Fubara will also deliver this message as presented by you to the President.”
Fubara further assured the protesters that his administration remained committed to alleviating the economic hardships faced by the people of Rivers State.
He highlighted initiatives such as the provision of palliative buses in response to the fuel subsidy removal and the ongoing development of 20,000 housing units for low-income earners.
The governor also emphasized his administration’s dedication to improving the welfare of civil servants, citing measures such as the employment of 10,000 youths into the state civil service, promotions, and the provision of bonuses.
He affirmed the significance of the issues raised and reiterated his commitment to prioritizing the welfare of workers in the State.
He, however, assured that the NLC’s demands would be conveyed to the President as presented.

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