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Convoke National Dialogue Now, Southern Governors Demand

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The Southern Governors Forum on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to urgently convoke a national dialogue to address the wide spread agitations in the country.

The call was contained in a 12-point communique read by the forum’s Chairman and Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu at a meeting held in Asaba, Delta.

“In view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency,” it stated.

The meeting which lasted for about four hours and had 15 members in attendance also called for restructuring of the country leading to the evolution of state police.

It expressed grave concern on the nation’s current security challenges and urged President Mohammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the challenges and restore the confidence of the people.

The forum affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remained committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples.

It said the unity was with a focus to the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

The forum observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the southern part of the country had presented a severe security challenge to it.

It said that as a result, the citizens were no longer able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities.

“This is leading to a threat to food supply and general security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.

“Development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the south.

“Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the south (including cattle movement to the south by foot),” it stated.

The body of governors recommended that the federal government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

It also called for the review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance the country’s commitment to the practice of true federalism.

The forum stressed the need for the review of appointments into federal government agencies, including security agencies, to reflect federal character.

The governors’ forum also expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi -Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it had exerted on the nation’s economy, being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf.

It therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.

The forum further expressed concern on the economic implications of another COVID-19 lockdown on the country.

It suggested greater coordination and cooperation between the federal and state governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 13 governors and two deputy governors were in attendance while two were absent.

In attendance were Govs. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Willi Obiano of Anambra, Douye Diri of Beyelsa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and David Umehi of Ebonyi.

Others were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers.

Hope Uzodimma of Imo and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom were represented by their deputies, Prof. Placcid Njoku and Mr Moses Ekpo respectively.

Govs. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun and Ben Ayade of Cross River were absent.

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Security

Channels Interview: We Didn’t Declare Commodore Olawunmi Wanted- DHQ

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Islamization Interview: Commodore Kunle Olawunmi is Not Declared Wanted – DIA, DHQ React

A senior intelligence officer with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said that retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was never declared wanted for an interview he granted on alleged Islamization and Boko Haram sponsors in government.

The spokesperson of the Defence headquarters also said that Olawunmi was only invited to shed more light on information he provided on Channel television on tackling terrorism.

The senior DIA officer who pleaded anonymity told PRNigeria that since the television interview, some senior retired and serving military officers have raised concern over the comment of Olawunmi.

“The DIA had no intention was so ever to invite him until when other retired senior and serving officers, especially of the intelligence corps advised that he could assist the security service with vital information for counter-terrorism.

“The invitation was not even formal. It was a phone call by an officer that he knows. We have no reason whatsoever to declare him wanted when he knows how the system operates.”

Speaking with PRNigeria in the same vein, the Director Defence Information (DDI), Major General Benjamin Sawyerr confirmed that the informal invitation was harmless.

Sawyerr said: “As a result of the information coming from intelligence circle, an officer in DIA invited retired Commodore Olawunmi to come over so that he can help with information that can assist in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. The DIA officer asked him to come on Tuesday so that he can even meet with the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Major General Samuel Adebayo. That was all.

“There was no letter or any formal invitation. It was an informal phone call. He just switched off his phone and started calling some media houses that he had been declared wanted.

“You are aware that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has been going on tours of geopolitical zones to meet with retired military officers to come up with information and ideas on how to tackle the myriad of security challenges in the country

“While we can not blame Commodore Olawunmi for not attending the South-west zone of the interactive sessions with the retired officer, he went on air in the public domain through a television channel with what he himself portrayed as sensitive classified information.

“If the military wanted to arrest somebody, it is the military police that do that. They wont even send any signal before one could be picked up…. He could have been arrested the day or days after he made the broadcast since the system have what it takes to arrest anyone on its radar. He was not declared wanted and there isn’t any reason for his arrest as it is now,” General Swayer concluded.

Many Nigerians have expressed worries and concerns over comments and outbursts of Commodore Olakunle Olawunmi Rtd) on Channels TV.

Olawunmi who described himself as Professor of Global Security Studies in the interview monitored by PRNigeria said that he was among the people that helped bring Buhari to power.

“I was among the people that brought Buhari to government because I believed in him… I worked with him after we bring him to power in 2015. We have a lot of hope in him and we were ready to do anything for him… What he has turned out to over the years is shocking”

In the interview, Olawunmi said that some Governors, ministers and Senators are sponsors of Boko Haram and added that Bureau De Change operators are also sponsors of Boko Haram which is also known to the government.

He insisted that the government is encouraging Islamization when he said that every Friday NDA and all government institutions opened their premises for Jumat prayers. He said Muslims come on Friday for worship in military formations and later they become members of the mess who would later spy on the institution and plan their attacks.

He added that most of the sponsors of terrorism are known within the intelligence community and that the DHQ, DMI, DSS and Police intelligence knows the sponsors very well.

He said Buhari’s administration wants the government to be Islamised as the end game is to turn Nigeria into a Taliban type of country.

He said: “We are currently in the worst security situation in Nigeria today. CIA actually didn’t trust Buhari before 2015. It took the intelligence community and Tinubu to convince Obama and CIA to accept him. They said he was a bigot and will plunge the country.”

He also claimed that the government directed that all media houses should be calling criminal gunmen Bandits and unknown gunmen so that the international community would be misled that they are not terrorists. Tagging them Terrorists will invite the international community.

He added that the government don’t want journalists to report the true picture of what is happening in the country.

By PRNigeria

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Education

88 days after, kidnapped Tegina Islamiya Pupils finally released

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Over 70 pupils of Islamiyya school in Tegina town who were kidnapped by armed bandits in Niger State have been released by their abductors.

The pupils, PRNigeria reported, were abducted from their school premises in June.

A security source told PRNigeria that the students are on their way to Minna en route Kagara from Birnin Gwari.

The Islamiya pupils were held for 88 days and 11 hours according to the timeline of the days and time they have spent in the bandits’ captivity.

PRNigeria has been publishing counts-up since the abductions of some pupils and students in Northern Nigeria. The Abducted students of Yauri Federal Government College (FGC) have been in captivity for 70 days while the remaining abducted students of a Baptist School in Kaduna will be spending their 52nd days in captivity.

▪︎ By PRNigeria

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Security

Two officers killed as bandits attack NDA in Kaduna

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Two officers killed as bandits attack NDA in Kaduna

Bandits have attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna.

The bandits were said to have broken into the academy around 1 am on Tuesday.

Military sources who spoke with TheCable said two officers were killed and while two others were abducted in the attack.

”On 24 August 21, at about 0125hrs, bandits in their large numbers attacked NDA Afaka and kidnapped 1 Offr; Maj Datong while Lt Cdr Wulah and Flt Lt CM Okoronwo were shot dead. 2Lt Onah sustained gun shot injury and currently receiving treatment at own hospital in NDA,” a source said.

Another source said: “They came in, silently, through the part of the academy where we have barbed wire and not properly fenced. Unfortunately, there were no soldiers on guard duty at that end. So, the bandits sneaked in, through to where the officers were and got three of them.

“It was when they shot one of the officers that everybody woke up, and before we knew it they had made their way outside and fled.”

“The attack is a big slap on our face. How could we have allowed that? They already knew there was no guard on duty and came in through that axis.”

TheCable understands that the academy authorities will subject some soldiers to court martial for failing to secure the area.

Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking his comment on the incident.

In the recent months, communities in Kaduna and other parts of the north-west have been attacked by bandits.

The bandits had also attacked some schools in the region, and abducted many students.

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