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Kidnapping: Buhari Orders Increased Surveillance, Patrol On Abuja-Kaduna Road

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has ordered security agencies to intensify surveillance and patrol activities along the Abuja-Kaduna Road.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Thursday after the National Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Aregebesola also disclosed that the regime is impressed by the recently concluded governorship elections in Anambra State which saw the emergence of the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Charles Soludo as governor-elect.

According to him, “The police and other security agencies had been mobilised to intensify surveillance, patrol and pursuit of criminals. And it’s not only about Abuja-Kaduna.

“Yes, Abuja-Kaduna belt was discussed specifically, but we appreciate the fact that we are in the season of festivity. So, all agencies are committed to providing security for Nigeria and the maintenance of law and order.

“They have been ordered to improve their activities, intensify surveillance and minimise, if not eliminate, any threat to law and order anywhere in Nigeria.”

The minister said the Police is the lead agency on internal security. Therefore, maintenance of Law and Order will start with the police and then extend to all the other security agencies.

Speaking further, Aregbesola said that specific orders have been given to all security agencies. He said Nigerians should expect to see an improved response to all those challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria in whatever form.

“The council today took a firm decision on what to be done and I can assure Nigerians that with the charge from the President and the commander in chief of the Armed Forces today, there will be an improved response to all forms of criminality in any part of Nigeria,

“The armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies, intelligence organisations, must not rest on their oars, as we are making progress in our effort to eliminate insurgency, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and all the other criminalities because Nigerians deserve to live in peace,” he affirmed

Giving details about the issues discussed at the meeting, the Minister said that Buhari, while commending the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies for ensuring a safe governorship election in Anambra, charged them not to rest on their oars as the country is still being ravaged by criminal and terrorist activities.

“The President received briefs from Service Chiefs and from the security agencies and intelligence organisations on the state of security nationwide.

“While appreciating the successes and gains made by all the security agencies from the armed forces of Nigeria to the police and other intelligence organisations, as well as other security agencies, he believes that more must still and should still be done.

“But he commended all of them for the progress we are recording on all fronts. The President was particularly happy with the fact that a free and fair election was made possible by the INEC and our security agencies.

“The President was particularly happy about the free and fair governorship election in Anambra. And he was quite happy that the combination of INEC and the security agencies, from the military to the police and all the other agencies made that possible with the support of the people of Anambra and the government of Anambra. And we all saw the outcome,” he said.

He said with the successes recorded, there is no doubt as to the regime’s commitment to promoting democracy and ensuring that 2023 is not threatened.

Speaking further, the minister said that the council was briefed about the election of a Nigerian, AIG Garba Umaru, who emerged out of four other candidates, as the vice president of Interpol for Africa.

He said “this means that a Nigerian today represents the 54 African nations at the Interpol level.

“The election took place today, a couple of hours ago. And he emerged as the vice president of Interpol in Africa. That too was discussed, appreciated and applauded.”

Before the commencement of the meeting, the President decorated his Aide-De-Camp, Lt Col Yusuf Dodo, with his new rank of Colonel.

In attendance were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.) and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.

Also at the meeting were the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and wife of the ADC, Dr Hindatu Bashir.

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BREAKING: FG Proposes Extension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal By 18 Months, Seeks To Amend PIA

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BREAKING: NNPC Increases Petrol Price, To Sell For N170/Litre

The Federal Government is proposing to extend the period for the implementation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by 18 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.

He disclosed that the government has concluded plans to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.

“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was therefore expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.

“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.

“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.”

Sylva, who chairs the PIA Implementation Committee, stressed that the decision of the executive arm of government to seek an amendment of the law was not politically motivated.

Rather, he explained that such a move has become necessary to halt the potential suffering of the vulnerable in the society.

The minister believes other measures such as the Dangote refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery, and other modular refineries will have significantly come on stream by the end of the year.

According to him, the new PIA provides for unrestricted market pricing for PMS from the effective date.

Sylva, however, stated that the PIA also envisaged the potential for supply disruption with its resultant effect on the economy.

“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.

“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari, he stated, has assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

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Former Lagos SSG Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya Dies At 74

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Former Secretary to the Lagos State Government Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya has died after a brief illness.

It was learnt that Adeniran-Ogunsanya, who served as SSG under former Governor Babatunde Fashola, died on Tuesday.

She was reportedly in a comma for a few days at the Lagos State University (LASUTH) before her death.

The Ikorodu-born grassroots politician and daughter of chairman of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPN) in the Second Republic Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya was apex leader of the Lagos4Lagos movement which recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Her illness prevented her from attending the group’s official defection ceremony at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday, January 22.

Details later…

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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Amends Charge Against Fani-Kayode

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering.

Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6 billion money laundering against the defendants before the former trial judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the counts and were granted bail.

Hearing of the case had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence before the trial judge was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.

The case was subsequently assigned to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants had to start the case from the beginning (de novo).

At Monday’s proceedings, the amended 17-count charge was read over to the defendants and they each pleaded not guilty.

After the plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), however, asked the court to allow the defendants to continue on the existing bail conditions granted by the former trial judge.

In a short ruling, the court allowed the defendants to continue on their existing bail conditions. He adjourned the case to March 11, for trial.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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