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Troops neutralise 14 bandits, recover 422 animals in Kaduna

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NAN

Troops under the Operation Whirl Punch have neutralised 14 bandits and recovered 422 cows and sheep between October and November, the acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig.-Gen. John Agim, said on Monday in Kaduna

Agim told a news conference on Operation 777 update, launched by the Defence Headquarters on Oct. 8 to restructure and strengthen ongoing military operations nationwide.

According to him, operation Whirl Punch being conducted by troops of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army is part of Operation 777.

He said that “prior to the launch of Operation 777, terrorists and criminals devised different means of evading ongoing operations in different theatres.

“So far, however, troops have neutralised 14 notorious bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers.

“Likewise, several sophisticated arms, ammunition and large herds of cattle have been recovered from the bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers.

“The troops also recovered over 331 cows from rustlers in Birnin Gwari area and 132 cows in Birnin Yero areas of Kaduna State.

READ ALSO: Flood: NEMA distributes relief materials to IDPs in Niger

“A total of 49 cows and 42 sheep were also recovered on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway: all recovered animals were handed over to their owners after screening.”

The spokesman further disclosed that 31 persons (18 children and 13 adults) were rescued from kidnappers within the area of operation.

He said “during the period, five bandits and two informants were also arrested and they were currently assisting security agencies in ongoing investigation.

“Unfortunately, two soldiers were wounded and currently receiving treatment at military hospital in Kaduna.”

Agim added that two civilian vigilance group members assisting troops in the operation were killed in action by bandits’ fire.

He said 18 AK47 rifles, two pistols, three mobile phones, one motorola, large cache of ammunition and 32 motorcycles were recovered from suspects.

He added that Operation Whirl Punch being conducted by the 1 Division was to provide security and restore normalcy on Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Birnin Gwari and its environs, as well as Niger.

He explained that those areas were once devastated by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers.

The DDI said in preparation for the conduct of the operation, additional platforms, establishment of new military/police formations/units and injection of more troops were carried out by the defence headquarters to ensure the success of the operation.

“There is Nigerian Army Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Birnin Gwari, which will soon metamorphose into 98 Battalion in line with 2016 Nigeria Army Order Of Battle.’’

According to Agim, the general areas where our troops operate are characterised by thick forests such as the Kamuku, Kuduru, Birnin Gwari and Alawa forests.

The areas, he said also had several high grounds, which bandits and kidnappers use as staging areas and camps to perpetrate their heinous acts.

He, however, said that to surmount those terrain challenges, the defence headquarters had devised ingenious ways of deploying troops and conducting operations.

“Through these special operations, relative peace has been restored and hence, the troops dominate the operating environment, thereby creating safe and conducive atmosphere for socio-economic activities to thrive.

READ ALSO: Court rejects EFCC’s request to transfer Shekarau’s case to Abuja

“It is evident that, now the local traders, motorists, residents of villages/settlements in these general areas are conducting their businesses mostly unmolested.

“The returned of relative peace and security was made possible through joint operations and synergy of efforts by the security agencies and cooperative posture of the locals and vigilante groups.

Agim also spoke on the recent allegation of killing 74 cows belonging to Fulanis at Riyawa in Sabon Birni area.

“The Riyawa general area has been notorious as a den of bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers. Severally, troops had encounters with the bandits who use the difficult terrain and knowledge of the ground to escape.’’

He explained that on Nov 17, based on intelligence, troops conducted a raid on bandits’ camps in the area.

“The observed current practice of the bandits is to use their cows as shield to escape while firing at troops.

“This was the case on 17 November which was not a deliberate act by the troops to kill the cows.

He assured the law abiding citizens that the armed force and other security agencies would continue to ensure the protection of lives and properties of Nigerians.

The post Troops neutralise 14 bandits, recover 422 animals in Kaduna appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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