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IGP orders immediate dismantling of all unauthorized checkpoints on highways

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• A police checkpoint in Nigeria
Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun has ordered the Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and FCT to immediately commence the dismantling of all non-security checkpoints within their areas of responsibilities, and arrest all violators for prompt prosecution

“We are aware of the challenge posed by the continued presence of unauthorized persons on the various highways around the country in the guise of revenue collection who constantly constitute nuisance on the highways by obstructing the flow of traffic, and engaging in mischievous activities such as the seizure of vehicles, collection of fines and other unlawful activities”, the IGP said.

This is just as the IGP gave a three week ultimatum to Commissioners of Police yet to establish the Complaints Response Units (CRU), in their command headquarters, to do so with a view to combating corruption

Speaking on Thursday during a strategic meeting with DIGs, AIGs and Command CPs, Egbetokun assured that the Police would provide adequate security for the governorship elections coming up in three states of the federation hence there is no need by citizens to worry.

He said, “With just three States having their gubernatorial election, the Police is not burdensome because there are proper and adequate personnel on ground for the election.

‘Just as we have seen in other isolated elections, we have availability of more men in number than the one of the general elections. I have no fear about how safe and secure of the election which is going to take place on November 11 2023.

“Its very convenient for us to deploy. Nobody should entertain fear about the security of the November election. We have prepared. We are ready and very soon, we will start deployment.

“We deliberately decided to take this year’s Police Conference and Retreat to one of the States where we are having the election. The conference and retreat is coming just less than two weeks to the election.

“So, it is deliberate and not by accident that we chose the venue and date. It is also to show to the public that we are ready for the election. So, there is no fear for the coming election,” he said.

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He however called on the electorate and politicians to play by the rules of election, and shun any form of violence.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu Police move to rid Holy Ghost Area of criminal elements

The annual Police Strategic Managers Conference and Retreat for the year 2023 will come up between 29th October and 2nd November, 2023 in Owerri, Imo State.

“This conference and retreat serve as a paramount platform for knowledge exchange, strategic planning, and the strengthening of our collective resolve to enhance policing in our nation”, he said.

Continuing the IGP said, “To bolster accountability and transparency within the Force, we have taken steps such as reinforcing the IGP Monitoring Unit and the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) based at the Force Headquarters, and efforts are ongoing to establish CRU offices in all states.

“Directive has earlier been given to all State Commissioners of Police to establish CRU offices in their respective State Command Headquarters, as part of our commitment to combatting corruption and improve professionalism in the Nigeria Police Force.

“Those Command Commissioners of Police who are yet to comply are hereby given a deadline of three (3) weeks from today to do so,” he added.

On Welfare and infrastructure, Egbetokun said, “This present police administration very well understands the importance of welfare to bolster efficiency of police officers. Hence, we have commenced the review of the policy and contract agreements on renovating, remodeling and reconstructing existing police barracks and office accommodation infrastructures around the country.

“To this end, the board of the Nigeria Police Force Properties Development and Construction Company, recently appointed one of the best hands in property development in Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, as the Executive Consultant to drive a special housing agenda for the Police.

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“I have no doubt that the Consultant will bring his expertise and experience to bare in making our dream of house for all Police Officers and Men in Nigeria a reality.

“In alignment with the firm commitment of the current Police administration, under my leadership, to foster a culture of improved behavioral and attitudinal change within the Nigeria Police Force, I am pleased to announce that I have given full approval for the commencement of an extensive nationwide reorientation program for all our Officers and Men to be anchored by the Department of Training and Development.

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“This initiative aims at catalyzing a transformative journey, emphasizing essential facets such as cultivating emotional intelligence, ethics and professional conduct, refining effective communication skills, and instilling positive values across the ranks of our esteemed Force.

“The foundation of any effective Police Force lies in the character and conduct of its officers. As such, this comprehensive reorientation program represents a pivotal step towards not only enhancing the professional competence of our personnel but also nurturing a new ethos grounded in integrity, respect, and service to our communities.

“It is our firm belief that by focusing on these fundamental aspects, we can foster a more compassionate, efficient, and responsive Police Force that serves as a true beacon of hope and safety for all citizens across our great nation,:” he emphasised.

Speaking on certain developments in some states, he said, “In light of recent distressing events, we must not forget the abductions of eight (8) National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Zamfara state. The safety and well-being of all our citizens, particularly our young NYSC members, remain of utmost importance to us.

“We are firm in our commitment to intensify our efforts at ensuring the safe rescue of these abducted Corp members and all others still in captivity of criminal gangs in any part of the country.

“Currently, we are actively engaged in the sharing and analysing intelligence gathered thus far, while also exploring collaborative efforts with security agencies to secure the unconditional release of these individuals as swiftly as possible without harm.

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“It is imperative to note that rescue operations generally demand a careful, tactical and deliberate approach, conducted with the utmost caution to avoid unintended harm to the victims,” he stated.

On beheaded DPO, Egbetokun said, “The tragic killing of a Divisional Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim, in Rivers State is another event which serve as a stark reminder of the multi-dimensional challenges we face in maintaining security and order across our nation.

“We have mobilized efforts to ensure the perpetrators of the mindless killing of SP Bako Angbashim are brought to swift justice while we sound a note of serious warning to those who have penchant for killing our officers to desist.

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“The slain officer was known for his courageous exploits against vicious criminal elements terrorizing the communities where he served. His gruesome murder and subsequent mutilation of his body is unacceptable to us.

“The perpetrators of this heinous crime have murdered sleep and they obviously will sleep no more.

“They will be hunted down with all resources at our disposal. Never again shall we be ordinary in our response to the killing of our Officers. These murderers will pay dearly for their callous acts.

“In Kano, we recorded the evacuation of large quantities of fake and expired drugs on 22nd August, 2023, discovered in two different warehouses located at Mallam Kato Market. Those who engage in the illicit business of trading in expired and substandard drugs are as callous as those who kill innocent citizens in our country.

“We will from now on, intensify our collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in ensuring that these group of criminals are no longer given space to operate in our communities.

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“Similarly in Lagos State Police Command, proactive intelligence-based operations have significantly contributed to maintaining law and order in the state.

“This has led to the arrest of 66 suspects engaged in varying crimes including armed robbery, unlawful possession of arms, impersonation, cultism, murder and the recovery of 14 firearms including two AK47 rifles, one of them locally fabricated; 2 locally fabricated toy guns; 15 live cartridges; 4 expended cartridges; 25 live ammunition; 34 bags of weed suspected to be Indian hemp; 6 vehicles; 2 bags containing fake US Dollars, fake Pound Sterling note; and 66 kegs of fake Total engine oil.

“FCT Police Command in the past five (5) weeks have recorded the arrest of 948 suspects for various violent crimes, and the recovery of various sophisticated arms and ammunition of different calibres, as well as stolen vehicles. 903 of the arrested suspects were charged to court where 876 were convicted.

“This demonstrates the dedication and effectiveness of the Nigeria Police across various states in Nigeria in responding to criminal activities and ensuring the safety and security of the public,” he reiterated. (Vanguard)

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North Central Development Commission establishment bill passes 2nd reading in Senate

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JUST IN: Nigerian senators donate one month salaries to survivors of Kaduna bombing
The Nigerian senate

The bill seeking the establishment of North Central Development Commission (NCDC), being sponsored by the Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District and Senate Minority Leader, Comrade Abba Moro and co-sponsored by all the senators from North Central, on Wednesday, passed Second Reading on the floor of the senate.

The bill, which passed First Reading on the 5th of October, 2023, was first sponsored in the 9th Senate by Senator Moro where it passed First and Second Readings but could not get presidential assent before the expiration of the 9th Senate.

In his lead debate, the Senate Minority Leader said the Commission, when established would be saddled with the responsibility of receiving and managing funds from the federal government and donors for the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of flood and farmers/herders clashes, communal clashes, construction of large format drainage systems, dredging of rivers Niger and Benue to control flood and incidental matters, as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy and other related environmental or developmental challenges facing the North Central Nigeria.

The Lead debate reads;

“Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues.

“May I humbly seek your leave to lead the debate on this very important Bill.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, the North Central Zone of Nigeria, in no particular order, comprises the following geopolitical States of the Federation; Kogi, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Over the past years, Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, the North Central Zone of Nigeria has been devastated and left in bollix by the noxious antics of terrorists, incidents of flood and erosion, insurgency, kidnapping, herder/farmer clashes, poverty, high rate of illiteracy, to mention but a few.

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“The Zone is blessed with several mineral resources that can boost the economy of Nigeria if properly harnessed. However, because of the breeding aforementioned, the North Central Zone is handicapped and cannot do much in this regard.

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“May I mention here, Mr. President, that the North Central Zone of Nigeria hosts two of West Africa’s great rivers;(a) The River Niger and (b) The River Benue, which flows into Nigeria from The Republic of Cameroon. The two rivers meet in North central Nigeria and flow as one river on to the Atlantic Ocean. However, the presence of these two rivers has made flood a perennial challenge in the region with increasing intensity every year, leaving not just the North Central Zone but the entire Country with great losses and trauma.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, according to statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, In 2012 and very recently, devastating flooding forced two million Nigerians from their homes and over 363 people died in Plateau, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states.

“Between 2016 and 2023, more than 92,000 people were displaced and over 578 died from incidents of flood in Benue, Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa States, and other parts of Nigeria.

“Annually, Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmlands are damaged in the North Central Zone of Nigeria where the people are largely agrarian as a result of flood, and this happens, Mr. President, whenever there is a heavy precipitation upstream on the Benue and Niger Rivers. On the Benue River, the main problem is Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, which usually causes the river to swell when water is released. Flood has caused a lot of damage to the North Central Zone. In Agatu, Benue state, farmers continue to lose their crops and farmland to flood and erosion. This is applicable to states like Niger, Nasarawa and Plateau, which have suffered loses and trauma because of flood and erosion.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, it is no longer news that over the years, herder/farmer clashes in North Central Nigeria, especially in Benue State, have continuously made headlines. Consequently, infrastructure ranging from places of worship, roads, hospitals, schools, houses, recreational centres, etc, have been left tattered, shattered and pierced by bullets. Women, children, pregnant women and in fact the entire population is a victim of the atrocities perpetrated by suspected herders and bandits in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. Even animals and the environment are not spared the chaos and conundrum imparted on the Zone by the perpetrators of these unwholesome acts.

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“Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, between February 24, 2016 and January 2024, rural dwellers in 45 villages of Agatu LGA were awakened by sound of gunshots and flicks of matchets as suspected militias swept into the area unleashing an orgy of violence. The unfortunate incident left, in its wake, more than 800 persons dead, among which were children and women, with more than 59,000 persons displaced from their ancestral homes. The displaced communities have been scattered with many seeking refuge in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps scattered across Benue and Nasarawa states.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, this Bill seeks, therefore, to; establish the North Central Development Commission (NCDC) saddled with the responsibility of receiving and managing funds allocated by the Federal Government and Donors (International and Local Donors) for the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of roads, houses, farmlands and business premises affected by flood, erosion and farmer/herder clashes, terrorist activities, construction of large format drainage systems, dredging of rivers Benue and Niger to control flood, erosion and other incidental matters, as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy and other related environmental and developmental challenges in the North Central Nigeria.

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“Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, we all know the bond and attachment a man has with his ancestral home, and the psychological effects of being displaced from same. The funds allocated by the Federal Government and Donors (Local and International) will be used to rehabilitate displaced persons, and to indeminify them to their former economic status.

“Recent advocacy has centered on the need to make Nigeria’s geopolitical zones centers of development, as intervening centers of development between the states and the Federal government. It is our hope that the aggregate of developments via the instrument of Zonal Development commissions will make Nigeria stronger and greater again. Mr President, unbundling the federal government now has become an imperative need given the development inertia of most states and the near emasculation of local government councils in Nigeria.

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“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, may I mention that this Bill was actually initiated by my humble self in the 9th Senate , passed all necessary legislative processes and got a resounding support from every quarter of the nation. However, the Bill was unable to get to the presidency for further necessary action before the end of the 9th Senate.

“Today, Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, in the 10th Senate this Bill is co-sponsored by all senators from North Central Zone across party lines.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, I humbly urge you all to support this Bill for the Establishment of the North Central Development Commission (NCDC) and pass it appropriately for a second reading for equity, fairness and the development of our country.

“Thank you all for your kind audience.”

In his remarks,the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio thanked Sen Abba Moro and all the co-sponsors of the bill for sponsoring the all-important bill. He said development in any part of the country was development for all Nigerians.

He agreed with the sponsors of the bill that North Central deserved a development commission to address the myriads of challenges confronting the region.

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The bill was refered to the committee on Special Duties to report back to the Senate within four weeks.

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Cement price hike: FG threatens to open borders

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Cement price hike: FG threatens to open borders

The Federal Government says it might open the borders for cement importation, if manufacturers of the product fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses.

“We are not the only country facing this challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

The minister added: “Honestly speaking, we have to sit down and look at this critically and know how you should go back and think of it.

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“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper.

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do”.

Dangiwa said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

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He expressed his displeasure at the position of Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfer with the pricing of cement”.

He said the association should not just fold its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Salako James , Executive Secretary, CEMAN, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

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He, however, identified some areas of concerns and appealed to the government to look into them in order to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollar.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing tha there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

NAN reports that at the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

NAN also reports that the three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu Police move to rid Holy Ghost Area of criminal elements

NAN

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Goods worth millions lost  as fire razes shops in Anambra

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Goods worth millions lost  as fire razes shops in Anambra

Goods worth millions were destroyed when an early morning fire razed four shops in Anambra market.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning at Nkwo Market, Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The inferno, which occurred around 1.20am, was reportedly caused by power surge.

Two days ago, Anambra Commissioner for Spécial Duties, Hon Beverly Ikpeazu -Nkemdiche, had raised the alarm over incessant fire outbreaks in the State in récent time.

She lamented that 24 of such incidents occurred within one month, advising the public to take proactive measures on how to prevent them

Nkemdiche said nine of such incidents happened in January, while eight took place in February already.

According to eyewitnesses, goods worth millions, including household items and plastic materials were destroyed by the fire.

State Fire Chief, Dr. Martin Agbili, who confirmed the incident, said no life was lost in the inferno,

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He said his men who arrived the scene shortly after they were alerted controlled the fire from spreading the entire market.

According to Agbili: “At about 0120hrs (1.20am) of Wednesday 21-02-2024, Anambra State Fire Service, received a distress call of fire outbreak at Nkwo Market, Umunze.

“Immediately, we deployed our fire truck and gallant firefighters to the fire scene. We fought, controlled and extinguished with the assistance of some traders and the public who came out at that incident time.

“The cause of the fire was unknown but suspected power surge. There was no casualty or lost of life during the fire incident but about four (4) shops were affected, mainly provision shops, plastic shop and attachments shop.

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“Always remember to switch off your electrical and electronics appliances when they are not in use to avoid power surge.”

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