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Military buries 17 personnel killed in Delta

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Military buries 17 personnel killed in Delta
Burial of the 17 soldiers killed in Delta
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The military on Wednesday, March 27, buried the seventeen army personnel who were killed in Delta State on March 14.
The personnel, made up of one Lt. Colonel, two majors, one Captain, and 13 soldiers, were laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery Abuja, at about 5:45 pm, amidst tears.

The army personnel were ambushed and murdered by youths on Thursday, March 14, while on a peace mission, after a reported case of communal clash between Okuama and Okoloba Communities in Ughelli South and Bomadi local government areas of Delta State.

The personnel buried at the National Military Cemetery are Lt. Col. A.H Ali, Maj Safa, Maj D.E Obi, and Cap U. Zakari.

The soldiers are Staff Sergeant Yahaya Saidu, Corporal Yahaya Danbaba, Corporal Kabir Bashir, Lance Corporals Bulus Haruna, Sole Opeyemi, Bello Anas, Haman Peter, and Ibrahim Abdullahi.

The rest are Privates Alhaji Isah, Clement Francis, Abubakar Ali, Ibrahim Adamu and Adamu Ibrahim.

President Bola Tinubu who was the Special Guest of Honour arrived at the venue of burial at about 4:08pm.

Other personalities at the National Cemetery for the burial are Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, Kano State Governor, Yusuf Abba Gida, Bayelsa State Governor, Kaduna State Governor, Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo, Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, Imo State Governor, Hope Ozodinma, Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibril, and Speaker of House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass.

Others are the Minister of Defence, Mohammad Badaru, and Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, Secretary to the Government Federation, Goodwill Akpabio, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

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In his remarks, President Tinubu described the diseased personnel as noblemen who gave their lives for the peace of the nation.

He said: “On behalf of a grateful nation, we honour the sacrifice of Ali and the other gallant patriots who died that day. They will forever be remembered as heroes who answered the call of duty and paid the ultimate price.”

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He assured that the military would go after those who committed the dastardly act and brought them to justice.

Tinubu said: “I want to make it clear, once more, that those who committed this heinous crime will not go unpunished. We will find them and our departed heroes will get justice.

“The elders and chiefs of Okuoma also have a duty to help the military in fishing out the gunmen who committed the barbaric crime against our men.”

The president commended the Armed Forces for their restraint in choosing not to carry out any reprisal attacks in Okuoma or its neighbouring communities.

He said: “We must all ensure that the innocent people of Okuoma are not made to bear the punishment of the guilty and wicked among them.

“To the entire armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have a message for you: Do not let the death of your compatriots discourage you. There is no higher honour than the vocation you have chosen to pursue. We cherish you. We cherish your labour of love. We salute your daily sacrifice in protecting your fellow citizens from danger. We acknowledge your sacrifices to defend our nation.”

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He said within the continent and the West African sub-region and across the world, the Nigerian Military has remained a force for good, embodying a great example and keeping our democracy safe. He said: “It is now our duty to protect the families of our departed heroes.

The federal government will provide a house in any part of our country to each of the families of the four officers and 13 soldiers.

“The Federal Government has also approved scholarships to all the children of the deceased up to the University level.”

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The president charged the Military to, within the next ninety days, ensure that all the benefits of the departed are paid to their families.

“Each man now belongs to the hallowed list of servicemen and women who defended our country and protected their fellow Nigerians not minding the risk to their own lives,” he said.

While commiserating with the families of our fallen heroes and the entire Armed Forces, President Tinubu announced posthumous national honours to the deceased army personnel.

He said: “The four gallant Officers have been accorded the Award of Member of the Order of Niger (MON). The thirteen courageous soldiers who also lost their lives have been awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic Medal.”

The president said while the nation continues to grieve for the courageous men we lost that day, we must be reminded of the unfinished business of working for peace and harmony in our communities.

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He said: “We must begin to rebuild our communities and make them into places where love, tolerance and harmony will reign.

“Leaders at all levels especially community leaders and traditional rulers must work to strengthen the bonds that unite us. We must end the cycle of violence and bloodletting.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said it the toughest job for him to send men in harm’s way, despite providing the best equipment, knowing that some of them would not come back.

He said: “Ours is a profession that deals with matters of life and death. When soldiers die in the hands of the enemies of the State, we take it as dying for what the nation has considered a just cause; we celebrate them as gallant heroes.

“But when they are gruesomely murdered by the very people they are trained, equipped, and took an oath to protect, it is highly demoralizing.

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“Your Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen, it is no longer news that 17 of the Nigerian Army’s finest men, whom we have come to burry, were murdered in a reprehensible manner on 14 March 2024 in the Okuama community of Delta State while they went on a legitimate peace-making mission.

“It grieves my heart that it took our search and recovery effort over 72 hours to recover some vital organs of the decapitated and disemboweled bodies of my men that were scattered all over the Okuama community by the community youths and their friends.

“I consider it the most barbaric act any citizen or community can commit against the authority of the state, and I must place on record that a lot of restraints have been exercised so far in our search and recovery efforts for missing arms, ammunition, other equipment, and body parts.”

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The COAS said the Okuama killing had added to the care of the Nigerian Army and, by extension, the Nigeria state 10 windows (three of whom are four, five, and eight months pregnant), 21 orphans, and many other dependents which include parents.

While commiserating with the families of these gallant soldiers, the army chief assured that the Nigerian Army would not leave them in the cold.

“We shall do all within our power to provide succour to them and preserve the memories of their departed loved ones,” he said.

In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, said the fallen heroes exemplified the highest bravery and service to our dear nation.

He said the sacrifices of the fallen heroes would not go in vain.

“We owe it to the fallen heroes to build a nation where everybody can strive to become what he/she wants to become.”

He said the military would bring the perpetrators to justice. Adding that “whoever is supporting them directly or indirectly would face the music.

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Peter Obi should be held responsible for anarchy arising from August 1 hunger protest – Presidency

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Bayo Onanuga
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Bayo Onanuga, a senior to President Bola Tinubu, has alleged that supporters Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, are planning mayhem in Nigeria.

Onanuga claimed that the proposed nationwide protests were being planned by Obi’s supporters, whom he described as failed presidential candidate.

According to him, Obi should be held responsible for whatever crisis that would emanate from the action.

In a post on his X handle on Saturday, Onanuga said the proposed protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by the incarcerated IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020.

He wrote: “REVEALED: Peter Obi’s supporters are the people planning mayhem in Nigeria: Obi should be held responsible for anarchy

“Don’t be fooled: the malcontents planning to stage nationwide protests are supporters of Peter Obi, the failed presidential candidate of the Labour Party. And he should be held responsible for whatever crisis emanates from the action.

“The protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020. ENDSARS began as a genuine protest by youths against the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, notorious for its high-handedness. IPOB members planning to extricate the South East region from Nigeria infiltrated the protest and hijacked it for their own agenda. Lagos still bears the scar of the malicious destruction by IPOB elements until today.

“Two years after ENDSARS, the IPOB and the gullible innocents joined the Labour Party in 2022 to support Peter Obi, a sympathiser of their cause.

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They are the people spreading the hashtags ‘EndBadGovernance’, ‘Tinubu Must Go,’ and ‘Revolution2024’. They are not democrats but anarchists. They are attempting to call out our people via propaganda because their Messiah, Peter Obi, failed to win the Presidency in the 2023 election. As bad losers, they don’t have the patience to wait for another election in 2027; they would rather destabilise Nigeria by staging a civilian coup against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Two brothers drown in FCT River

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Two brothers drown in FCT River
•The river behind the village
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Two brothers, Joshua and Samson, have drowned in a river in Robukya community in Kwali Ward in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

A relation of the deceased, Musa Abednego, who confirmed the incident to our reporter on Thursday, said it happened on Tuesday around 9am while they were crossing the river.

He said the brothers, Joshua and Samson, were between the ages of nine and 12 and that they were on their way to the farm when the incident happened.

He explained that the victims got drowned following a heavy rainfall which made the river to overflow.

He said, “Their father asked them to hold on after the rain subsided. Unfortunately, they left home to the farm without him knowing.”

Abednego said their corpses were recovered on Wednesday around 4pm through the help of some fishermen, adding they had been buried.

The spokeswoman of the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, was yet to speak on the incident.                                              Daily Trust

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market
Central Bank of Nigeria
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started selling foreign exchange on a regular basis through Authorised Dealer Banks and licensed Bureaux De Change (BDCs) as a response to the current fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.

These fluctuations are primarily caused by the demand pressure coming from corporate entities and the seasonal increase typical during the summer period.

By implementing regular sales of foreign exchange, the CBN aims to stabilise the market and ensure smoother transactions for both businesses and individuals involved in foreign exchange activities.

Director, Financial Markets Department of the CBN Dr Omolara Omotunde Duke in a statement on Friday night assured the public of the bank’s commitment to address the demand pressure and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

Highlighting recent transactions, the CBN disclosed that it sold a total sum of US$106,500,000.00 to 29 authorized dealer banks on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, 2024.

These transactions took place within an exchange rate range of N1,498.00/US$1 to N1,530.00/US$1. Additionally, the CBN purchased US$9,500,000 (Nine Million and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from four authorized dealer banks at rates between N1,510.00/US$1 and N1,550.00/US$1. All these transactions are marked for settlement on July 19, 2024.

The Central Bank also stated its commitment to closely monitor compliance with existing trading rules and regulations by authorized dealer banks. This is seen as an effort to promote ethical conduct and ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.

The general public was also advised to direct their foreign exchange demands to their respective banks and BDC operators, adhering to prevailing market regulations.

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With the regular sale of foreign exchange and ongoing monitoring of trading practices, the CBN aims to meet demand pressure, foster stability, and sustain a well-functioning foreign exchange market.

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