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Insecurity unsettles Abuja ahead Independence anniversary

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In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, there is growing concern and unease among the residents due to a significant rise in insecurity, particularly in the city center and its outskirts. This has been marked by frequent and random incidents of robbery and abduction involving both motorists and commuters.

This surge in insecurity has led to a decline in the city’s nightlife, which is occurring as the country prepares to celebrate its 63rd independence anniversary. Many FCT residents have expressed their alarm at the increasing rate of kidnapping and robbery within the city center. They have pointed out that the FCT seems to be suffering from a shortage of policing, with very little visible law enforcement presence.

It’s common for motorists to traverse lengthy roads, such as Ahmadu Bello Way, without encountering a police patrol. The primary agencies on rapid patrol are the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officers, but they are not equipped for security enforcement.

To illustrate the gravity of the situation, a journalist was recently abducted by criminals near the NNPC Towers, close to the Conoil petrol station, and taken to an undisclosed location where she was robbed of her belongings.

The security concerns have prompted the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to issue a memo to its staff, advising them about high-risk areas in the city, particularly during nighttime. The memo urges staff to use registered taxis and hail taxi cab services, avoid boarding vehicles on the road, and be cautious when assessing the safety of a taxi before boarding. It also advises against late evening or early morning trips and recommends taking safety measures such as winding up windows and locking doors while driving.

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Notable areas in the FCT where criminals are active include Area 1 – Berger, Area 1 – Area 10, Area 1-Lugbe, Apo Mechanic Village axis, Kubwa Express Way, Jabi axis, City Gate, Areas 1 under bridge, Area 2 Plaza Behind VIO Office area, and Zone 2.

Residents are deeply concerned about the increasing insecurity and have called for swift measures to protect them from these criminals. Some attribute this surge in criminal activity to the prevailing economic hardship in the country.

One resident suggested that security agencies and the FCT Administration need to take immediate action to address the problem. Another resident noted that the influx of jobless individuals from various parts of the country into the capital city has exacerbated the situation. They emphasized the need for robust vigilante services or neighborhood watch programs to complement the efforts of the police.

Efforts should also be made to regulate transport services and streamline them to minimize the threat of “one-chance” criminals. Additionally, there is a call for the revival of the abandoned Close Circuit Camera project in key locations.

Security experts have highlighted the challenges faced by the police, including inadequate manpower and outdated equipment. They stressed the importance of inter-agency collaboration and synergy among various security services.

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) expressed deep concern about the deteriorating security situation in the FCT, which has resulted in kidnappings, killings, and the disappearance of university students. They called on the authorities to take urgent action to safeguard the lives and well-being of residents.

HURIWA recommended various measures, including enhanced intelligence-driven operations, community engagement, increased visibility of law enforcement personnel, and improved coordination among security agencies. They also emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of criminality through social programs and urged political leaders to prioritize security.

The FCT Police Command has reassured residents to go about their lawful activities without fear, dismissing alarming warnings about insecurity as causing unnecessary panic and apprehension. They have emphasized their commitment to enhancing security in the region and urged residents to report suspicious activities through emergency lines.

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Super Falcons defender, Plumptre undergoes successful surgery

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Ashleigh Plumptre, a defender for the Super Falcons, underwent a successful surgery in Saudi Arabia. She sustained the injury while playing for Saudi club Al Ittihad last month, causing her to miss Nigeria’s 2024 Olympic Games qualifier against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana.

Plumptre took to social media to announce her surgery and express gratitude to her club, national team, and fans for their support. She thanked everyone at Al Ittihad and Dr. Pieter D’Hooge at Aspetar for assisting her through her first surgery. Plumptre also expressed appreciation to her Super Falcons teammates and Nigerian fans for their patience and understanding during her absence. She expressed eagerness to return to full health and rejoin her team. Additionally, she expressed gratitude to her club, Al Ittihad, for their support throughout her recovery process and reassured her fans that she would be back soon.

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Tension heightens in Anambra as gunmen murder over 15 residents in two weeks

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Awka, Anambra State capital, is again under the siege of gunmen, believed to be cultists.

At the last count, over 15 residents have been murdered in cold blood within the last two weeks, including some victims who cannot be identified as cultists, promoting the belief that what is happening could be targeted assassinations.

DAILY POST has followed the developments, and reports that the major problem seems to be a struggle for the control of revenue windows, especially collection of taxes from bus drivers and commercial tricyclists.

Investigation shows that no fewer than 15 persons have been gunned down in just two weeks in the city.

The orgy of killings started on Easter Sunday when as much as six youths were reportedly gunned down.

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A source told DAILY POST that while the Easter merriment was being observed by Christians to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, the happiness of some people were cut short by gunmen.

“Some were felled at Okpuno area, behind Juhel, others were murdered around Eke Awka area and Obinagu,” a source said.

One of the incidents was said to have happened opposite Dike Park, around the Eke Awka Market, in Awka, the State capital.

According to sources, “The incident happened in the noon of Sunday, and also escalated to the Obinagu area, where some more persons were also gunned down by the cultists.”

It was gathered that one of the persons hit by the bullet was a staff of the Anambra State Judiciary, simply identified as Mr. Nwofor, who was said to be innocently going about his normal business before the cultists struck.

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A resident of Awka, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “I suspected that there would be cult killings during that period. You know that most wanted cultists have left town, but during festive periods, they always come home to celebrate, and their rivals use the opportunity to pay them back for their past atrocities, which may include that they have killed their members.”

Just seven days after the Easter killings, three other persons also suspected to belong to secret cults were gunned down in the city.

Though security operatives could not confirm the number, a source said that two of the victims were killed in her presence.

The source said: “Two tricycles were driving recklessly along Zik Avenue at Eke Awka. They were pursuing themselves. Around Eke Awka market, the tricycle at the front got stuck in the traffic, and one boy inside it alighted and started running.

“Two boys in the tricycle behind also jumped down and pursued him. He ran towards Parkers’ area, along Zik Avenue, and diverted into a road by the right, into a mechanic workshop.

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“The boys pursued him into the place, dragged him out and shot him to death. The incident caused pandemonium, and people were just running in all directions,” the source said.

Not done, two days after the same incident, another person described as Nwanayoeze, a popular Awka youth was gunned down around tricycle park, Unizik Junction.

Traders around Unizik Junction confirmed that Nwanayoeze was a very prominent youth in the entire area and also controlled revenue from tricycle operators in the area, and was feared by many people, even though they denied that he had any link with cultism.

The killings however did not abate. Thursday of the same week, a former president general of Amansea community in Awka North Local Government Area, Chief Cajetan Nwokike was killed.

On Friday also, at Unizik Junction, a man identified as Christian was gunned down. He is said to be an indigene of Enugu State, but manages a popular transport company in Awka that has fleets of luxury SUVs that ferry passengers to Abuja and Lagos.

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He was gunned down in the presence of his co-workers by gunmen who came in a yellow tricycle. Eyewitnesses said the assailants were not in a hurry to leave after the assignment, as they entered the tricycle and drove away slowly.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, gunmen caused pandemonium at Aroma junction.

A youth from Amudo Village in Awka, and said to be a former tricycle operator before transiting into a revenue collector was gunned down.

A source said the assailants trailed him from the Ifite area of the state capital and shot him at close range at a filling station which serves as a popular bus stop for buses and tricycles.

Business outfits in the area were forced to close and roadside traders abandoned their articles and fled.

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The major roads in the vicinity of the incident suddenly became empty, just as many people abandoned their cars and took to their heels.

Few hours later, residents of the town received news of another killing in the same junction. This time, an official of the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency (ARTMA) was the victim.

A source said: “The man who was killed is an ARTMA official. He stopped some people who were driving a Toyota Sienna vehicle with tinted glasses, and the people shot him and drove off. It happened just close to me as I was boarding a vehicle this morning to go to Nnewi.”

The developments have heightened tension in the state capital and beyond, with residents not sure of who would be the next target.

“Security agencies seem to be overwhelmed; everyone is in panic mode,” a distressed resident told DAILY POST.

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In one of his responses to DAILY POST, Anambra State Police Command’s spokesperson person, SP Tochukwu Ikenga lamented that families of deceased people do not notify the police, so that investigation can commence.

He insisted that operatives were deployed to the areas of the incidents but no news of any killing was gathered.

DAILY POST however gathered that deceased person’s bodies are usually quickly removed by family members to avoid confiscation by police.

Meanwhile, in a recent press conference, the police stated its frustration, saying that most cult kingpins arrested by police were being freed by very influential people in the city.

The commissioner of Police in Anambra State, CP Aderemi Adeoye, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, DCP Akin Fakorede, said: “When those things that have happened over a period of time begin to happen again, the question people should ask is Why?

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“Could you imagine that the cultists we arrested, charged to court, and got remanded in prison custody that some powerful locals are going to the judiciary to lobby to get them released?

“And some have been released. And they are the ones unleashing this mayhem again! That is number one.

“Two, you must have heard of the AK-47 we recently recovered from a suspect in Awada. What the suspect told us was that they procured it for him to engage in a showdown with a rival cult group.

“Now, if that AK-47 was not recovered or had joined the recent cult-related clash, could you imagine what the casualty level would have been?

“We are already going after the cultists; and if we find that anybody is subverting justice, or is subverting due process, to get the cultists off the hook, they will face the music, notwithstanding whether the person is in the judiciary or civil populace,” he said.

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Currently, major stakeholders in Awka who are worried about the orgy of bloodletting have started working towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.

Three prominent sons of Awka, the member representing Awka South 1 constituency, Hon Henry Mbachu, the Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) Mr. Ossy Onuko and the Transition Committee Chairman of Awka South Local Government Area, Mr Anagor ThankGod have teamed up to get security agencies to stop the killings.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of the three after a meeting, Onuko said “Finding a lasting solution to the security challenges is necessary as the elected and appointed officers owe it as a duty to the people to keep Awka safe not just for residents but for thousands of investors trooping into the city.”

DAILY POST, however, noticed on Friday evening that as a result of the frequent cases of killings, men of the Special Anti Cultism Squad (SPACS) have mounted guard at Aroma junction.

Meanwhile, a popular activist in Awka, Comrade Osita Obi, who spoke to DAILY POST, said it was unfair that Governor Soludo was yet to utter a word over the killings.

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He said: “Soludo is doing very well in infrastructure, but protection of lives and property is the major reason we elect leaders. He needs to say something.”

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Iran showed power attacking Israel – Iranian Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei

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Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Ayatollah Khamenei, remarked that regardless of the effectiveness of the strikes, Iran showcased its strength during the recent attack on Israel.

About two weeks ago, Iran launched a barrage of drones and missiles toward Israel in response to an attack on its embassy in Damascus, Syria, on April 1. However, most of these projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s defense system.

Despite this, Khamenei praised Iran’s Armed Forces for their action against Israel. He stated on Sunday that the quantity of missiles launched and their accuracy was secondary; what mattered was Iran’s demonstration of power during the operation. He emphasized that the armed forces managed to minimize costs and maximize gains during the recent operation. Khamenei urged military officials to continuously pursue innovation in military tactics and to learn from the enemy.

However, in the early hours of Friday, explosions rocked the Iranian city of Isfahan, believed by many to be a retaliatory attack from Israel.

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