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FCT: Tension among residents as kidnappers besiege Bwari, Ushafa, other communities

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Residents of Bwari, Ushafa, and surrounding villages in Bwari Area Council, Abuja, are currently living in fear due to the activities of daring bandits wreaking havoc in the area. According to reports from DAILY POST, these attackers have been on a rampage in recent days, committing acts of violence such as killings and kidnappings across various communities in the council.

Last Wednesday, in Zuma 1, located in the Bwari central ward, gunmen invaded, leading to the abduction of seven family members. In a subsequent gun duel between the bandits and Nigerian Police officers, a man known as Alhaji was reportedly shot dead, and two officers sustained serious injuries. The armed assailants managed to overpower the security forces, abducting several residents with an unknown destination.

Before the Zuma 1 incident, the bandits had targeted Barangoni, also in the Bwari central ward, where they abducted several individuals, causing a vigilante member to suffer a life-threatening injury. Additional attacks were reported in Garam, Kuduru, and Azu communities a few days before Christmas, resulting in the indiscriminate shooting by gunmen. Despite the presence of a police post, at least five individuals were abducted, and residents are said to be fleeing their homes in Bwari, Ushafa, and other border communities due to the persistent violence.

Notably, the bandits had previously attacked communities near Veritas University in the Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory, leading to the closure of the university in July 2022. The General Hospital in Bwari has also been partially shut down recently due to increased bandit attacks, causing fear among workers, including doctors, who are afraid of being kidnapped.

Ushafa village, also known as Clinton Village under Bwari Area Council, has witnessed several attacks, with reports emerging of bandits positioned near rocks behind LEA Primary School, causing fear and anxiety. A member of the local vigilante group in Ushafa expressed concern about potential future attacks and called for increased security presence to address the escalating situation.

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, responded to the security concerns, urging residents to avoid spreading unverified information. She mentioned that the Commissioner of Police visited communities in the region on January 3, 2024, engaged with community leaders, assessed security arrangements, and took proactive measures, including deploying additional personnel and an armored police vehicle. However, concerns have been raised about perceived inactivity despite these efforts.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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Economic crisis: Find more ways to improve your IGR – President Tinubu to universities

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The Nigerian government has called upon universities in the country to broaden their sources of funding amidst economic challenges. President Bola Ahmad Tinubu made this assertion during the 6th & 7th combined convocation ceremony of Federal University, Dutse, which took place on Saturday.

Speaking through Professor Kabir Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who represented him at the event, President Tinubu stressed the government’s dedication to facilitating a conducive environment for universities despite resource limitations.

He urged universities to actively explore alternative funding channels, underlining the significance of self-reliance in the prevailing economic circumstances. The President also encouraged universities to seek international funding opportunities for research, advocating for collaborations and the attraction of funds from global sources.

President Tinubu emphasized that government alone cannot shoulder the financial burden of universities, particularly amid economic challenges and competing demands from various sectors. Nonetheless, he reiterated the administration’s commitment to providing the necessary support within the available resources to ensure universities function as pillars of educational advancement and national development.

He further urged universities to pursue innovative strategies for generating revenue and to tap into international research funding opportunities. He assured that his administration remains dedicated to supporting universities in achieving their objectives as outlined in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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Contempt threat against NLC, TUC leaders over public protest uncalled for – Femi Falana replies FG

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Human rights advocate and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana, has clarified that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have every right to organize the nationwide public protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, asserting that it does not constitute contempt of court.

As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Falana emphasized that Nigerian workers are entitled to freedom of assembly and expression as enshrined in the country’s Constitution. He urged the federal government, in a strongly worded letter to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, to ensure maximum security for the workers and to participate in the protest.

In response to the AGF’s threat of contempt charges against the NLC and TUC leaders, Falana’s letter dated February 24 countered the threat, arguing that it lacked legal basis.

Falana pointed out the history of negotiations between the government and the labor unions following the removal of fuel subsidy in 2023, which resulted in court orders restraining the unions from striking. Despite compliance with these orders, the unions challenged them, and the contempt proceedings initiated by the government were subsequently withdrawn.

He highlighted subsequent legal actions initiated by the government against the unions, noting that these actions were contested by the unions on grounds of abuse of court process and lack of jurisdiction. Falana emphasized that since the contempt proceedings were withdrawn, there is no basis for the government’s threat of contempt charges regarding the planned protest.

He cited legal precedents affirming citizens’ rights to protest on matters of public interest without the need for police permits, emphasizing the democratic importance of freedom of speech and assembly.

Falana urged the government to respect these fundamental rights and directed the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security for the protesters in accordance with the Police Establishment Act.

In conclusion, he called on the government to reconsider its stance and assured that the protests would be conducted peacefully.

The federal government had previously warned of invoking relevant laws to charge the NLC leadership with contempt if the protest proceeds, citing it as a breach of agreement and a challenge to the court’s authority. The AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, conveyed this warning in a letter to Falana, urging the NLC to abandon the protest to avoid violating the court’s order.

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