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Henceforth Benue will not take herders attacks with levity -Ortom

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***Asks President Buhari to take a bow

Apparently piqued by incessant attacks and killings of innocent citizens of the state by militia herdsmen, Governor Samuel Ortom has declared that henceforth, decisive actions will be taken against the invaders.

Governor Ortom who spoke on Monday, at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi during a press conference on the state of the nation hinted that Benue will no longer talk about the number of people killed by the invading militia herdsmen but confront them through community efforts in collaboration with conventional security agents.

“In the last two weeks, more than 20 people have been killed by Fulani terrorists in unprovoked attacks in Guma, Logo and Gwer West, Agatu” which he said had given rise to “the growing number of IDPs in Benue.
“As I speak, more than 1.5million people are still living in poor shanties as shelter. They have no where to go to.”

He maintained that it is time for “the Federal Government to act fast before they push the citizenry into taking the risk of protecting themselves from these terrorists,” Governor Ortom stated.

The Governor called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign his position for demonstrating incompetence, abysmal performance, lack of clear direction and height of insecurity in the country.

According to him, “Let me be clear: Buhari’s failure as President has led Nigeria to the most corrupt, disunited, disorganized government in the history of our country. This has brought unprecedented economic hardship, chaos, escalated insecurity where lives don’t matter.”

He lamented that more than three years after Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo promised the sum of N10 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction of ancestral homes of farmers destroyed by militia herdsmen, nothing has been sent to the state.

Governor Ortom who accused the Federal Government of nepotism said “Borno State and the North East have continued to receive tons of relief in cash and materials from the Federal Ministry of humanitarian Affairs and International donor agencies.

According to him, “just recently, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo gave marching orders to a committee for the North East. What is the sin of Benue IDPs?”

Speaking on the achievements of his administration, Governor Ortom explained that his administration has recorded a lot of achievements, mentioning a few of them.

According to him, “over N1.450billion has been committed to SDG projects across the state. This resulted in the provision of more than 2000 motorised boreholes in various communities in the state. We also have partnership in the 120 Mother and Child Hospital that was recently commissioned by the President.”

The governor disclosed that “the construction and furnishing of 42 Primary Health Care Centres in the State, the opening of more roads in the state; NASME-Yogbo-Udei Branch Road and asphalting of already constructed roads among others” are a few of the many ongoing or executed projects by his administration.

He appealed to Nigerians not to lose faith in governance and assured that “the PDP is set to take over power at the centre and also retain power here in Benue. The current political and legal victories for the PDP in the FCT Council elections, Jos national assembly bye-election seat, and the legal victory in Ebonyi Governorship is a clear indication that the PDP is on its way back to power.

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Security

Akpabio doles out N27m to 7 families of deceased Police officers

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Obot Akpabio has has dolled out N27m to families of seven police personnel killed at Ugheli forest in Delta State on 20th February, 2024.

Akpabio, while making the presentation of the posthumous awards on behalf of the Nigeria Police, announced that he would support each of the families with one million naira to pay their way back home while the Senate as an institution made a commitment to supoort the families of the deceased with N20 million.
Akpabio made the pledge at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony which held on Monday evening in Abuja.
In addition to the awards given on various aspects of policing, posthumous awards were also given in memorial recognition of the fallen heroes as Akpabio pledged the full cooperation and support of the National Assembly for better policing of Nigeria.

Akpabio told the audience which included Vice President Kashim Shettima that “as the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for the better policing of Nigeria.

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the entire leadership of the Nigeria Police Force for organising the event and urged them to use the occasion to celebrate the achievements of the Nigeria Police Force and to reiterate the commitment to working together for a safer and more secured Nigeria.

Akpabio said: “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organizing this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honor to whom it is due.

“By recognizing the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles.

“Moreso, as we honor the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. It is crucial that we address these issues and work together to find solutions.

“The Police need the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to overcome these challenges and build a stronger and more effective Police Force.

“I congratulate the awardees who have excelled in their respective fields of policing. Their dedication, bravery and integrity have set them apart and made them deserving of this recognition.

“I commend each and every one of them for their outstanding performance and commitment to the service of our nation. I urge them to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected.

Representatives of the families of the deceased received the awards as well as cheques for their entitlements.
Kano State Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf also announced a donation of N20 million to support the families of the deceased.

The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima commended the Senate President and Kano State Governor for their “show of empathy” to the affected families.

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HIV service delivery: SFH trains security agents on human rights, inclusion, diversity

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The Society for Family Health(SFH) has expressed its appreciation to law enforcement agencies in the country for their commitment to the partnership with the organization.

The Managing Director, Dr. Omokhudu Idogho gave the indication in a goodwill message at a 3-day training workshop organized by SFH for the law enforcement officers held at Chatwell Hotel on Monday in Bauchi.

The sensitization workshop focused on general health issues, gender diversity and human rights as they relates to the survival of the key populations.

The MD who was represented by Chief of Party, KP-CARE2 Project of the SFH, Mallam Abdulsamad Salihu said law enforcement agencies have shown serious commitment to their partnership with his organization.

He disclosed that the officers have been part and parcel of the organization’s activities over the years especially as it relates to public health programming, HIV and AIDS service implementation and extraordinary general security provisions.

He said, “It is with no doubt that our gallant law enforcement personnel have been through considerable tests of their resolve by the significant increase in criminal activities in the country, especially because of the challenges with poverty, inflation, banditry and insurgency

In his words, “We also know that over 200 million Nigerians rely on the law enforcement agencies for their security and livelihoods, many of which are also supported by SFH.”

In his address, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, CP Auwal Mohammed Musa disclosed that gender inequality is not a new concept but that their pervasiveness has brought them to international focus.

He pointed out that the police force as an institution is a major stakeholder in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, guided by its mandate to maintaining peace and uphold fundamental rights to freedom.

The police boss further explained that every individual deserves safety and respect, but that the scourge of rape and defilement are curbed, and that women and girl child and boys can live their lives free from fear, intimidation and harassment.

He expressed the hope that the training program would facilitate a smooth police service delivery and improve the areas of gender sensitivity in the Force.

In his speech, the Zonal Commander of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Zone B, Idris Mohammed Bello thanked the Society for Family Health for its commitment to confronting the HIV menace over the years and the benefits therein.

The NDLEA boss expressed the belief that participants will leave the training better equipped to stem the problem due to the increased knowledge they will acquire from the training.

Bello also explained that it was the second time he would be attending the Society for Family Health sensitization training for officers with his strong belief that the participants will live with the takeaway and even impact the knowledge on others.

Other agencies in attendance at the training included the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Hisbah Corps, representatives of the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), heads of State AIDS Control Agencies(SACAs) and representations from KP-led Community-Based Organizations(CBOs) among others.

The training attracted officers from the North West and North East regions comprising Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and host Bauchi states.

About 40,000 vulnerable individuals received care from the project with support from the United States Agency for International (USAID) and the Nigerian government.

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DSS alerts Nigerians against potential threats at crowded gatherings

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To avoid “potential threats” that may result from Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) in crowded places or suspicious locations, the Department of State Services (DSS), on Friday, cautioned Nigerians across the country to stay away.

The DSS in its message to both Christian and Muslim faithful to felicitate with them at their Lenten and upcoming Ramadan seasons respectively, said the advice became imperative in order to live in a peaceful environment.

The spokesman of the secret police, Peter Afunanya also cautioned clerics from both religions, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to refrain from economic exploitation, sabotage or profiteering during these important obligations.

“Residents are advised to remain vigilant against public dangers especially Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),” Afunanya said, stressing that the service calls for tolerance, bonds of brotherhood, dialogue and peaceful coexistence among the populace.

“Also, the general public is urged to stay informed about potential threats; avoid crowded or suspicious areas and report to relevant security agencies any strange objects, activities and movements of hostile elements.”

According to him, the DSS recognises the significance of these sacred rites, that is why it enjoins worshippers to promote understanding, compassion and respect for one another during and after the exercises.

The secret police spokesman said, “Accordingly, the Management extends its heartfelt felicitations for peace, unity and harmony to adherents of these faiths. The DSS recognises the significance of these sacred rites and enjoins worshippers to promote understanding, compassion and respect for one another during and after the exercises.

“It appeals to stakeholders to refrain from economic exploitation, sabotage or profiteering during these important obligations. This is more so that illegal practices such as price gouging or unethical marketing tactics are ungodly; violate fairness and can undermine the true essence of the holy events.

“As believers, it is incumbent upon us to uphold good standards and ensure that everyone can observe the religious duties with ease and dignity. Furthermore, the Service encourages clerics and religious leaders to uphold empathy as well as prioritise cooperation and conflict prevention beyond the periods under reference.

“Similarly, the media is encouraged to utilise their platforms to foster informed and accurate engagements that (can) enhance the achievement of national security objectives and interests.

“Likewise, residents are advised to remain vigilant against public dangers especially Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Also, the general public is urged to stay informed about potential threats; avoid crowded or suspicious areas and report to relevant security agencies any strange objects, activities and movements of hostile elements.

“In the same vein, the Service calls for tolerance, bonds of brotherhood, dialogue and peaceful coexistence among the populace. Overall, the Service recommits to provision of strategic intelligence to other sister agencies in order to achieve a safe and secure country.

“As we undertake these spiritual journeys in the Lenten and Ramadan periods, let us remember to love and share the values that unite us. Let us reaffirm our commitment to the values of mercy, tolerance, forgiveness, being our brother’s keepers among others and by these, advance more inclusive and equitable society for us all.”

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